As Ford's chairman, Bill Ford is used to famous people ringing him up to pitch ideas. So when one of his musical heroes came calling, Ford was happy to lend an ear.
Rocker Neil Young -- who, by the way, once built an electrified 1959 Lincoln, only to see it heavily damaged in a 2010 warehouse blaze -- wanted to talk about improving the music in cars.
He wasn't talking about singing or songwriting: he meant the sound itself.
"His thesis is this -- that today's MP3 music is horrible, and that the only good music ever made was on vinyl, where you could hear each guitar string being plucked and hear as fingers moved down the frets," said Ford, recounting the conversation.
Young told Ford to think of music as a painting: "Van Gogh would paint in 20 shades of blue. With digital music you get one shade of blue."
Young's proposal: Put BluRay audio players in cars. The hitch: At current volumes, the tunes are pricey. For example, Young's 2010 career-spanning boxed set came in three formats: BluRay audio, DVD audio and compact disc. The BluRay set stickered the highest, a wallet-shaking $350 ($250 if you snoop around online).
Ford told the singer he would investigate. Said the chairman: "It's a great technology, but it's not that user-friendly yet."