I’ve seen so many cars. I see my top three favorite cars most
often. So I decided to look up which cars are designed by
African Americans. I knew this would be a fun topic.
So listen, his is what I found. Martin Davis, a
black man has led the exterior lighting and design studio
for the automaker’s North American division, the team responsible
for the exterior lighting for every brand under the General Motors
Davis knew he had a love for design and innovation since elementary
school. HE did not like the HOT wheels and lego sets. They just
did not keep his attention. He also did not like the toys in
toy stores, so this creative black youth made his own.
The Detroit area native collected empty cardboard boxes used to transport
fruits and veggies from the grocery store. He brung them home and just
started cutting. He molded shapes with glue, tape and constructions
paper.. Their was a small closet in the entryway of his parents house,
with enough room for a chair and his creations, interior designs for
a car that includes a dashboard and center console. He invited
his friends to test drive the car and come out with a new model
once a month.
His father thought kids playing with cardboard in their
closet was a safety concern. Thus he shut the operation down.
He still sent his sketches into Ford and was just in middle school.
He waited and thought nothing would come of his work. A
Ford employee sent his work to the design department. He
got a follow up letter from the design department with some
career advice and a list of schools. HE really really wanted
to attend the College for Creative Studies in detroit , michigan
out of the choices he had been sent.
He got the design managers attention and they took his
sketches and plastered them on a 20 foot wall in his studio
at GM. The auto company allowed him the opportunity to
travel to Birmingham, England to work at an advanced
design studio that mainly focused on Cadillacs.
Davis and his team were responsible for the exterior lighting
responsibilities for three well known programs- the GMC Acadia, Chevy
Traverse, and the Buick Enclave. And as you can see,
this is a process. He worked and worked to master
his craft. You must do one step before you can make
the other . There’s more to the story of the brilliant black man
in the car designing, here: