J Mays

Class of
J Mays
I am delighted to be joining a prestigious list of OHOF honorees. My early days in Oklahoma completely shaped my thinking as an industry professional.
J Mays, 2023


Upon graduation from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, J Mays already had caught the attention of the German auto company Audi. Since then he has raised the public profile of the automobile designer through his work with the world’s most prestigious car manufacturers, including Volkswagen, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, and Ford.

For more than four decades, Mays has incorporated the latest trends in automobile culture with his unique intuitiveness for the emotional connection we have with our cars to create the most iconic models in automobile history. He is responsible for Concept One, the precursor to Volkswagen’s New Beetle. The Beetle remains one of the most popular and recognized cars on the road today. From the Aston Martin DB9 and the Audi TT to the Ford Mustang and F-150, the creations of Mays run the gamut in design, technology, and function. When Pixar studios wanted to visit a design studio while planning for the production of Cars, they consulted with Mays.

Mays has used his success as a platform to challenge the voice and thinking that traditionally has kept automobile designers separate from those that shape buildings, furniture, and consumer products. The BBC has spotlighted his career and achievements. He has been profiled by architecture critic Paul Goldberger in The New Yorker. And his work has been the subject of a major museum exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Fun fact

In 2002, Mays was the recipient of the Harvard Excellence in Design award.

Oklahoma connections

Maysville, Oklahoma, was originally called 'Beef Creek.' In 1902, its name changed to 'Maysville' in honor of Mays' relatives, David and John.




Industrial & Automotive Designer


Helen Sanger Ford Wallace




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