Larry Shinoda, was a native southern Californian, and went to work for General Motors in September of 1956. During his 12 years at GM, he advanced from Designer to Chief Designer-Coordinator of Special Vehicle Activities.
Mr. Shinoda began with brief tours at the Chevrolet and Pontiac divisions, then moved to the Advanced Studios. By about 1959 he found himself working almost exclusively as Bill Mitchell's "chief pencil" (designer/renderer). One of his first projects with Mitchell was designing a body for the 1960 Stingray Racer, a one-of model built on the surviving Sebring SS test chassis. The styling lines were adapted from the Corvette Q Model. Next came the XP-755, the original Shark show car. These two projects previewed the upcoming 1963 Sting Ray Corvette production split-window coupe, to which Mr. Shinoda made such heavy contributions that he is considered a co-designer, with Mitchell.
In 1964 he worked on the XP-819 mid-engine prototype with Frank Winchell at Chevrolet Research & Development. He also worked with Bill Mitchell on the Mako Shark II, which debuted at the 1965 auto shows. These two concept cars had a lot of the feel, and a good many of the styling cues, for the upcoming 1968 production Corvette, on which Larry Shinoda is considered to have had primary design impact.
Since that time he completed styling and graphic work for many major auto, racing and industrial manufacturers (Ford, Honda, Toyota, Penske, Miller, Hendrick Motorsports, White Motor Corp., and International Harvester to name a few).
Corvette continued to have special interest in Larry Shinoda's work. In 1989 he designed the "Rick Mears Special Edition Corvette", a trend-setting aerodynamic ground-effects package for '84-'90 production Corvettes. Wind tunnel testing showed the design to have both decreased drag and lift. When introduced at the 1990 Los Angeles Automobile Show, attending Corvette owners expressed overwhelming approval for Shinoda's prototype convertible.
Larry Shinoda was President of Shinoda Design Associates, based in Livonia, Michigan.