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Mays We Introduce You to J?
In case you haven’t heard the news, J Mays is retiring from Ford. As group vice president and chief creative officer of Blue Oval design he’s kind of a big deal. But that’s not the extent of his achievements. Mays’ automotive career spans more than three decades with tenure at companies far beyond the one headquartered Dearborn, Mich.
He’s played pivotal roles in countless iconic designs, whether as the man pushing pencils, the person sculpting clay or the leadership guiding an entire department. Styling is a team effort; it’s hard to pin any one job on a single person. Really it’s the product of a thousand minds and twice as many hands.
Whether he was a stylist in the trenches or a manager in the corner office here are the Top 10 Vehicle Designs J Mays has played a roll in.
However, if you have the means, you can possibly own two concept cars shown by Ford in the last decade. We are talking about the 2001 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster Concept and the 2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept.
Both these vehicles will be presented by RM Auctions at their upcoming event held in Monterey, CA. on August 19th.
Proceeds from the sale will go towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a charity Ford has supported over the years.
As for the cars, while the Thunderbird Sports Roadster concept is a functioning vehicle, the Shelby GR-1 is just a rolling platform. While the GR-1 cannot be driven, we think its still better than buying an ancient oil painting.
RM Auctions predicts the Thunderbird Sports Roadster concept will fetch between $125,000 – $175,000, while the beautiful Shelby GR-1 will get between $150,000 – $200,000.
This auction is part of the annual Pebble Beach Concours event which attracts the worlds rarest cars and also some of the world’s wealthiest people. It truly is an auto show like no other.
GALLERY: Shelby GR-1 Concept
[Source: Art Daily]
If you’re a child of the ’80s then you probably lusted after the Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe at some point. This 9th-generation model of the Thunderbird was the only one to ever be offered with a turbo-charged motor and was even offered with a manual gearbox.
While most American coupe’s from that era sported a V6 or a V8 motor, the Thunderbird came with a 190-hp, 4-cylinder, turbo charged motor, which was well ahead of its time. While a V6 was also offered, it’s the Turbo Coupe model that collectors look for these days, and one such car just went on sale at the Auctions America event on May 14th.
This was not any ordinary old Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, however; this rare 5-speed manual version was once owned by John F. Kennedy Jr. Looking at the pictures, this example seems to have been in a time warp, looking exceptionally clean and fresh for a car of this era.
Despite its American royalty connection, the car was sold for just $4,900. That is a great deal for a good, clean example, and the celebrity connection makes it all the more desirable. The new owner got one amazing deal.
[Source: Auctions America]
For a long time, Ford enthusiasts looking to restore older models often had their work cut out for them. Generally the manufacturer would discontinue its inventory of OE replacement parts as the vehicle reached its 10th birthday. However, in the last decade, fueled by the popularity in restoring and enjoying vehicles such as classic Mustangs, that situation is fast becoming a distant memory. Ford has been steadily adding more and more reproduction and restoration parts for older vehicles and today, the restoration parts catalog lists more than 9,000 items for various classic Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. Among the most exciting for enthusiasts are once hard to find trim and interior components, along with complete reproduction body shells for 1967, ’68, ’69, and ’70 Mustang Fastback/Sportsroof models, plus replacement sheetmetal components such as complete fenders, floor pans, trunk panels, hoods. Shortly the company will be adding reproduction bodies for first generation (1966-77) Broncos, items that have been highly anticipated among classic off-roading enthusiasts.
According to Dennis Mondrach, Restoration Licensing Manager, Ford Component Sales “you can literally build a 1967 Mustang using officially licensed Ford Restoration parts, right from your computer, without ever having to visit a wrecking yard.”
Add the fact that Ford Racing has recently introduce a line of affordable, tractable crate engines, designed for many vehicles from the 1950s through the 1980s, the possibilities today are almost endless. And it looks like that in the future, things will only get better for those looking to restore a classic Ford vehicle, based on the processes now in place.
“When Ford stops making a part and retires the tooling, that tooling is then offered to FCS. Based on the type of component and whether we think it would be of interest to the vintage vehicle market, we then offer it to one of our 75 licensed manufacturers and they put the tooling back into service,” Mondrach says.
A strict licensing process is designed to ensure that any reproduction parts bearing official Ford trademarks meet the required quality standards and authenticity (in the past, restorers often had to content with poorly fitting components that frequently required modification). All Ford Restoration parts licensees have to complete a quality assurance survey and meet all federal and state safety regulations, plus in order to maintain quality, master samples of each restoration part are retained after approval has been granted and used as quality benchmarks for future production runs. And although Mustangs and Ford trucks are among the most popular candidates, the restoration program offers stuff designed for everything from Model Ts up to Ford vehicles built a decade ago. “We license original Model A and T parts and [for these cars] can even offer replacement hand made brass radiators,” states Mondrach.
Ford’s restoration parts program has been very well received in the enthusiast community and both the Mustang Club of America and the Thunderbird Club of America have awarded FCS special recognition for providing reproduction parts that are almost identical to the originals. High praise indeed.
[Source: Ford Restoration Parts]
It’s probably hard to believe for some, but Ford‘s ‘other’ legendary nameplate, Thunderbird, celebrates it 55th anniversary this year. When it was first introduced, the two-seat, personal luxury car was a smash hit and arguably saved Chevy’s Corvette from distinction. Although the T-Bird morphed into a four-seater for 1958 and became increasingly larger and more ostentatious through the 1960s and early 1970s, it always sold respectably.
The T-bird was downsized in the late 1970s, selling in record numbers – a few years later it was re-defined as a truly modern GT, winning approval from the press and public alike. Although discontinued in 1997, the car was re-born as a modern interpretation of the original two-seater for a brief period this past decade. The name is currently in limbo once again, but while the T-bird might not register much with mainstream car shoppers today, as far as classic auto enthusiasts are concerned, it remains a firm favorite.
In honor of the car’s 55th birthday, a special show will be held at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on June 26th. Already, T-birds from 25 different states and Canada have registered for the event, which will include breakfast at the Ford Estate, a drive on the Ford test track, a display in front of the Ford Motor Company Headquarters and a drive to Greenfield Village and dinner at the pavilion. The event will be hosted by the Water Wonderland Thunderbird Club, the American Road Thunderbird Club and the Thunderbirdnest.com. If you have even the slightest bit of interest in these cars, you owe it yourself to attend this shindig. For information call Show Chairman Paul Nichols at 313-561-8895 or visit www.tbird55.com.
[Source: Old Cars Weekly]
2003 Mustang GT Coupe and Convertible Concept Cars Also Hit the Block
The upcoming Palm-Beach Barrett-Jackson auction will once again feature a a few quality collectibles from the Ford Motor Company, including a 2010 Ford Shelby GT500, as well as the 2003 Mustang GT Coupe and Convertible Concept cars. The proceeds from the sales of all three cars at the annual Palm-Beach auction will be donated to two charities with sale of the Shelby GT500 helping The Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation and the sale of the concept cars helping the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“During the last three years, Ford and Barrett-Jackson have raised more than $2 million for charity through the auction of Ford vehicles,” noted Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company’s president, The Americas. “Ford and Barrett-Jackson will continue this important tradition at this year’s Palm Beach auction. The winning bidders for these fantastic Mustangs will be contributing to worthy causes while purchasing automotive history.”
The 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 will be auctioned off in Kona Blue with white stripes, as chosen by Carroll Shelby.
As for the other two models, the Redline Red Metallic Ford Mustang GT Convertible Concept is a real eye-catcher with 20-inch wheels and Brembo brakes. It also features red and charcoal leather with 4-point racing harnesses, watch-style instruments and a billet-aluminum shifter for the 5-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle, it should be noted, is actually based on the Ford Thunderbird rear-wheel drive architecture.
The final model is the Tungsten Silver Ford Mustang GT Coupe Concept, with a glass roof and red and black leather inside. Under the hood is a 400hp superchared 4.6-liter V8.
The Palm Beach Barrett-Jackson auction takes place from April 9th to 11th.
GALLERY: 2003 Mustang Coupe & Convertible Concept Cars
More on Mustangs up to Auction at Palm-Beach the after the jump: