‘Maximum’ Bob Lutz got his nickname from, well, doing things to the maximum. For example, when he once overheard an Opel engineer say it was impossible to roll the 1968 Opel Kadett, he promptly got in the car, yanked the handbrake at 50 mph and landed the poor little Opel on its roof. He then got out of the car and lit up a cigar. You know, for effect.
Today, Jalopnik uncovered another interesting Maximum Bob anecdote. When the former Marine Corps pilot was serving as the president of Chrysler Corporation in 1990, he had a helipad built at the automaker’s technical center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The rumor among Chrysler employees went that Lutz had it built after losing his license for speeding, but Lutz confirmed that wasn’t true.
The location of the helipad was apparently not ideal for landing and Lutz wanted it built closer to the front entrance of the facility, but then-CEO of Chrysler Lee Iacocca argued that his landings might distract employees. Lutz disagreed, saying he might turn some heads at first but they would eventually move on, but he never got his way.
Today Fiat Chrysler employees use the helipad for parking. Marchionne has already acknowledged he doesn’t carry quite the same cool cache as the helicopter-flying Lutz and will thus probably never use the helipad for himself, so it seems it will forever be designated as a strange, circular parking area.