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Dodge chief engineer George Gibson

by David Zatz on

Former Dodge chief engineer George Gibson Jr.  died last week at the age of 92. According to a story in Automotive News, his greatest pride was the Dodge Dart; the company ran an ad stating, “Over six feet tall? So is our chief engineer.” (Early Darts were adaptations of Plymouths; later ones were adaptations of Valiants.)

The story said that Mr. Gibson was responsible for naming the Dodge Lancer, another clone of the Plymouth Valiant, after his parakeet.

A Detroit native, he held a degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University, then went to the Chrysler Institute of Engineering. He served as an atomic engineer on the Manhattan Project before reaching Dodge.

After being Dodge’s chief engineer, he became Director of Product Planning in 1964; in 1970, he joined Monroe Auto in 1970. He later bought auto supplier Dalzen and stayed active there until he was in his 80s.

Co-worker Burton Bouwkamp wrote:

George was a good boss. He was an ideal product planner because he was business savvy and creative. Furthermore, he had a technical background (Bachelor and Master’s degrees in engineering) and a strong interest in automobiles – and most important – he had the knack to sell his proposals to management.

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