J Mays in action

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J Mays, a native of Oklahoma, studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. He did work for BMW, Audi and Volkswagen before coming to Ford in 1997. His planned Jan. 1 retirement from Ford was announced Nov. 5. Click through our gallery to see photos of his work.

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The Volkswagen Concept 1, one of Mays' early designs, became the basis for the Volkswagen New Beetle. It debuted at the 1994 Detroit auto show.

Courtesy Volkswagen AG