If you’ve got just under an hour to indulge, a former General Motors Chief Designer will take you on a mind-blowing journey through Buick’s hallowed design halls during the mid-1980s and 1990s. It is nothing short of a design lover’s dream.
Gary Smith recently uploaded a video to YouTube that had originally been put together by Bill Porter. Mr. Porter had a distinguished career with General Motors. According to his LinkedIn page, he worked there from 1957 until 1996. Between the years 1963 and 1996 he held the position of Studio Chief Designer at Pontiac, Chevrolet 1 and Buick 1 (the latter from 1979 through 1996).
Timed with Buick’s centennial, he narrated (and presumably produced) this most fascinating documentary. In it, he describes—in rich detail—stories behind cars that defined Buick while it was rediscovering its heritage and styling independence. The film was presented at Bower Theater, in Flint, Michigan, July of 2003.
If you ask me, it’s better than anything out of Hollywood in years. (Okay, so I’m biased.) However, at roughly 49 minutes long, it’s practically feature-length and if you’re anything like me, it actually will take a couple of hours to take it all in (accounting for pausing and backing up). The dense information is spellbinding.
Below are some screenshots depicting points that stood out most to me. Clicking it will take you to a time-indexed gallery of screenshots.
But don’t just look at pictures and get half the story. I suspect you will want to hear everything Mr. Porter has to say.
Now, our feature presentation.
Many thanks to Mr. Porter for his contributions to General Motors and for sharing his experiences in the film; as well Gary Smith for contributing to posterity by uploading it.