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It's a common quote to attribute to him. Did he ever actually say/write it?

A customer can have a car painted any color he wants as long as it’s black.

1 Answer 1

15

Yes.

In My Life and Work (1922) Ford wrote:

Therefore in 1909 I announced one morning, without any previous warning, that in the future we were going to build only one model, that that model was going to be Model "T", 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".

I cannot say that any one agreed with me. The selling people could not of course see the advantages that a single model would bring about in production.

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  • As pointed out here, this should be a somewhat qualified "Yes". In the sense that he wrote it in 1922, it's true; that he said it in 1909 is unlikely, since until 1914 Model T's were not black; that he said it at all, prior to 1922, there seems to be little evidence outside his own claim.
    – IMSoP
    Apr 23, 2023 at 20:08
  • @IMSoP I don’t see anything about 1909 in the question. All is see is did he “ever” say it.
    – DavePhD
    Apr 23, 2023 at 21:44
  • Sure, that's why I suggested that it be "somewhat qualified". The bald "yes" could be interpreted as endorsing his claim to have said it in 1909, rather than the rather subtle argument that in writing that he said it, he therefore wrote it. (Would him writing that someone else said it also count as him writing it? What if he wrote it into the dialogue of a fictionalised version of himself?)
    – IMSoP
    Apr 23, 2023 at 22:05

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