He later worked as a consultant for Hyundai during the launch of its first car lines. He moved to Minnesota in the early 1970s, where he oversaw the design and creation of a new line of toy cars for Tonka Toys.
Born in present-day North Korea to an engineer, Chun moved to South Korea in 1953 as active fighting ended during the Korean War. He immigrated to the United States in 1957, after a friend had already moved to the U.S., settling in Sacramento, California. He held an engineering degree from a university in Korea, but the degree was not useful in the American job market and Chun spoke little English at the time. Chun enrolled at Sacramento Junior College, where a professor insisted that he apply to the Art Center College of Design (ACCD) in Pasadena, California. He worked full-time as a mechanic while studying at ACCD. Chun received his bachelor's degree in industrial design, with a specialty in transportation design, after seven years, while working as a mechanic to pay for his class.
John Chun died on July 6, 2013, at the age of 84. He was survived by his wife, Helen Chun, and children Marsha and Kevin.
- Walsh, Paul (2013-07-18). "Obituary: John Chun, design wizard behind the Mustang Shelby sports car". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- Strickler, Jeff (2012-08-13). "Car designer builds classic success story; On his way to Minnesota, a Korean immigrant reshaped American automotive history with his design for a legendary 1960s sports car". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- Ernst, Kurt (2013-07-08). "Former Shelby American designer John Chun dies at age 84". Hemmings Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-30.