Born in rural Oklahoma, J Mays’ influential career in automobile design encompasses the development, design and branding of many iconic cars including the Volkswagen New Beetle, Ford GT and Aston Martin DBS. Mays often drew upon architecture, fashion and furniture to inform his bold automotive designs. His career took him from Audi AG and BMW in Germany to VW of America and SHR Perceptual Management, a design consultancy. Joining Ford in 1997 as vice president of design, Mays was responsible for shaping the design direction of Ford, Mazda, Mercury, Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Mays has attracted numerous honors; his career was the subject of an exhibition "Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He is the recipient of the 2002 Excellence in Design Award from Harvard, and the 2002 Don Kubly Professional Attainment Award from ArtCenter.