Count Graf Albrecht von Goertz was born in on January 12, 1914, into a wealthy German banking family. After completing school Goertz work as an apprentice in a Deutsche Bank and later in a London-based bank. Around 1936 he immigrated to the United States and eventually moved to Los Angles. Prior to World War II, he was financially supported by his family money but with the onset of the war, that luxury ceased. He was forced to find work which he found performing manual labor. In 1938 Goertz modified a Ford Model A and Model B. By 1939 he was exhibiting his creations at the World Exhibition in San Francisco.
He served in the United States Army for five years. After the army he drove to New York where he met Raymond Loewy, a car designer who worked with Studebaker. Loewy sent Goertz to the Pratt Design Institute. At the completion he had earned his diploma and his American citizenship. He shortened his name to Al Goertz. He began working for Studebaker studio in Indiana. Within two short years, in 1952, Goertz opened his own design studio.
His portfolio includes designs for BMW, Porsche, Nissan, Toyota, Datsun, Yamaha, and Studebaker. His 503 and 507 BMW were accepted with mild success - partly because of the ambitious design but mostly because of the mechanical components and price tag that accompanied. His Datsun 240Z is legendary some consider him the 'Father of the Z Car'.