By George Prentice
“They say” that Steve Small was very eccentric at Art Center and that he slept on a bed of straw. “They say” he had a summer internship at FoMoCo; and rather than find a place to live he slept in the Styling building every night.
Chuck Jordan hired him to work in Chevrolet Design. Chuck was enamored with his work. Steve dressed like an ivy-league dandy, except for his boots, which were broken down.
Steve was chosen to represent GM Design Staff for the development of “The Demolition Man” starring Sylvester Stallone. GM offered to provide a dozen futuristic cars, not just the police car. Steve probably helped with the storyboards. Steve was a good fit with Hollywood and decided to leave GM. Renault then lured him to France.
I never did work with him, but I was interested in following his career. Steve bought a high-powered motorcycle in France and died in a one vehicle accident in France in 1996 at age 30.
In order for GM to take notice of the fate of this former employee, I put together a twenty foot storyboard highlighting his work. I blew up his ID photo and added the dates 1966–1996. It was on display for several weeks in the first floor hallway, and then moved to the second floor hallway for several weeks. Many people paused to reflect; some said it was the nicest thing Design Staff had ever done. I did not say that I had done it, for Steve Small, a true visionary.