Employees Share Prized Vehicles, Get Inspiration for Future Ford Products at Cars and Coffee

Oct 27, 2023

A diesel-powered 1997 Ford F-350 might not be the obvious choice for someone who works in electrification and is typically interested in sports cars, but Aleyna Kapur fell in love with the truck.

“I love the retro history of the F-Series and this one, specifically the body style and the pedigree of the engine, were something that I was looking for,” said Kapur, who works in electric vehicle program management. “I always wanted to have a truck like this.”

Kapur was one of more than a dozen employees who showed off their prized rides at a recent cars and coffee gathering outside of Building 2. She added that she likes how the truck makes her feel while she’s driving and that she draws inspiration from it as she works on the next generation of Ford’s electric vehicles.  

“When you have a product that has so much passion behind it and such a following, that’s definitely something I think about while we’re shifting to electrification,” she said. “I want people 20 to 30 years from now to feel the same way that I feel about this truck. Whatever passion or excitement we can inject into our current products that makes people feel the way I feel about this truck, that’s definitely what I want to bring to the table.” 

I want people 20 to 30 years from now to feel the same way that I feel about this truck.
Aleyna Kapur
electric vehicle program management

The event began last year following a milestone release for the 6.7-liter diesel calibration team, according to event co-organizer A.J. Milner.

“It was a bit of a sprint to the finish and once we were all done, we thought we should all celebrate,” he said. “Working at an automaker, people are into the automotive industry, and they like to have their project cars. … Just looking through the parking lot, you see enthusiast vehicles and it makes you think we should all meet up together as a group-building activity.”

Robert Iorio, chief engineer, Electric Truck Platform, brought his 1960 F-250 to the show. He purchased the four-wheel-drive “farm truck” in 2012 and spent five years restoring it. After a failed attempt at farming, the truck’s original owner equipped it with a rig and a lift used to service windmill water pumps. Iorio contacted the man’s family after discovering old registration paperwork underneath the seat. 

“It was a very successful business,” Iorio said, adding that he takes a great sense of pride in working for the company that made that family’s business possible. "It's exciting to think about all the stories that will come after this, of all the other people who will buy Ford trucks to start businesses that help them feed their families. Then those families will have their own Ford truck stories to tell."

The phased restoration, during which Iorio personally redid the truck’s entire underbody and cab interior, also gave him insight into the legacy of the Ford employees who had a hand in creating the truck, and the era in which it was conceived, reflected in badging that includes rockets and a lightning bolt.

“In electrification, we’re starting the foundation of the next set of engineers who will start a new legacy,” he said. 

Ryan McGee, director of product management, electrification, software updates and subscriptions, was a fan of Iorio’s pickup. McGee brought his 1956 Triumph TR3, a British sports car, to the event. The car was rebuilt by his father-in-law, who bought it in 1974. McGee enjoys driving the car, even with the top down on a chilly October morning.

“It’s family history and it’s happiness,” he said. “It puts a smile on my face every time I take it out. It’s a lot of fun.”

McGee, who typically drives a Mustang Mach-E or an F-150 Lightning, enjoyed sharing his classic car with co-workers and doing something outside the realm of his everyday work. 

“It’s the opposite of what I work on. It’s a different world,” he said.