Mystery Prototype Discovered
A Sneak Peek at Chrysler’s Almost-Was 1980 Skatt 4X4
It’s a fact that for every automotive design that makes it from the sketchpad to the showroom, many more do not. We’re always fascinated by these dead ends and recently came upon a collection of photographs from the estate of Steven N. Bollinger. If the name isn’t immediately familiar, don’t worry, he was a member of the highly influential - but mostly anonymous - fraternity of automotive stylists, the unsung heroes behind the scenes.
Though Bollinger (left) passed away earlier this year, he was a Design Specialist who worked at Chrysler between 1969 and 1988. His influence is seen on the Chrysler Cordoba, 1981 Imperial, Chrysler minivan and several K-Car variants, one of which is shown here for the very first time.
A steady of barrage of quarterly losses – $159 million in the fourth quarter of 1978 alone – left little room for anything other than getting the “hail Mary” K-Car to market as fast as possible. It’s a shame the Skatt idea wasn’t revisited later in the decade as record profits began to flow. Instead of fighting the Jeep brand, Iacocca bought it.