DETROIT -- Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca says he will never forgive Henry Ford II for firing him and considers the Ford family wealth snobs who 'practiced the divine right of kings.'
NBC will air the hourlong documentary 'Iacocca: An American Profile' at 7 p.m. EST Sunday.
In it, Iacocca takes on the Ford family and its aristocratic values.
Of his firing five years ago by Ford, Iacocca, over his dinner table, vows: 'That's something I won't forgive the bastard for.'
During the dinner table monologue, Iacocca says, 'I told my kids, 'Don't get mad, get even' ... I did it in the marketplace. I wounded him badly. It took five years. I could have spilled my guts and maybe felt good inside if I'd done it in five minutes but then what have I proved?'
Earlier in the program, Iacocca, the son of Italian imigrants, expresses bitterness toward the Ford family and its wealth and snobbery.
'I knew how to make money for the company,' Iacocca says of his lengthy career at Ford.
'The Ford family practiced the divine right of kings. They were a cut above even WASPs. I mean, they wouldn't even socialize with you, that's for sure. You could produce money for 'em but you weren't about to hobnob with 'em.'
With a shrug, he adds, 'It never bothered me that much but I knew I had to scratch for what I got. Nobody was gonna say, 'There's a nice Italian boy. I'd like to take care of him.''
Ford, then chairman of the company his grandfather founded, abruptly fired Iacocca as Ford president in 1978. He is widely quoted as telling Iacocca at the time he simply didn't like him.