Bob Lutz's Nine Greatest Hits

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
bob lutzs nine greatest hits

Being Bob Lutz has a fantastic job. He’s rich as sin (thank you, Daimler, for buying Chrysler), and he has Czar in his unofficial title with GM. He can say whatever he feels like, whether it’s about global warming (“a crock of shit,” in his words) or random price projections for meeting the next round of EPA standards. During Maximum Bob’s epic career, he’s “championed” some very interesting though chronically unsuccessful products. Some of these were on sale twenty years ago, others are on sale today. And still others will likely never see the light of day. While so many cars have been touched by Lutz’s magic hands, we present to you his big nine.

Join the conversation
2 of 32 comments
  • Dr Lemming Dr Lemming on Oct 30, 2008

    I'm surprised that folks are calling the Viper a success. Certainly it can't be called a commercial success, because sales have been small even by niche standards. I wonder whether the Viper has any hope of ever generating a profit for Chrysler. So what then did it accomplish? The Corvette has been good for GM because it displays the corporation's ability to compete with the best sports cars in the word. The Viper, in contrast, is iconic only because it is so excessive and crass. It's the kind of car a 13-year-old would design. How does that help Chrysler's branding, particularly given the rest of its product line? A modern Jeepster would have been a more useful halo car than the Viper. But because Lutz has such a small one, he had to insist on the ultimate compensation car.

  • Wolven Wolven on Oct 30, 2008
    The Corvette has been good for GM because it displays the corporation’s ability to compete with the best sports cars in the word. The Viper, in contrast, is iconic only because it is so excessive and crass. Your not biased or anything, are ya? And how loooonnnnngg did it take before the Corvette became even REMOTELY close to the Viper in performance??? And WHO was it that moved from ChryCo to GM and pushed for a Corvette that would actually be able to compete with a Viper? You ever notice how much the Vette began to look like the Viper after Bob went to GM?

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.