Image: Lee Iacocca

The man known as the brains and brawn behind the Ford Mustang and the savior of Chrysler has died at the age of 94.

Lee Iacocca helped launch Detroit’s best selling and most iconic vehicles to date.

“He was a car guy and if you liked cars you could relate to him,” said Al Hatch, founder of Back to the Bricks.

Lee Iaccoca was an automotive industry icon. His youngest daughter confirmed his death on Tuesday, July 2. She said he died of natural causes at the age of 94.

“I was saddened you know, but he died at the age of 94 which was a good long life,” Hatch said.

Iaccoca lived a long life full of success. He led two major American car companies, Chrysler and Ford.

He began working at Ford Motor Company in 1946 and was named president in 1970. He then joined Chrysler in 1978, becoming the company’s CEO a year later and saving it from bankruptcy.

“At the time when Chrysler was approaching bankruptcy, so he led them out of bankruptcy and got them pretty profitable again,” Hatch said.

Not only was Iacocca responsible for helping Chrysler out of bankruptcy, but he was also the mastermind behind the 1964 Mustang.

“That was one of his major accomplishments but there was other cars as well,” Hatch said.

Those cars included the Chrysler minivan and K-Cars.

Iacocca retired from Chrysler in 1992.

Hatch founded Back to the Bricks Classic Car Show in Flint. He said that may not have been possible without his ties to the vehicle city.

“Lee may not have been able to retire out of Chrysler if it wasn’t for Walter P. Chrysler starting his career here in Flint so there is a connection,” Hatch said.

Despite his recent passing, Hatch said he’ll live on through his major contributions to the automotive industry.

“He’ll always be remembered,” Hatch said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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