Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Legendary Ford long thought to have vanished is set to sell for eye-watering sum

0

CAR fanatics have the chance to snap up a unique classic motor that was custom made for a key industry figure – and was long thought to have vanished.

The one-of-a-kind 1976 Ford Escort MkII RS2000 in Roman Bronze with white and gold pinstripes, and a cream leather interior, is going up for auction next month in the UK and is expected to sell for an eye-watering sum.

The Roman Bronze 1976 Ford Escort was custom built and was believed to have vanished

7

The Roman Bronze 1976 Ford Escort was custom built and was believed to have vanishedCredit: Iconic Auctionieers
It features an automatic gearbox and right-hand drive, despite its original owner being an American

7

It features an automatic gearbox and right-hand drive, despite its original owner being an AmericanCredit: Iconic Auctionieers
The car features cream leather seats

7

The car features cream leather seatsCredit: Iconic Auctionieers
The odometer shows it has covered 44,495 miles in its 48-year history

7

The odometer shows it has covered 44,495 miles in its 48-year historyCredit: Iconic Auctionieers

It is the only version ever made in right hand drive and with an automatic gearbox.

But it’s the original owner that really sets it apart – Henry Ford II, grandson of the manufacturing giant’s founder Henry Ford.

The motor – registration ‘NUF 6I7P’ – was created so businessman Ford, nicknamed Hank the Deuce, could tour Europe in the 1970s.

His bronze Escort seemed to have disappeared for nearly two decades before being bought by a collector and is now expected to bring in a staggering sum on August 24.

Auction house Iconic Auctioneers predicts the car will rake in between £50,000 and £60,000.

It had previously been on display at Ford’s heritage centre for several years before going into hiding.

Ford II himself is credited with reviving the famous firm’s fortunes.

Oldest son of Edsel Ford and oldest grandson of Henry Ford, he served as president of Ford Motor Company from 1945 to 1960.

He was also CEO from 1947 to 1979 and chairman of the board of directors from 1960 to 1980.

Ford II oversaw FCM’s transition to a publicly traded company in 1956 and ushered in some of its most iconic models.

Ford CEO Jim Farley warns drivers ‘radical change’ coming & admits current EV batteries will ‘never be affordable’

Ill-prepared for business, he was released from Naval duty to take over as Ford Vice President aged just 26 when his father Edsel died suddenly from cancer in 1943.

The young man had a two-year crash course in industrial management before succeeding to the presidency in 1945.

Ford II took over an ailing company, with the elderly Henry Ford I having re-assumed presidency on Edsel’s death.

This coincided with the company swiftly declining, losing over $10 million (£7.78m) a month – the equivalent to $217m (£169m) today.

The US Government was even considering acquiring the company to ensure continued war production.

Despite the chaos he inherited, Henry II quickly looked to modernise the firm, including introducing the famous Mustang and Thunderbird models.

And by the mid-1950s he’d returned FMC to financial health and a bedrock of the modern auto-industrial age.

MOVE TO BRITAIN

Henry II decided to buy a property in Britain in 1974 due to his Presidency over Ford Europe meaning he spent large amounts of time here.

He would often borrow cars to make long trips to various factories in the UK and eventually asked friend and Vice President of Ford of Europe Walter Hayes to build him “something special”.

The then-new RS2000 had a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Pinto engine and a distinctive ‘droop snoot’ polyurethane nose – and appeared to fit the bill.

However, Ford II requested an automatic gearbox, despite being able to drive a manual, something that wasn’t available in the UK.

And so Hayes had his special vehicles team create a one-off Fast Ford for the boss.

It was registered to Henry Ford II for his sole use on June 8 1976.

The odometer shows it has covered 44,495 miles in its 48-year history.

“We are delighted to be able to offer this unique RS2000 that was once enjoyed by one of the most influential figures in the history of the automotive industry,” the auction house said, reports This is Money.

Gary Dunne from Iconic Auctions added: “To have a Ford that was the personal car of Henry Ford II while living in the UK is driving living history.

“This is also such a one off vehicle that it just adds to its potential collectability and value.”

The motor will be sold at the Silverstone Festival on August 24.

Henry Ford II is credited with reviving the fortunes of the ailing Ford Motor Company

7

Henry Ford II is credited with reviving the fortunes of the ailing Ford Motor CompanyCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Ford II gives the world its first look at the all-new Mustang on April 17, 1964

7

Ford II gives the world its first look at the all-new Mustang on April 17, 1964
Company founder Henry Ford - the grandfather of Ford II

7

Company founder Henry Ford – the grandfather of Ford IICredit: Alamy
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.