General Motors produced this new video tribute to the company’s first concept car, the Buick Y-Job, and its first vice-president of styling, Harley J. Earl. The creative vision starts here, and it continues today.
Completed in 1938, the Y-Job is said to be the auto industry’s first purpose-built concept car (or dream car, as they were called then). The project was driven by the industry’s first corporate styling chief, Harley J. Earl, who was recruited by General Motors executives Lawrence Fisher and Alfred P. Sloan and, in another unprecedented step, given the rank of corporate vice president, equal to any division boss. From that moment on, styling would play a key role in the creation and marketing of the American production car.
The Y-Job was not a prototype for any specific GM vehicle, but a corporate vision statement, a look into the future of automotive design. According to the young GM designers interviewed here—Creative Designer Justin Salmon, Lead Creative Designer Dillion Blanski, and Design Manager—GM styling is still in the business of looking forward, and the Buick Y-Job remains an important inspiration in the process. Video below.