Saturday, October 21, 2017
  Owning the bad conversation

Continuing on GM's Owned Conversation. Even the stories that made GM look bad were carefully crafted to move credit into more acceptable places.

I've been bothered by the conventional story of the Palace Revolution that dethroned Harley Earl. The story probably contained some truth but didn't really explain what happened.

In Sept 57, Mr Earl was summering in Europe. The younger stylists made a habit of driving past locations where they might get a peek at the competition's latest offerings. One of them noticed a storage yard full of '57 Chrysler products, not yet released for sale. He knew that GM's designs for '58 were already in the pipeline toward production and couldn't be changed, but the '59 proposals were even worse and would be unsellable next to these lean and sharp Chryslers. The young stylists got inspired, worked up a new set of proposals for '59, and persuaded upper management to go along. When Mr Earl desummered he was presented with a fait accompli.

Why was this dubious? Because the actual GM '59s took absolutely nothing from Chrysler and everything from Ford.

'59 Chevy:



'59 Pontiac:



Compare with '57 DeSoto:



Nothing in common. The GM cars have slanted fins, deeply sculptured sides, and squared roofs, not tall vertical fins and curvy roofs.


Where did the real designs come from? Looked to me like the '57 Mercury was the source.




Turns out that GM didn't steal the Ford designs, it stole the Ford designer.

Larry Shinoda had been at Ford in '54, when he created the back end of the Turnpike Cruiser dream car:



and some parts of the Mystere dream car:



The Turnpike Cruiser developed into the '57 Merc and the Mystere developed into the '57 Ford. By that time Shinoda had moved to GM where he replicated the Mystere in the '59 Chevy.

Hierarchy of status. If you absolutely have to give credit to someone else, you have to pick the least unacceptable source, and above all hide what really happened. Ford was always unacceptable for obvious reasons, and stealing a designer is less acceptable than picking up an inspiration.

The clincher: If tall fins and flat sides had been the Shock that started the Revolution, GM stylists didn't need to peek over the '57 Chrysler fence to see the Shock. They had ALREADY DESIGNED the Shock in the '57 Eldo. Presumably Mr Earl had seen and advised on this design, so he wouldn't have been shocked either.


Shocking Plymouth and boring old Eldo. Which is which?


= = = = =

Later thought: The front end of GM's 59s seemed entirely new. Headlights inside the grille, not above the grille. Definitely not from Chrysler, and not from any Ford car. But Ford pickups had featured headlights inside the grille since 1948.



Note the nostrils that were echoed by the 59 Chevy. Ford's 57 version was even closer to GM's 59s. I can't find a mention of Shinoda in connection with trucks; he seems to have worked in Ford's concept car studio. But the Ford design source is unarguable.
 


<< Home

blogger hit counter
My Photo
Name:
Location: Spokane

The current icon shows Polistra using a Personal Equation Machine.

My graphics products:

Free stuff at ShareCG

And some leftovers here.

ARCHIVES
March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / December 2014 / January 2015 / February 2015 / March 2015 / April 2015 / May 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / September 2016 / October 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / March 2017 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017 / September 2017 / October 2017 / November 2017 / December 2017 / January 2018 / February 2018 / March 2018 / April 2018 / May 2018 / June 2018 / July 2018 / August 2018 / September 2018 / October 2018 / November 2018 / December 2018 / January 2019 / February 2019 / March 2019 / April 2019 / May 2019 / June 2019 / July 2019 / August 2019 / September 2019 / October 2019 / November 2019 / December 2019 / January 2020 / February 2020 / March 2020 / April 2020 / May 2020 / June 2020 / July 2020 / August 2020 / September 2020 / October 2020 / November 2020 / December 2020 / January 2021 / February 2021 / March 2021 / April 2021 /


Major tags or subjects:

Carbon Cult
Carver
Constants and variables
Defensible Cases
Defensible Times
Defensible Thymes
Defensible Spaces
Equipoise
Experiential education
From rights to duties
Grand Blueprint
Metrology
Morsenet of Things
Natural law = Sharia law
Natural law = Soviet law
Shared Lie
Skill-estate
Trinity House

Powered by Blogger