Video: Five Questions With Murray Pfaff From Pfaff Designs

During the year we’re lucky enough to sit down with some of the best designers and builders in the world and the 2013 Detroit Autorama happened to play host to the 10 year anniversary of Pfaff Designs so we took the opportunity to catch up with Murray Pfaff to sit him down and pick his brain. In our quest to get YOU closer to the action, the builders, the designers, the shows – a true insider’s look, we will be catching up with the industry’s best and bringing them to you first hand.

So without further ado, we sit down with Murray Pfaff Designs and ask them five questions that we want answers to about their continued success, cars, and where they are headed.

Murray Pfaff – you’re a designer, a builder, and a custom car owner. You are a well respected, known car junkie, and all around car guy that has been in business designing top builds for over 10 years now so let’s pick your brain a bit and get to the questions:

Rod Authority: What is the philosophy of Pfaff Designs?

Murray Pfaff: “Dennis, are you getting philosophical on me? Well, I don’t know if there is one single thread, I mean somewhere there is a thread that runs through everything, but doing design work for clients and customers on all of these cars are personal statements and they are personal statements about the builders, the owners, and all involved. People like a certain car because they had one in high school. They met their wife when they drove that particular car and it may not always be my cup of tea, but we turn it into something cool and at the end of the day we just make sure that it is something that everybody can truly appreciate. Also that there are no nails on the chalkboard moments and that the car comes together as a total package, so I think that just creating the total package with a client is the philosophy.”

RA: What sets you apart from other designers?

Pfaff: “Well, you know everyone has their individual styles and tastes – each with their own unique talents. But I would like to think that doing the design work and then at night going out and building my own car, working in the garage, learning from the guys that come over that help me build the cars that I have built helps set me apart. Everybody’s got their own skill sets and I like to apply what I have learned by actually putting a welder to metal to the design so that I can see something built smarter rather than harder.”

RA: What is your latest build?

Pfaff: “Well, probably the latest, freshest build is sitting right over there (points to the ’50 Chevy pictured here). It is the 1950 Chevrolet by Weaver Customs known as Boost. It is a little speedster and was a wild idea that grew out of something that they said to me. We want to cut this roof off and go autocrossing and so we took it and we amped it up as much as they wanted to amp it up, and it’s getting a lot of attention here this weekend. It is definitely a cool little ride.”

This full-custom 1950 Chevrolet was designed by Pfaff and built by Weaver Customs, making it’s debut at the Detroit Autorama.

RA: Let’s talk about your relationships, how important are the relationships you have in the auto world when it comes to design?

Pfaff: “Well, you’re only as successful as those that help to enable you. So, relationships I think are everything. Do what you say, say what you do, and make sure at the end of the day that you under-promise and over-deliver. When the phone rings you never know exactly what might be on the other end, but you answer it and you relish in the next assignment, whatever it may be. A journey starts with one step and a relationship starts with one relationship and leads to another, and word of mouth is a big thing in this industry.”

RA: So here it is, the fifth and final question – from your point of view, what is the future of design in the auto world?

Pfaff: “Well, we constantly look in many different directions. We look at what others are doing, we look at what fashion is doing, we look at what Apple is doing, and so on. I mean look around you, the influences are right next to you and the future is already here. I think it’s a big melting pot of where we are going. We have talked a little bit about colors and color blocking, which is coming out of the fashion world and we’ve already been starting to apply that. Asymmetrical is hot right now, and bringing trim back, trim that are satin or done in nickel, or what have you has made a huge comeback. There is a lot of great directions that we are headed in as designers and I’m looking forward to seeing where we end up next.”

We look forward to that as well and we want to thank Murray Pfaff and the crew at Pfaff Designs for taking the time out with us and showing the readers of Rod Authority what they’ve been up to. Stay tuned for our next “Five Questions” with the pros.

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About the author

Dennis Pittsenbarger

Admitted knucklehead and automobile aficionado to the bone, Dennis shares his car obsessions and current news with a hot-rod-loving audience worldwide.
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