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A good read: Car Guys VS Bean Counters by Bob Lutz

I checked out from the library Bob Lutz’s book: “Car Guys VS Bean Counters” the other day. I think Dagosa had mentioned it in one of the threads. It was a pretty good read for his time at GM from about 2001 through the crisis time. The guy is a little bit full of himself but it shed some new light on how GM got in trouble, how the foreign brands got a leg up during the CAFE period, how Ford avoided bankruptcy by borrowing everything it could a year before so had enough money. I really have a little more respect for GM (even though I’ve usually bought GM products over the years). We share the same opinion on the MBA’s the business schools have produced over the past 20 years and how this has affected US business in general. I don’t necessarily share his view that the current styling is anything fantastic, but I really don’t think any of the manufacturers are putting out cars with great style. I my book, nothing today competes with the 57 Ford, or 59 Chevy or 61 Merc that you’d just go out in the garage and look at for their sheer beauty. It was a good read and I’d recommend it.

I always thought the styling of the 62 Ford Galaxy base model was primo. The best styling for any car in my opinion is the 64 1/2 Mustang. To me, it’s the only car that looks like it is racing down the road, even when parked.

The problem with modern cars is that there’s not too many shapes that work well in a wind tunnel.

The “Jellybeans” rule now-Kevin

“The “Jellybeans” rule now”

No, the pendulum moved in the other direction. Car guys rule now.

Chevrolet Camaro, SS and ZL1
Chevrolet Corvette convertible, coupe, 427, Z06 and ZR1
Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet Malibu
Cadillac ATS
Cadillac CTS coupe, sedan, wagon
Cadillac CTS-V coupe, sedan, wagon
Chrysler 200 convertible and sedan
Chrysler 300 SRT8 and sedan
Dodge Challenger SRT8 and SRT8 392
Dodge Charger sedan, SRT8, and SRT8 Super Bee
Dodge Dart sedan
Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback
Ford Focus sedan, hatchback and ST hatchback
Ford Fusion sedan and hybrid
Ford Mustang convertible, coupe, Boss 302, Shelby GT 500 coupe and convertible
Ford Taurus sedan and SHO
Lincoln MKZ sedan and hybrid

That list is just cars and only the Detroit 3. All are excellent choices in their categories and all have stiff competition from numerous Asian and European brands. Power, handling, comfort are better than ever because car guys made it happen. And that’s why this is the Golden Age for automobiles.

The styling of MOST of todays cars is BORING.

A few stand out…The current Ford Mustang is great. But that was really a retro look from the 60’s…but with better lines.

The current Camaro styling SUCKS. Nothing compared to the Camaro of the 60’s. They tried to get a retro look and missed.

To me the 60’s and early 70’s were the BEST years for styling of American made cars. Nothing compares. But that’s just my opinion.

@MikeInNH. “The styling of MOST of today’s cars is BORING.”

Wind tunnels, mpg regs , packaging requirements and computers will do that.
I remember the same was said many years ago in performance sailboat design. Rod Johnstone set the keel boat performance design on it’s ear by putting performance first and styling nowhere to be exact. It was common when ordering one of the early j24 s to say that , " you can have the boat in any color you want, as long as it’s white" It is really tough to refer to an ugly j24 as “she” which is traditional in the sailing world. Tougher still to name one after your wife or girlfriend. Ugh !

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=ipad&sz=all&va=j24. Now the most widely raced keel boat in the world, the rest of the designers got ugly too. That’s the same in car design when one boring Camry or Corolla or Accord experiences success.

A least cars offer different colors…

The same holds true for the current crop of F1 cars. Many say they are hideously ugly. The designers freely admit they’re not the best looking F1 cars ever made, and are unapologetic about it. Function first.

From the list above, I think the Corvette, Camaro, CTS (especially the V), 300, Challenger, and Mustang look great. And the performance is better than it ever was.

Corvette - Good styling…but I still love the pre-stingray version.
Camaro - Not a fan of the new design.
Mustang - Beautiful vehicle. Love the lines. Ford did a great job with this new retro look.
Challenger - Rented one on a business trip (free upgrade). Sorry…but I have to disagree on the looks…

But again…that’s my opinion. Looks/styling is personal taste. My Dad thought the AMC Pacer was a beautiful car.

I think most critics say the Challenger is what the Charger should have looked like.

Most cars are a screaming bore. Park a dozen of them half a block away and it’s near impossible to tell one from the other; short of the Mustangs, Challengers, and so on. Most are Utilitarian, recycleable transportation; nothing more.

As to Bob Lutz being full of himself, that’s quite possible being an ex-Marine and pilot. Generally speaking, with military and pilot being used in the same breath there is no shortage of ego.
This has been proven a number of times at the local AF base here with pilots ending up as a statistic in a crash; a good number of which were due to hotdogging.

I’ve read a number of books written by guys who headed up organizations. I find it extremely funny that they have the nerve to criticize the very organizations they ran - even to the point of being critical of what happened WHILE they were running them.

It’s not easy making a car pleasing to the eye and at the same time catering to a buying public with fat asteroids. Right now, I too am an unabashed Mustang fan for doing it right. I have several friends who own them and freely admitt they would part with their wives before their Mustangs. Come to think of it, their wives encouraged them to get the cars. Hmmmmm

“I find it extremely funny that they have the nerve to criticize the very organizations they ran - even to the point of being critical of what happened WHILE they were running them.”

To me, it shows that they didn’t control everything that went on. Lutz had a lot of control, but not complete control.