Farewell Lee Iacocca, father of the Mustang

By: Guy Allen and Alex Affat

lee iacocca lee iacocca

The Detroit giant passed away aged 94

Hugely influential car industry exec Lee Iacocca has passed away, aged 94. 

By far his most famous achievement was being the driving force behind the first Ford Mustang (that's him leaning on the bonnet, surrounded by the project team), which proved to be a runaway success; with 22,000 orders lodged on opening day, and 400,000 sold in its first year!

The Mustang is recognised as starting the whole 'Pony Car' phenomenon.

When the curtains dropped on Ford's newfangled sports car at the 1964 New York World Fair, it was almost foreboding when Iacocca opened his speech, stating "Welcome to one of the proudest moments of our lives!".


He also proved to be a talented senior exec, who is credited with pulling Chrysler back from the brink of failure, when he took over the company in the late seventies. He retired as head of the company in 1992.

Following the news of his death, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles farewelled their former leader, saying: "He played a historic role in steering Chrysler through crisis and making it a true competitive force. He was one of the great leaders in our company and the auro industry as a whole. He also plated a profound and tireless role on the national stage as a business statesman and philanthropist".

Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company also paid his respects, describing Iacocca as "truly bigger than life and [that] he left an indelible mark on Ford... He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed".

Farewell Lee Iacocca.


Pictured above (L to R): executive engineer Jack Pendergast, chief engineer Hans Matthias, product planning chief Hal Sperlich, Bert Andren, Donald Petersen, Ford division manager Lee Iacocca, and product planning manager Don Frey.


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