Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ron Hill, Retired General Motors Designer On Influences and Inspiration

Ron Hill was honored at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he graduated in 1954 launching a 31 year design career at General Motors followed by 15 years of teaching at his alma mater. Hill joined Art Center in 1985 as Chair of the Industrial Design Department and in 1992 was appointed Chair of the Transportation Design Department, where he stayed until retiring in 2000.

Hill explains in this interview that at age 23, fresh out of school, he designed the rear end and fin treatment for the 1957 Eldorado Biarritz. Hill was involved in almost every area of GM’s design projects working in Germany, England and Brazil. As a chief designer at Chevrolet, Pontiac and Buick, he oversaw the mid-engine Corvette and the 1965 Corvair line, along with the 1972 and 1973 LeMans, GTO and Firebird programs, all 1973 and 1974 Buick programs and advanced Chevrolet products and advanced Cadillac projects such as the Eldorado. Hill and his team designed the forerunner to the 1978 Monte Carlo, new Camaro/Firebird designs, small car projects such as the Chevette, and the original concept vehicle for the Pontiac mid-engine Fiero project, which earned him the Industrial Design Society of America Award for Design Excellence in 1984.