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Harley Earl
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (November 22, 1893-April 10, 1969)
    Born in Hollywood, California
    Automotive designer
    Named first director of the Art and Color Division (later renamed the Styling Division) of General Motors (1927)
    Created the first concept car, the Buick Y-Job (1938)
    He kept a second wardrobe so he could change before the cocktail hour if any of his clothes had gotten wrinkled during the day.
    By constantly changing designs, he encouraged people to replace perfectly functional cars.
    His 50s designs, flaunting tailfins and tons of chrome, epitomized styling run amok.
    An actor portraying him (or his ghost) was used by Buick for a series of less than successful ads (2002-03) that never really explained who Earl was. (Not to mention why the new designs he was allegedly inspiring at Buick were so much worse than his old ones.)
    He began by customizing cars for Hollywood stars like Fatty Arbuckle and Tom Mix.
    He introduced the practice of sculpting new designs in modeling clay.
    Who cares if tailfins and chrome were impractical? The public loved it.
    In addition to looking better, his cars produced a smoother, more comfortable ride.
    He was nicknamed 'the da Vinci of Detroit.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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