Lee Iacocca

He died today. A story in the Washington Post carried that and no more. I guess we’ll find out more tomorrow.

Thanks. Lots of news reports, now. 94 years old. He brought us some interesting cars over the years.

Another car guru died recently, the owner of the Haynes repair manuals. I think the Haynes guy got started in the repair manual business b/c he couldn’t find a good one for his own needed car repair, so he wrote down how he did it, and added some line drawings. And with that the start of a successful business. Iacocca and Haynes maybe comparing notes now …

He was a very interesting guy. When I was on the road I’d check out books on tape. One of the best was a bio of Iacocoa. I think it was about 20 tapes in all but very interesting.

From what I’ve read so far it was complications of parkinson’s disease. According to his daughter.

Here is an article about him:


Love him or hate him, Lee Iacocca was in the thick of the auto business excitement for decades. This is a guy that made a lasting impression most everywhere he worked.

Suggested Ford buy Ferrari, from that came the Ford GT40 Lemans winning cars. Gave birth to the Mustang - creating the “Pony” car, a smaller lighter version of the Musclecar. Fought Ford to create the Mini-van, failed, and created it at Chrysler. Saved Chrysler’s bacon, twice!


All that from a marketing guy. He had an industrial engineering degree, but decided not to make engineering his career.

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He was an industry Titan.

Having been responsible for both the Mustang and the Pinto, Iacocca is either famous or infamous, depending who you ask.

I haven’t read my father’s copy of “Unsafe at Any Speed” yet, but I don’t think it helped Iacocca’s reputation to point out the blood on Iacocca’s hands considering how unsafe the Pinto and the early Mustangs were.

Wasn’t the vision behind t he Mini-Van, but he did put it high on the list when he went to Chrco. Ford turned down the mini-van idea when Lee was at Ford. He also implemented FWD vehicles as their mainstay sedans.

I always had a lot of respect for him.

That book was published 6 years before the Pinto was first sold, and my recollection of the book is that the new Mustang wasn’t mentioned.

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Good to know. Iacocca’s Wikipedia page* credits him with developing the Pinto, and I was profoundly shocked when this story aired in 1998: Public Eye Archives - CBS News

*Lee Iacocca - Wikipedia

Well, the Mustang was essentially a lowered, well-disguised Falcon, and since the Falcon also suffered from that designed-in gas tank hazard, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the Mustang had the same design hazard.

Corvair was the target car of that book.

‘“If you can find a better car, buy it,” the blunt Mr. Iacocca challenged the public. “I’m not asking you to buy any car on faith. I want you to compare.”’

Anybody here do that and choose Chrysler?

I chose Chrysler pretty much every three years until the Fiat merger. They no longer produce a car that meets my needs.

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Yeah I’d love to buy one but just can’t get by the made in Italy issue. I believe he was agin’ both mergers. I’m trying to search the memory banks for a merger that really was a good deal.

My dad read that and really liked it.

Me, too… except usually Dodge… starting when he joined the company. When I retired, I bought a Fiat from Dodge, but that’s another story. Yeah, all 3 “American” companies are that way. If you don’t want a Truck/SUV, you have to go elsewhere.

You are in luck. They are made in Mexico. lol I don’t know what Jeep dudes are going to think if the company goes thru with its Fiat/Renault merger.

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