Payne’s career in automotive styling began in 1960 upon graduation from the Cleveland Institute of Art with job offers from GM and Ford. He chose Ford, in large part because of an internship there in 1959.
He stayed at Ford (just weeks shy of his 21st anniversary) until he received an interesting job offer from the AMC Board of Directors placing him as executive in charge of their Soft Trim Interior Design Studio and their Trim and Color Studio. After five years he was moved to head up the passenger car interior and exterior studios.
When Chrysler purchased AMC, Payne was put in charge of Dodge Truck Exterior Design. Following the introduction of the wildly popular ’94 Dodge Ram Pick-up, he moved on to Chrysler International, and later retired in 2000. Shortly thereafter he was called back to Chrysler and returned to China in late 2000 (and again in 2001) to direct design efforts on Beijing Jeep products.
Programs of Payne’s involvement are: 1965 Mustang, 1966 and ’67 Lincoln; 1967 Mercury; interior design and space planning for several floors of the Ford Tower at Detroit’s Renaissance Center (now GM’s headquarters); a private suite at the Waldorf-Astoria, NYC, for Mr. Henry Ford II; Ford’s Nashville Glass Plant Lobby and Offices (Payne is a member of ASID); 1983 Ford Topaz; 1983 Renault Alliance and ’84 Encore interiors; 1984 Jeep XJ interior and Jeep Wrangler; and the planned facelift for the 1991 Renault Premier. At Chrysler he worked on Dodge trucks, including the replacement for the D600 Medium Duty Truck in Mexico and Latin America, which outstripped previous production. Other international work included Beijing Jeep products and Chrysler/Mitsubishi vehicles.
Text and Artwork Scans provided by Phillip Payne.