Designer Limited Edition
“I received the books and I am absolutely Blown Away! Thank you so much! I love the red pages quoting Dad's one liners ... He was really one of a kind, wasn't he? I will thoroughly enjoy reading these volumes and sharing them with friends and family. I think it's terrific and I'm sure Dad would be over the moon!!”
Wendy Mitchell Campbell
“Maestro: Bill Mitchell and the Iconic Cars of GM Styling” is a fascinating insider’s glimpse into the amazing 60’s car design evolution brought about by the colorful and controversial head of GM Design – Bill Mitchell. Beautiful photographs and original artwork chronical this unique period in automotive design when GM was the world’s undisputed trend setter. The cars are the stars! Roy Lonberger’s personal experience as a young passionate designer is complimented by additional contributors to paint a picture of a flamboyant leader and the organization within GM that made it successful.”
“The book presents an insider's view of the flamboyant, egocentric and passionate Bill Mitchell from a designer who worked directly for the great man on a daily basis during the heyday of the 1960's. The amazing collection of design sketches and photos of the concept cars created during this period have never before been seen outside of the halls of the GM archives and give the reader a glimpse of what could have been.”
“A marvelous design and layout, from the slip cover on! An excellent tribute to Bill Mitchell and the GM styling team, all from a man who knew him from the inside. The images, drawings and stories cover a rich era of GM automotive design. Thank you Roy, for sharing the stories and your work!”
L. Scott George
The Revs Institute for Automotive Research, Inc
“Just opened your package and it's an impressive presentation. I look forward to sitting down with your volumes to read about an incredible time at GM.”
“A wonderful book on one of the icons of automotive design. Looks at what was achieved through the experiences of the designer insiders that made it happen.
Put together as an opus by one of those designers as a testament to what can be achieved under a truly gifted, strong willed emperor of his realm that saw the world through the windshield, not the rear view mirror. It also makes a clear point in crediting the many who contributed in making the greatness realized throughout his reign.”
ACCD Trans 1978
“I was thrilled to hear that you were about to document the work of Bill Mitchell in a detailed book. I've been a fan of cars from the Bill Mitchell era since well before I was old enough to drive. Those cars provided a lifetime of enjoyment, but it took almost to my retirement to realize it wasn't the horsepower, terrific handling or the wonderful engineering that I lusted for, it was the styling that enamored me to the 60's and early 70's GM cars. Once I realized this, I wanted to learn more about the design people who were responsible and all roads lead to Bill Mitchell. I wanted to understand what kind of creative magic potion was in the air when Bill was in charge. Your book eloquently describes what it was like to know and work with Bill Mitchell, I now know him much better and can more fully come to grips with my infatuation for cars of that era. Your efforts are appreciated, thank you!”
“I met Roy on an amazing automotive tour of Italy. He mentioned his Bill Mitchell book project. I said I must have one. The finished product is masterfully written, beautifully designed, and it tells the story of Mitchell and the era with photos I've never seen. The insider stories gave me goose bumps. I couldn't put it down. A world class project.”
“Had a shoulder surgery which has slowed the total review of the books just
a bit. What I have read and perused I must say is nothing short of stunning.
The sheer volume of previously unseen material is amazing. Your remarkable
recounting of your time at the Design Center is so valuable to all of us who wish
we could have been there. I 'll continue to comment as soon as my shoulder has
recovered to the point of being able lift these books again.”
“I was completely blown away by the history, stories and imagery!
It’s an absolutely amazing collection of original material of the highest quality. Your direct contact with Mr. Mitchell and your interviews with significant automotive-world individuals helps infuse a very personal feeling to this masterpiece.”
“Sam Posey and I had the pleasure of working on a Road & Track feature on Bill Mitchell, that unfortunately hit the cutting room floor. Roy’s book on Mitchell covers every aspect of the man with exception of the “saltiness” for which he was famous but documentation of is not necessary. If you love design and understand the pressures of that era to meet both safety standards and create great design, then you will enjoy Roy’s book. The depth and detail that he pursued to tell the story of Bill Mitchell is second to none. Nextto having lunch with the man and hearing the stories first hand, this book is the next best thing, plus it has been sanitized for a “G” rating.”
Founder and Chairman
The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
“Roy Lonberger’s book is a masterpiece that has been presented in an informative format with amazing photos and documented history that can be enjoyed by all car enthusiasts. This book could only have been written by someone who had technical expertise, experience, creative talent, and a passion for design. An exemplary work of automotive design history!”
George & Shari Breein
“Mr. Giugiaro would like to thank you so much for your wonderful book. He really appreciates it, very interesting and detailed work. He is absolutely glad to have his own comment about Bill Mitchell on it!”
“Roger and I went to a Pontiac designer's party at Bill Porter’s house Sunday and took your book with us. It was a BIG HIT. There also was a writer there who writes on mostly Pontiac cars and he was very impressed with the book. No one had time to read every page , but they all thought the book was exceptional, well written, fantastic photos, and very interesting. Roger calls it the Bible of the car books. The history of Bill Mitchell was well done and the pictures of Bill were very good and unusual. Meaning that no one ever saw some of those pictures like the one of Bill dressed all in red to match the car. Roger remembers that during Bill's Motorcycle period he would have leathers made to match the motorcycles. I think we sent you some of those pictures. Another thing that was well liked, was the quotes of Bill's and some otherpeople done on a red page. That was a nice touch to break up the sections of the book.”
Roger & Patti Hughet
“Great book overall, a big wow. What a great job of putting this all together. My hat is off to you my friend.”
“Having had a chance to live with Roy Lonberger's marvelous book, "Maestro Bill Mitchel and the Iconic Cars of GM Styling", (two volumes) for some weeks now and it is truly a feast for those interested in the seminal vehicles of the sixties and seventies. Unlike most potential purchasers I was involved in a sense, as a staff designer at GM Styling ( later GM Design Staff) so my view was as a sometime participant and most importantly as a recipient of the energy and forward thinking that accompanied Bill Mitchel at the time.”
“There is so much depth in the volumes that pertains to the deeply involved and emotional process of vehicle design. The research that highlights this via pictures of concept sketches, models, text, and final prototypes is exceptional and almost never seen. If a person feels a strong attraction to this era in Automotive design this book is a must.”
Ronald C. (Ron) Hill
Senior Design Manager, GM Design Staff (Ret.)
Chairman Transportation Design Department
Art Center College of Design (Ret.)
“Hello Roy…..I can’t tell you how wonderfully impressed I am with your fine set of books….and I haven’t even opened the second volume! Volume 1 was absolutely the most enjoyable, educational piece on automotive design I’ve ever held in my hands. I’ve not even had a moment to go back and look through it again as there simply hasn’t been time here during the holidays, but please I know that I’ll be spending hours appreciating your research….and quite wonderful text. I’d read the De Lorenzo piece on Mitchell before but now in context with the proper illustrations it had so much more power! The depth of the photographic and artistic research is just beyond wonder. And the names…..every cool car design guy I’ve ever met or known about is there…..seeing all this great work in one spot is worth eight years at Art Center! I had no idea that you personally were involved in so many great designs! ….The best part of what I’ve seen so far is what others have never even imagined existed! There is so much great work that never saw the light of day. All the Mitchellisms quoted throughout are priceless…. I had to laugh with tears in my eyes. Thanks so much Roy, Your book has not only made the year, but made my entire life’s appreciation of fine automotive design even richer. All of us who love car design owe you so much for creating such a fine piece of work….Now…on to Volume II!”
“Roy….Volume II is even better! I feel honored that you’d run my comments on Bill Mitchell. Compared to the “real guys” you worked with for years, like Holls, Haga, Wilen, Parker, Schinella, Wittine, Rybicki..etc… and who accomplished so much I’m barely a notation in GM Design’s history. I know I was damn lucky to be in one of Mitchell’s “secret studios” and got the opportunity to do what I did….and that you’ve given me the credit. I can’t tell you how much this mean seeing it in YOUR book! The best! I LOVED your story on the Nova SS! You really explained this all so well....his philosophy of keeping small passionate groups constantly creating and competing against each other without really knowing who was working on what….I sensed all that when I was there but never got to see it over the years the way you did. Fantastic stories…amazing stats! I’m hardly through the book Roy but loving every moment. Great to see ol’ Jules Andrade’s name there….When I was in Hoag’s orientation Studio I got to spend some time with him…..I never guessed that he had worked on so many iconic shapes in the early days… Did he really do the ’32 Ford? ….How I wish I could go back and spend time with all these guys! I’ll keep reading…Really look forward to spending some time with you.”
“When I compare my effort with yours I am humbled…..GREAT book!”
Peter and Gayle Brock
“I have spent time with your book, mostly the first volume. I have found your effort to be most impressive and your approach to be unique and interesting.”
“Roy Lonberger’s new book Maestro: Bill Mitchell and the Iconic cars of GM Styling
provides the reader with a "backstage pass" through the studios that created the automobiles of General Motors during the golden age of car design. It is lavishly illustrated with photos, sketches, renderings, and memories from many of the designers who were directed by William L Mitchell. For those whom these exceptional cars played a very emotional part in their lives , and everyone else who saw them, truly Roy's book will be a treasure.”
David R North
“I am delighted with the books; they are brilliant works of art and a treasure to own. The photography is amazing, and the exhaustive research and beautiful presentation overwhelming. I love the books, and I commend you for such a massive and successful effort to appropriately honor a true “Maestro.”
Paul Leon Peters
“I received the book and I'm so honored and happy to have one. It is truly a highlight for me.”
CKS & Associates, LLC
“This book should belong in just about every serious auto enthusiast's library. Roy Lonberger has created an exhaustive study of one of the most prominent figures in the history of automotive design: William L. Mitchell of GM Design/Styling. It's a comprehensive history and a study of the man responsible for the great period of General Motors Design, from the late 1950's through the late '70's. Mr. Mitchell was a talented designer and a larger than life character. Lonberger's book captures the essence of Mr. Mitchell the man and his positive, as well as his not so positive traits. A wealth of photos and stories never before printed make the book not only a great read, but a historical document about a time when General Motors dominated the auto business and the automotive design profession. It is truly a work of passion dealing with the cars and colorful personalities unknown in today's corporate environment. In addition, the author has included personal anecdotes from his own experience working for Mr. Mitchell during those halcyon days. If the reader has a desire to learn about an important period of the automobile, and one of the seminal personalities responsible for creating beautiful automobiles, by all means consider this book as a must read.”
"Maestro: Bill Mitchell and the Iconic Cars of GM Styling' is the definitive retrospective on one of the most influential designers in automotive history. Beautifully presented with superb photography and illustrations, 'Maestro' conveys the passion, the unflinching confidence, the powerful presence, the demanding expectations of those who worked for him and, of course, the prodigious talent that defined Bill Mitchell, while perfectly capturing the essence of the man."
Peter M. De Lorenzo
“This mammoth two volume set gives up close and personal insight into Bill Mitchell, the man who created the iconic style setting cars of GM in mid-century. From the personal stories of friends, fellow designers and Bill’s own words comes the story and cars of the design genius who kept GM at the top of the sales charts with stunning designs and jaw dropping show cars.
Hundreds of, up to now, secret drawings and photos of GM prototype models are beautifully printed in both color and black and white. The oversize 12.3 x 10.6 inch pages are perfect for capturing close up views of historic drawings by GM designers who were at the top of their game.”
“The story of Bill Mitchell is the story of a futurist who constantly pushed his team of talented designers to look 5 and 10 years down the road to create the cars of tomorrow. This is the book that follows that exciting road. The Bill Mitchell book is a wide open view past the secret doors of the GM Design studios. It not only covers the exciting cars of the Bill Mitchell era, but also the many personalities and insider stories of the designers who worked for him. It is entertaining, informative and a visual masterpiece.”
“WOWWWWWWW WOW WOW WOWWWWW !!!!!!!!!!!
BEAUTIFUL book(s) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You did a superb and admirable job !!!!!!!!”
“I really like your layouts, that "little bit" of extra white space on each page and the assemblage of various categories and parts and pieces to comprise your tome. I took very special interest in any of my great friend, Strother "Stroker McGurk" MacMinn's quotes. He was such an interesting and super guy.”
“I thank you so very much for allowing me to play a small part in contributing to this beautiful Coffee Table Centerpiece. It is a true honor for me. “
Roy D. Query
“It was great news when you announced that you were going to do a book about Bill Mitchell and GM Styling! Such a book about Bill is long overdue. His influence as an automotive designer and as the VP of Styling for the then largest automotive corporation in the world not only reached those of us who worked as designers for him, but also GM’s Competitors designers and consumers world wide! Thanks for telling the story exactly as it was. You pay homage to a talented man and the halcyon days he helped create of a bye gone era…likely GM Designs best years! The text, anecdotal commentaries, interviews, design sketches, renderings, clay models, photographs, show-tell it all, reawakening this exciting era for all to experience and appreciate anew.”
“I’m sure Bill would be pleased with your inspiring and impassioned 2 volume book, MAESTRO: Bill Mitchell and the Iconic Cars of GM Styling. I’m thrilled to have this book-set myself as a remembrance of those unforgettable great days working for Bill! Thank you for your dedication, focus and hard work getting it all right so we’ll never forget the man, the cars, the times. You’ve done a great job!”
John M. Mellberg
“Roy Lonberger had a front row seat to the greatest show on earth: General Motor’s Magic Kingdom, GM Styling. Orchestrated by none other than the era’s most flamboyant automotive designer, Bill Mitchell. Roy was Head of Bill Mitchell’s secret Studio-X during the mid-1960s, fleshing out WLM’s latest ideas with fresh concepts that turned into some of GM’s most amazing and outrageous concept cars. I built scale models of some of Roy’s designs growing up, waiting my turn to join the circus. Mitchell was a complex man. A series of anecdotes in the book from those closest to Mitchell paint a detailed portrait of WLM from various points of view. The two volumes contain many historical photographs of Mitchell and Styling, mouth-watering photos of Mitchell’s concept cars by Michael Furman, and styling renderings from the Mitchell dynasty. Jim Hall’s Chaparrals are part of the story, beautifully photographed by Roy D. Query. This coffee table book is impressive.”
“I saw the book…Amazing! Congrats on a beautiful and historic project so very well done.”
Director of Development
Art Center College of Design
Review of #14/25
“I had the privilege of working as a designer under Bill Mitchell's leadership the entire period that he was head of GM's design staff. For years after he retired many of us said that someone should write a book about this colorful man and the beautiful automobiles he created. It's been a long time coming but it has been worth the wait. Roy Lonberger's firsthand knowledge and the many interviews with designers and others who knew Bill give great insight into what made him tick. I also loved the strong emphasis on the beautiful full color pictures of all the many automobiles done under his leadership, from early sketches to the finished products.
This two-volume set should appeal to anyone in the design community, including young aspiring designers, but more broadly, anyone interested in automobiles.”
“Needless to say, your book on Bill Mitchell ranks up there with the best written on automotive designers and their careers. Brings back great times and memories. You nailed it Roy.”
Designer & Artist
“I could not put it down. It was an amazing look into GM's Styling studios. The intrigue, the strong personalities of the big guys; Harley J. Earl, Bill Mitchell & others make your book fascinating reading. Congratulations on a great book & a wonderful addition to The Nethercutt Collection Automotive Research Library.”
Nethercutt Collection Automotive Research Library
“Volumes 1 and 2 of 'Maestro:' are simply fascinating on so many levels, and hard to put down once in hand. With its uniquely styled format, behind-the-scene stories and information, plus numerous historic images, it has to be the singularly most important book on Bill Mitchell and the glory days at GM Styling.
Congratulations to you on your Masterpiece!”
Automobile Museum Curator
Academy of Art University
“I recently read your magnificent book written by a truly insider like you. Wonderful photos well mixed together. I see some Italian inspiration but with American style without any limits. Fantastic the Bill Mitchell’s words: “A camel is a horse designed by a committee” particularly true today.”
“Thank you very much for the citation of my designed cars.”
“To say you did a beautiful job writing, laying out and producing the book would be a total understatement. It truly is a work of art. In addition, it is a treasure trove of photos and renderings of some of the most beautiful and exciting production cars and concept cars ever produced.
Some of them have very special meaning to me personally, as it was the time from when I was studying transportation design at the Art Center College of Design and then working as a designer for Ford Motor Company. I remember well seeing the 1962 Corvair Monza and the '63 Corvette at Art Center when Bill Mitchell brought them out to Art Center to show them to my class.
Your book, to me, is like a secret portal to GM Styling which was a closely guarded secret when I was studying at ACS, and working for Ford. It's really exciting to turn the pages and see the fabulous renderings, clay models and finally the product ion cars. The icing on the cake are the personal comments by all the famous car designers.”
“Roy Lonberger figuratively takes the reader out of the stands and puts them on the sidelines in one of the most interesting games ever played in the history of road going automobiles. What Bill Mitchell achieved required Da Vinci-like genius across many disciplines that didn’t stop with art and design, but also necessarily included negotiating the potential minefield of personnel management, corporate politics, and systems management; the backdrop being the world’s biggest corporation.
To achieve his vision, Bill Mitchell could be charismatic or crude, whisper or roar, fair or dirty, and sometimes changed the rules when they didn’t suit him. And like any story of success, Mitchell had his failures and even made some enemies along the way. In the end, it is the personal accounts and comments, written in the words of those who knew and worked with him and interspersed between the beautiful photographs, that give full measure to the genius of Bill Mitchell and his achievement. The automotive designs that were produced under Bill Mitchell’s leadership moved more people, while also transporting them, than any other before or since.
Roy Lonberger’s book is both a museum of automotive photographic art and an artful storytelling. It is hard to imagine the treasures that are on the cutting room floor and never made it into the book. But like a great sculpture and consistent with subject of his book, Roy Lonberger incorporates a clean and minimalist authoring style that also challenges the limits. Roy writes this book like Vin Scully called a game, telling the interesting and anecdotal stories when necessary to the see full measure of the player, and also the allowing the fan a moment of silence in order to fully celebrate the art of the play.”
William Anast, CFP
“Illuminating biography, delicious cars, a well-styled book.
I grew up in the 60s in the golden era of modern automotive design when every year introduced ever more styling and performance excitement. '59 Chevys and Cadillacs, the Mako Sharks, '63 Vette and Riviera, the Monza GT and Monza SS, the New York Worlds Fair show cars, the '65 GM model line, the Toronado and '67 Eldorado, the Astro I, the '70 Camaro, the Aerovette - the future was driving down my street! I so wanted to be a car designer! Only later did I learn about the man behind them all - Bill Mitchell.
So I was deeply intrigued when I discovered Roy Lonberger's book. Here was someone who was there, who knew the players, who could give the inside story. For a car guy, this is a must-have coffee table masterpiece. Indeed, he delivers, through his own vivid recollections, those who also worked under Mitchell (you worked under, not with Mitchell), and luscious expositions of the major projects of that era with photos and renderings direct from GM's archives. The names and dates are there in one spot. The controversial man is described in word pictures in all his vulgarity, humor, working style, leadership, foibles, and unerring eye for exciting cars. He was fully and unapologetically himself, and therefore larger than life. And larger than could survive in the corporate world today.
So this is a biography by an insider who saw the man for who he was, and respected him both for it and in spite of it. And it is also about the creations he inspired and pushed through the corporate war zone. And it is a gorgeous example of a well-designed and high production value book. You definitely get your money's worth.”
“This is a really good book. Especially if you love cars and auto styling. The book is a unique portrait of a flamboyant high-energy car guy masquerading as a GM executive.
It does not get bogged down in too many historical or trivial details. It tries to capture the essence of Bill Mitchell and what he was doing. The book includes quite a few anecdotes which reveal much about the inner nature of Bill Mitchell. You won't fall asleep reading this book. It is a uniquely personal portrait with uniquely personal comments. And there are many comments contributed by the great stylists and designers of modern times.
The graphic layout, illustrations and photography are wonderful. The entire book was created by the author, who is a designer and he had total control over how the book ended up. There was no editor telling Roy Lonberger that "You can't put that in your book". So a few things are in this book that General Motors probably would prefer were not in the book! Nobody would say that this book is bland, that's for sure.
The cover photographs by Michael Furman make you want to look inside, and inside there are tons of rare photos and illustrations.
There is a really good explanation about the GM design process. But some things in it are bound to puzzle the reader. After all, who knows what a "class A spherical surface" is? Certainly not me!
This book relentlessly hammers home the idea that a car is a rolling piece of sculpture with a personality that communicates to people. All in all, I loved it. And the book is a must-read for anyone who loves Corvette styling.”