Lee Iacocca, the brash, cigar-chomping former Ford president who convinced Henry Ford II to build the Mustang, wasn't part of Ford's 50th birthday party for the car. But he shared some Mustang memories recently with comedian and car buff Jay Leno.
Iacocca, 89 and looking frail, stopped by "Jay Leno's Garage" recently to chat with the comedian about the sports car's birth. It was a rare public appearance for Iacocca, who has kept a low profile in recent years.
Iacocca, wearing a Boston Red Sox cap and tan sweater and surrounded by two old Mustangs, told Leno that Henry Ford II was not eager to take chances on risky cars after the Edsel debacle, and didn't want the Mustang.
"He was afraid of another flop," Iacocca said.
But the Mustang, which had a starting price of about $2,300 in 1964, was a huge money maker for Ford, Iacocca said. Most Mustangs were ordered with about $1,000 worth of options. Said Iacocca: "That's where the money was."
You can watch the encounter here.