The Cars of Harley Earl
Explore Harley Earl's impact on the automotive design landscape and the teams he led to create the iconic 1953 Corvette, 1955-1957 Chevy Bel Air, 1927 LaSalle, and more.
Veteran automotive historian David W. Temple has researched and unearthed the complete story of Harley Earl's cars, his notable design achievements, and many accolades.
Working as a coachbuilder at his father's Earl Automotive Works in Hollywood, California, the young Earl learned his trade. After styling the 1927 LaSalle for GM president Alfred P. Sloan, this book describes how Earl rose to prominence and ran the newly created department of Art and Colour. Automobile design stagnated during the Depression and World War II, but the number of his contributions to the automotive world in the 1950s is staggering.
When the jet age hit, Earl fully embraced aviation design and infused it into GM cars. The Buick Y-Job and GM Le Sabre featured many firsts in automotive design and hardware. The Y-Job's fender extensions trailing over the doors, disappearing headlamps, flush door handles, and a metal cover over the convertible top were a few innovations. When General Motors needed to show off its cars and technology, Harley Earl-designed cars were the stars of the Motorama show that toured the country from 1949 to 1961. As a titan of American auto design, the cars he helped create are still celebrated today. And as an enduring legacy, he inspired a generation of engineers, designers, and stylists.
Harley Earl's drive toward bold and innovative design spurred American car design during the mid-20th century. His distinctive designs defined the 1950s finned cars and set American automotive design on the path it has followed into the modern era. With this in-depth examination, you learn the inside story of these remarkable cars and the man behind them. It's an essential addition to any automotive library.