• Mar 12th 2010 at 9:29AM
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Nissan 370Z Roadster by Bruce Campbell - click above for high-res image gallery

When we first met Nissan's vice president-design for North America Bruce Campbell, we were amused by his name. Hey, we've seen Evil Dead II at least fifty times. But after a few minutes of conversation with Nissan's highest-ranking U.S. designer, we were deeply impressed by his humor, ideas about design ("The Corvette looks fast standing still, the 370Z looks fast at speed") and his soft-spoken grace. Sadly, Mr. Campbell is disembarking from the Nissan ship after more than thirty years at sea, reports Wards Auto.

Campbell's career reads like a Nissan greatest design hits list, having worked on the (still fab looking) "Hardbody" trucks, the third-generation Maxima, the Xterra and more recently, the new latest Maxima, the Rogue and the 370Z. Going back to our conversation, Bruce explained to us that the 350Z was designed only as a coupe, and that the 350Z Roadster looked odd because it was an afterthought. From the start, the 370Z was designed to be both a coupe and a convertible. We think he did well. We also think that his successor and current European design chief Alfonso Albaisa has some pretty big shoes to fill.

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Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Wards Auto]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      They say people look like their pets, which I really highly believe.....this guy looks like he cars he designed.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      After looking through his list and seeing pictures of them (too early to use my brain and bring up memories), I think Nissan is losing a guy who really kinda helped Nissan's image here in the US. The Hardbody trucks are classics imo. I love XTerras, and the 350Z was pretty damn nice. :) Well, hopefully he'll have a nice retirement. Hopefully Nissan has a future that'll go up in the market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. His design ideas were/are interesting to look at.

        I'm still not a fan of the current maxima, but the rest mentioned here by him were all very well done. Nissan has some big shoes to fill.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's about time. Nissan styling is awful, in my opinion. It may be a good car in terms of performance but the bloated styling is just terrible. And everytime the new generation of Altima or Maxima comes out, it is more bloated than before. I am not even going to mention the new Murano because I think it looks worse than the first generation. There are few exceptions of course but in general, I think Nissan needs someone from Europe to help them style the exterior.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought Ajay Panchal was responsible for the design of the 350Z and 370Z facelift.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope he enjoys his retirement and Nissan finds someone who can design great cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good. He couldn't design a pair of headlights or tail lights with a gun to his head.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Too bad this isn't the guy who designed the Juke.....the world NEEDS that guy to retire.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I realize this is the internet and all, but how nasty do you have to be? Didn't you ever learn some manners? Do you really think it's everyone's great desire to read your nasty comment crapping on someone you don't even know?

        Say this for Nissan - they invented a different way to do something that has been done to death. It's difficult to design head and taillights that:

        1. Work for pedestrian safety, height requirements, location requirements
        2. Don't make the car look sad, or crazy
        3. Aren't copies of any of the thousands of headlight forms that have already been made
        4. Is possible, with current metal/plastic/lens technology

        It really is not easy - and if they had made anything that looked like another company, there would be people like you complaining that their styling was derivative.

        The guy is retiring. Be graceful. Add something constructive to the conversation or just don't comment. We won't miss you, if this is the only kind of thing you have to say.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Voted up. I totally agree with you. I used to like Nissan a lot. The bizarre headlights and tail lights have always turned me off. Still can't get over the 350z/370z's looks even though they are literally the perfect cars for me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Forgive me if I'm a bit brash, but I've seen the transformation Nissan has gone through. They once produced handsome, sophisticated, but sporty cars (like the early 00's Maxima) that a young, mostly male professional demographic fawned over. The Maxima, in particular, was a handsome, well-appointed, but fairly affordable professional's car.

        Now? It's a neutered brand with quirky (but not endearing) styling, using great motors, but ruining them with a transmission that is devoid of good driving dynamics. I won't even approach the stupidity that would be required to blame this man for the massive step backwards Nissan has done with the CVT, but the ruinous design has happened under his stewardship.

        This is a blog of news, but also opinion, and if you ask me, strong and emotional opinion is something very few products can achieve, and it's why the automotive industry is always in such an exciting place. It's a double edged sword, I love when something revolutionary or exciting happens, but if something contemptible is happening (like the ruin of a brand's design DNA) then don't expect the kid gloves to stay on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's not the real Bruce Campbell! ;-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        Shop smart. Shop S-Mart!
        • 5 Years Ago
        First you wanna kill me, now you wanna kiss me. Blow.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yo! She-bitch! Let's go.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sure he could have stayed and been king. But in his own way, he is king...... Hail to the king baby!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Spies are like a bunch of b!tchy whiny little girls
        • 5 Years Ago
        Buckle up bonehead, cause you're going for a ride
        • 5 Years Ago
        This... is my Boomstick!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "You know spies, a bunch of bitchy little girls!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Poor quality, poor design and a CVT transmission no one wants. Nissan has become less then an afterthought.
      • 5 Years Ago
      and best of AoD,

      In my own way, I am king.
      "Hail to the king, baby"
      • 5 Years Ago
      The people who designed the Juke and the Leaf, and those who approved the designs should be paraded naked through the streets on the way to a full public razor wire garroting. Oh yeah, the Qube folks, too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, what the hell. Do they even do market testing anymore?
        I saw a Pontiac Aztek yesterday and realized that it actually looks cooler than the Juke.
      • 5 Years Ago
      SOMETHING needs to be done.

      Most Nissans look horrible, and didn't used to.

      350Z was only a bit odd with all the blockyness and square details.

      370Z is horrific. Fangs, and L-shape lights, front-peaked roofline all the way down to the rear ba-donk-a-donk. I still think that if you paint a 370Z coupe green, the horn would magically change to "ribbit."

      The 300ZX, on the other hand, was pretty darn good.

      The GT-R is a similar progression. Even though the new one is technically an amazing car on the spec-sheet... it looks nowhere nearly as good as previous Skyline GT-Rs have.

      Sad, but even Infiniti is back-sliding aesthetically. too much fish-face on the corporate grille, and it is spreading to all models, and the FX and M are getting down-right bloated and unattractive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      From the looks of that 370z up there I'd say Bruce Campbell is a huge fan of the ladies from that Sir Mix-a-lot video.
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