Here’s a rare, in-depth look behind the scenes into the design process that created the fabulous 1959 Chevrolet. Beautiful color and production values—check it out.
When this film was produced, General Motors was bursting with pride about its styling division, justifiably so. Led by design vice president Bill Mitchell, who was just then replacing the retiring Harley Earl, GM Styling was the largest and most accomplished group of its kind in the world. This 1958 clip, an excerpt from a longer GM production about industrial design called American Look, focuses on the design effort that would eventually produce the 1959 Chevrolet. The setting for much of the movie, naturally, is the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, which at that moment was nearly brand new and touted as one of the commercial wonders of the world.
There, we are treated to some priceless glimpses of the styling studio, including the dramatic lobby. Next we go inside to the working areas for some vignettes on the design process, including rendering, tape drawings, clay models and fiberglass prototypes. It’s a valuable review of how the job was performed in the late 1950s, and our favorite part of the video. At the end of all this fascinating work, we meet the finished result: the 1959 Chevrolet—arguably the most aggressively styled Chevrolet in history.