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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Because I'm a curious sort, I look into things. Earlier today I was reading an article in wikipedia which mentioned the MN12 AWD experiment. Anthony "Tony" S. Kuchta was the overseer of the program. I wanted to know more about Tony, and did a web search. This report from the us marshals office turned up.
http://www.usmarshals.gov/investigations/major_cases/kuchta.htm
Is this Tony S. Kuchta the same man mentioned below in the MN12 program article?

WANTED
BY U.S. MARSHALS
Anthony Stephen Jr KUCHTA
Bond Default and Possesion of Coaine with Intent to Distribute
ALIASES: Kuchta, Anthony; KUCHTA, Stephen; KUCHTA, Tony; KUCHTA, Anthony S; KUCHTO, Anthony; TAYLOR, Dave; KUCHTA, Anthony Stephen; TAYLOR, DADE KUCHTA photo


SEX: Male
RACE: White
DATE OF BIRTH: July 2, 1952
PLACE OF BIRTH: Michigan
HEIGHT: 5'10"
WEIGHT: 175 LBS
EYES: Hazel
HAIR: Brown
SKINTONE: Fair
SCARS/TATTOOS: Scar Left Wrist


WARRANT ISSUED: Northern District of
Florida
DATE OF WARRANT: (1)September 6, 1995
(2) December 5, 1990
WARRANT NUMBER: (1) 9517-1121-0027-S
(2) 9517-1121-0026-S

Should be considered Armed and Dangerous. Has priors for armed robbery and is alsoo wanted by USMS in Detroit Michigan for narcotic violations. Has been profiled on America's Most Wanted.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO APPREHEND THIS PERSON YOURSELF. HE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS. REPORT ANY INFORMATION TO THE NEAREST USMS DISTRICT OFFICE, or call 1-877-WANTED-2.

This from AMW, http://amwfans.com/thread/389/anthony-kuchta-michigan-1990
Anthony Kuchta is wanted by the US Marshals and the DEA for drug trafficking charges that could net him a life sentence in prison. He was aired on AMW four times between 1993-2004.

Kuchta grew up in a wealthy family that lived in Michigan. In order to fund his luxury lifestyle, Kuchta got involved in cocaine trafficking. In 1990, Kuchta was arrested along with two other people during a sting operation. However in December of that year, Kuchta posted bail and fled, he is wanted for conspiring to deliver over 650 grams of cocaine. He is listed as a Class 1 drug trafficker, the highest designation given by the DEA.

Thoughts? I think the consensus by law enforcement is that he fled to Central or South America and is still living an affluent lifestyle while continuing to do business with Latin American drug cartels. The old amw.com pages mention he was very close to his son so it would be very interesting to see if he kept in contact with him over the years. Something else interesting that I found was an Anthony "Tony" S. Kuchta was involved in a new design of the Ford Thunderbird but retired from the project in 1989. Since Ford is headquartered in Michigan this fugitive might have actually been the "Kuchta" involved with that project.


www.usmarshals.gov/investigations/major_cases/kuchta.htm
www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1589_31786_54761_54763-231282--,00.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Thunderbird_(tenth_generation)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_MN12_platform
The roots of the MN12 program began in the mid-1980s when Ford sought to build on the success of the then-current, Fox body-based Thunderbird and Cougar. Going beyond unique styling, Ford wanted to produce a Thunderbird and Cougar that could compete with more sophisticated and higher performing cars from European automakers such as BMW. To accomplish this, Ford needed to develop a new platform since the existing Fox platform couldn't satisfy the requirements of the MN12 program. Heading the program was Anthony "Tony" S. Kuchta, who was appointed to the position by Ford management in 1986. Kuchta decided to keep a rear-wheel drive layout for the MN12 platform as a basis for delivering better road performance, as opposed to following the Thunderbird and Cougars' front-wheel drive-based rivals from General Motors, such as the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regal. Kuchta also approved an independent rear suspension for the MN12 platform, something that would make the Thunderbird and Cougar the only rear-drive domestic cars, other than the Chevrolet Corvette to feature this. Ford engineers working on the MN12 program also explored the use of all-wheel drive for the platform with Ford going so far as paying German automaker Porsche to study the feasibility of its use, but Kuchta ultimately decided against it out of cost concerns.[2]
 

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He was the father of the MN12, Id read about this before and thought the general consensus was that the coke trafficking guy was the MN12 guy's son IIRC. The wanted guy is "Anthony Stephen Jr KUCHTA"

Would be crazy if it was the same guy, though very unlikely that he would be chosen to lead a development team at only 32 to 35 years old. MN12 guy was his dad.
 

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Definitely the Son; dude was able to Retire in 89, after a long career.
 

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Definitely the Son; dude was able to Retire in 89, after a long career.
Ive done a search for Tony S Kuchta Sr. in the past and found a guy in his 80s living in a retirement village type community in Florida. He's probably the MN12 guy. He took a ton of flak at Ford for making our cars great, its really an incredible story.

I found his phone number somewhere, it would be interesting if us as a community could compile questions and interview the guy.

I'm sure he'd be happy to hear that there are still people who enjoy his life's work.
 

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I'd certainly ask him what he was snorting when he approved a few things :tongue:
Well most of it was last minute compromise because Ford kept saying no to every cool idea. That's the whole reason the SC came into existence.
 

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I disagree, Ford really gave an unprecedented amount of free reign on the program and most of the cool ideas were either approved or rejected before it became apparent that the cost per unit was ending up so high near the debut. At that point the cars would have been practically done, since afterall these cars were undoubtedly more advanced than anything the big three had been building in their class. Had Ford been proactive at nixing cool ideas the MN12 would likely just be a 2 door Taurus.

The SC really isn't very compromised, in fact it met all the programs targets including, contrary to popular belief, weight. The real conflict occurred with the N/A V6 since all the stuff that made the SC the low cost BMW fighter Don Peterson approved had to be shared, and caused a substantial weight penalty to the base and LX, which made it slower and less economical compared it's immediate predecessor (sharing an identical drivetrain), and it's GM10 competition(which luckily were total junk since GM's top down management did ruin them all the way through). If the SC is anything it's a bit underdeveloped, but it's definitely not compromised. I think the last minute meddling was the elimination of dual airbags(that hole where the sunglasses holder is in the passenger side dash on the 89/90s was very likely where the passenger side airbag was to go) and a few minor details. The production run between 89-97 is where the real meddling was, one by one options were dropped, packages were dropped or merged and the cars (SC, LX and Cougar) shared more and more with each other.
 
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