Hot-rod and custom-car designer Murray Pfaff has created designs for more than 250 cars in the five years since he founded Pfaff Designs, based in Royal Oak, Mich.
He has generated designs for a wide variety of car-collector friends and well-placed clients from Miami to Toronto, and from North Carolina to Los Angeles. In fact, the Pfaff Designs client list reads like a Who’s-Who of the hot-rodding industry: He’s produced design projects for Boyd Coddington, Air Ride Technologies, Deco Rides, Pro Rides, Detroit Speed & Engineering, Optima Batteries, Schwartz Extreme Performance, Sammy Hagar and Rad Rides by Troy.
Pfaff’s design projects have ranged from concepts to road machines to show cars – he has even tackled unique assignments like creating a 1951 Mercury custom that will become the planned centerpiece of a recreation room in a 17,000-square-foot, four-story mansion! And his eye for design has involved more than just cars – everything from a 140-mph speedboat, to tow trucks and 4×4 Monster trucks, plus Moto Guzzi, Kawasaki and Harley Davidson motorcycles, an airplane, a storm-chasing vehicle, a milk truck, a 70’s-era van – as well as a jet-powered VW!
All in all, Pfaff Designs is known mainly for its cars: So far, over 24 of them have been featured at the “Super Bowl” of hot-rodding – the SEMA show in Las Vegas – and nine have been designed for Hot Rod magazine alone, including the G-Force GTO and Sidewinder Cobra (both landing features), plus the Concept Camaro, Concept Challenger, Hot Rod Cargo Van and Conceptual Firebird.
In addition to being a regular contributor to Hot Rod, Pfaff’s spectacular designs also have been featured in other automotive publications, including Super Rod, Mustang Monthly, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, Ford Builder, Corvette Fever, Rod & Custom, Mopar Collectors Guide, Truckin’, Diesel Power, 8-Lug and Petersen’s 4×4. .” Pfaff also writes a feature called “Design Lines,” which is carried in Detroit-based Cruis’news and East Coast Cool Cars & Hot Happenings.
Outside of the print media, Pfaff’s car passion has also been chronicled on V-8 TV, Hot Rod Newz TV and Hot Rod TV, as well as Dream Car Garage. Hot Rod TV actually documented an annual “event” that has earned itself the reputation of being one of Detroit’s craziest Woodward Dream Cruise parties: Pfaff’s own “Backyard Bash,” which usually includes a car that implodes or ignites.
In his spare time, Murray can be found in the 6-car garage behind his studio building his own hot rods. Recently he completed a 1956 Cadillac Custom Lowrider known as “FireMaker”. It belches 20 foot flames out of the twin exhaust and has been featured in Super Rod and Car Audio magazines, Cadillac also used it for a web based promotion.
Currently he building a two seat runabout called “The Imperial Speedster”. Starting with a 19 foot 1959 Imperial, Murray has shortened it 4’3”, narrowed it 8”, and is sectioning it 3”. Build partners include Mopar Performance Parts, Goodyear, Dynamat, Optima Batteries, Lincoln Electric, Eastwood, and Chicago Pneumatic Tools.
Murray is originally from Northern New York and studied Industrial Design at Syracuse University where he received his Bachelors degree.