Festive Teasers 2020 – Odd Man Out

Four giants of the automotive industry – which is the odd one out, and why?

Image: Coachbuild.com

David Bache (1925-1994) – Styling chief at The Rover Company and BL Cars

Image: autoevolution.com

Carl-Peter Forster (b.1954) – BMW, Saab, GM and Tata chief executive.

Image: Daimler Media

Prosper L’Orange (1876-1939) – German Diesel engine pioneer at Deutz, Benz & Cie and Motoren Werke Mannheim AG

Image: Bloomberg

Dieter Zetsche (b.1953) – Long-serving Daimler Chairman and CEO

14 thoughts on “Festive Teasers 2020 – Odd Man Out”

  1. My guess is that all except Bache were born outside Germany while being German / spending their careers principally in Germany, while Bache was actually born in Germany.

    I always forget Bache’s career – I had completely forgotten he worked for Lancia.

  2. Wild Guedes: I think David Bache was the only one who worked as an independent while the others were employed by theorie company.

  3. That image of Zertsche is incredibly old-school sexist. If it was taken in the last five years I´d be astonished at D.Z´s lack of taste (the Chrysler background puts it back in time a bit though)

    1. At any time in the past thirty years, for a CEO of a public company to allow himself to be photographed in that situation shows a shocking lack of judgement.

    2. Don’t you get it? Even before he threw his ties on a pyre, Zee was a funny, kasual German! That photo is therefore ironic! Amusing! Charming!

  4. Charles – congratulations you are correct, although I held off saying so to see what other off-the-wall answers came up.

    The odd man out is David Bache, as he was the only one of the four who was born in Germany.

    Forster was born in London, where his father was a diplomat in the German Embassy.

    The splendidly-named Prosper L’Orange was born on Beirut, Lebanon. Beyond his lifetime’s work at at Deutz, Benz, and MWM, the family name lives on in Woodward L’Orange GmbH, a Stüttgart-based manufacturer of fuel injection systems for large diesel engines.

    Dr.Z was born in Istanbul, Turkey where his civil engineer father was working on the Seyhan Dam construction project.

    David Bache was born in Mannheim, where his father Joe (born in Stourbridge) worked as a football coach, following a distinguished playing career with Aston Villa and as an England international.

    As for working for Lancia, was this in his post-Rover (1982-94) consultancy period? The only, very tenuous, connection I can find is that in Bache’s ten or so years at Austin up to 1954, he worked under Riccardo Burzi, who was ex-Lancia.

    1. Many thanks, Robertas – yes, I was getting confused – it was Burzi who worked at Lancia. No wonder I found Bache’s CV a bit exotic. I wonder what Burzi did at Lancia.

      I can’t now see Dr Z without hearing the Benny Hill theme tune.

  5. I was convinced the answer would be ‘Mannheim’, but couldn’t quite explain why exactly, except for Bache’s & Benz’ connection to the city whose citizens speak the oddest of all German dialects.

    1. Hey, be careful, my mother came from this strange dialect-speaking area. 🙂
      (Besides, this strange dialect is easy to understand, you just have to have grown up with it…)

  6. Christopher, are you familiar with Craig Russell’s Jan Fabel novels?

    I enjoyed this, from the final chapter of “The Ghosts of Altona”:

    “Are we covering only cases in the German-speaking world” asked Dirk Hechtner, “or will we be taking cases in Baden-Württemberg too?”

    1. My wife always tells a more or less funny story about this: My parents lived in the heart of Baden-Würtemberg, a few kilometres from Weissach. When my father (who, by the way, came from the “Oberpfalz” – in case anyone is looking for a German dialect that cannot be understood at all, that is where it is spoken) celebrated his 60th birthday, many friends offered speeches, lectures and small theatre performances.
      My wife is a native of Kiel, so not far from the northernmost border in this country.
      She didn’t understand a single word the whole evening. (I always tried to translate simultaneously)
      Even today, she still talks about that one day in her life when she was confronted with an unknown foreign language in the middle of Germany.
      (The funniest thing, however, is that the people living there think they speak “German after all”.)

    2. Robertas, about two decades ago, the state of Baden-Württemberg launched a campaign titled ‘Wir können alles – außer Hochdeutsch’ (‘nothing is impossible to us – apart from speaking standard German’), highlighting the special relationship of the citizens of Baden, Schwaben Württemberg with the German language. That being said, Niederbayrisch, Plattdeutsch or Alemannisch are even harder to decode by those unaccustomed to it than Stuttgarterisch.

      Mannheimerisch/Monnemerisch, on contrast, isn’t terribly hard to understand, but terribly irritating, owing to its very odd intonation and melody.

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