DEARBORN - Michigan 18 June, 2002 - A variety of Ford Motor Company Fund charities in the United States will benefit from the net proceeds from a unique auction of some of Ford Motor Company's most famous concept cars which took place at Ford's home in Dearborn, Michigan on Sunday, 16 June. In total, the Ford Motor Company concept and memorabilia collection brought in $4,365,968 (around £2,950,000), as the company marked its 99th anniversary.

"We're delighted," says J Mays, the company's vice president of Design. "Not only have these collectors dug deep to help charity, many of them have said they plan to update or restore these concepts and give them a 'second life' by showing them at concours, museums and other auto shows."

Mays and others hoped this would be the result of the auction of some of the best-known concept vehicles in the automotive world. In part, this belief is what drove the world's second-largest automaker to team up with Christie's International Motor Cars and make available an unprecedented collection of 51 concept properties.

"On the company's 99th anniversary, it seemed only fitting that we would celebrate our heritage in a unique way - one that involved taking a look back at some of the most striking designs and, really, pieces of art in our automotive collection," Mays says. "We're pleased that these concepts have gone to people who love them as much as we do and won't fade into oblivion in dusty warehouses - or meet the crusher - as many concepts do."

More than 100 bidders participated in the auction either by phone or in person at the company's Product Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan last Sunday. Consistent with Christie's privacy policy protecting collectors, a list of successful bidders and auction attendees will not be released.

The Ford Motor Company concepts were created in design studios in North America and Europe during the past four decades. Some inspired production models. Others remain one-of-a-kind prototypes.

The 1992 Ghia Focus concept brought in the greatest amount at $1,107,500. The least expensive item in the collection was a $470 coffee table book signed by some of the creators of the all-new Ford Thunderbird. The full collection was sold in less than three hours.

"The tremendously successful results of today's sale are a testament to the astounding desire of bidders worldwide to own a piece of Ford Motor Company's history," said Miles Morris, Head of Christie's International Motor Cars. "The fierce competition that drove the price of the Ghia Focus concept to more than $1 million was incredibly thrilling. Equally astounding was the astonishing price for the Mercury MC4 concept, which sold for $645,500 and the 1992 Mustang Mach III concept, which shattered pre-sale expectations at $491,500."

The concept collection included everything from the wildly futuristic 1996 Synergy and sports car models, such as the 1992 Mach III Mustang, to the luxurious Lagonda Vignale from 1993 and distinctively styled Selene II and IXG Dragster created at the Ghia studios in Turin in the 1960s. The memorabilia collection ranged from books and car models to concept sketches and Model A cufflinks.

"Some people were surprised when we announced this first-ever event," says Mays. "But, judging from the response, this auction has been a pleasant surprise for true automotive enthusiasts who are as excited to celebrate Ford Motor Company's heritage as we are."

Top 10 Ford Motor Company Concepts Auctioned Sunday

Note: All prices include buyer's premium

1992 Ghia Focus concept $1,107,500
1997 Mercury MC4 concept $645,500
1992 Mustang Mach III concept $491,500
1993 Lagonda Vignale concept $403,500
1999 Ford Thunderbird concept $103,400
1996 Ford Indigo concept with interior $88,125
1962 Ghia Selene II concept $88,125
2000 Ford Desert Excursion concept $70,500
1988 Ford Splash concept $70,500
2000 Ford Mustang Bullitt concept $68,150

Published : 18/06/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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