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Ford Concepts Bring Big Bucks At Charity Auction

DEARBORN, Mich., June 16, 2002 – The Ford Motor Company concept and memorabilia collection brought in $4,365,968 at auction Sunday, as the company marked its 99th anniversary. Net proceeds from the sale will support a variety of Ford Motor Company Fund charities.

"We’re delighted," says J Mays, the company’s vice president of Design. "Not only have these collectors dug deep into their pocketbooks 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 that would happen. In part, that’s 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, Mich. 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 drive 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 Ghia studios 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."


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

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