Filed under: Folks
Let me preface this post by saying I really could give a rusty muffler about debating U.S. politics these days (so don’t bother PM’ing me about it). In my small opinion it comes down to picking the lesser of two crooked evils these days. However, there was a guy I definitely would have voted for with great passion: Edsel Bryant Ford (1893-1943). He was humble, intelligent, honest, and forward-thinking about the auto industry as well as economics, business, and world affairs. Edsel also loved great industrial & transportation design, with a good eye for fine art, and architecture. What’s not to love?
Let me hit some highlights, and you tell me if younger Ford wasn’t a ruler:
1. Purchased Lincoln in 1922 to give Ford a stand-alone luxury brand (despite his father’s objections), working quickly to make them more stylish and elegant.
2. Started Mercury in 1939 to give Ford a middle-tier brand (despite his father’s objections) which was an instant success.
4. Pushed for the stylish Model A to finally replace the aging Model T, including going to four wheel brakes and a more modern transmission (despite his father’s objections again), resulting in over 4 million cars old in only four years!
5. Responsible for the new V-12 Zephyr, and stylish Continental from Lincoln as the large luxury car sales segment plummeted elsewhere.
6. Outside of Ford, Edsel contracted Diego Rivera for the iconic Ford Mural (while he was President of the Detroit Arts Commission), was an early collector of African Art now at the D.I.A., and funded Admiral Byrd’s expeditions to the North Pole and the Antarctic in a Ford Tri-Motor!!
Who’s with me? I want Edsel running the show…