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Bill Mitchell

William L. "Bill" Mitchell (July 2, 1912 — September 12, 1988) was an important General Motors designer from the late 1930s to the late 1970s. He succeeded Harley Earl as Vice President for Styling in the late 1950s. He was particularly identified with the Chevrolet Corvette and the Buick Riviera.

Early Career

Mitchell's father owned a Buick dealership when he was a kid, and was in awe at some of the Stutzs and Mercers that his father brought home as trade-ins. He started engineering studies at Carnegie Tech, but during his summers he attended the Art Students League and worked at Barron Collier Advertising Agency. While at Collier a friend of Mitchell's suggested that he show some of his automobile drawings to Harley Earl, then head of General Motors Art and Colour Section. In 1935, he became an employee working under Harley Earl. At the age of 24, he was promoted to the head of styling for Cadillac.

Vice President for Styling

After Harley Earl retired in 1958, Mitchell was ready to step into his shoes as Vice President for Styling. Mitchell felt that cars needed to look fast sitting still, and many General Motors cars made after he became Vice President reflect the motion in design that he was fond of. In 1977, Mitchell retired from his design post and often didn't like the design of later cars becaues they didn't have the same drama that he had been making his entire career.

Principle Designs