Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by superduckie5000, Jul 2, 2019.
Nightly Business Report had Bob Lutz praising his old boss.
Saw this tribute to Lee Iacocca by Dodge.
Yup, we got the wrong Bob and he killed Chrysler.
Another nice eulogy on this week’s Automotive News Editorial: Lido's enduring legacy: A better world
Literally the face of Chrysler
I remember when he brought back the T&C, with thick wood paneling and all.
It took b*lls to do that!
On this list of gusty calls that were made back then, I know green lighting the minivan is considered the gutsiest, but I think it was bringing those convertibles back. I think the minivan was the home run needed to seal the fate of the company, but the investment in the K cars especially beyond just the midsize Aries/Reliant into those luxury variants took some guts. IMO the first minivans were just so well executed for 1984, I have a hard time believing they ever would have failed.
I think Lee would argue the reverse. He felt every company needed convertibles and luxury cars. He also was able to have another company (ASC?) actually do the convertibles, so they took the chance as much as Chrysler. The minivans were very well executed but he didn't know they would be - well, not as drivers; they had interior models and clays already, but it was still a big chance since they used all new suspensions and adapted K powertrains to a much heavier body.
The first T&C minivan... cost nearly as much as the first Viper to develop!
He did great things but really only for a fairly brief time; then he got in the way as much as anything else and finished up making a move out of spite.
GM screwed up royally with the 1978-80 midsizers, with their ugly boat tails and fixed rear door windows. And then followed up with those tepid compacts. Remember the Chevy Citation...?
That gave Lido an opening with the more conservative, cleanly styled K-Cars...and he made the most of it.
I would agree the fixed rear door windows were a mistake, but I always thought it was a good idea of GM to offer fastback styling in cars of that size. I think it would have been even better if these cars had been true hatchbacks!
Also...don't forget how hugely popular that GM quartet of mid-sized cars were. For many folks in my mother's generation, the Oldsmobile Cutlass was THE car to have.!
Careful the Buick Century Turbo version was acually quite a beast for the day as was the V6 Citation....X11 if I remember correctly.
Yes, the X11 with a 135 HP "HO" V6 and 4 speed manual ran a 8.5 sec 0-60 which was faster than many of the Z28's and Trans Am's of its day.
Initially the Citation sold well, but then poor build quality and mechanical reliability caught up with GM and sales plummeted. Especially after the NHTSA sued GM (unsuccessfully) for rear brakes locking up and power steering problems.
The article here on Allpar says Cars and Concepts did the convertible conversions. I don't know personally. Both Cars and Concepts and ASC performed modifications for Chrysler over the years (things like T top cars, both C&C and ASC, depending on models, various convertibles like the early LeBaron, Shadow, and Dakota, and many other vehicles over the years) that weren't easily done on the regular assembly line.
I think the initial decision to use an outside company for the conversion was to reduce costs for an expected low volume model and to not interrupt the normal assembly lines. But sales of the LeBaron convertible exceeded expectations and the convertible production was pulled in house for 1984 (I think that's the correct year).
Supposedly the impetus for the convertible was a concept Iacocca had made, a convertible with a rumble seat in the trunk. Like the Viper, people started asking where they could send checks to buy one. I don't know if that original concept was a Chrysler or a Dodge.
The 1988-90 model? Why?
I feel like all the development that went into this would have been shared with the upper level Grand Voyager and Grand Caravan LE's at the time. I'm hard pressed to find many differences between those 3 cars. I know as they got more modern there were suspension differences, but I'm just at a loss as to what separated these from the other minis of the era.
It must have taken a lot of “testing” to ensure all that wood paneling adhered for the entire duration of the warranty...