Q&A: Shelby: HFII was the glue
What makes Ford Motor Co. so special?
The name Ford is one thing. It is still run by Ford and has been run by Ford. What Henry accomplished in the early part of the century and what Henry the Deuce accomplished in pulling it back together after World War II. And now it is being revitalized by another Ford. That is something that no one other auto company can brag about.
What is your favorite Ford vehicle?
Itís hard to pick one. I have more than 100 cars. I have a Model T and a Model A. But if I could keep only one, it would be my 1967 Lincoln convertible. It was the last Lincoln convertible ever built. It has about 70,000 miles and has gone through three restorations. I was just doing 125 mph in it the other day.
What is the most memorable event at Ford in which you played a part?
The most memorable thing that happened was we won LeMans in 1966. In 1965, when all the cars blew up at LeMans, Henry Ford II had name tags made up that said ďFord wins LeMans in 1966.Ē We were told we were to win. That nine months was the most strenuous of our lives.
What was Henry Ford II like to work for?
There will never be another person like Henry Ford II. He was really the glue that made Ford what it was in the last half of the century. He was a human being and got accused of a lot of things, but he was a focused man who knew what should happen to his company. He picked the right people and let them do their jobs. He wasnít afraid to make the tough decisions.
There are cars that are just as fast and just as rare as the Shelby Cobras and Shelby Mustangs, but they arenít worth nearly as much. Why do collectors treasure these cars so much?
Well, I canít tell you, except that so few were made and they were so dominant on racetracks. I guess having a racing heritage like that becomes something very special.