The True Story of Ford vs. Ferrari

ford vs. ferrari


Henry Ford II, the eldest son of Edsel Ford and eldest grandson of Henry Ford, was convinced by top executives that the way out of their sales slide was a sleek sports car. Ford didn’t have any available at the time, and generated the idea of purchasing Ferrari – which was then a cash-strapped company known primarily for race cars. Enzo Ferrari was initially pleased with their deal – in which Ford would pay $10 million for the company and all assets.

However, the former race car driver was unwilling to budge on a clause in the contract that granted Ford full control over the Ferrari motorsports program. Insults were hurled – with Ferrari calling Ford an “ugly” company and apparently telling Henry II that he could not compare to his grandfather – before Ferrari walked away from the deal and sold a majority stake in Ferrari to Fiat. As you can imagine, Henry II was not pleased.