There’s nothing quite like having the man who designed the Corvette Sting Ray tell you, the interviewer, that you’re not giving GM’s larger-than-life chief designer Harley Earl enough respect.
My question: “Did you ever work with Harley Earl back in the day?”
Bob Veryzer: “He was around. It was never Harley Earl. It was always Mister Earl.”
To which GM’s VP of Global Design Ed Welburn added, “It was only until recently that people started calling him Harley Earl.”
Apparently, GM’s artistic duo hadn’t seen any of Buick’s “My name’s Harley Earl” TV spots. Nevertheless, at this gala in honor of Cadillac, clear respect for an icon was the order of the evening.
Last summer we drove up to Saratoga Springs, New York where instead of placing bets on horses we braved the worst tempests that the Hudson River Valley could throw our way to tape a story about Cadillac’s past and where it might fit in GM’s tomorrow.
GM had turned 100 years old and the Saratoga Auto Museum threw a party in honor of Cadillac. Many GM big wigs were there, including GM’s G.M. for Cadillac, Jim Taylor.
As grim as Caddy sales looked last July, the financial markets had yet to crash and the General was still almost a year away from filing for bankruptcy protection. We were in, if you like, the eye of the perfect storm.
In this segment with a T.R.T. of 07:15, we watch some of the best and worst of Cadillac’s past; hear comments from the marque’s fans; and get a real sense that in the midst of the celebration, GM’s top brass knew what was to come.
“This is a new world we’re going into,” Mr. Taylor notes, “Quite frankly I don’t think anybody realizes how big a difference there’s going to be. Until you wake up in four or five years and realized what happened.”
Executive Producers: Gunnar Heinrich & Neil Rogers
Editors: Michael Russell | Neil Rogers | Kevin Kusina
Camera: Joshua Schnitzer | Gregory Dwyer | Neil Rogers
Writer | Host: Gunnar Heinrich
Special Thanks: GM | Saratoga Auto Museum | Dres. Ward Heinrich, Sr. & Jr.| J.M. Ficca