THE FIRST ALL-AMERICAN SPORTS CAR TO GO INTO PRODUCTION
For 60-years now (notice date below) the mythology behind the Corvette and its creator, Harley Earl, have contributed greatly to many wonderful life-style creations coming forward in America. Interesting factoid: Before the mid-twentieth century era in automotive history, General Motors never knew how to build "CUSTOMIZED CARS," Harley Earl was the pioneer who painstakingly showed everyone inside the company how to properly do it.
Corvette, one of the most famous of the original Waldorf-Astoria Show Cars, is written about in this seminal press release (shown in its entirety below) titled, GENERAL MOTORS CUSTOMIZED CARS. While introducing a number of great American motoramic masterpieces of engineering to a large audience at the New York Motorama, GM's PR people accidentally let out this press release with a funny spelling mistake inside it, "Couvrette!" Remember, at the time, nobody in the world was yet familiar with Harley Earl's newest Corvette offering.
A lot of people will be interested to see the facts come forward on a nucleus figure in the "Custom Car World" of the 20th century. No doubt, Hollywood Harley Earl will have a posthumous victory when his "King of Customizers" story finally comes to light.
Before he moved from Hollywood to Detroit in 1927, Earl was a serious pro at designing and customizing high quality cars and trucks for the stars, local movie studios, royalty and other famous people. He designed and made hundreds of unusual multicolored running one-off automobiles and unusual trucks (the more gadgets, the better) for the greats of tinsel town. Early screen veteran Tom Mix ordered one of Earl's creations with a saddle built on the car's roof. Numerous specialty autos designed by Harley J. Earl (HJE) from his nascent career days are still around and reside in some of America's most renowned car museums; not to mention this man's motoramic masterpieces are now setting record prices at collector car auction houses, too.
What Harley Earl said in this article below is symbolic, "investigating the use of plastics with the idea of shortening various mockup stages through which a new GM car is processed before production." In other words, pushing the envelope of progress and dramatically shortening the time it takes from the concept stage, to actually having the product design come rolling off a GM assembly line was his mantra. This Progress Report on Plastics showed another foolproof method Designer-Earl's team invented in custom car building.