Automobile Industry Innovators
1917 – 1995
Arbib was an American industrial designer. He went to Pratt Institute in 1939 and then he worked as a designer for the Henney Motor Co working on car bodies such as ambulances, hearses and limos. He designed multiple cars that were inspired by what he thought cars would look like in the future. In addition to the cars he designed he also created asymmetrical cases for the Hamilton electric watches in the 1950s.
David Ash was an automotive stylist who worked in multiple studios including Lincoln, Continental, Edsel and Ford. He is known for his work on the styling of the Mustang, Thunderbird and the Continental Mark III. He also had innovative work on the Plexiglas skylights of the 1954 Ford Victoria Skyliner and Mercury Monterey Sun Valley, which are forerunners of today’s moonroof. Before he passed in 1991 he received the title of Chief Stylist at Ford.
1925 – 2015
Barris was a designer and builder of many famous Hollywood cars, such as the Munster Koach and the 1966 Batmobile. After he created the Hirohata Merc, a customized Mercury coupe, he began to make a new for himself. He designed the Batmobile in the 1960s and retained the rights for it when the show ended airing. He auctioned it off for $4.6 million in 2013.
Christensen is Acura’s first female exterior designer, joining the company after she completed an internship at Volvo’s Camarillo studio in California. She was the lead designer of the second generation Honda NSX, earning her the Woman on Top award from the Marie Claire magazine.
1889 – 1945
Fred “Skinny” Clemons was an American race car driver and designer. He was one of the first entrants at the Indianapolis 500, he also designed and built his own cars, engines and created his own Independent wheel suspension which he patented in 1934. In 1925 he opened and managed the Rushville Motor Speedway, where he won 9 of the 10 races he entered.
1908 – 1987
Kurtis was an American race car designer and also the founder of Kurtis Kraft. He specialized in midget cars in the beginning of his career, making over 550 cars and 600 kits. His midget cars featured a smaller version of the Offenhauser motor, which has been described as “virtually unbeatable for over twenty years.”
1915 – 2000
Devin was an American businessperson, automotive entrepreneur and racing driver. He was primarily known as the founder of Devin Enterprises which operated from 1955 to 1964, a company that built fiberglass body-kit conversions and complete automobiles.