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Edmund E. Anderson

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Edmund E. Anderson

Edmund E. Anderson
Born (1906-04-29)April 29, 1906
Boston, Massachusetts
Died October 23, 1989(1989-10-23) (aged 83)
Baudette, Minnesota
Occupation Industrial designer
Employer General Motors
Nash Motors
American Motors Corporation
Notable work Rambler American (first generation)

Edmund E. Anderson (April 29, 1906 – October 23, 1989) was an automotive designer in the North American automotive industry at General Motors and notably as the lead designer for American Motors Corporation (AMC) from 1950 to 1961.

Early life

Edmund E. Anderson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Edgar and Tekla Anderson. The family moved to Spooner, Minnesota near the Canadian border when Edmund was a young man. His family had a farm, but he began to work for a Chevrolet dealer in Spooner.[1]

Before World War II, Anderson, became head of GM's Oldsmobile Styling Studio.[2] He then headed the Chevrolet Styling Studios.[2] Anderson was described as a capable designer and a good administrator, but his greatest talent was an ability to spot talented people.[2]

Anderson was recruited in 1950 by Nash Motors, to develop the independent automaker's own in-house design studio - which became known as Nash Styling. From 1950 to 1955, Anderson worked with Helene Rother who was under contract for the company and responsible for interiors that offered beautiful designs. Anderson also hired Bill Reddig, a talented former Ford Motor Company designer, who made important contributions to the 1954 Rambler line.

Anderson designs

Before Anderson joined Nash, the company had relied on outside designers. Nevertheless, Nash retained Europe's best designer, the celebrated Battista Farina, as a consultant.[3] Even with a new Nash Styling department in-house, the company continued to hire outside stylists (including Detroit-based William J. Flajole) to work on special projects such as the Nash Metropolitan.[4]

Anderson was also responsible for the Pininfarina Nash of 1952. He revised the highly acclaimed Italian designer's contracted work for a more American look. However, the "Pininfarina" logo remained on the car because of its marketing value.

After Nash and Hudson merged to form American Motors in 1954, Anderson set up separate design studios for Nash, Hudson, and Rambler. However, following the introduction of the landmark 1956 Rambler designed by Anderson, AMC dropped the Nash and Hudson brands to focus on the popular Rambler. The Rambler Styling Studio was given full responsibility for designing the company’s cars and Farina was released from his exclusive design agreement with AMC.

Anderson was largely responsible for some rather brilliant re-designs of existing AMC products during his tenure as AMC's Director of Styling. He is also blamed for the "V-Line Styling" on the 1956 Hudsons.[5] However, the 1956 and 1957 Hudson cars were actually designed by independent industrial designer Richard Arbib.

Other notable achievements included the revamped 1955 Nash Rambler that became the 1958-1960 Rambler American (first generation). With its subsequent 1961 restyle, Anderson gave the second generation Rambler American an entirely new look without any major re-tooling costs. This allowed AMC to make money in a very tight, competitive market. The third generation of the compact 1964 Rambler American was also unique. It used some of the larger 1963 Classic body components, and this was also Anderson's work.

After asking to be named Vice President of Styling, and being rebuffed, Anderson resigned from the company effective December 1961, and retired to Mexico. His replacement as AMC's principal designer was Richard A. Teague.

References

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