Ford CEO Says He Mortgaged His House To Buy A Vintage Sports Car

Image: Jim Farley/Ford
Image: Jim Farley/Ford

Ford CEO Jim Farley is a genuine car fanatic, which is something of a rarity among car company c-suite execs. It’s about more than just the numbers with this guy, because he understands where enthusiasts are coming from. He gets that the financial decisions we make as car enthusiasts aren’t always advisable, because he’s made those same decisions in his own life. Like mortgaging his house to buy a barn-find Shelby Cobra for $100,000. This was, of course, in his pre-CEO days, before he was bringing home a $26.5 million compensation package.

Farley was recently a guest on the Smoking Tire podcast, making time in his schedule to guest on Matt Farah’s popular show. The blue oval CEO got his start in the car industry as a marketing guy, so he presumably understands the value to his brand in being on the show. Honestly, watching the interview made me like him more, and it made him a more approachable entity, so the effort was a success. Maybe I’m being too cynical.

There’s more to this interview than just the bit about buying his first Cobra, and I recommend watching the whole thing. But that’s the part that stuck out to me the most. He’s just as dumb about cars as I am, he just like me, fr. Putting your financial future on the line to buy a vintage sports car is maybe the worst thing you can do with your money. In Farley’s case it worked out, as that $100,000 investment a couple of decades ago is now worth seven figures, but it’s just so difficult to predict the car market. Very few people in his position would have ever guessed a Cobra would be a multi-million dollar car.


It probably isn’t the smartest thing in the world to get a HELOC to buy an early NSX or whatever, but you only live once. We’re car enthusiasts, of course we make stupid financial decisions. It worked for Farley, maybe it’ll work for you.

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