One of the most influential figures in the automotive has passed away. Lee Iacocca was best known for fathering the Ford Mustang and saving Chrysler.
Of the many icons in the automotive world, few others have left a mark that is very visible some 55 years later. Designing and launching the 1964 ½ Ford Mustang is his greatest gift to the car world. It cemented his place in the history books and allowed him to earn the top spot at Ford in late 1970.
But his most important work came from saving Chrysler. In 1979, Lee Iacocca was tasked with saving the ailing Chrysler Corporation and that he did by securing and pre-emptively repaying federal loans. While here, he oversaw the introduction of the magic wagon, the Chrysler minivan, and the famously disposable yet high-selling K Car and all its variations.
Chrysler’s good fortunes went south by the end of the 80s. He dug in his heals and when 1992 rolled around and the coffers were filling up, he left his post. This was when the cab-forward concept and LX-platform cars were being launched. They turned out to be less than stellar products but money was made.
Mister Iacocca wrote a few books including “Where Have All the Leaders Gone?” which although more than 10 years old is still a good read if the car business happens to be your passion.
Mr. Iacocca passed away from complications from Parkinson’s disease at his home in Los Angeles. Thank you for your passion Sir and Godspeed!