Leo Pruneau, former head of design at Holden, is one of my favourite car people. In the 1990s Leo and I worked together as members of the Wheels magazine Car of the Year judging panel. After the 1994 COTY week, when among much else we discussed Holden design, Leo sent me this photograph of Holden’s Styling Directors: from left Phil Zmood (1983-1995), Joe Schemansky (1964-1975), Leo Pruneau (1975-1983) and Alf Payze (1947-1964). At the time the photograph was taken (1983), Leo thought “Holden was, to the best of my knowledge, the only car company left in the world that still had all its styling directors living”.
Payze died not long after the photograph was taken, while Schemansky died in 2004. Pruneau, now in his late 80s, remains enthusiastic and fascinated by car design. Lunch with the bloke is always a delight.