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Hollister is famous for bikers. Some call them “motorcycle enthusiasts” while others have labeled a lot of patch-wearing bikers as “outlaws.” But we all know that our community is just like any other segment of society – we are a good hearted and kind lot. We love our motorcycles and the freedom of the ride. We love our Harleys!
We have much to thank Wille G. Davidson for, as a designer for Harley-Davidson for nearly 50 years.
This excerpt from motorcycles.about.com:
Willie G. Davidson– famed moto scion and one of the 13 Harley-Davidson executives to buy back the company from the evil clutches of AMF in 1981– announced his retirement after serving as a designer for nearly half a century.
Davidson’s design studio produced bikes including the Super Glide, Low Rider, Heritage Softail Classic, Fat Boy, V-Rod and Street Glide, and has been more recently known for the Dark Custom lineup.
More information can be found in this comprehensice article at Forbes.com: Harley-Davidson’s Willie G. To Retire
Mr. Davidson is known to be “sharp, affable, truly enthusiastic” about his life’s work. To that end it is reported that he will remain a brand ambassador and act as the Chief Styling Officer Emeritus in the Special Design Projects division at Harley Davidson. He is the 78-year-old grandson of one of the company’s founders, William A. Davidson.
“Throughout my life, I have been truly fortunate to have the opportunity to marry my passion for design with my love for this amazing brand that runs so deeply in my veins.
“What’s most rewarding has been to see the impact our motorcycles have on the lives of our customers. Everything we do in styling is based on the notion that form follows function, but both report to emotion,” said Willie G.
A brief bio, as cited by the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame: William G. Davidson, better known as Willie G., is the grandson of William A. Davidson, one of the original founders of Harley-Davidson. Willie G. is best known for shaking up the staid design department at Harley-Davidson with new and innovative ideas that helped usher in a new era for the Milwaukee-based company. He was part of the group of employees that bought the troubled company back from AMF and helped guide it to financial health during the 1980s.
Davidson, naturally, grew up around motorcycles. He remembers as a young child the excitement of being given rides in the sidecar of the motorcycle his father was riding. Davidson graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in graphic art and then attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
While in California, Davidson discovered the burgeoning world of motorcycle customizing, which would become a major influence in his later designs. After his education, Davidson worked in the design department of several automobile companies, including Ford. During this period, he began designing custom motorcycles as a hobby.
In 1963, he was asked to join the design department at Harley-Davidson and he accepted the position. Early on, Davidson often met with resistance from upper management because of the design direction he wanted to take the company. The older and more conservative managers saw young Davidson’s designs as radical and unpractical.
One of Davidson’s early designs that made it from the drafting table to the production line was the FX Super Glide. The Super Glide was Harley-Davidson’s first attempt at a factory custom, a production motorcycle with some of the style of the custom motorcycles being built in shops across the country. It was a response by the company, through Willie G., to the spreading popularity of choppers, cruisers and other customs. The Super Glide is considered to be a milestone in the history of Harley-Davidson. The original FX led to many variations that would produce some of the company’s best-selling machines.