Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 3-13, 2019
Photo – Mecum
The Ford Forty-Nine was a concept car introduced at the 2001 North American International Auto Show. It was a badass, black two-door that looked like a chopped ’49 Ford. The company also rolled out this, the convertible companion car. It runs and drives, but you won’t be able to register it.
Power is from a 3.9-liter V8 and it has rear-wheel drive and 20″ wheels. Imagine if Ford would’ve built something this cool. But they won’t. Ever. Because they’re Ford. Only Chrysler puts outrageous cars like this into production, or at least they used to. Maybe that’s why they’re always in financial trouble…
Anyway, this car sold at an RM auction in 2010 for $67,100. We’ll have to wait and see what Mecum can get for it 8½ years later. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.
Update: Sold $51,700.
2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Concept
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
Here’s another red Ford concept car (well, truck) from 2001. It was first shown at the 2001 Chicago Auto Show and you can tell that it had no hope for production because it lacked any sort of front bumper and the interior had a wild Maori tattoo theme going on (question for Ford: why?).
It does run and drive though, but you’ll never be able to register it for the road. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V8, and I think the entire point of the exercise was to show that Ford could still do hot-rodding… if they wanted to.
This truck sold at an RM auction in 2012 for $46,200. Barrett-Jackson is offering it at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Pininfarina was responsible for the styling and just 448 examples were produced between 2000 and 2001. They were quite pricey when new and it was eventually succeeded by the 575 Superamerica. These cars were so popular that Ferrari has continued to offer late-cycle convertibles of their big front-engined V-12 cars. And they are always rare and always ridiculously expensive.
This 3,000-mile example is powered by a 485 horsepower, 5.5-liter V-12. It’s one of 42 sold new in the U.K. and does have right-hand drive. This 199 mph convertible still shows that it is a sought-after car, nearly 20 years on, as it carries a pre-sale estimate of $450,000-$525,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Silverstone’s all-Ferrari lineup.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 12, 2016
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
Lee Noble has designed a lot of low-volume sports cars, including the Ultima GTR and the line of cars that bears his name. The M12 is the most popular Noble model, with quite a few different versions available. They first went on sale in 2000 but the company (having been sold in 2006) moved on to other projects after 2008.
The M12 chassis is steel and the body is fiberglass. All M12s were powered by Ford V6s, and this one features a 2.5-liter twin-turbocharged Ford Duratec V6 making 310 horsepower. Later cars grew in engine capacity – and power. Top speed of this model is 165 mph and it can hit 60 in 4.1 seconds.
Pre-built Nobles were assembled in South Africa, but in the U.S. they were technically a kit car and were distributed by 1G Racing (which went on to become Rossion, maker of the Noble-like Q1). As a side note, 1G Racing used to be located down the street from where I lived… so Nobles were about the sportiest thing I could ever hope to see on any kind of regular basis.
This 15,000 mile car has never seen the track and should sell for between $33,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Auctions America | Hilton Head, South Carolina | November 5, 2016
Photo – Auctions America
Ruf Automobile’s RGT is based, quite obviously, on the Porsche 911 and specifically for this first generation of the RGT, the 1998-2004 Porsche 996. This generation of the RGT was available from 2000-2004 and this example was specially ordered by its one-and-only owner and is one of just 14 built.
It’s powered by a 680 horsepower twin-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six. That is more than the standard RGT, but this one was outfitted to swing the balance of “road and track” heavily in “track’s” favor. For instance, it also has a 100 liter endurance fuel tank and a roll cage. The owner got rid of a Porsche Cup car to make room for this… so it had to fill some serious shoes.
So what you’re getting here is a super rare variant of a Porsche Turbo that is technically built by a different manufacturer. But it’s a turbo Porsche on steroids – built to run down pure-bred race cars on the track. You can get newer RGTs than this, but this is the original and one of Ruf’s best models. It should sell for between $80,000-$120,000 – less than a third of what has been invested into it. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America.
The Lamborghini Diablo was one of the best supercars of the 1990s. It was the brand’s main model and was in production between 1990 and 2001. It started production while Lamborghini was owned by Chrysler and continued through Megatech’s rocky years and on into the “present” under the stewardship of Volkswagen’s Audi.
The Diablo got a slight facelift in 1999 and there had been various models of the Diablo produced previously and that continued right up until the end. One of the final special edition models was the GT. It was the “track day” variant – it had a spartan interior, more aggressive bodywork and a tuned engine. That engine is a 5.7-liter V-12 making 575 horsepower. It is rear-wheel drive.
Only 80 Diablo GTs were produced and they cost nearly $300,000 when new. They were never officially sold in the U.S. (though there are some cars here). This is car #73 and it is as it was from the factory, with the exception of a nicer radio (yes, those are the stock wheels). It’s been in Europe all its life and is expected to bring between $700,000-$775,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Spectre Supersport Ltd was a company in the mid-1990s that sold a car called the R42 that was based on a Ford GT40 replica (a car which the man behind the car, Ray Christopher, had been building successfully for years). The 1996-1997 R42 is pretty rare, but the company went bust in ’97. They returned in 2001 with this, the R45.
If it looks a little kit car-ish, that’s because it is a prototype. The R45 never made it into production, though two prototypes were built. This is the second, and final, car. It is powered by a mid-mounted 4.6-liter V-8 making 350 horsepower. Top speed should be about 175 mph.
This car, the only running, driving example, has 14,000 miles on it. If you’re looking for what essentially boils down to a one-off supercar, here you go. No price is currently listed, you’ll have to contact The Hairpin Company for more.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Plymouth, Michigan | July 25, 2015
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
We like concept cars, new or old. In fact, we’ve featured an unlikely number of Ford concept vehicles from 2001. They must’ve really preened their collection a few years back. This may be a concept, but it’s easily based off a third generation Explorer.
It’s powered by a 4.0-liter V-6 making 205 horsepower – stock in all forms. The exterior was altered to make it appear much sportier (which it is). The wheel arches and lowered suspension were supposed to appear to youths.
Cars like this have limited appeal because they aren’t that old and not all that different from road-going models. Plus, it’s likely to be quite a task trying to get this road-registered. The number of people willing to shell out $20,000-$30,000 for a driveway-only SUV concept vehicle is pretty small. But hey, you never know where the value will stand in 10 years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Auctions | Farmer’s Branch, Texas | November 15, 2014
2001 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster Concept
Photo – RM Auctions
Ah, the retro styling craze of the early 2000s. Ford decided to bring back the Thunderbird for the 2002 model year. The car’s introduction was preceded by a slew of concept cars, including this Sports Roadster.
These Thunderbirds had soft tops or removable hard tops. This car is topless and has a fiberglass tonneau cover that fits nicely against the back of the head rests. You could’ve gotten a similar look on a 1960s T-Bird.
The engine is a standard 280 horsepower 3.9-liter V-8. This car was acquired from Ford by Sam Pack in 2010. It’s the only one like it and should sell for between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $55,000.
2003 Ford Thunderbird Supercharged Concept
Photo – RM Auctions
The Ford Thunderbird F-Code from 1957 was a mean, powerful machine. This car was meant to be the spiritual successor to that car. Ford never put it into production. But they should have. The last Thunderbird was a dud and perhaps a hot rod version would have helped.
The engine is a supercharged 3.9-liter V-8 making 390 horsepower. That’s sports car territory. It has a vented hood and other minor details to set it apart. This car was also acquired by Sam Pack from Ford in 2010. It should sell for between $50,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the sale of the Sam Pack Collection.
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30, 2014
Photo – Auctions America
Looks pretty manly, doesn’t it? I remember concept cars of this era – seeing auto show highlights in AutoWeek or some such publication (the internet still wasn’t my main source for news) and seeing these somewhat outrageous show cars. Many from the late-90s through the early-00s have a similar look about them.
This one is based on a standard Ford Explorer. The Sportsman was designed for fishermen. It comes with fishing rods and the self-deploying running boards offer storage for said rods (really a good idea that I’m surprised we don’t actually see on production cars). The roof rack is removable. There’s actually even a built-in fish tank in the rear. *Fish not included.
The engine is a 4.6-liter V-8 making 240 horsepower and it does run and drive (although you can’t register it, unfortunately). It’s the only one like it ever built and sold four years ago for $49,500. This time around it carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 27-31, 2014
Photo – Auctions America
Well this is pretty cool, isn’t it? It’s a true concept car – you don’t recall Ford selling anything like this in the past 15 years, do you? It’s cool. It’s wild. It’s extreme.
This is actually a working, drivable concept car. It’s powered by a 4.0-liter V-6 making 375 horsepower and lots of torque. It’s four-wheel drive, obviously, and although they don’t quite look it, those are 33-inch tires. It resembles more of the modern side-by-side ATV than it does a production truck.
If Ford would’ve built this, they would have been off-road legends. Instead, there is just this one example. If go-anywhere is your thing, then this is your ute. It has to be massively entertaining with all that power, no real weight, and extreme off-road capability (although it’s a little rare to be thrashing it on the trails). In any event, it should sell for between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.