Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca died Tuesday at his home in California, leaving behind a legacy felt by many.
The auto industry leader was more than just a man behind a desk. Clad in a suit with a charismatic salesman persona, he often appeared in commercials as the public face and personality of the company he led.
“He was one of the great leaders of our company and the auto industry as a whole,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement. “He also played a profound and tireless role on the national stage as a business statesman and philanthropist.
Here’s a look back at some of Iacocca’s hit commercials.
“Nobody has anything like them, not Ford, not GM, not the imports,” Iacocca says to introduce the Chrysler LeBaron series.
He stands beside a sedan, a convertible, a coup and more, boasting the quality and technology they offer. “No cars are perfect, but these come pretty close.”
“If you can find a better car, buy it.” Iacocca utters his trademark line in this commercial for the K-car series, pointing at the camera with a challenging gaze.
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Iacocca strolls through a car manufacturing plant speaking sentimentally of values like quality, hard work and commitment. He points out a series of cars, from sports cars to wagons, that he says are “not bad for a company that had one foot in the grave.”
Iacocca became chairman of Chrysler in 1979 and is credited with salvaging the company from financial ruin. His goal, he says in the commercial, is “to be the best. What else is there?”
Iacocca leans coolly against a car with his arms crossed and talks confidently about beating Chrysler’s international competitors. It went from a company about to buried to the fastest growing car company in America, he says, by giving Americans what they need.
Chrysler first introduced the minivan, a revolutionary car and the first of its kind, in 1983.
1990: ‘Inferiority complex’
Iacocca walks into a business meeting with a bold pronouncement that he thinks America has an inferiority complex about the Japanese.
He leans over the table intently with a clear message for all Americans to hear. “We gotta get people to wake up to the truth. Our cars are every bit as good as the Japanese.”
1991: Minivan redesign
Iacocca taunts his competitors by telling them that nobody has been able to beat the original Chrysler minivan. Instead, the company one-upped itself with a redesigned version of the vehicle.
He shows it off, and tells the companies to get to work trying to beat this one.
1992: Changing industry
A building blows up behind Iacocca in the beginning of this commercial. It’s symbolic of the way he reshaped the American auto industry by cutting elements of his own company that didn’t add value or improvement. He’s all about change.
“At Chrysler, we believe that standing still is a great way to get run over.”
2005: Snoop Dogg
An unlikely pair, Iacocca and famous rap artist Snoop Dogg, team up for a commercial that is set on a golf course.
“You know, I’m not too sure what you just said,” Iacocca says at one point while the two stroll along the green. “Fo shizzle, Iaco-zizzle,” Snoop responds.
It’s an advertisement for Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge cars.
“If the ride is mo’ fly, then you must buy,” Snoop Dogg says.