A recent passing of note that flew well under the radar, but for this obit in the New York Times.
Chuck Jordan was vice president of design for General Motors when General Motors was General Motors.
Chuck Jordan gave us tailfins.
Cadillacs and Chevrolets of the late fifties and early sixties looked like they were going to take off.
You did not want to be standing behind those things as the car was backing up. We had a ’60 Chevy wagon that had fins like tray tables. You could eat off them.
Whether you love the look or not, those were the days when car design changed from year to year. When the debut of the new models in the fall was a big event.
Those cars had “attitude” because people like Chuck Jordan had attitude. From the obit:
Mr. Jordan fought to retain the pre-eminence of designers in Detroit decision-making, against engineers, brand managers and market researchers. He loathed focus groups.
“A good designer doesn’t need Mr. and Mrs. Zilch from Kansas telling him what to do,” he told Motor Trend in 2006.
Maybe more of us need to think like Chuck Jordan.