June 19, 2015: Contributors, Categories and Dave North

One of this site’s longtime commenters, Johnny D, has also been one of its most prolific materials submitters. Since early on he has emailed fascinating images, only a portion of which have been posted to date. As it turns out, Johnny also has some interesting information up his sleeve and will become a full-blown contributor.

Look for his work in the near future.

Two new categories will be popping up soon: Submitters and Styling Points. The first will contain the names of those who submit materials (but not authored work) and will be linked to the associated posts.

The second new category will be called Styling Points. I originally just wanted a place to put posts where I could analyze and opine on individual vehicle designs but then thought it might be more interesting if I rate them via a point system. I’m working out the details but the key here is to remember that it will be opinion based and not everyone will agree. Depending on how much work is involved, I may set it up so that readers can rate the same aspects of the vehicles and have the system tally and show the totals. (Remember, when my posts get a little patchy, it’s usually because I’m working on something like this.)

Dave North
I may have mentioned before that, often times, the images GM provides to me are resubmitted to the archives after I’ve retouched them for my articles. One such example would be the two part post by Dick Ruzzin on the original 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado design story (Part 1 and Part 2). That car was one of Mr. Ruzzin’s earliest projects at GM and, in his articles, he’d spoken highly of Dave North who’d also worked on the project.

Well, I recently received some emails from a Mark North requesting originals of some Toronado images. I often get these requests but refer them back to GM, since they are not my property to hand out. After a few exchanges, I started to detect that there was more to Mark than I’d initially suspected.

I took a shot in the dark and asked Mark if his dad’s name happened to be Dave and, sure enough, it was. As it turned out, he is helping to coordinate a 50th(!) anniversary celebration for the Toronado. The gears were put in motion and I directed him to the appropriate people at GM to gather all the materials he’d need. To my surprise, he contacted me again saying that his dad (Dave) remarked that my retouched version was actually “exactly” how he’d remembered it in person and wanted to use it. Humbled does not come close to describing how I felt.

Naturally, GM would have no problems with me sharing materials with Dave North. So, I forwarded them straightaway and have subsequently enhanced them even further (knowing how they’d be used). Moreover, in communicating this to Mr. Ruzzin, I found he was unaware of the celebration and since provided him with contact information so they could coordinate.

All’s well that ends well and I wound up playing a part (an ever so small part) in what will be an important landmark occasion.