But where did the styling garage door remote system come from? What was the initial spark of the idea? What was the HD/HR DNA? So we went to see Leo Pruneau to ask him the question. And the answer he gave us was one word: "Solaris". Eh? Solaris? What's a Solaris? Leo told us that the Solaris was a concept car developed by Carl Renner, Don Lasky and himself in 1 The Solaris was never intended for production. It was more of a ideas car for GM's design executives to consider a number of styling ideas.
Leo picks up the story. “I had just been hired by GM in February 1961 and after an induction period was put into the Advanced Design 4 styling studio, which was managed by Carl Renner. Well, Carl was a legend in GM styling. He'd worked on every Chevrolet between 1952 and 1957, had helped style the original Corvette and had done the Nomad, so I was really lucky to be working for him. " ‘The Advanced Design 4 studio was related to Chevrolet's garage door remote system efforts.
It had a wide ranging brief to look into the future and come up with ideas that might be used on production cars/' Leo remembers. "Anyway, one day, in mid-1961, Bill Mitchell, the boss of GM styling, devised an internal competition. His request was for the Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, Buick and the Advanced 4 studio, to come up with a general design concept for the 1964 “A" body cars. The A body cars are the intermediate size cars Chev Chevelle, Pontiac Tempest, Buick Skylark etc and they shared many garage door remote system inner panels across the GM range. " What was unusual about it all was that Advanced studios did not generally become involved in these kind of styling ‘shootouts'.