Iacocca's Tightrope Act

COVER STORY: With brains, bluster and bravado, the boss struggles to salvage Chrysler

Frank Sinatra. John Houseman. Joe Garagiola. Ricardo Montalban. Chrysler Corp. has hired all of them to tout its cars on television. But the company's premier pitchman is a slightly paunchy, slightly balding 58-year-old who happens to be on the permanent payroll: Chairman Lido Anthony ("Lee") lacocca. "You can go with Chrysler," he booms into the camera, "or you can go with someone elseā€”and take your chances."

lacocca, the son of Italian immigrants, is fighting for his corporation's life, and growing numbers of viewers seem to be buying his act. Says Abe Gurewitz, 54, a Brooklyn cab driver: "I saw him...

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