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New Book Shines Light On GM's Maestro Of Fins, Harley Earl | Gaywheels
General Motors' legendary leader Alfred Sloan devised a strategy of offering "a car for every purse and purpose", delineating price and features between the automaker's divisions. But, Sloan knew he also needed to differentiate his brands, and General Motors itself, through design. He eventually lured Harley Earl, who cut his teeth designing custom bodies for Hollywood elite at his father's coachworks in L.A., to form GM's "Art and Color Section", the auto industry's first in-house design group. Some of Earl's early hits include the 1927 LaSalle, a junior model to Cadillac, 1934 Cadillac V-16 Aerodynamic Coupe, and 1938 Cadillac Sixty Special. During the war, Earl's team saw the P-38 Lightning with its twin boom tail, which inspired tailfins on the 1948 Cadillacs. The story of Harley Earl's life, and his influence on the auto industry…and popular culture, is chronicled in the new book "FINS: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit" by