Today (Feb 22) is Robert Opron's birthday.
Robert Opron may not be a celebrity in the sense that Beyoncé is a celebrity. In fact, it is quite safe to say that Robert Opron bears little resemblance at all to Beyoncé. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure he's OK with me saying that.
But to owners and enthusiasts of the Citroën DS, SM, GS, or CX, along with several other famous cars, he is just as much or more of a celebrity. If you are at all in to design (of pretty much anything) Robert Opron should be a celebrity to you, too.
After working in the design of everything from furniture to aircraft, Robert Opron joined Citroen in 1962. One of his first assignments at Citroen was to "fix" a design created by another famous automotive designer, Flaminio Bertoni. Robert Opron re-designed the front of the Citroen DS. Not only was Opron's design better looking, but it was more aerodynamic, and cheaper to produce. Furthermore it allowed the Citroen DS to have the now famous turning headlights.
The Citroen DS was voted as the most beautiful car of all time by an panel of automobile industry leaders, so Robert Opron gets at least partial credit as the designer of the most beautiful car of all time.
In 1968, Citroen bought the famous car company Maserati, and Opron designed the Maserati-powered Citroen SM; a car that is currently receiving much attention in the classic car market. Opron was working at Citroen during the entire span of Citroen's ownership of Maserati, so it is likely that Opron either directly or indirectly influenced the design of famous Maserati cars such as the Bora and Merak.
Opron went on to design the Citroen GS and my car, the Citroen CX:
The Citroen CX was designed by Robert Opron
In 1974, the French government forced the merger of Citroen and Peugeot. Opron's loyalty and passion was to Citroen, not Peugeot, so he left shortly after the merger.
He went to work for Renault, where he continued to design incredible looking cars such as the Renault Alpine and others.
He is currently retired, but on occasion can still be spotted at Classic Citroen car shows and events around the world.
Happy Birthday Robert!
Note: If you happen to catch Robert on other social media sites, send him a Google+ invitation.