Scottsdale, AZ. October 11, 2007– The 1963 Ford Thunderbird “Italien” concept car will be sold at No Reserve during the 37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event on Jan. 12-20, 2008, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oozing with European panache from the aerodynamic roof line to the
front and rear leather bucket seats, this one-off concept was an extreme departure from the traditional classics rolling out of Detroit in the early 1960s. Hailed as “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Events™,” the Scottsdale auction will feature 1000 of the world’s finest collector
vehicles and lavish lifestyle events. As always, Speed Channel will broadcast live-coverage of all six auction days.
“It’s rare for such a classic concept to be offered at auction,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman/CEO of
the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. “The ‘Italien’ features design cues that were virtually nonexistent in the United States during its time of production. This could be the most sought after and significant Thunderbird to ever cross the block at Barrett-Jackson.”
The “Italien” was designed and built by Vince Gardner at the Dearborn Steel Tubing Company, an outsourcing contractor responsible for various non-assembly line Ford concepts, including the 1964 Ford Thunderbolt and Mercury Super Cyclone. It was showcased in Ford’s 1962-63 “Custom
Car Caravan,” numerous Autoramas across the country and in the 1964 New York World Fair’s “Cavalcade of Custom Cars.”
“The ‘Italien’ was born during an exciting period in automotive history,” added Steve Davis,president of Barrett-Jackson. “In the ‘50s and early ‘60s, concept cars were showcased across the world in parade-like settings. This rare Thunderbird was a great attraction at many famous shows, and we plan to recreate that same exciting atmosphere in Scottsdale. When it hits the block in January, it will be the first documented public appearance since its showing at the World’s Fair in 1964.”
While most Ford concept cars were destroyed after their world tours, the “Italien” was rescued by actor Dale Robertson of TV’s “Tales of Wells Fargo,” “Wagon Train” and “JJ Starbuck.” Tom Maruska purchased it from noted Ford collector Don Chambers in January 2006, and immediately
began its restoration to original specifications.