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.
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.
Dry Lakes and Drag Strip Racing
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. 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.
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.
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. Shinoda spent over 12 years with General Motors resigning as Chief Designer/Coordinator for Special Vehicles in 1968. While working for GM, Larry designed the Second generation Corvette, The C2 (1963-1967).
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. 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. 
Larry Shinoda's Cars
Did You Enjoy This Article?
Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.
- Find out how you can become a contributor.
- Forward this article to a friend.
- Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates on Larry Shinoda and other subjects featured on Kustomrama.
Help Us Make This Article Better
If you have additional information, photos, feedback or corrections about Larry Shinoda, please get in touch with Kustomrama at: email@example.com.