Her hair tied up in a tight bun, Johanna Quandt looked like a character out of The Sound of Music as she greeted Henry Ford II at her home in Bad Homburg, Germany, in the summer of 1987.
The billionaire widow, whose late husband acquired the struggling BMW in 1959, died this week at 89.
The meeting in 1987 took place just a few weeks before Ford died of complications from pneumonia in Baden Baden, Germany. He was stopping by on his way to the famous spa town to try to persuade Mrs. Quandt to sell BMW to Ford Motor Co.
Ford had been a supporter of Johanna’s husband, Herbert Quandt, in the days when many thought Quandt was crazy to try to salvage the Bavarian carmaker. And Henry had great respect for Quandt’s widow, who had been Herbert’s secretary.