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Welburn, the highest ranking African American in the U.S. auto industry, has helped GM weather tough times

Secret service agents flanked both sides of the vehicle. A crowd of reporters snaked behind a rope about 20 feet away. Camera flashes documented every possible angle of the meeting taking place. It was a strange setting for a private conversation..

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It worked for the Chevrolet Camaro, so why not the Corvette? General Motors' head of global design, Ed Welburn, has reportedly told Inside Line that the C7 'Vette is going to lift the most notorious design cue from the entire line: the split rear window from the 1963 coupe. It will not, however, be the car from Transformers 2, and it will not be mid-engined.

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Click above to watch the video after the jump

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So what do you do if you happen to be Global Vice President of General Motors Design and a blogger calls your company out for lacking a modern sense of design? Well, if your name happens to be Ed Welburn, you respond with an open letter of your own.

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This morning's Today Show on NBC featured General Motors' design chief Ed Welburn talking with host Matt Lauer live from General Motors' Warren Tech Center. Welburn previewing the Detroit Auto Show's coming attractions, including the new Buick LaCrosse and the Chevrolet Camaro. Most newsworthy, however, was the designer's willingness to pull back the sheet - albeit partially - on what looks to be a production-bound version of 2007's Chevrolet Beat concept. Welburn promised that the car would be

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Click above for more high-spy shots of the production 2009 Chevy Camaro

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Last week, we told you about Bob Lutz's Fastlane Blog post in which he stated that the production Camaro is as awesome as the concept. If you clicked through to read it in its entirety, you'll recall that one of the Aussie anecdotes that Maximum Bob recounted involved GM Design honcho Ed Welburn going up to the camo-clad Camaro prototype and hugging it. Well, as Lutz stated, someone in the group had a camera with them and captured the moment for posterity. Today, Fastlane posted it online, and i

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Yesterday we showed you videos of the continuation 2E Chaparrals being built and raced by James Musser and the gang. The Chaparral racecars were so groundbreaking and awe-inspiring that a whole slew of automotive designers and engineers were drawn to the field after laying eyes on them for the first time.

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