Nuttle is a heavyweight in international law and U.S. politics.
For example, after Ukraine's elections for independence in 1991, Nuttle was an adviser on how to form the government. He introduced the new government to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
He has worked with the Chinese to set up the Shanghai stock exchange in the early 1990s. Nuttle advised Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Nuttle was executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee while George H.W. Bush was president. He was on the legal team for George W. Bush during the Bush-Gore presidential recount in Florida in 2000.
Almost as an aside, his resume notes Nuttle was a judge for the Miss America pageant in 1998.
His attraction to British cars goes beyond business.
Nuttle says he became hooked on British cars when he bought a new Triumph TR6 in 1973. His sister-in-law owned an MG that Nuttle and his wife used.
"Those were our main cars for 10 years," says Nuttle.
He admits to driving the Triumph "until it wore out."
He had the Triumph restored in the early 1990s. "I loved that car and brought it back," he says, adding that the car was destroyed in an ice-storm accident. "I sure do miss it."
But even with the emotional attachment, why did an international deal maker choose MG as his latest investment project?
Nuttle says that while working on several research projects to bring business to Oklahoma, he discovered why Slovakia has attracted so much automotive business since the early 1990s.
"It was because it has industrial engineers who used to make heavy-truck parts for the Soviet Union," says Nuttle.
Oklahoma doesn't have that engineering brainpower. But it does have tax-exempt American Indian lands, an air-cargo depot capable of landing a 747 jet, and a university.
Nuttle says those elements combined for an attractive package.
Meanwhile, Duke Hale, former head of Mazda in North America, and partner Michael Davis put out a proposal for a site to build a semiknockdown plant for an MG coupe.
'Movers and shakers'
Davis, now CFO of Oklahoma Global Motors, developed a list of "potential movers and shakers" to visit in Oklahoma, says spokesman Kim Custer.
Nuttle was on that list. Custer says Nuttle "proved to be one of the
most important people in putting together the vital ingredients for Oklahoma's package."
Stucky, of the Ardmore Development Authority, says the tax savings on land in the Chickasaw Nation are significant. For instance, he says, a $2 million plant would pay $200,000 in taxes a year to the state.
The factory will occupy 50 acres in a 1,145-acre parcel in Ardmore, about 90 miles south of Oklahoma City near the Texas border.
The Ardmore Development Authority and Nuttle's investment group own the land. The remainder "we would open up for industry, such as automotive suppliers," says Stucky.
Nuttle says the investment in the United States will reach $300 million when the buildings are completed. But, he says, the key elements were the tax-exempt Chickasaw Indian land and the airport. They were Oklahoma's equivalent of those former truck engineers in Slovakia.
Once Oklahoma put that package together, Nuttle says: "We were on a level playing field with everyone else and saw potential for the future. That is what we pitched and what they bought."
You may e-mail Diana T. Kurylko at [email protected]