kick things off on this page, the following quote by GM's Irvin W. Rybicki gives
some salient reasons why Harley Earl's story went on to be so deeply buried. Mr. Rybicki was a 42-year GM
veteran who worked under Earl and, later on, became the third vice president of
GM Design (1977-1986). His statements were gathered in various taped interviews
taken from 1996 thru 1999:
"Harley Earl is responsible for more than half of GM's greatest 20th Century milestones. The fact this company had exclusivity of all his work and was able to capitalize off his artistic efforts and innovative engineering ideas first, is perhaps why this man's story is so controversial and a kept secret today in Detroit."
What Mr. Rybicki addressed above...is no longer a secret, a lot of people
are becoming more familiar with exactly how the Automobile Design profession is one
of the greatest inventions of all time. This manufacturing invention not only made America strong, it made
this country a much wealthier nation...and even though some savvy automobile execs in Detroit
today think China is on the brink of taking America's auto industry
and running with the purse stings as things start to develop in the Twenty
First Century, Motor City execs might be thrilled to know, everything
could turn around fast for Detroit if Harley
Earl's true story of "how he became responsible for
creating Detroit's dependency on design" were to come forward and help legitimize/humanize
what used to be America's crown jewels of industry.
“Here Is What It Is, What It Does, How To Use It, How It Works and Why
You’ll Want It” part of this dynamic Detroit Story has simply never been
told. In essence, how Harley Earl created the auto industry’s Dependency On
Design is a huge piece of the modern story-telling pie on what makes this
industry tick today. But, nobody, not even legions of Detroit’s finest
engineers and highest paid auto execs know anything about it. Yes, this is a
huge distortion in history…and how it got this way is one of the best stories
all, it was mainly because of this man’s “new profession," that a
design monopoly was first created inside GM. In fact this stems directly to Mr. Earl
bringing a new blueprint along with him when he moved to Detroit from Hollywood, California.
Notice the Styling University the four Vice Presidents of Design attended, above right picture.