Today on Vette Vues blog we are looking at the life of designer Larry Shinoda as well as a collection of video interviews with him.
Larry Shinoda was a designer who worked for General Motors Styling from 1956 to 1968. Perhaps his most was his working on the final design for the 1963 split-window Sting Ray.
He Shinoda was born on March 25, 1930, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in Southern California and his artistic talents showed up while he was still in grade school.
Shinoda and his family were required to live in an internment camp by the United States Government along with hundreds of thousands of other Japanese Americans during World War II.
As a young man, Larry enjoyed building hot rods and drag-raced them on the streets of LA. With his 1924 Ford roadster, and in 1955 he won the first National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals held in Great Bend, Kansas.
Shinoda studied art for two years at Pasadena City College. Next, he did a tour with the army in Korea. Next, he attended the Art Centre School of Design in Los Angeles but never graduated. He was kicked out because in his estimation, “I didn’t fit in there; my ideas and desires weren’t consistent with their expectations, so I was construed as a malcontent, which, in truth, I was.”
In 1955 he went to work for Ford Motor Company. After a year he went to Studebaker/Packard.
But in September of 1956, Larry Shinoda joined the General Motors Styling staff as a senior designer.
Soon he was placed in the Chevrolet studio when a design he had created caught the eye of some of the leadership at Styling. This illustration inspired some of the stylings on the 1959 Chevrolets.
Shinoda spent a short time in the Pontiac studio and worked on a design that would develop into the 1960-1961 Tempests.
Around 1958, soon-to-be Styling vice president Bill Mitchell selected Shinoda to assist him on a special project, the XP-87 Stingray race car. Mitchell was impressed one day outside of the Tech Center when the two had a spur-of-the-moment stoplight drag race of which Shinoda handily won.
Working in Studio X which was located beneath the lobby of the Styling building, Shinoda gave life to Mitchell’s conception of the Stingray. This was built on an extra chassis leftover from Zora Arkus-Duntov’s Corvette SS program.
After working on the Stingray, Shinoda led the team that restyled the Corvette for the 1963 model year.
Shinoda was Inspired by the lines of the Stingray race car. Larry’s design for the 1963 Sting Ray Corvette was completed in 1961 and would produce the first-ever coupe in the Corvette line.
Shinoda was Inspired by the lines of the Stingray race car. Larry’s design for the 1963 Sting Ray Corvette was completed in 1961 and would produce the first ever coupe in the Corvette line.
- 1960 CERV I
- 1961 XP-755 Shark (later renamed the Mako Shark I)
- 1962 Corvair Monza GT
- 1964 XP-819 Corvette
- 1964 CERV II
- 1965 Mako Shark II
In 1968, former GM executive Bunkie Knudsen joined the Ford Motor Company as its new president where he recruited Shinoda to come and help improve the styling and sales of Ford’s lineup. During his second brief stint at Ford, he styled the Mustang that would appear on the streets from 1970 to 1973. When Knudsen was fired from Ford late in 1969, Shinoda left as well.
After this, Shinoda opened an independent design firm and did work for GM, Ford, AMC, and various aftermarket companies. Larry Shinoda died in 1997 at his home in Michigan of heart failure at age 67.
Here is a collection of videos about Larry Shinoda:
Corvette Sting Ray History – Larry Shinoda Full Interview
1998 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Larry Shinoda
The Mako Shark Corvette and the C3 Vette
Here are some other article you might enjoy:
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