Famed auto designer Ed Welburn on Tuesday unveiled a new trophy for the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year that will be awarded next month at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

The trophy features a stylized Streamline Moderne car with a long hood and tailfins. It sits on a black rectangular pedestal with North American Car of the Year emblems.

The trophy, which will be used for all three of the awards, was designed by Welburn, who retired as global head of General Motors Co. design after a 44-year career earlier this year.

“I wanted to create a trophy which would live up to the prestige of this very important award, and the hard work that the people put together in developing the vehicles that win this award,” Welburn said when unveiling two trophies at an Automotive Press Association meeting in Detroit. “It’s just out of respect for them.”

The trophies are not designed to look like any particular car but a collection of past and modern designs.

“I wanted a design that would be both timeless and not represent any particular brand at all,” Welburn said, adding if the Academy Award’s Oscar “had a car, this would be it.”

A small version of the trophy will be awarded annually to the automaker that wins the awards. A much larger display version will list all recipients of the award.

The North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year winners will be announced Jan. 9 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The awards are given based on judging by about 60 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who work for magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites.

This year’s finalists for car of the year are the Chevrolet Bolt, Genesis G90 and Volvo S90.

Finalists for truck of the year are the Ford F-series Super Duty, Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Titan.

Finalists for utility of the year are the Chrysler Pacifica, Jaguar F-Pace and the Mazda CX-9.

(313) 222-2504

Twitter: @MikeWayland

Read or Share this story: