Paying attention, Elon?
There aren't many industries where CEOs could be considered "cool." They can be important, certainly, smart, rich and successful. But the auto industry seems to offer a particular advantage in that coolness factor. At the top of that ladder, Toyota's head honcho and noted enthusiast Akio Toyoda takes up a spot. But right next to him has to be Ford's Jim Farley.
Besides being a generally affable guy, he's not scared to make some headlines when necessary and he's done an admirable job since he took over at the Blue Oval in October of 2020. He's not fully responsible for the Mustang Mach-E, but he helped it along considerably. Did we mention he's a trophy-winning race driver?
Yes, when Farley's not talking about new Mustangs or Ford becoming the second biggest seller of EVs, he's racing in classic and vintage races. We've seen him at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion during Pebble Beach week, and last weekend he was busy winning the Historic Sports Car Racing Classic 12 Hours of Sebring with codriver Billy Johnson.
Farley races a Cosworth Ford-powered Lola T298 and was duking it out with a Chevron B26 most of the race. It was driven by Phil Reilly "and Co.," who crashed out late in the race, which doesn't actually run for 12 hours straight like the IMSA race.
The competitors break into four run groups, usually from the same time period, and each get four, 42-minute race segments over two days. Farley started the final race behind but cleared the Chevron and took home a trophy and a watch.
Akio Toyoda races for real, too. He tested the original Camry NASCAR vehicle, and he's put in many hours in the Supra, including in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. Is it crazy for us to want the two to meet, and maybe put some lap times down at a familiar track? It's not. Toyoda already had short bromance with Dr. Ulrich Bez when he was the CEO of Aston Martin.