A sales and marketing man at heart, with a knack for selling, Lee Iacocca endeared himself to dealers. A few dealers pay tribute to Lido.
"We were in Denver for a new car showing. ... I went up to him and said my name is Steven Wolf, I'm with River Oaks Chrysler-Plymouth in Houston, Texas. He [said], 'Yeah, I know your store well.' I said look, there's not a Jeep dealer anywhere near us. We hear that a Ford dealership is going to be getting this Jeep franchise, and we think we should be able to get it. He said, 'Listen to my speech tonight. You're going to hear something very interesting.' "
-- Steven Wolf, dealer principal at Helfman Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Houston, who met Iacocca in the early '90s as the CEO started a push to sell Jeeps at Chrysler stores
"My dad was a Chrysler dealer. Iacocca chaired the restoration of the Statue of Liberty commission. They put on a sales contest and the top dealers that won flew the Concorde to Paris. ... They took the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship back across the Atlantic Ocean and steamed into New York Harbor for the Fourth of July for the unveiling of the [restored] Statue of Liberty. My dad always talked about that trip, about how fabulous it was. That's just symbolic of Lee Iacocca because when he put on a dealer trip, it was unbelievable. He would get Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. He would have the top entertainment moguls of the day at dealer announcement shows. He was larger than life."
-- Doug Wilson, who has sold Chrysler products for more than 20 years in Mississippi and Tennessee
"My dad had owned a Ford store that he and my grandpa had opened in Walled Lake in 1955, but they closed the Ford store down in 1979, because Ford wanted him to move. [It sat empty for three years, but when] Iaccoca and the gang move to Chrysler, my dad followed him."
-- Bob Shuman, owner of Shuman Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Walled Lake, Mich., who was "right out of college" when he met Iacocca