GM’s original 1956 four seat sports car proposal
"Let’s revert to the slab stern and high luggage compartment, the nearly vertical rear window, the leather strap and ‘chunk of road machinery’ feeling."
That’s from a multipage document describing the need for an American four-passenger sports car, a text leading to one of the most successful product launches Detroit ever enjoyed, Ford’s April 1964 Mustang. Written in 1956, it was presented to — and furiously rejected by — Harley J. Earl, General Motors’ styling chief. Its author, Barney Clark, wrote Corvette advertising copy at the time. A few years later, working for J. Walter Thompson on the Ford account, he talked with product planner Don Frey about it. Lee Iacocca may be the "father of the Mustang," but he got the notion via Frey and Clark, and thus indirectly from GM. Even the final 108-inch wheelbase was first determined by GM’s Anatole Lapine, who subsequently became Porsche’s design leader. Nothing’s simple in the car-design business.