The last car that Bill Mitchell designed at General Motors was a lot like he was, brash, stylish and more than a little over the top. Built in 1977, just before Mitchell retired after four decades shaping American cars (and American culture). It was called the Phantom, it hearkened back to the days of glamorous cars with sweeping, flowing lines, and it never really had a chance at going into production as Mitchell’s power in GM was fading as the Phantom approached completion. As a matter of fact, when Mitchell tried to display the Phantom at a Proving Grounds show of potential products held for the GM board of directors, GM executive vice president for product planning, Howard Kehrl, ordered it off the property. Mitchell fumed but in his remarks about the Phantom it was clear that he knew that his time had come: “Realizing that with the energy crisis and other considerations, the glamour car would not be around for long. I wanted to leave a memory at General Motors of the kind of cars I love”.
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