Harley Earl's six page bio from 1956 on design-for-industry titled, "The Story of GM Styling - The Start of Something Big" supplies more tangible evidence on exactly how he went about inventing the automobile design profession. As a matter of fact, Earl played the most significant role of the twentieth century auto world towards making "the automobile" an artful product. Oddly enough, many of Detroit's modern auto world execs --- today --- continue putting all the important facets of his success story on the back burner. Obviously, they don't want to clearly establish his true identity.
An accurate quote by Mr. Earl taken from a 1956 New York Times business section article (it's featured at the bottom of section) titled, Along the Highways and Byways of Finance has something to do with why Detroit's auto elite these day wish to continue keeping Earl's side of the story down:
“I became the most hated man inside the corporation, because I got in everyone’s hair."
Well, this quintessential risk taker/leader meant it! After all, self-promotion or winning some sort of popularity contest inside the industry or in the eyes of all the other auto execs at GM wasn't ever a part of Earl's characteristic. Successfully designing and engineering all GM's transportation products got his full attention.
This new perspective allows a general audience to better understand why things became so historically distorted around one of this man's greatest accomplishments. So, when a reader finds out more about the subject matter addressed practically everywhere at this website...it becomes clearer how Mr. Earl's created a whole new professional dimension to be added (the artistic side) to making Detroit's products.
What Harley Earl masterfully kept many others from ever finding out all about, is one of the ways he pulled off one big silent coup…winning and taking the creative reins (GM’s largest stockholders backed him, too) from all the other old fashioned engineers and marketeers.
Consequently, by the end of WW-Two this styling revolutionist had taken control of the entire architecture of not only how GM cars would develop and evolve from a technical standpoint, but Mr. Earl also went on to broadcast and mass market his ways of hybrid styling / engineering directly to an American public via the full support of the largest company in the world. Look at the evidence, click the ad directly below, and see how "Styling" and "Auto Design" were the primary all-American tools to market and promote this company's highly original products in advertising at the height of GM's most successful period [1930s-60s] of the 20th Century.
These were just among a long list of quiet revolutions this man fought to champion his more modern techniques.
This book's introduction also written by Designer-Earl, above right, is detailed below