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Old June 10th, 2002, 08:52 AM   #1
Magic Mtn Dan
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51 Rare Concept Vehicles on the Auction Block June 16th

A rare chance to buy a “fantasy in chrome” — or fiberglass.
by Paul A. Eisenstein 6/10/2002

Automotive aficionados will get a rare opportunity to purchase a “fantasy in chrome,” when Ford Motor Co. puts 51 rare concept vehicles on the auction block on June 16th.

The first-of-its-kind auction, which Ford hopes will generate more than $1 million for charity, will let fans purchase such unique show cars as the Mustang III sports car, and a prototype for the popular new Thunderbird roadster.

Concept cars have been around since the earliest days of the auto industry. Until recently, they’ve been little more than exercises in excess, excuses for stylists stretching their imaginations beyond the narrow confines of the sedans and sport-utes rolling off industry assembly lines. That prompted former Ford design director Jack Telnack to once label the genre “fantasies in chrome.” But in recent years, manufacturers like Ford have used such prototypes to signal design and technology trends—and then gauge consumer reaction.

A typical show car will make its debut at one of the major auto shows in the U.S. or abroad, then be shuttled to other shows over the next two to three years. At that point, it might gets crushed, be donated to a museum, or more likely get retired to a musty warehouse, "where it will sit out of site, out of mind," says Ford design director J Mays.

The automaker’s warehouses are overflowing, and Ford’s preferred museums don’t currently have the display space—or interest in taking more. So the company decided to sell off a select group of concept vehicles, some dating back as far as the 1960s. "By putting these cars in the hands of the public who loves them," says Mays, "they'll find a second life."

First for everything, proven

“This is a first, no doubt about it,” proclaims Miles Morris, head of collector car operations for Christie’s. The auction house will be overseeing the mid-June event, which will take place on the grounds of Ford’s Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich., where many of the vehicles were originally conceived. “In the past, one or two other (concept cars) have escaped, maybe through a back door, maybe a few legitimately. But this is the first time in modern times one of the manufacturers has decided to sell some.”

The decision has taken more than a few automotive observers by surprise and has generated a few protests, according to officials at both Christie’s and Ford. But there’s been far more interest from potential buyers, ranging from well-heeled collectors to small car clubs, as well as dealers who’d like something unique to display in their showrooms.

Since the vehicles are, in most cases, one-of-a-kind, Christie’s expects the bidding could be quite competitive and is conservatively estimating the charity auction will raise between $1 million and $1.5 million. (These days, it can cost nearly that much to build some of the more sophisticated of these prototypes.)

The automaker declined to sell off a few of the more unique and historical concept vehicles. “We didn’t want to give away the crown jewels,” says Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake.

Even so, Morris insists he’s “delighted” with the selection and significance of those Christie’s did gain rights to. Some have never before been shown in the U.S., including several produced by the Ghia design studios in Turin, Italy, which produced many Ford prototypes in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Then there’s the Saleen 2, a concept developed by Steve Saleen, a California custom car “tuner” who has a long association with Ford. Morris describes the sports car as “futuristic, almost flying saucer-like.”

“Personally, I’m most surprised to be selling the Mustang Mach III,” Morris adds, referring to a study for a possible shift in design direction for Ford’s classic pony car. Like several other concepts going to auction, the Mach III is a so-called “runner,” and could actually be driven. Some of the show cars actually could hold their own on the road today, but others have just enough power to move on or off a show stand. And since none of the runners meets federal safety or emissions mandates, buyers will be required to sign waivers promising never to drive the vehicles—at least not on public roads.

The Thunderbird may be the best known of all the concepts offered through Christie’s. It’s actually one of several that let Ford test reaction to subtle design changes it made during the development of the reborn T-bird roadster.

As for Mays, his personal favorite is the Ford Focus concept. The automaker took a very different direction when it attached the Focus name to a production vehicle, so the concept "has very little to do with the DNA of the Ford brand. But it is such a fabulous piece of art."

The timing of the auction is not coincidental. It marks the 99th anniversary of the founding of Ford Motor Co. and begins a year of centennial celebrations, notes spokeswoman Flake.

While Morris says a few folks have been “aghast” that Ford is selling off a piece of its history, he expects the furor to die down quickly. If anything, he expects the June auction to make other manufacturers more comfortable with the idea of thinning their own herds.

“This,” he suggests, “could be the beginning of many more great concept auctions to come.”

Source: The Car Connection

This one is
Sale 1176, Lot 55
1962 Ghia Selene II "Dream Car" Concept
Estimate: $40,000-80,000

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Old June 10th, 2002, 09:02 AM   #2
Magic Mtn Dan
Posts: n/a
Here's a cool one, the Mustang Mach III Concept Car

Sale Title Unique Design Prototype and Concept Auto Show Models from
the Ford Motor Company Collection

Location Ford Product Development Center Sale Date Jun 16, 2002
Lot Number 56 Sale Number 1176
Estimate 100,000 - 200,000 U.S. dollars
Special Notice This lot has no reserve.

Jungle green pearl with grey leather interior

In early 1992, John Coletti (Chief Engineer, Special Vehicle Team Engineering) became aware that arch rivals from Chevrolet and Pontiac were going to introduce their new Camaro and Firebird during the January 1993 Los Angeles and Detroit Auto Shows. While Ford Motor Company and the Mustang team had been working on an all new design since 1990, code named SN-95, this was not due for release until 1994. A plan was hatched to steal GM's thunder by copying the success of the early Mustang show cars, which not only tantalized customers but frustrated competitors. Mustang I started the trend in 1962, with a fully operational race bred car that debuted on the Watkins Glen race track. This was followed by Mach I in 1967 and Mach II, the wild mid-engine concept car, in 1969. Coletti decided that for a Mach III concept, he should follow the trends set by the style of Mustang I and go for an open speedster and as before this model should be operational. Joe Laura, the Mach III concept project manager and Coletti immediately started work on the project.
Instantly recognizable as a Mustang, thoughtfully imbued with Mustang heritage, appropriately updated with future Mustang goodies, tastefully presented as a topless speedster, Mach III was a heck of a Mustang and an eye catching way to lead into the next generation which would be introduced in 1994.
The mechanical attributes were, perhaps, the easy part. Mach III was powered by the 4.6 liter double overhead camshaft V8 introduced in the 1993 Lincoln, a free-revving, lightweight, high efficiency engine no one doubted for a minute would soon find its way into the original pony car. Not to give anything away about future production, Ford elected to make Mach III a real powerhouse and under the direction of Advance Powertrain Engineering Chief Jim Gagliardi they supercharged this version. This was accomplished by fitting a Roots supercharger with liquid-air intercooler and dual exhausts to pump the modular V8 up to an attention-getting 450 horsepower, nearly 100 horsepower per liter. They backed it up with a 6-speed manual transmission. A little environmental sensitivity helps offset the rubber smoke that would be the natural result of all that power so Ford made Mach III fuel-friendly. A sensor in the fuel line detects the alcohol in the M85 alcohol-gasoline mix. The engine management computer uses that information to adjust the fuel-air mixture to regular power and emissions. The chassis is the Mustang production model's reliable and proven combination of independent front suspension and solid rear axle with 4-wheel disc brakes.
The Mach III concept's fiberglass composite body is as special as its powerplant. A true speedster, the Mach III concept has no provision for a top. The nose could be nothing but a Mustang, but with a large air intake under the small Mustang grille (identified by the traditional Mustang emblem) to feed 450hp worth of air to the engine and keep the radiator, taxed by both the engine's heat and the intercooler load, cool. A carbon fiber splitter defines the bottom of the intake. Ovoid transparent covers protecting the head and marker lamps are placed above brake cooling ducts. Two large ducts mark the back of the hood, their shape mimicked by the supports for the outside mirrors.
The windshield is low, with a body color frame that dips in the center where the integrated rear view mirror is placed. The windshield frame shape continues to the deck behind the seats which also is an active aerodynamic spoiler containing the center high mounted stoplight. The spoiler rises as the Mach III concept's speed increases. The rounded tail is flanked by three-bar silvered taillights that give a hint of the lights to come on the '94 Mustang. The dual outlet center-mounted exhaust pokes through an oval opening below the wraparound bumper. An aircraft-style fuel filler cap (leading to a racing fuel cell) is set flush into the rear quarter while the body sides have a prominent channel leading to a carbon fiber-pattern brake cooling duct inlet in the rear fender. Five-spoke chromed 19" alloy wheels wear P275/40R-19 front tires and big P305/35R-19s at the rear. In truth steel wheels were fitted to handle the awesome power and are cleverly disguised as alloys behind fiberglass covers which have been chromed.
The Mach III interior is done in rough finished heavy grey hides on fully adjustable and supportive competition-style seats. The driver grips a carbon fiber spoked leather rim Momo steering wheel. In addition to conventional seat adjustment the pedal cluster is moveable over a 3" range, giving enough flexibility in seat position and control reach to suit almost any driver. Driver and passenger have matching upholstered binnacles separated by a body color center stack and console with a round analog clock and timer pair above a round panel for the 1000 watt AM-FM-CD sound system. The driver's instruments have black graduations on plain white faces, giving quick readability that will be necessary as the tach spins across its range.
The Mustang Mach III concept was launched at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 1993. Just as John Coletti had envisaged, the public and press were captivated and it stole much of the attention within the same hall where Pontiac displayed their new Trans Am. Praise was universal and we are told that on at least one occasion the Mach III concept was loaned to a journalist for a magazine test which reputedly pitted the Mustang Mach III concept against a Dodge Viper with the Mach III showing the Viper the way home, however, at the time of cataloguing we have been unable to locate the article and confirm the validity of this story. So popular was the Mach III concept that several of the major toy model manufacturers shortly brought it out in scale.
Offered here, the Mustang Mach III concept is in excellent condition. Originally poppy red, it has been superbly repainted in jungle green pearl which exhibits a subtle color shift toward a yellow as light plays over the Mach III concept's contours. The paint is show quality however the rough finished leather seat coverings exhibit some water staining. Otherwise the interior shows scant evidence of wear or age. For show purposes the Mach III concept lights can be hooked up to an external AC power supply. Both the hood and trunk open electronically and reveal show quality finishes to the engine compartment and fuel cell/storage area. The Mach III concept honored the Mustang heritage, celebrated Mustang performance and suggested the future. This is an extraordinary chance to own a very special and unique part of the Mustang legend and is an automotive design package that we believe will send enthusiasts into sensory overload.

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Old June 10th, 2002, 09:08 AM   #3
Magic Mtn Dan
Posts: n/a
You can view the entire catalog here...

T-bird Concept

Click here to view the entire Christie's catalog of Ford Concept Vehicles
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