Monday, September 03, 2007

Yes. No. No, yes, really. No, no really.

I listened to this story on my way into work today. I had never even heard of the Ford Edsel or its purportedly ignominous fate. Interesting tale.

But even more to my interest was the awkwardness of the interview between Alex Chadwick and Roy Brown Jr., the car's chief designer. Chadwick starts out averring that the Edsel is "remembered as a great failure." And once he gets Brown on the line, he states firmly, "really, the car never caught on with Americans."

But Brown counters, "I don't think there was any design problem" and "after 50 years it still has high road recognition," which he says was the goal of the project. "It sure has held on," says Brown.

Chadwick continues down his path: "this thing is a dud," followed quickly by "I don't want to hurt your feelings."

To which Brown retorts, almost combatively, "You couldn't hurt my feelings; I'm proud of the car. [...] I think it's the most succesful failure that business has ever had."

Towards the end, the tone lightens, as Chadwick offers awkward congratulations to Brown for the car's design. But wow, I was amazed that the story went to air this way. After that interview, I'd think they'd recast it in a sort of "spectacular failure or unlauded success?" kind of light. Or even follow up on the suggestion that in-house politics were really to blame for the market's torporific reaction to the car.

Good for Brown for sticking up for himself. It really is a unique design. I'd drive an Edsel proudly. (Donations accepted.)

5 Comments:

Blogger The Modesto Kid said...

Really -- you had never heard of the Edsel? Weird -- I remember that as one of the most common crossword-puzzle clues. "Ford's faux pas" -> "E D S E L".

3/9/07 7:26 PM  
Blogger Stanley said...

Hmph. I definitely would've answered that cross word clue "P I N T O".

Shows what I know.

3/9/07 8:07 PM  
Blogger The Modesto Kid said...

Man, don't knock the Pinto -- that was a fucking great car. Some of my favorite automotive memories involve my friend Mike's Pinto.

3/9/07 8:57 PM  
Blogger The Modesto Kid said...

(The Ford Fiesta on the other hand...)

3/9/07 8:58 PM  
Blogger Stanley said...

Chav TMK: "Dude, Mike, this pinto is blowin' up, yo."

3/9/07 9:29 PM  

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