Former automotive mogul Bob Lutz talks Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance

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Former automotive mogul Bob Lutz talks Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance

By AMY COYNE BREDESON
abredeson@islandpacket.com
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012   |  579 Words  |  

Former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz is out of the automobile industry, but he can't keep cars out of his life.

The retired automotive mogul is the honorary chairman of this year's Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance.

"It's always fun being with people who share the same passion for fine historic automobiles that I do," Lutz said. "There are usually people of some accomplishment and taste (at the festival). And, of course, the cars themselves are always fascinating."

Lutz will be bringing his 1971 Monteverdi to the show. He has quite a collection of automobiles, but he said his favorite is a 1952 Aston Martin.

"Cars are very much historical artifacts that usually encapsulate the culture and the time period when they were created," Lutz said. "You look at a 1960s car. It's almost like being in a time warp, seeing what was considered to be beautiful in the 1960s, what was considered to be important, the sheer size of the cars. It was a time of unlimited possibility for the United States, and the vehicles of the period kind of reflect that. And I think it makes it absolutely fascinating."Lutz will serve as a guest judge at the festival. He will also hold a question-and-answer session Nov. 3 at the "Road to the Future" exhibit and host "A Lowcountry Evening with Bob Lutz" later that evening.

The "Road to the Future" exhibit will focus on electric cars, which will be especially fitting considering Lutz was heavily involved in the creation of the Chevrolet Volt during his time at General Motors. The exhibit will feature the Volt as well as other electric cars, such as the Nissan LEAF, a BMW ActiveE, a Fisker Karma and a 1917 Detroit Electric.

Since retiring from GM in 2010, Lutz has been busy writing.

His book, "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business," was published in 2011. The book is a synopsis of the U.S. automotive downfall.

Lutz said he believes that the bean counters -- or financial guys -- took over and the car guys lost their voices.

Lutz said he recently finished another book called "Icons and Idiots," which will be published in the spring.

In addition to writing, Lutz still sits on the boards of several companies, is a paid lecturer, does some consulting work and is a CNBC contributor.

Despite his busy schedule, Lutz is making time for the annual auto event on Hilton Head.

"It's definitely a Concours that is gaining its stature and importance," he said. "It's taken on a degree of national importance."

Festival president Carolyn Vanagel said it's an honor to have him be at Hilton Head's event.

"He has been one of the most significant and recognizable honorary chairmen that we've had to date," she said. "And we've had some amazing people."

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