The Love of Cars: Henry Ford III and Pixar’s Jay Ward

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The Love of Cars takes a turn away from the racetrack and towards the executive wing in its latest episode, but that doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned high-speed topics. Hosts Tommy Kendall and Justin Bell have two guests this week that are on opposite ends of the automotive industry.

The first is Henry Ford III, who joins via video from his Ford Expedition because his home loses power right when the episode went live. Both Kendall and Bell can only laugh, as this week’s episode was all prepped to go live two days prior, only to lose both power and internet in the midst of them beginning the broadcast. Luckily, the issues are ironed out and the broadcast goes off flawlessly this time.

The discussion between Bell and Ford is a fascinating one, as both of them grew up with an interesting perspective. Each was born into a lifestyle that he wasn’t even aware was out of the ordinary. Bell learns that not everyone was raised in the motor coach of a race car driver, and Ford gets the reality check that the vast majority of folks wear the Ford name as a statement of brand loyalty—not as a monogram.

The second guest doesn’t hail from the manufacturing side of the industry—unless you consider the creation of imaginary cars with personalities to be a sort of automotive production. Jay Ward is the creative director at Pixar and is best known for the animated film Cars. Ward says that, though an enthralling film is always his goal, his job doesn’t stop when the movie hits the screens; after its debut, Ward is in charge of curating the various ways that people continue to interact with the film and its characters outside the theatre.

The central theme of this episode isn’t racing or even car enthusiasm—it’s great stories. Whether that narrative involves artfully hiding the production of the 2005 Ford GT or creating new tales to capture the imagination of kids of all ages, stories shared and experienced tie together the automotive community, professional and amateur alike.

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