Larry Shinoda

From Kustomrama
Jump to: navigation, search
This quad headlighted design proposal is one of Shinoda's early works for Ford. It is dated 04.28.1955, a couple of years before the first quad headlighted cars became available through US-dealerships.
The 1956 Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser was the first major assignment that Shinoda worked on after joinging Ford Motor Company, and the deeply fluted side channel that flowed smoothly back from the doors into the V-shaped taillights is considered his most significant contribution to the design of the car.
Rendering of the 1963 Corvette by Larry Shinoda.[1]
Another Corvette rendering by Larry.

Lawrence Kiyoshi (Larry) Shinoda was a noted Automotive designer.

Hot Rod Heart

Born March 25, 1930 in Southern California, Larry displayed his artistic predilection for both art and cars early in life and followed this love unfailingly. Larry was a member of the Trompers Car Club of Eagle Rock, California in the 1940s.[2]

Automotive Design

He studied art for two years at Pasadena City College and then, after a tour with the army in Korea, attended the Art Centre School of Design in Los Angeles. During the Korean War many of the Trompers members joined the service and the club went defunct.[3]

Dry Lakes and Drag Strip Racing

In 1953 he built a 1932 Ford 3 Window Coupe that he raced on the strip and on the dry lakes of California. At the time he was a member of the Glendale Coupe and Roadster Club.[4]

Ford Motor Company

After graduating from the Art Centre School of Design In 1954, Shinoda began his automotive career as a designer for Ford. By then he had sold the 1932 Ford in order to build a 1929 Ford roadster. When he got the job in Detroit, he made the transportation costs for his roadster part of the package. The Ardun-powered Ford roadster won the first NHRA Nationals at Great Bend, Kansas in 1955.[3] Larry stayed with Ford for about a year. While he worked for Ford he did some work on the 1956 Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser concept car.

Studebaker - Packard

In January of 1956 Larry went to work for the ill-fated Studebaker - Packard. While working for Studebaker - Packard Larry worked for such automotive stars as John Z. DeLorean, Dick Teague, and Dick Macadam.

Harley Earl

While Dick Macadam went on to work for Chrysler, Larry and DeLorean was hired by Harley Earl in 1956, and started to work for General Motors.[5] Shinoda spent over 12 years with General Motors resigning as Chief Designer/Coordinator for Special Vehicles in 1968.[1] While working for GM, Larry designed the Second generation Corvette, The C2 (1963-1967).[6]

Back to Ford

When GM Vice President Semone Knudsen left GM to become President of Ford he brought Larry Shinoda with him. Larry Shinoda hired Mike Alexander of the Alexander Brothers to run the Kar Kraft Design Center.[7] Once there Shinoda was responsible for all high performance vehicles and show cars. He designed the: Boss 302 Mustang; Boss 429 Mustang; Torino Talladega; Cougar Eliminator; Cyclone Spoiler. In addition he designed such special cars as the King Cobra, Torino Design Study; Cyclone Spoiler II; Torino Pace Cars and Mustang Pace Cars. In spite of all these accomplishments both Knudsen and Shinoda were fired by Ford after 2 years in a widely publicized shake-up. Shinoda and Knudsen went on to form RV maker Rectrans, then parted company in mid-1975, when Shinoda opened his own design business. Shinoda died in late 1997 at age 67. [5]

Larry Shinoda's Cars

Larry Shinoda's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
Larry Shinoda's 1932 Ford 3 Window Coupe - The Chopstick Special



Did you enjoy this article?

Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.

Can you help us make this article better?

Please get in touch with us at if you have additional information or photos to share about Larry Shinoda.

This article was made possible by:

SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!

Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.

Personal tools
Help us