1958 – V.P. of Design and Styling, Harley Earl retires from GM. Bill Mitchell becomes General Motors’ new chief stylist.

by Scott Teeters a written for Vette Vues Timeline Tales: December 1, 1958 – V.P. of Design and Styling, Harley Earl retires from GM. Bill Mitchell becomes General Motors’ new chief stylist. Dateline December 2015: This was more than just a changing of the guard; it was then end on one era and the beginning… Read More

Vette Videos: The Life & Times of The Father of the Corvette, Harley Earl

Dateline: 11.23.11 Harley Earl gave us much more than the Corvette. He could have also been called, “The King of the Razzle-Dazzle!” Three Harley Earl Videos! Yesterday we shared with you a brief overview of the life and career of General Motors’ first chief of design, Harley Earl. When it comes to Corvettes,  it’s easy… Read More

Corvette Timeline Tales: Happy 113th Birthday to GM’s First VP of Design, Harley Earl

Harley Earl is arguably the greatest designer in American automobile history. And not just because of the Corvette. Some of Earl’s classic designs include the Buick Y-Job, the 1928 LaSalle Phantom, the Firebird Series, the Cadillac Cyclone, and others. He was also credited for inventing concepts that are today, simply taken for granted.

Here’s a list of 13 concepts that Harley Earl invented:

1. Founder of the Automobile Design Profession in America
2. Inventor of the Concept car, also know as the Dream Car
3. The introduction of the Annual Styling Model Change

Check out the post for the remaining 10 accomplishments of Harley Earl Read More

Corvette’s Founding Fathers, Pt 1 of 5 – Designer Extraordinaire, Harley J. Earl

Harley J. Earl’s accomplishments were staggering. His beautiful concept cars and subtle innovations (such as turn signals and wrap-around glass) that live on today, unnoticed, aren’t nearly as impactful as his greatest legacy, the Corvette. His quote, “The Corvette was a little thing I started.” is one of the all-time great, automotive understatements. Sixty-five years after Earl took his LeSabre concept car to the 1951 Watkins Glen sports car race and was inspired, we are still captivated by Corvettes. That’s one heck-of-a legacy! Read More


Inside Bill Mitchell’s Secret Garage – 2 VIDEOS

My monthly column in VETTE Magazine, “The Illustrated Corvette Series” is now in its 21st year. I’m in the middle of a series I’m calling, “The Corvette’s Founding Fathers” that covers the careers of Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Bill Mitchell, Zora Arkus Duntov, Larry Shinoda, and Peter Brock. Each of these men played a foundational roll in setting the pattern and personality of the Corvette. Without them, the Corvette might not have survived the 1950s. Read More


Corvette Timeline Tales: June 26, 1958 – A 1958 Corvette becomes the 39,000,000th Chevrolet built!

In the early days of the Corvette’s existence, GM had an odd relationship with the car. Power-players such as Harley Earl, Ed Cole, and Bill Mitchell went to bat for the struggling sports car many times. And then there was the wild Russian engineer with the funny name, Zora Arkus-Duntov that pushed to make the car a successful racecar. But GM is all about sales and Chevy wasn’t selling many Corvettes. By the end of 1957 Chevy sold 14,446 Corvettes in total from 1953. In 1957 alone, Chevrolet sold 254,331 4-door Bel Air Sedans! Read More


9-27-52 – General Motors officially begins using the name “Corvette” for its new sports car

Last month we told you about Chevrolet PR-man Myron “Scotty” Scott’s induction into the National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame. Mr. Scott was the man responsible for coming up with the name “Corvette” for Harley Earl’s “American sports car” show car concept. The working name for the two-seater had been “Opel.” How uninspiring! (Hey Man! Did you see the new Op?”) Over 300 names were rejected before Myron Scott found the word, “Corvette” in the dictionary. I wonder if a copy of that last is still around? Read More

1963 Corvette – The First Production Sting Ray

The first 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, The original American Idol – I call the Corvette the “The American Automotive Horatio Alger Story.” It’s the ultimate automotive rags-to-riches story. You could also call it an automotive Cinderella story. While the C6 has taken more flack than it deserves, it’s good to look back to the very beginning to get a really clear picture of how far the Corvette has come in 60 years. Today, new designs are market researched, but in the ‘50s, it was a seat-of-the-pants approach, driven by men with strong personalities. “Father” of the Corvette, Harley Earl, was the director of GM’s “Art and Color Section.” from 1927 to 1958. His successor, William L. Mitchell picked up the mantle and drove the Corvette where Earl never imagined. Read More

Vette Videos: Building the 1957 Corvette SS Racer Video

After Sebring in ‘57, it was obvious that modified stock Corvettes would never be competitive against the Jaguars and Ferraris. GM’s chief designer, Harley Earl proposed building a “Corvette” based on a D-Type Jaguar with a Corvette engine and a modified body. When Zora heard about the proposal and looked into what would be needed to create such a car, red flags popped up all over the place for the wild Russian. But Earl was no fool, he was a master tactician, and may well have made such an outrageous proposal as a way of pushing Chevrolet towards building their own purpose-built Corvette racer. Read More