Jim Farley is out there living his best life and winning trophies for it.
To be at the top of your career certainly takes a lot of free time. And we're certain Ford CEO Jim Farley doesn't have a load of free time running one of the largest companies in the world. And while that job might be a challenge to keep Ford quality high in 2022, Farley is a gearhead and still finds time to follow his passion. So Farley what does any CEO do with millions of dollars would do, not buy a new Ford GT but go race a classic Ford GT40 at the Circuit de la Sarthe at the Le Mans Classic event.
Yet here we are trying to balance work and schedule maintenance on daily drivers but Farley opted to use his work-life balance in Q1 and Q2 to prepare for the Le Mans Classic. And here Farley could live out all of his Ford v. Ferrari movie fantasies and even reach the podium and get a trophy for the efforts.
Entered into the Fourth level class of 1962-1965 race cars Farley entered the race with the No. 64 Ford GT. This particular car is Farley's 1965 Ford GT40 in period-correct equipment that would have been as near to as equipped in the 1960s Le Mans competition as it gets. And true to the roots of Le Mans, the Classic event there was a running start, where drivers including the 60-year-old Farley seen on video jogging over to cram into the 40-inch tall racer and start the engine and release clutch before the door is even closed.
And then they are off the Ford, the Ferraris, Shelbys, and a host of drop-dead gorgeous European race cars from the golden era of Le Mans motorsport. Sure the Ford GT40 is worth north of $10 million these days but the super-expensive Ferrari 250 GTO shunt had us all gasping for air and clutching our wallets. Then the basically priceless 1-of-1 Ferrari 250GT V12 'Breadvan' race car lost control and got banged up pretty good.
The Ford GT of Farley however, remained unscathed throughout what he recounted on Twitter as, "three hours of flat-out racing against some of the best drivers I know." And to the credit of all drivers of these classic race cars, they were going hard out there. None of these racers are easy to drive with their lack of driving assists, safety gear, and running on ancient tire tech. As a result, millions of dollars of cars are sliding sideways at the apex and diving under braking.
For his efforts in the class, Farley battled hard to a podium finish and, as we understand, it isn't his first. To be an owner, and driver of a classic race car is challenging enough, but toss in the fact Jim Farley is far from retiring with all of his duties as CEO of Ford Motor Company (and on that Board at Harley-Davidson) bagging a second-place trophy is a win to us.