Don’t mess with Earl and Mitchell


Guess what?! My dad and I are nearly done with the transmission!!! You guys have no idea how psyched I am to being close to finished! No more skewed transmission parts on my work table sucking my soul every time I look at them. As you guys may tell, transmissions are not my favorite thing to work on. When I get older and hopefully become an automotive designer and engineer, I’m avoiding the transmission department at all costs! Ok, so maybe I’m overreacting a bit about this, but working on one automatic transmission for about a year can do that to a teenage girl who is has been anxious to start on the engine……

Almost there!  We just need to mount the 2-3 Servo, the Valve Body, and the Shift Linkages.

Almost there! We just need to mount the 2-3 Servo, the Valve Body, and the Shift Linkages.

By the way, about over a week ago, my fam went on our annual trip to wherever my dad’s GPS convention is. This year, it was in Nashville, Tennessee. On the way back, we stopped off at the National Corvette Museum. I grasped the opportunity to learn about my two favorite automotive engineers who are Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell. Did you know that if an employee even dared to walk in between Harley Earl and the car the he was reviewing, the GM employee would likely lose their job? This demonstrates that Harley Earl took his job very seriously, and he would allow no one to interfere with him and his work. It is true that he was a stubborn jerk at times, but he revolutionized the automotive industry and kept the Corvette alive when GM was seriously considering shutting it down.

Bill Mitchell was Harley Earl’s successor. He had all of the makings of an excellent engineer. He had ingenuity, style, and stubbornness. And I ain’t kidding when I say that he was stubborn. When he was designing the 1963 Corvette Stingray, he placed a split window in the rear. Other people kept on taking it out of the design, but he continued to keep on putting it back in until GM finally gave in. He didn’t take it out until it got bad press from the slightly obstructed rear view which the split caused. Having the stubborn engineer spirit, he would let no one get away with messing with his designs-not even Duntov. Apparently, Mitchell and Duntov butted heads a lot and did what the could to counteract eachother’s designs. I’ve noticed that stubbornness and competition bring out the best in these peoples’ work. Earl and Mitchell have inspired me to never allow anyone to get in the way of your dreams, and your designs(lol). If you know you have a good idea or a beautiful design, do what these guys did-don’t stop until you see your design coming out of the plant doors to be shipped to its first customers.

This was a little bit of a history lesson from the teenage girl who plays with a C3 Corvette. Thank ya’ll for reading, cause not every teenage girl gets to restore a ‘Vette! P.S. Who’s your inspiration? Comment below and let me know why!

~Jackie W.

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