It sounds irreligious, but I’ve never been able to relate to Ferraris. Give me a quirky English rig with an interesting pedigree and a shape you don’t see every day. There’s something about the smell of leather, the way the rain beads on the bonnet, that reminds you of the day when almost anybody in England could build a sports car, and most of them did. A worker in Coventry once said to me about the Triumph TR6: "It rides hard and smells of oil, mate. They just don't make cars like that any more!"
"We built the Playboy just for the fun of doing it. Stepped on it, and the dogs barked and the chickens ran.... The letters poured in. A girl in Ohio wrote: 'I don’t want a position with your Company. I just want to meet the man who wrote that advertisement. I am 23, blonde, weight 130. My wings are spread. Just say the world and I’ll fly to you.' I think the best things are written like that. You write as you feel…. Stephen Foster asked his brother to name a southern river to use in his song…rejected “Peedee” for the name “Suwanee.” Brother knew his geography, Stephen knew rhythm.... With the right copy you can get a smile out of the Sphinx."
Detroit spent millions trying to understand what buyers wanted—and acted accordingly. It wasn’t a case of “Grosse Pointe myopians” dictating their preferences. Almost every failure—from the Henry J to the Edsel to the longer-wider-faster American Motors mid-60s models—was an example of product planners misreading market forces. Every notable success, from the early Rambler to the ponycar to the musclecar, was an example of getting it right. For whatever they built (and they built some pretty bad cars): Don’t blame Detroit. Blame us.