1975 Bonne owners: Meet your taillight designer! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Classics (Star Chief and 1957 to 1986) Converse about your Classic Bonneville.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-24-2004, 03:52 PM   #1
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,409
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
acg_ssei is on a distinguished road
Default 1975 Bonne owners: Meet your taillight designer!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...,1066993.story

It'* Ed Welburn, the new General Motors VP of Design:

Quote:
"I always wanted to work on designing cars, and I'll never forget my first design assignment. You never start by designing the entire car yourself, and my first assignment was designing the taillamp for the 1975 Pontiac Bonneville.

"I remember it like it was yesterday, doing the sketches and the mockup," he said.
acg_ssei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2004, 11:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
Posts like a Corvette
 
Ol' Timer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: New Jersey - Most of Our Elected Officials Have Not Been Indicted
Posts: 1,483
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ol' Timer is on a distinguished road
Default

A legend in his own mind.

The 1975 Full Size Pontiac was not, what I would call, a Classic year. I'm glad his "tail light design" didn't last past 1976!!!

Wait.....are you saying that he is the VP of Design for ALL of GM. Where was he promoted from? Did he design the Oldsmobile under Ahieva?
Ol' Timer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2004, 11:15 AM   #3
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,409
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
acg_ssei is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Timer
A legend in his own mind.

The 1975 Full Size Pontiac was not, what I would call, a Classic year. I'm glad his "tail light design" didn't last past 1976!!!
Hey, we all gotta start somewhere. Way the hell back in 1979 I was in Cambridge, England, working on a computer-aided design for the intake manifold of a Rover engine. (I forget what model but it was a high-performance passenger car from the same folks who bring you the Range Rover.) If I want to see that again these days, I'd have to go through a British junkyard and pry open a hood. At least Ed needs only to look at the southern end of a northbound '75 to see his earliest work.

Quote:
Wait.....are you saying that he is the VP of Design for ALL of GM.
I think so, yes.

Quote:
Where was he promoted from?
A bunch of places...

Quote:
Did he design the Oldsmobile under Achieva?
I don't think so but I'll have to go look that up. (I still have the promotional videotape for the Achieva that they mailed out to a few million carefully-selected car owners back when it first came out.)

If I still have access to that article I'll try and repost it.
acg_ssei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2004, 11:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
True Car Nut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,409
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
acg_ssei is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
If I still have access to that article I'll try and repost it.
Okay, here we go:

Quote:
Out of the box
GM'* new design chief takes helm as his department gets new life

By Jim Mateja
Tribune auto reporter
Published February 22, 2004

CHICAGO -- Ed Welburn quietly slipped into Chicago, grabbed a cab to McCormick Place South, purchased a ticket to the Chicago Auto Show and walked each aisle to absorb every vehicle on display.

But, in addition to checking out the hardware, the newly appointed vice president of design for General Motors had one other task.

"I wanted to see where the crowds were," he said, recognizing that it'* the consumer who serves as judge and jury when it comes to accepting or rejecting a vehicle based on how it looks.

"Auto shows are extremely important to us. It'* where we share some of our ideas [for the future] while holding others back," he said in an interview.

"We develop a lot of vehicles internally. Not all turn out to be great ideas and not all great ideas are brought to the show for obvious reasons," he said, referring to tipping the hand to the competition.

"But Solstice turned out to be a great idea that we brought to the auto show, and the reception it received at the shows helped bring the car to life," Welburn said of the Pontiac roadster that GM will put into production for the 2006 model year.

At this year'* show, a pair of concepts took center stage for GM, the Saturn Curve coupe and Chevrolet Nomad crossover sport wagon.

The pair are important, and Welburn said he watched the reaction closely because both are built off the same small, rear-wheel-drive Kappa platform as the Solstice and hint at possibilities of other Kappa derivatives.

GM has said it will build 20,000 Solstice roadsters annually at a Wilmington, Del., plant that has capacity for 100,000 vehicles annually. That means there'* plenty of room to add more vehicles to amortize cost, and Welburn needs to know whether these or other Kappa derivatives that his staff has done are possible production candidates.

Welburn, like most automotive designers, marches to a different drummer. A handshake, for example, becomes a quick survey of the greeter'* watch in looking for even a hint of a design trait that could be translated onto a car.

Welburn, a native of Philadelphia, is married and has two children. He received a bachelor'* degree from the College of Fine Arts at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1972 where he studied product design and sculpture.

He began his GM career in 1972 at the Design Center as an associate designer in the Advanced Design Studios and in 1973 joined the Buick Exterior Studio, where he was part of the team that designed the 1977 Buick Park Avenue and Riviera.

In 1975, Welburn joined the Oldsmobile Exterior Studio, where he contributed to the design of the '78 Cutlass Supreme, as well as the Olds Calais Indianapolis 500 Pace Car in 1985, a project that led to his work on the design of the Olds Aerotech.

After stints with Saturn and GM in Europe, he was named director of GM'* Corporate Brand Center in Warren, Mich., in 1998. His team had responsibility for developing GM'* auto show cars, including the 2000 Chevrolet SSR, the 2002 Chevrolet Bel Air, as well as the 2002 GM Hy-Wire fuel-cell concept.

Last year he was named vice president of design, only the sixth person to hold that title in GM history.

Asked which vehicle was his favorite to develop at GM, Welburn quickly responds, "That'* like naming your favorite children; each is rewarding."

But after a brief pause he said that the Aerotech, an experimental high-performance machine that established a world speed record of more than 257 m.p.h. in 1987 when driven by A.J. Foyt, topped his list.

"Usually a car is done by a team, but I did the entire body on the Aerotech," he said.

But, of course, even chief designers have to pay their dues and before Aerotech, there were the wheel covers and door handles and dashboards that required a stylist'* touch.

"I always wanted to work on designing cars, and I'll never forget my first design assignment. You never start by designing the entire car yourself, and my first assignment was designing the taillamp for the 1975 Pontiac Bonneville.

"I remember it like it was yesterday, doing the sketches and the mockup," he said.

Like Wayne Cherry, his predecessor as chief of design, Welburn recalls that GM styling wasn't always held in awe.

In the 1980s, GM was chided for badge engineering, using no more than different grilles to distinguish one division'* vehicles from the others.

"Design was stifled in a box until Bob Lutz came along and opened the door to take full advantage of vehicle design," Welburn said.

In the '80s and '90s GM designers catered to the whims of the sales and marketing department, but with Lutz'* arrival in 2001 "we all became partners in design," he said.

Looking ahead to what he hopes to accomplish as chief designer, Welburn said his task is simple.

"We need to keep intense pressure on everything, the inside and outside of cars and trucks and SUVs. One type of vehicle doesn't take priority over another. There'* now a renewed emphasis on cars, but I keep telling the staff not to take their eye off of trucks," he said.

And while research into consumer likes and dislikes is important, Welburn said he agrees with Lutz'* philosophy that sometimes you have to go with your gut when it comes to a design.

"Research is valuable, but you have to use your emotions, too," Welburn said.

Copyright 2004, Chicago Tribune
acg_ssei is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
broken hood release cable 1975 grand safari nemo9512 Classics (Star Chief and 1957 to 1986) 1 08-18-2011 09:25 PM
1975 Pontiac 455 exhaust manifold Phill Classics (Star Chief and 1957 to 1986) 1 05-03-2008 07:06 AM
this is what happens when your father is a graphic designer. wjcollier07 Lounge 5 06-20-2006 12:47 AM
Graphic Designer redwingsfan34 Lounge 2 05-15-2006 11:10 PM
"Designer Edition" Bonneville? Chinski General GM Chat 22 12-29-2005 11:21 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:15 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.