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Automobiles of Ariz. to feature historic concept cars

Five '50s concept cars among early consignments to RM event.
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1954 Mercury XM-800 Dream Car (photo credit:

Set to hit the auction ring are the 1954 Mercury XM-800 Dream Car, the 1956 Cadillac Maharani Motorama Show Car, a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado 'Raindrop' Dream Car, an all-original 1956 Chrysler Plainsman Concept Car by Ghia, presented in ‘as found’ condition, and the Lincoln Sentinel ‘Styling Buck’.

Introduced at the 1954 Detroit Auto Show, the XM-800 was designed by the Mercury pre-production studio to promote a second Mercury car line which could compete with Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. Though it was never put into production, it became one of the most popular Concept Cars of the time. Dramatic and futuristic, it is a bold one-off design statement that has since been fully restored.

The factory-modified, specially appointed 1956 Cadillac Maharani was one of four Cadillac Dream Cars shown during the 1956 Motorama circuit. Affectionately dubbed the 'Kitchen Sink Cadillac' – a moniker received based on its host of special interior fixtures – the car is equipped with a unique interior featuring a kitchen sink with running water, refrigerator, hot plate, pop-out table and storage for silverware and china. Formerly part of the Gene Zimmerman Collection, the car was sympathetically restored in 1990. (Estimate: $150,000 - $200,000).

The 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible ‘Raindrop’ Dream Car is another great illustration from Cadillac’s Dream Cars series. In total, five Cadillac Eldorado convertibles were pulled off the assembly line and specially modified under the forward-thinking direction of Harley Earl. The car received its name from its special, rain-activated convertible top that was programmed by special electronic sensors to snap into action the moment a drop of rain was detected, automatically lifting the three-piece special boot cover and raising the roof to its full, snug-fitting “up” position. It is equipped with special bucket seats, console and many other modifications. It also comes with the original GM build sheet. Four examples – including the one set for RM’s upcoming Arizona event – went on to tour the show circuit on a limited basis. (Estimate: $250,000 - $300,000)

The experimental 1956 Chrysler Plainsman Concept Car, styled by Virgil Exner and built by Ghia, was an ‘idea station wagon’ unveiled at the 1956 Chicago Auto Show. It has made an exciting journey around the globe, starting life in Italy, exported to the United States, sent offshore to Cuba where it facilitated a dramatic escape and later accompanied its owner to Australia before eventually making its way back to North America. Today it remains in all original, as found condition. (Estimate: $250,000 - $300,000)

The Lincoln Sentinel, unveiled at the 1996 North American International Auto Show, is a menacing four-door sedan design exercise executed by a group of automotive stylists gathered from Ford's various design centers and inspired by classic Lincoln models; specifically the 1961 Continental and the Facel Vega Excellence. This ‘styling buck’ example is not equipped with an engine or drivetrain. (Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000)

These five unique motor cars, including the only station wagon concept car extant, will cross the block with over 100 exceptional vintage automobiles on Jan. 22 at RM Auctions Automobiles of Arizona event at the luxurious Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix.

Now in its 11th year, RM’s Arizona event will present for the first time an additional opportunity to purchase important cars produced by British manufacturers during an evening auction on Jan. 21. A preview of the 2010 line-up will be held Jan. 21st from 9am to 4pm, followed by the British-themed Thursday night auction, billed ‘The British are Coming!’, starting at 6pm. The auction action continues on Friday, Jan. 22 at 11am. Admission is by catalog purchase only, which admits two.

For further information, please visit or call 1-519-352-4575.


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