This lot of solid stainless steel cars on offer at the annual Auburn Auction redefines the meaning of “Detroit steel.” Of course, the three unique cars come heavy with history as well as body work.
In 1935, Ford partnered with the Pittsburg company Allegheny Ludlum Steel to create six 1936 Deluxe Sedan out of the new wonder metal; stainless steel. While only a limited number were built, according to Worldwide Auctioneers, they weren’t show pieces. Each of the Deluxe Sedans were given to Allegheny executives, who clocked over 200,000 miles (320,000 km) on each before they were retired in 1946. Four remain to this day, including the one in this lot which has been owned by the company since it was built.
But even after stainless steel caught on and became a thing, Allegheny and Ford kept the shiny, rust-free vehicles coming. There were only two 1960 Ford Thunderbird built, and only three 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertibles. The surviving cars are mostly scattered across museums or still owned by Allegheny Ludlum, now Allegheny Technologies. These three have been owned by Allegheny Technologies since they were built, however the company recently decided to sell the cars to new owners so “…they can be more widely appreciated in a collector car environment for generations to come.”
These cars are true stainless steel cars, not the steel-laminated plastic of the DeLorean DMC-12. While these Detroit cars built from Pittsburg steel are physical representations of the peak of America’s glorious manufacturing past they also kind of look like toy model cars made large. It’s hard to imagine them driving down the road in the real world. And can you imagine being rear-ended by one of these things?
The cars are on offer as a single lot, and will be up without reserve for auction during the Worldwide Auctioneers’s annual Auburn Auction on September 5 in Auburn, IN. Considering they’re damn near priceless, there isn’t really a ballpark for what the cars might go for. Let’s just say they’ll go for about what they weigh: a whole lot.