When I was a kid, I eagerly awaited the mailman’s arrival as I subscribed to a multitude of car magazines, and otherwise had no life. During that era Motor Trend seemed to have an inside track on the Dale – an American three-wheeler that was going to revolutionize the auto industry. I was mesmerized by this beast. Championed by a woman during a time when the Equal Rights Amendment was denigrated as the end of America as we know it, the Dale seemed like a savior from the status quo.
Of course, it was not meant to be. In fact, it was never meant to begin with. That woman promoting the Dale and sanguinely accepting thousands in deposits from prospective dealers – Liz Carmichael – was in fact a dude, and the Dale was, ultimately an elaborate con job. Perhaps the adam’s apple and lack of a functioning prototype should have been a clue, but like I said, I was a starry eyed kid.
The Dale story is good enough for a Hollywood movie, and it, along with John Z Delorean’s travails, are in my book the auto industry’s biggest travails. But that’s just my opinion, and I’m sure yours might differ. What do you think, are there worse? What, in your opinion, is the the worst scandal in automotive history?