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Willie G Davidson's Greatest Hits: A Brief Selection From an Expansive Career

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Willie G. Davidson's 49-Year Career
Willie G. Davidson

Willie G. Davidson.

Photo © Harley-Davidson Archives
Willie G. Davidson enjoyed a 49-year tenure at the company co-founded by his grandfather, William A. Davidson, and his most recent title of Styling Chief at Harley-Davidson dramatically understates the breadth of his role at the Motor Company.

When he joined the team in 1963, Willie G.'s design eye was initially met with skepticism from H-D's conservative senior management, who viewed his tastes as too avant-garde for the manufacturer. Nonetheless, Willie G. played a key hand in creating numerous watershed bikes that helped establish Harley-Davidson's contemporary design language as we know it. He has been responsible for the look of all motorcycles to emerge from Harley-Davidson, and he's seen both good times and bad; Willie G. was one of the thirteen executives to purchase Harley back from AMF in 1981, and he was also there during periods of unprecedented, and seemingly endless growth before the global financial crisis put the skids on Harley sales.

The announcement of his retirement after nearly half a century at the Motor Company is a great occasion to look back on some of his most memorable designs. Click "Next" to see how six of Willie G.'s most influential creations-- listed in chronological order-- helped define the look of modern-era Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

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