Business: Mr. Upward Automobility

Lee lacocca thought he had a better idea. An eager young sales manager in the 1950s, he figured he would pep up a dull convention of 1,100 Ford salesmen by proving in a live demonstration that if he dropped an egg from a 10-ft-high ladder onto Ford's new crash-padded dashboard, the egg would not break. He was wrong. Until last week, that was one of the very few times that lacocca came close to having egg on his face. After 32 years with Ford, the plain-spoken son of an Italian immigrant was a Horatio Alger-hero on wheels, a paradigm of upward...

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