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.