|Robert A Cadaret |
From tail fins to chrome bumpers and fenders, Robert A Cadaret left a stamp on Chevrolet cars, which still endures today. Bob played a major role in the creation of all Chevrolet automobiles from 1953 to 1963, plus Corvettes from 1955 to 1963, including the famous Motorama Waldorf Show Cars. He was also instrumental in naming Chevrolets such as the Impala, the Nova, the Corvair Monza, and the Corvair Lakewood Wagon.
A meticulous man by nature, he showed an attention to detail as a young man that caught the automaker's eye. At age 18, he won the prestigious Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild award for designing and building the best model automobile in the nation. Along with the award was a $5,000 prize. He graduated from the Los Angeles Center College, now Pasadena College of Design, and went to work for GM's Chevrolet division in 1953.
He was a young designer, 21 years old, working in the Chevrolet Studios of the General Motors Styling Section. Bob was very fortunate to have worked on a daily basis with such greats of the automobile industry as Harley j Earl, Ed Cole, Bill Mitchell, Claire MacKichan, Carl Renner, Joe Schemansky and many others who contributed to the design and engineering of these great automobiles. Bob was Assistant Chief Designer under Claire MacKichan from 1957 to 1960.
"America was in love with Chevy," Mr. Cadaret told Classic Chevy Magazine in 1991. "Our designs reflected the optimistic outlook of the nation."
Mr. Cadaret helped design several models through 1963, including the Corvair, Corvette and Impala. In addition, he is credited with the idea for tail fins and Impala's multi tail-light design. He was also part of the team that came up with the signature chrome V on the front of the cars during the mid 1950's.
Mr. Cadaret's patience and attention to detail carried over into his hobbies, family members said. He was a collector of model trains and he would spend five years or more building brass engines for them, said his daughter, Michelle Schultz.
Another of Mr. Cadaret's hobbies was painting wildlife and images of cars. The paintings were so detailed, that many people thought they were photographs.
"His paintings looked like photographs," his daughter said. The National Covair Club is printing 1500 copies of a commemorative edition print of the Monza GT he painted."
"I am still in awe of it all," said his daughter, Michelle.