With an auto legacy 128 years in the making, Richard is dedicated to preserving and promoting automotive heritage, especially on the roots and traditions of the Auto Design profession. Today, this area is the undisputed backbone of the global automotive economy and although the legacy behind America's Car Design Pioneer laid dormant from the 1970s into the new century, the historical narrative of Harley J. Earl is now on a much more positive trajectory. With 20-years spent unearthing the behind-the-scenes story (1996 to '06 Richard lived in Metro Detroit) and over one hundred first-person interviews later, he has become an authority on the American auto industry's most dynamic modern leaders of the mid-twentieth century era.
Richard is an automotive consultant, historian, professional speaker and curator of the photo exhibition Automotive Hollywood: A Tribute to Harley J. Earl. Richard animates the modern rise of General Motors and Detroit with infectious passion and tremendous knowledge, and has spoken everywhere from Barrett-Jackson to Cranbrook Academy of Art to the Royal College of Art in London. Bringing to life a time when Detroit, America's auto industry and GM were the the crown jewels of the business world, Richard leaves audiences with a renewed sense of national pride, a deeper knowledge of this rich heritage, and hope for the well-being of our nation's auto industry of the future.
Born in Detroit, but spending his twenties on Wall Street, Richard returned to the Motor City in 1985 following a visit to the GM Technical Center in Warren, MI. While there, he was captivated by the ultra-futuristic clay model prototype cars, and they ignited within him a desire not just to learn more about his family’s auto legacy, but about the rise of the car design profession at large.
In 2002, he penned a unique a 5-year contract with General Motors and the McCann Erickson ad agency to create a national Buick commercial campaign using Harley Earl’s (name, likeness and image) spirit to provide inspiration and illuminate GM’s pioneering roots behind modern design. The ad campaign enhanced the name value of Harley Earl and, in turn, the value of his creations -- three of his one-of-a-kind motoramic masterpieces sold for a combined total of over $10 million dollars from Jan., 2005 to Jan., '06.
Residing in West Palm Beach, Fl., Richard has been interviewed on ESPN, Fox News and Speed TV and NPR's California affiliate AIR TALK with Larry Mantle.