Autos: Patience Rewarded

Lee lacocca thought he had it made. After slogging his way up from sales trainee to vice president at age 36, he masterminded Ford Motor Co.'s happy successes with the Mustang and the Maverick. So lacocca figured that he was a cinch to take over the president's chair when Arjay Miller stepped down three years ago. But then a gray-haired 55-year-old named Semon E. Knudsen got passed over for his dad's old job as president of General Motors. Henry Ford II snapped up Knudsen for the Ford job and let lacocca wait.

After 19...

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