William L. Mitchell

Tuesday 2nd July 1912

Born on this day, William L. Mitchell, an important General Motors designer from the late 1930s to the late 1970s who succeeded Harley Earl as Vice President for Styling in the late 1950s. Mitchell was responsible for creating or influencing the design of over 72.5 million automobiles produced by GM, including such landmark vehicles as the 1938 Cadillac Sixty Special, the 1949 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, the 1955-57 Chevrolet Bel Air, the 1963-65 and 1966-67 Buick Riviera, the 1961-76 Corvette Stingray, the 1975-79 Cadillac Seville, and the 1970-81 Chevrolet Camaro. Mitchell spent the entirety of his 42 year career in automobile design at General Motors, eventually becoming Vice President of Design, a position he held for 19 years until his retirement in 1977. His design stewardship at General Motors became known as the ‘Bill Mitchell era’.

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