In February 1975, police stopped a Ford Granada driving the wrong way on a street in Santa Barbara, California. Inside were Henry Ford II, the car company’s chairman and grandson of founder Henry Ford, and Kathleen DuRoss, a single mother from Detroit and 25 years Ford’s junior. At the time, Ford was married to his second wife, jetsetting socialite Cristina Vettore Austin Ford.
The drunk driving stop became international news, and, days later, a Detroit reporter asked Ford what he was doing in California with Kathleen DuRoss. Ford simply said, “I haven’t anything to explain. Never complain, never explain.” (Because it was 1975, before drunk driving laws were stiffened, Ford merely paid a fine.) Ford eventually left his second wife and he and DuRoss were married in 1980. She called him “Two Two,” a play on his nickname of “Hank the Deuce,” but she didn’t much care for his even goofier nickname for her, “Giggles.”
Ford died in 1987, leaving a trust of $350 million, about $837 million in today’s dollars. The staggering fortune provided DuRoss Ford a generous annual allowance of $10.5 million a year, plus an international property portfolio that included a seven-bedroom waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., which recently sold for $55.15 million, a 50-acre country estate in England, Turville Grange, which dates to the late 18th century and was formerly owned by American socialite Lee Radziwill and her Polish nobleman husband Prince Stanislaw Radziwell, and a mansion-sized London flat, which has recently popped up for sale for £23 million, about US$31 million at today’s exchange rate.
The two-floor flat is represented through Beauchamp Estates, which, by the way, in England is pronounced “Beecham.”