I was sent these quotes. They should be taken with a grain of salt, but they still make fun reading.
“Aerodynamics,” scoffed Enzo Ferrari, “are for people who can’t build engines.” It’s a good thing Enzo is no longer around!
“‘I am prepared to sell you one of my Aston Martins at cost,” company owner David Brown told a regular customer who was trying to screw down a special deal, “but are you really happy to pay so much more than the normal price?”
Ettore Bugatti is often quoted as describing Bentleys as “the fastest lorries in the world.” He also defended the woeful brakes of his own race cars, saying, “My cars are designed to go, not to stop.”
This next one is my favorite, and I believe it is true. “You can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear but you can make a mighty fast pig.” Attributed to Carroll Shelby, who made some amazingly fast pigs.
Sir Alec Issigonis (famous as the designer of the Mini and definitely not a committee man) is cited by some as originating the phrase, “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.”
Henry Ford supposedly stated that customers could have any color they wanted, as long as it was black. However, 11CV and 15 CV Citroens were also only available in black, but that was 1945-1952. Ford’s autobiography, My Life and Work, states “In 1909, I announced one morning, without any previous warning, that in the future we were going to build only one model, that the model was going to be ‘Model T’ and that the chassis would be exactly the same for all cars and I remarked: any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”
In 1953, General Motors boss Charles E. Wilson was offered the position of Secretary of Defense. When asked if this represented a conflict of interest, he told a congressional committee, “What is good for the country is good for General Motors and vice versa.” That one seems to be genuine!
Even Ernest Hemingway gets into automotive history by saying, “There are only three real sports: auto racing, mountaineering and bullfighting. The rest are games.” (I’m with you, Ernie!)
George Best supposedly said, “I spent 90 percent of my money on women, drink and fast cars … the rest I wasted.” The automotive equivalent, ascribed to Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, is, “If I could get back all the money I’ve ever spent on cars, I’d spend it on cars!”