Automotive designer Harley Earl died on this day in 1969.
Earl was the inventor of the “concept car,” a marketing device automakers now regularly use to showcase their engineering and design potential. As a General Motors designer, he was the innovator who developed style icons such as the tail fin and the Chevrolet Corvette. He also led GM’s vehicle camouflage efforts during WWII.
He died following a stroke in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the age of 75.