TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Chris Theodore “retired” nine years ago, but the ideas just keep on streaming and he keeps on “having fun” pursuing them.

Theodore will be remembered as vice president-platform engineering at Chrysler from 1989 to 1999 and then Ford vice president-North American product development, departing in 2005.

He was identified closely with the K-car, Dodge Viper and minivan at Chrysler and the GT high-performance sports car and Mustang at Ford.

Since then, he has engaged mainly in consulting on engineering issues, running a few companies and inventing and patenting things automotive. He’s here this week at the Management Briefing Seminars to keep up with trends.

One invention is a design for body-on-frame applications that unites the chassis, suspension and backbone into a single unit. Theodore adapted the idea to a Ford GT. “It works great, but no takers yet; it’s a money pit,” he laughs.

He also has built an extremely low-cost electric vehicle for Third World markets.

“I think it has a lot of potential,” Theodore says. “I have one running.”

He declines to reveal details such as price and performance data, but he believes the EV may have a future in markets where mobility, traffic congestion and air quality are important considerations.

Another Theodore invention is a turbo compressor said to be 25%-30% smaller and designed to offer “slightly better performance,” with faster response and an efficiency equal to or better than existing compressors.

When he’s not hard at work having fun, Theodore can gaze at his fleet of vintage or specialty cars. Among them: The Ford GT, ’66 Lincoln convertible with suicide rear doors, Dodge Viper, Plymouth Prowler and a tiny ’59 Nash Metro.