Did you know that the mastretta is an Italian sports car? I did a little research and discovered that the term is actually a shortened version of the word mortelle, which means small wheel. Originally, only known by its Italian name, the car was designed by Luciano Graziati and was originally intended as a racing car. The first one was launched at the Salon International de auto in Turin, Italy in 1960 and was called the Gallardo. Since then, many other countries have used the term mastretta and even United States, Canada, and Japan use it in their vehicles.
So, why did the Mastretta get a bad rap? Was it because the car was so small that it didn’t look like a sport car? I’m thinking not. I saw the Mexican ambassador to get out of the car once and he got all excited because his guest was standing beside him and it looked like the little car was just sitting there. In fact, he got so excited that he started waving and yelling at the driver, asking questions, and asking where he bought it. I don’t know about you, but that didn’t make me feel like an American in a sports car, even though that’s what I consider myself.
Now let me tell you the reason the little Mastretta sports car became a worldwide phenomenon. As the story goes, while traveling to South America on a business trip, an irritated Mexican ambassador confronted the president of Ford Motor Company, William Ford, and accused him of not being “feckless” enough to visit Mexico. To me that’s an absolutely incredible statement and yet William Ford had made similar comments in the past; he said Mexico was like Switzerland or Liechtenstein and had a great quality of life, yet was a lot better than the United States.
The next day the top gear maker, Mastretta, made a private visit to Mexico and presented the president with a new version of the famous Mastretta, which is known as the Medusa. It is interesting to me that Mexico would allow the world top manufacturer of sports cars to come to their country and give a private tour, let alone give them a gift of a new model. Not only was the Mexican ambassador upset with Ford for not visiting Mexico earlier, but the whole episode seemed to call into question whether or not Mexico was turning into Latin America, and that could be a real problem if and when the drug trade starts pouring over the border. Nevertheless, it’s good to see Latin America starting to take notice of the United States and try to get more involved in our great game of baseball.
The private tour was indeed very impressive, and the newly designed Mexican sports car was quite impressive indeed. The ambassador was actually holding his own lunch, so to speak, while he was inspecting the newly designed vehicle. The representative of Mastretta, however, had nothing but a smile on his face while handing the president a gift. He also had the perfect manners to compliment the beautiful meal that the president had chosen and even offered to pay for it. I think that we all could learn a little bit about Mexican cuisine, if only we were so inclined.
President Bush continues to lead the charge in America, while the Mexican ambassador gives a sombrero and a Mexican coffee cup. Wow, that sure is a long way from “Fool me twice; shame on you!” In these tough economic times, it’s not easy to give a high-esteem award, but the Mexican car company did a great job and in my opinion, it was well worth the trip. Maybe next time we should have a little more respect for the little guy, as in this case. Please consider all this and think on it.