Design of the Times

This Saturday marks the birthday of an American automotive icon.  He was born in 1893 which is coincidentally the same year the Duryea Motor Wagon Company introduced the first American automobile.  His career with General Motors spanned from 1927 to 1959.  Think of all of the beautiful automobiles from this era.  This man is Harley J. Earl, the most influential designer in automotive history.  Earl brought distinctive style to a world of utility.  Earl’s influence dominated during his years of employment and it lived well beyond.  Even GM’s competitors rode his dynasty of design.  Words can only go so far.  It’s time for Saturday morning’s art to tell the story.

Photo references are presented in a clockwise fashion starting at the top-left:  (1) dagmars (or bumper guards) on the Kaiser Manhattan, (2, 3) the ample use of chrome on the Olds Ninety-Eight and the Chevy Thriftmaster, (4) the wraparound windshield on the 1st-generation Corvette, (5) tailfins shine on the DeSoto Adventurer, and (6) rocket ship-inspired taillights on the Dodge Polara

Photos courtesy of Rich "Will" Williams

In memory of Harley J. Earl (1893-1969)

Richard Williams