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The Automotive World Lost A Legend - Lee Iacocca [Infographic]

Lee Iacocca passed away this week and the world lost an automotive industry legend. A bold character in his own right he was also a trailblazer leading the way for several automotive brands and vehicle product types like convertibles, sports cars, front wheel drive capabilities, and even "family wagon" minivans. There is one story that found a special place in our hearts for Mr. Iacocca.


Car Top Exec & Brand Spokesman


Few would question Iacocca's leadership and drive for the brands he helped lead. He was not just a leader confined to the corner office or the boardroom, he was even the face of the brand in many advertisements. His persona shone through along with his motivation for his products to become market leaders. Here is a great commercial demonstrating his desires for Chrysler and his candid personality.



Ford Mustang Origins


Of course he may claim his role in the introduction of the minivan product type which is noteworthy. He may have even admitted at times when his concepts or products developed under his watch were not successful, *cough* Pinto *cough*. However, a very successful product developed under his watch was the Ford Mustang.


It is the Ford Mustang that is probably the most interesting story involving Iacocca for us and many other car fans. There is also a special place in our hearts for Jared and I with the Mustang story and Iacocca's role in its naming.


Legend has it, that Lee Iacocca helped finalize the name for the Ford Mustang which had been under significant debate at the time. After he witnessed a hard-fought SMU Mustang football loss to the Michigan Wolverines in 1963 the name would finally be decided. Iacocca was impressed with the SMU Mustangs despite their lost as they were a team he thought was light, quick, and sporty which matched the description of the Ford Mustang. 1963 happened to be Hayden Fry’s first year as Head Coach for SMU. We, the founders of Automotive Essence two car guys, attended the University of Iowa during Hayden Fry’s final two years of his coaching career. Coincidence? We think not.


Here is an Infographic where we outline the various design essentials of the Mustang. You can find more of them here.


Ford Mustang Design Essentials
Mustang Design Essentials [Infographic]

Thank you Mr. Iacocca for all you brought to the the automotive world and to car fans like us. Rest in peace.