I have been a long time – decades – subscriber of Road & Track magazine.
I think it is the best car-oriented magazine out there.
Bob Lutz – now 81 – is a lifelong car guy – with stints at BMW, Ford of Europe, Chrysler (where he helped save Chrysler with creations like the Viper before the Germans came and
screwed bought it .
He retired at GM after helping to revitalize them.
He was a Marine fighter pilot whose success today got him a number of toys, including a Czech L-39.
He penned some thoughts on his take on crisis, risk and personality in his column in the current issue of Road & Track Magazine.
The first thing I’ll quote brought me back to what Lex was saying on a night carrier landing – when things are tough – and it is so easy to let panic take over. “You have to put it in a little box and examine it later” was what he said (or something similar).
Some of Lutz’s quotes are, like Lex’s thought – so thought provoking I’ll give you a few here.
1. “I always say, a background in 50s and 60s military aviation really helps in life. Our combat jets were so unreliable you had a hydraulic emergency or fire-warning light every 3rd or 4th flight. That was a time to tell yourself, “Okay, settle down. What’s the procedure? ” You sort of take panic and set it off into a corner and focus on doing the right thing. If you’ve done that for a few years, you become very relaxed about everyday crises.”
2. I can’t stand indecision, inaction. There’s a certain psychological profile of somebody who is going to be a successful military fighter pilot. And it is pattern recognition, pattern analysis, and then rapid decision making. You accept all the inputs, but then you immediately form a judgement you have to act on.”
3. “I believe many people who drive extremely well have that same capability, whether it’s motorcycles or cars. They’re getting all the sensory inputs, which immediately have to be translated into action”.
He has a bunch more beliefs in the current (June 2014) issue of Road & Track.