April 7, 2021



0:00 Malcolm gets a terrible call from Sergio Pininfarina that will kill the Fiat X/19 and Spider in N. America 

1:12 Malcolm gets Tony Seminara to go around the world and find the cheapest car on Earth. 

1:27 Where the hell is Yugoslavia? 

2:11 some dealers were making $3k over list on a $3900 car 

4:17 "I was in Zurich VIP room, taking a leak and taking the next to me was Henry Kissinger. He handed me a card over the partition." 

6:49 I'm selling the company. 



Mon, 4/5 12:25PM • 8:29


yugoslavia, cars, sell, selling, months, country, put, talk, larry, malcolm, imploding, safety, nice, meet, belgrade, room, fly, zurich, law, metallic paints



One day, I get a call from Sergio Pininfarina. When I come over to the rim right away, it was important. But I find it there. And he says, Malcolm, I hate to tell you this, but he got six months more selling. I'm selling 1000 a month, by the way, making a couple million dollars a month. And at the end of six months, I can't say any more cars. Excuse me. You're selling more cars than you ever sold your life isn't something you don't like, Oh, no, no, you're doing a great job. When I just made a deal with the Cadillac OLED day to build and design the lnj over here, build the body over here, put them on 740 sevens, fly him to Detroit, where they're going to put the motors and transmissions in and sell it for $55,000 with my name on the side, and they don't want me to be selling in the United States at 12 to $15,000 pinner freedom. And I know I can't cancel you because that's against the law. But I can't stop production because that's part of the contract. And I'm sorry, but this is more important than your business. Oh shit. I can't just sell one is not an obvious selling a couple of months each. This is not a dealer doesn't want to have to begin. Crap. Now what am I going to do? I get Tony seminara Tony got six months, we got an organization. We got everything coming in and we got money. You go around the world and find me the goddamn cheapest guy in the universe. comes back with I found it. Yugoslavia in Yugoslavia, Where the hell is Yugoslavia? And aren't they communists? Yep, yep. Bartley Yep. And when they will not do another, I decided we're going to sell 3990 cars. Then why people over there and in 14 months meant with 535 changes. We've met every regulation, safety and admissions and never had a recall. Only God never had a recall. It was a handles would fall off. We'd have to put them back on to what we had the three year warranty. We took care of everything. So it was sloppy kind of assembly. But safety wise and everything else we'd never had a problem and sold them as fast as we could bring them in it was I just got them. Some people some dealers were making 3000 over list on a 30 $900 car and no consumer report the damage. No, they didn't get me. I don't think so if it did, it didn't hurt me. No, I don't think so. Because we had to meet the regulations by law. So even though it was a little hard, they had nothing they can make a story about the other one was I I found a way to evade the law. Okay, but I thought you said you made your 500 and change changes to it. So you got through pollution and safety. I made it nice. We put nicer seats, we had to put seat belts in there. We had a we plug PPG over there to teach them how to paint metallic paints, we paved the ports, we had to bring it in unleaded gas, we had to take the rust off the railways that took it from there to the ports. We had to get shipping. We had a few things to do in 14 months. We had to set up 400 dealers, we had to bring in parts. We had to do trainings. No, we did them all. What happened was, we were selling cars as fast as we come in, and I was making millions a month. This was a great little story. Alright, it doesn't matter about all the minor stuff. Then somebody came to me because I was now looking at other countries to find other cars so that our dealer would have cars from a lot of countries in case I had a problem with one of them. I remember I was a little scary about politics. And this is a country. I mean we were in in that country. So I somebody came to me and offered me money. $20 million to sell out. And I said that was interested. Now. I have to give you some information. There was a day before the contract was signed. Then I was flying into Belgrade, which meant you fly into Zurich, and you're waiting for another plane to take you to Belgrade. I was in Zurich VIP room, taking a leak and taking the next to me was Henry Kissinger. I say Henry, while we're taking the leak beiler Henry Yes. Said I understand that our Eagleburger is working for you as your president. Yes. wasn't he? Yugoslavia his most favorite son when he was Ambassador do this? Yes. Well, I'm going to be bringing in a car from Yugoslavia. We could probably we should probably talk. Yes. A while we're taking a week. He handed me a card over the petition. The choir to my pocket. co author Yugoslavia. When I get back, I have a call already at the office from Henry Kissinger. which surprises should I make? Why would he give a book he calls me up he says we're interested in talking. So I go over to his office at Park Avenue. Eagleburger is there. Tell him what I want. I want him to be on the board. I want him to be director me a director. I want to be on the board. I want him to help us. Make them feel comfortable. Basically. I suppose well, Mary, will be your board of directors, and you'll pay us $250,000 to be consultants, and we'll help you with whatever you need. I later realized this is the country that was imploding. I didn't know it was imploding. And he probably checked with his political whatever, before dealing with us and found out it would really be good, since we're the major thing that was happening in Yugoslavia. And that what they were really looking at for us to be successful. Because our success might have kept the country together. I didn't know all that. So I got our Eagleburger there. I got a call from Larry. One day, Malcolm, we got to go to Yugoslavia and meet the new president. Okay, no problem. I mean, I go there once a month anyhow. So we get on a plane. Now Larry was a big guy. Larry was a heavy smoker. Now read either one of those. Now, here's a smart man that became our Secretary of State, you have to you go by the way. And he's smoking cigarettes and using the pump at the same time. He that's what he died from. So we go to Yugoslavia, and we're going to meet Mr. soboba Vich. And his wife who became the new president, and we made it a beautiful ornate room. And of course, everybody is kissing our ass like crazy. We are what is happening. period in Yugoslavia. When I went to them first. the only country they sold a car to was Russia on barter. Once you go mania took effect from the United States. They were selling the 70 different countries. They were high on the hog. So Mr. Tibbets and his wife were being extremely nice to me. And after about an hour and a half, cocktails and bullshit, we laughed and I turned to Larry and I said, I'm selling the company. He said, What's your problem? I said, Larry, I can't explain this. I have never been in a room where I felt evil. My hair when I talk, it's, my hair is standing up. I have they're nice people. But they scare the living shit out of me. And I'm getting the hell out of here. He says you're out of your mind. One month later, I sold it for 20 million to an investment firm that had a kid that 30 was murdered means there'll be children aboard this car company. It doesn't matter. God bless them. When they went off the races, the reason the company failed, if you remember, the United Nations put an embargo on Yugoslavia. You could not buy or sell anything from Yugoslavia. And then NATO put five missiles into the disaster of a car factory. And that's why they stopped selling in the United States. Malcolm I've enjoyed every minute with you. This is one of the most fun and you talk about loving something. I don't know if this will ever turn into money or not these recorded conversations but as far as juice in life value of life it is like getting to hear the greatest stories in the world if I didn't know who you are. But on top of being such a giant figure in my life in so many people's life, I really appreciate it. Well, you say such nice things. I can't help but want to come back. This has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars.