When the folks at Ford Motor Co. offered up a conversation with Edsel Ford II for ESPN.com, I jumped at the chance.
Sure, my father and grandfather were General Motors guys and I married the daughter of a lifelong Chrysler employee, but the idea of a sit-down chat with the great-grandson of Henry Ford, the man who invented the modern automobile industry, was a thrill. No matter where your allegiance as a race fan or consumer may lie, talking with a Ford is like talking to a Mr. Coca-Cola or Mrs. McDonald's -- a living, breathing piece of American culture.
After all, it was Edsel's father, former company president/chairman Henry Ford II, who reportedly used to end boardroom arguments by saying, "My name is on the building."
But here's the thing about sitting down with Edsel Ford II. If you didn't know his name, you'd never know his background. You'd never know he was a graduate of Harvard Business School or the former head of Ford Australia or the former COO of Ford Motor Credit, former VP of Ford Motor Co. or a current member of Ford's board of directors.
You'd just think he was a car guy. A race fan.