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‘Motor City Masters’ begins a huge challenge on Tru-TV

On tonight’s Tru-TV season premiere of “Motor City Masters,” host Brooke Burns introduces the viewers to ten talented automotive designers, who will team up with Chevrolet until there is only one left standing. Their goal is to design new, fully functional concept cars, based on a theme showcasing each competitor’s unique personality.

Host Brooke Burns and the contestants on Motor City Masters
"Photo courtesy of Tru-TV, used with permission”

The competition takes place in Los Angeles, Calif. The contestants are: Bryan, 38 from Valley Village, Calif. He specializes in planes, trailers and automobiles. From tough trucks to Airstream campers and from executive jet interiors to Hollywood set designs, he loves pop culture.

Doc Sab, 51, a chiropractor from Brooklyn, N.Y., and currently residing in L.A. and his specialty is Cadillacs.

Dawan is 31, from Atlanta, head designer for C2G Motorsports, who specializes in American muscle cars and high-end car modifications.

Shane, 28, from West Hollywood who specializes in futuristic concept cars and women’s couture.

Darby is 20, still in school. She is from Ferndale, Mich. and the only female in her junior class at the College for Creative Studies. A winner of various scholarships, including the High School GM Gold Key Award.

Jameson, 33, is from Lake Hopatcong, N.J. his street cred includes interning for Volkswagen, where he worked on the concept for the future Beetle design.

Troy, 30, a former wrestler, is from York, Pa. and won the SEMA for Best GM vehicle in 2010.

Kevin nicknamed Chunner, 33, a second-generation car designer, who interned at Lexus, specializes in SUVs and concept designs. His father worked for designer Carroll Shelby. His is currently

Joann, 54, from Waxhaw, N.C. this award-winning photojournalist is the first woman custom painter to own her own shop in the country, and a bestselling author of six books about custom painting techniques. She specializes in custom body work and paint for cars and motorcycles.

Camilo, 50, rounds out the group. He is from Detroit, and currently resides in New York. For eight years, he worked as a professor at College of Creative Studies in Detroit, as well as working at Disney with Pixar on advanced designs for future movies. His specialty is advanced concept-car design.

Once all the contestants were brought to the parking lot, Brooke came to introduce herself to them and why there were there. She told them that they would be competing for the grand prize of $100,000, a 2014 Camaro Z-28 and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent Chevrolet as their first “Motor City Master.”

Each week they will be competing in both a team and individual challenge. By winning the individual challenge, they will be safe from elimination for the week. The top two individual winners will become the two team managers for the team challenge. Critiquing their work are two legends in the automotive industry; Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief of, and former president and editor-in-chief of Automobile Magazine. Jean has 30 years of automotive experience and holds the 2007 Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism.

Harald Belker is a world-renowned automotive designer. His credits include the Smart Car team for Mercedes Benz, the Batmobile for Warner Bros. Batman & Robin, and the futuristic cars of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. With several more iconic movie cars under his belt, he currently holds the position of head of product design at Kaenon Sunglasses and at Anki, Inc. a consumer robotics company in San Francisco.

For their first individual challenge, the competitors had to draw a sketch of their dream car, letting the judges know what makes them tick. When the pencils were put down, two designers stood out that impressed the judges. The designers were Darby and Bryan, and the winning designer was Darby, who will be safe from elimination at the first team challenge.

The group was brought to their awesome design studio. Here, each week, they will turn their designs into showroom-ready cars. The studio contained everything they will need from the design stage to the finished product. This week’s team challenge deals with signature style. The group watched a video by the GM Vice President of Global Design, Edward T. Welburn Jr., who described what goes into signature style; it needs to be timeless, clear and easy to describe. These designers must have a signature style if they want to be a “Motor City Master.” Then Brooke pointed to three of the most popular Chevrolet vehicles; the Malibu, the Cruze and the Equinox. Each team will choose one to create their concept car for 2015. Each car must include one signature design element from each team member. So they will have to include five different signature designs into one car that must look like one person designed the car. Because Darby won the first challenge, she chose the first member of her team, then Bryan chose next and continued until each team was chosen.

Darby’s team consisted of Camilo, Troy, Jameson and Doc Sab. Bryan’s team was Joann, Shane, Dawan and Kevin. Darby chose the Cruze and Bryan chose the Malibu. They will have three days to create a concept car, but were given help from the Chevy technical team.

As Bryan’s team was choosing which parts of the car each team member would be responsible for; Darby’s team was like a dog chasing its tail, with Troy as the naysayer of the group. When Jean and Harald checked on each team, Darby’s team decided to go with the Super Sport concept, but Jean questioned if it was a concept? Bryan’s team had all ideas set and wanted a muscle car that would be great for tailgating, but Jean pointed out the Chunner that it would take a lot of work and wondered if they could finish in three days? Jameson is not happy, he feels that whatever Darby and Camilo decide matters little to the rest of the team.

When Joann painted the undercoat of the car, it was matte silver. The other three guys agreed that just leaving it like that was a wonderful choice; however, they never let Dawan know who was expecting the car to be orange, and started doing the wheels.

When it was time for the judging, a guest judge joined them, an actor and car enthusiast, Jesse Metcalfe. Brooke explained that the members of the winning team will be safe, and one member of the losing team will send someone home. When the cars were presented, each team felt confident that they would win. Bryan presented his car as a concept of muscle with a sliding roof where half slid forward and the back slid backwards, leaving an large open roof. Darby’s car concept was hated by Jameson, who did not like the way she described it at all and when she was finished, he defended the SS concept of the Chevy design.

As the judges looked over both cars, Jesse put as much say as the other judges, which represented him well as a judge and not just a celebrity. When they were finished conferring, they chose Darby’s team. Jameson stated to the camera that he was not going to congratulate her because her presentation was terrible, and if it was not for him, they may not have won.

As the leader of the team, Bryan was called to task by the judges. He felt that everyone pulled their weight on the team, but it is up to the judges to send someone home from his team. The judges told Chunner and Shane that they were safe, and then sent Bryan back to the lounge. Joann and Dewan were left, with one of them going home; finally the judges chose to send Dawan home on this episode of “Motor City Masters.”

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