Lutz was head of Opel sales and marketing when the Rekord B was launched in Nice, France, in 1972. On the first day of the presentation, other reporters and I filed into the hall. Looking rather stressed, then-Opel President Alex Cunningham took a seat next to me.
“I hope this presentation will work,” he whispered. “This morning, Bob Lutz pushed a letter under my hotel room door. It said: ‘Sorry, I had to leave early for Munich. Tomorrow I start my job as BMW’s sales vice president.’ I had to get the president of Opel Italy to do this presentation. Would you believe it?”
Two years later, at a BMW presentation, I looked around to interview Lutz before the meeting started. There was no sign of him, so I asked BMW President Eberhard von Kuenheim if he knew Bob’s whereabouts.
“You won’t believe it,” von Kuenheim said, “but he just left a letter on my desk. It said: ‘Sorry, I am leaving to become president of Ford of Europe.’ Would you believe it?”