Mitchell’s Red Baron

Submitted by Dan Williams

My Uncle was John Edwards who held the position of Controller of GM. He was in upper management and must have been close with Bill Mitchell as legend would have Bill charging much back to the company (LOL).  

My Uncle was a motorcycle enthusiast and had a garage full of bikes including the Red Baron which he purchased in 1982 from Bill directly.

Uncle Jack was invited back to the GM Tech Center for the “Eyes On Design” event in 2003 to display the bike and a plaque they had made to honor Bill Mitchell’s design.

I have the plaque as well in the box with the bill of sale. I also understand that Uncle Jack was friends with John DeLorean as they were all together at GM at the same time. Imagine that pack all running together!

That’s about all of the background I have but I look at that bike every day in my garage and I’m very proud to have that piece of history.

None of my contacts that were part of the creation of Mitchell’s custom bikes are familiar with the Red Baron. GM Archives couldn’t locate any information. If any Dean’s Garage readers know about it, please leave a comment.—Gary


  1. nick houvras

    I think that is the Bike that Bill was leaving on from the large area behind Truck studio on the east end of Design staff first floor when the automatic gate closed and Bill got stuck. He started screaming and people from truck studio either called security or someone ran out and helped him. When he got upset, his whole head would turn red because he had plugged Corotid arteries.

    He later was operated on at the downtown Ford Hospital by the head surgeon and his assistant who is a personal friend of mine. Later, that is what killed Bill, the arteries plugged and he died.

  2. Sheldon Payne

    Don’t remember ever seeing that bike. After I dropped his customized Ducati 750 GT, I kind of avoided borrowing any more of his motorcycles. I did buy the Suzuki 550 GT that he did not like, but that was a while later.

  3. Pickering Kenneth A

    Re Dean’s rage – I suggest you contact Designer Said North who was involved in most of not all of Mitchell’s notorcycles. David has a Facebook page. Also please consider an article about the wonderful Cobte Crayon famous race car drivers by modeler Monte Olbres and their cars by David north. These pieces of art were done for Bill Mitchell and include a portrait of Harley Earl and his most famous cars.
    Ken Pickering

  4. David North

    The Red Baron was one of my favorites
    Bill Mitchell had all the bikes patented in
    Both our names.

  5. Tim Gracey

    I remember the Red Baron motorcycle. Bill Mitchell lived near me in Bloomfield Village. He was a friend of my wife’s family. I met him while I was a Birmingham Police Officer, and we became friends when he admired a motorcycle paint job I had done. He had numerous interesting bikes that were all customized to his designs. Interestingly, he had custom leather riding gear made to match each bike’s paint job. We rode together fairly often and any bike he rode always drew plenty of attention. Of all the bikes he owned, I liked the Red Baron the best.

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