Design History

The 1979 Opel Bitter Story

The 1979 Opel Bitter Story

Design of the Opel Bitter CD at Opel Design in Russelsheim, Germany Opel Design in November of 1971. To understand the importance of Opel Design in the early seventies, it should be known that Opel produced more cars per year than Chrysler did in the United States. All of the design came out of one […]

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado Development

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado Development

I was new and experiencing my first design program of note. It was all like magic, as sketches, words and imagination all converged on the project and influenced what was going on in the studio. I clearly remember my participation and that of others in the room which follows. I was really impressed with the […]

GM Designer Bill Michalak

GM Designer Bill Michalak

[...] My desire to design cars for General Motors started at the age of eight. Like many other kids with the same goal, I was fortunate to actually see my dream come true. Employment came by way of Chuck Jordan in 1966 during my last week at Pratt Institute in New York. During my 35 […]

Designer Interviews: Giorgetto Giugiaro

Designer Interviews: Giorgetto Giugiaro

[...] Born on 7 August 1938 in Garessio, northern Italy, he started his career with Fiat in the mid-1950s, aged 17. Joining Bertone in 1959, his first signature cars included the 1963 Alfa Giulia Sprint GT and 1964 Alfa Canguro concept. After a brief stint at Carrozzeria Ghia from 1965, he co-founded Italdesign with Aldo Mantovani […]

GM Designer Elia Russinoff

GM Designer Elia Russinoff

Our designer friend and colleague, Elia ‘Russ’ Russinoff, has provided a portfolio of his work to feature on Dean’s Garage, shown on behalf of the Automotive Designers Guild and The League of Retired Automotive Designers, of which Russ is a fellow member. Included among the 40+ sketches/photos is an image of a gold-colored 3/8ths scale […]

10 most important designs in Korean automotive history

10 most important designs in Korean automotive history

Four design center heads from Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, Renault Samsung Motors and GM Korea and three automotive experts — Global AutoNews Editor in Chief Charley Chae, Daelim University College Professor Kim Pil-soo and Hanbat National University Professor Koo Sang — picked five most important models and Business Focus compiled the chart. — ED.

Development of the 1992 Oldsmobile Achieva SCX

Development of the 1992 Oldsmobile Achieva SCX

From Buick One to Olds One I was transferred from Buick One to Oldsmobile One Exterior Studio in late 1985. Olds One was a crazy studio even by Design Staff standards. One story comes to mind. Peggy Lee recorded a song called Is That All There Is? in the ’50s that was so depressing that it was […]

1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech

1987 Oldsmobile Aerotech

I was in Oldsmobile 2 Studio when Ed Welburn was given the assignment to develop the Aerotech. The car was modeled in an out-of-the-way basement studio away from prying eyes. It is interesting to note that two years earlier when the Achieva styling model was being developed, Dave Holls decided to pull the clay out […]

George Barbaz

George Barbaz

I worked with George Barbaz in the Lincoln-Mercury Advanced Design Studio during 1973. George was the “Senior” member of our studio, having started as a designer with Ford in 1945 after serving in the army infantry during World War II. He was of Hungarian descent, and had a great sense of humor, and very definite […]

Sneak Preview of the New 1968 GM Cars

Sneak Preview of the New 1968 GM Cars

Dick Nesbitt sent me these and this note: “I came across some Harry Bradley 1968 forecast illustrations for Motor Trend(July 1967) I got from Strother McMinn when I was at Art Center.”

Harry Bentley Bradley, Part 2

Harry Bentley Bradley, Part 2

While Dean’s Garage venue is not custom cars, nonetheless there is a lot of creativity and interesting design to be discovered when designers apply their skills and interest to modifying what Detroit built. The customizer must have a very thorough understanding of the vocabulary of forms he’s working with to successfully reinvent the design. Plus, […]

Harry Bentley Bradley, Part One

Harry Bentley Bradley, Part One

Harry Bradley was one of the Transportation Design Instructors at Art Center when I was there. I remember the first day of a Trans class in my last trimester, Harry announced that there weren’t any design jobs. Judging from the last few graduating classes, he was right. No jobs had been offered. That wasn’t very […]

Personal Luxury Cars of the 1970s, Part 2

Personal Luxury Cars of the 1970s, Part 2

There has been quite a bit of interest in the last post by Dick Nesbitt, if the number of comments is any indication. Here is some follow-up information and sketches/photos courtesy of Dick Nesbitt.

Personal Luxury Cars of the 1970s

Personal Luxury Cars of the 1970s

As rising insurance cost and increased emissions control concerns gradually phased out the exciting high-performance cars of the late 1960′s, high-image “personal-luxury” style became the new emphasis for the 1970s. From the “entry-level” Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Ford Elite, to the “mid-range” Pontiac Grand Prix, Mercury Cougar, Dodge Daytona and Chrysler Cordoba, sales were exploding […]

Harley Earl’s Scrapbooks

Harley Earl’s Scrapbooks

Special Interest Autos, May-June 1976 This very intriguing and well written article concerns three binders of illustrations, with three interesting theories of how they came about. Designer renderings from this era seem to be in short supply, possibly because much was thrown out during the move to the Tech Center. Many of the photos in […]

A Conversation with Virgil Exner, Jr.

A Conversation with Virgil Exner, Jr.

On January 8, 2003, Virgil Exner, Jr. gave me an opportunity to ask him many of the questions that we Chrysler fans, especially those of us in the Online Imperial and Forward Look clubs, have wondered about and discussed over the years.  He is a wonderfully gracious man to talk to—extremely knowledgeable, considerate, funny, and […]

Design; Sketches of Optimism From Detroit

Design; Sketches of Optimism From Detroit’s Glory Days

Growing up in Detroit during the muscle car years as a daughter of a Chrysler executive, Kay Grubola can remember attending a party at the house of her father’s boss. What made the event so memorable were the drawings on the walls, striking colorful works by automobile designers dreaming up the cars of the future. […]

75 years of General Motors Design: Chuck Jordan

75 years of General Motors Design: Chuck Jordan – The Continental

June 17, 2003 – This year’s Eyes on Design Automotive Design Exhibit will present 75 years of GM Design at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on June 22. The event will open with a brunch presentation by Wayne Cherry, GMs fifth head of design. Car Design News expects that the name of […]

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