Richard A. Teague, who was born in Los Angeles in 1925, began his first
career as child actor, Dixie Duval, playing in several silent films of the
1920's. His brief acting career was brought to a close at age six when he was
involved in an automobile accident. His mother sustained serious injuries, which
left her an invalid for life. Young Richard was also seriously injured and lost
his sight in his right eye.
Due to these injuries he was unable to join the armed forces in World War 2
so he went to work for Northrop Corporation as an aircraft technical
illustrator. His immediate supervisor was Paul Browne who had previously worked
on the design team for General Motors. Browne soon recognized Teague's talent
and encouraged him to enroll in night classes at the Art College of Design in
When the war ended, Teague moved to Oakland, California and started working
for Henry Kaiser. There, he created a design for a pre-Henry J. economy car. He
also illustrated covers for Road and Track magazine.
Then in 1948, Teague moved to Detroit and went to work in the General Motors
Design Studio under Edmund Anderson. He gradually worked up to the Cadillac
advanced design group. In 1951 Packard recruited Teague to replace Chief Stylist
John Reinhart who had resigned.
Teague had a keen eye for detail and an uncanny ability to make significant
changes under tight budget constraints. He could re-style bodies so that they
appeared new without altering the chassis.
Packard Motor Corporation was struggling during the early '50's and finally
went under in 1956. Consequently, the entire design team moved to Chrysler
Corporation where Teague started as chief stylist in their design studio.
However, he soon became involved in conflicts with management and left Chrysler
OBD Tool. He then began working for
an independent design firm on non-automotive assignments.
However, automobiles were his passion and Teague missed working on them so in
1959 he went to American Motors as a member of Edmund Anderson's design team Advanced
Version of DS708. When Anderson left AMC in 1961, Teague became their
Teague was a unique individual in that he possessed a rare combination of
artistic and managerial skills. He was an excellent administrator as well as a
talented designer. Consequently he was promoted to vice President in 1964 and
remained in that position until his retirement in 1983.
Some of Teague's designs include the Gremlin Pacer, the Matador coupe, the
Rambler American, the AMC Javelin, the AMX Hornet, the Rambler Classic and the
Ambassador. He designed the AMX GT as a concept car that later went into
His accomplishments and designs were particularly remarkable due to the
physical limitations imposed by his inability to perceive depth in a normal
Teague had a great sense of humor and often joked that the only automobile
company he had never worked for was Ford.
Automobiles were his work and his passion. He was a well-known historian and
an avid collector of classic cars and rare models. He owned between 400 and 500
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