Friday, April 14, 2017
Willie G. Davidson
William Godfrey "Willie G." Davidson (1933) is an American businessman and motorcycle designer, and the former senior vice president & chief styling officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
He was also the head of Harley-Davidson's Willie G. Davidson Product Development Center in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. While being generally responsible for approving Harley-Davidson motorcycle designs, he also personally designed several motorcycles for Harley-Davidson, including the Super Glide and the Low Rider, which pioneered the factory custom motorcycle and created an intermediate line of motorcycles between their large touring models and their smaller Sportsters.
Willie G. Davidson is the son of former Harley-Davidson president William H. Davidson and the grandson of Harley-Davidson co-founder William A. Davidson. Consequently, he grew up around Harley-Davidsons. Davidson graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and went on to study at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he became aware of bike customization.
Before working for Harley-Davidson, Davidson worked for the design department of Ford Motor Company. Willie G. retired from Harley-Davidson in 2012. He is to remain involved as brand ambassador and in Special Design Projects as Chief Styling Officer Emeritus.