These days it seems that classic car enthusiasts may be turning away from the bright lights and hype of the high profile car auctions and taking a more subtle approach to selling their one-of-a-kind classics.
Last week it was the ’64 Pontiac Banshee Prototype XP-883 that popped up on the Internet auction site, eBay; now Blue Oval fans can get their “unique” fix with a 1954 Mercury XM800 concept car that was posted for sale over the weekend.
The 1954 Mercury XM800 as it appeared following its unveiling.
This 1954 Mercury Monterey XM800 was first unveiled at the 1954 Detroit Auto Show. The car was built for Ford by Creative Industries of Detroit, Michigan and was designed by the Mercury pre-production studio with John Najjar serving as the studio manager. Elwood Engle worked on the project as well, serving as a consultant assigned by George Walker's design firm.
The XM800 traveled the auto show circuit through 1954 it made a brief appearance in the 1954 20th Century Parade of Progress before fading from the spotlight.
Benson Ford promoted the idea of creating the car as a second Mercuy car line which would compete with Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile.
The Mercury concept car as it appears today.
The vehicle was never put into production. Rather, the Mercury line was developed into a distinct mid-sized car and the Edsel division was made into its own marque.
The car was promoted throughout the year at various auto shows. It was also featured in the 1954 20th Century Fox Film entitled “Woman's World.” starring Clifton Webb, Van Heflin, Cornel Wilde, Fred MacMurray, June Allyson and Lauren Bacall. A model of the car was made famous by appearing in boxes of Post's Grape Nuts Flakes.
The XM800 was donated to the University of Michigan's Automotive Engineering Lab in 1957 for training and inspiration. It was later sold at auction and the history of the vehicle was lost for a period of time.
The body is a fiberglass body with much of the trim made out of chrome plated fiberglass. The lower part of the car sported a pearlescent white body color and the roof sported a pearlescent copper metallic. The engine and running gear are 1954 Mercury V-8 with dual exhaust.
According to the seller, the engine and running gear are 1954 Mercury V-8 with dual exhaust. It is important to note that this car is five inches wider than a stock ’54 Mercury. The interior of the car consists of four bucket seats and has power windows.
While the car is in need of cosmetic restoration, the engine and transmission are in running order and the car has less than 5 actual miles on it.
As of Monday morning, the bidding had reached $70,000.