Cropley on cars – Ford boss shows he's a true car lover; my brand new wheels

Saturday, November 5th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Cropley on cars – Ford boss shows he's a true car lover; my brand new wheels

Ford Europe boss Jim Farley shows why he’s a real car lover, brand new Fiat 500 can be welcomed onto my family fleet, Land Rover’s Arthur Goddard can be a true inspiration


MONDAY – This specific’s pretty special when one of the automobile industry’s top men turns out to be as keen a car nut as any of us.

The rigours of business tend to blunt the enthusiasm of the industry’s biggest men, however when Ford’s European president in addition to CEO, Jim Farley, came to our London HQ, his credentials soon came to the fore.

Farley agreed to be interviewed within the less than salubrious setting of our photo archive in addition to (as well as talking business) gave us lots of insights into his credentials as a car lover.

“I didn’t have money,” he explained, “so I took vacation jobs. One of them was in an engine remanufacturing plant, a long way via home. I bought a ’65 Mustang junker, lived in This specific while I re-did the engine, cashed in my return airfare to buy fuel in addition to drove back to Michigan – with no licence or insurance. Not even a spare tyre. Didn’t tell my parents, of course. What I loved most about of which car was washing This specific, in addition to driving This specific slowly. I’ll never forget the feeling of freedom.”

TUESDAY – Loose the fireworks in addition to ring the bells: the Steering Committee incorporates a brand new car. After style deliberations of which have stretched on one axis via Range Rover Evoque to BMW i3, in addition to on the different via Hyundai i10 to Volkswagen Up, we are about to swap a seven-year-old Fiat 500 diesel for… another Fiat 500, This specific time a 105bhp Twinair.

I was concerned at first about the choice of Fiat’s unique two-pot engine (although charming, a Twinair needs ‘understanding’) however as well as packing 23% more power, the latest style can be smoother in addition to its throttle response can be more intuitive.

Although our brand new 500 can be a run-out style (you save £3500), its suspension has been updated more than once in seven years. in addition to within 100 yards, you’re aware of a big reduction in nose weight. However, the best justification for buying another Fiat comes via the owner herself: “This specific makes me feel happy.”

WEDNESDAY – After a recent story about British Motor Heritage – the Oxfordshire company of which makes brand new MG B in addition to Mini bodyshells – a neighbour hastened to show me his superb, rebodied 1964 MG B, which he’s certain will today last another half century.

However, while writing about BMH, I realise I failed completely to credit the vital efforts of ‘Mr MG B’ David Bishop in addition to his associate, Neil Morrick, who – as present BMH proprietor John Yea made clear when we met – was the main driver both within the company’s formation in addition to its ‘repatriation’ via BMW. Without This specific pair, BMH could never have worked.

THURSDAY – To a pre-Goodwood ‘heritage’ dinner staged for hacks in a Surrey pub by Land Rover where we met 95-year-old Arthur Goddard, one of the marque’s all-time heroes. At 24, Goddard was plucked via the company’s stretched engineering team to be chief engineer on the original Landie, launched in 1948. Despite his years in addition to a pretty decent dose of jetlag, Goddard dealt remarkably well with an hour-long interview, during which the audience was transfixed.

The US army Jeep, known to have influenced Land Rover, was useful For just two key things above all, we learned. First, This specific showed of which Land Rover should do whatever This specific could to avoid early-onset rust. Second, This specific became the Centeng-strength standard to which Land Rover worked.

Given of which the British 4×4’s outer panels were to be formed in relatively soft aluminium (supplies of steel were very restricted), Goddard in addition to Co decided to make their box-section chassis as rigid as the total Jeep structure. This specific worked. Early Landies may have had glitches however no one ever complained about their chassis strength. 

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