Ford Product Development Center
16 June 2002
This Lot has no reserve
FORD LIBRE CONCEPT
Red with cream leather trimmed interior
Anyone who has ever twisted sideways and dragged clean clothes across a greasy door latch mechanism to get into the back seat of a convertible will appreciate the Ford Libre concept.
Built on the Ford B-platform which is the basis of the Fiesta, Ka, Puma and Brazilian-built Courier pickup (utilizing the 16 valve 4-cylinder Zetec SE engine), Libre applies to automobile design the technology developed for extended cab pickups, the rear-hinged short rear door. With no center post, the Libre concept's doors open expansively to receive passengers and groceries without snagging outerwear.
Ford's "new edge" design is apparent in the Libre concept and was largely the work of the late John Hartnell. It features a big open egg crate grille, teardrop covered headlights and a rounded wedge profile with high rear deck. It rides on 17" cast one-piece 5-spoke alloy wheels with 215/45ZR-17 Pirelli P Zero tires in the back, 205s in the front. Bright red brake calipers with cross-drilled discs are visible through the wheels.
The seats are luxuriously upholstered in cream leather which also is used on accent panels on the doors and armrests. Exposed metal painted body color is extensively used throughout the interior in keeping with active lifestyle contemplated for the Libre concept. The analog instruments are located in three large tubes set behind a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Foot pedals are brushed aluminum and there is a rest for the driver's left foot when it is off the clutch pedal. The bodywork is largely fiberglass, although the hood is metal. This concept was built at Special Projects Inc. and clearly demonstrates a high degree of workmanship.
The Libre concept does not have a top, but is provided with a soft tonneau cover. It does not appear to have working side windows. Libre is in excellent cosmetic condition, its innovative doors function well, panel gaps are even and panel-to-panel fits are smooth.
Any concept model from Special Projects Inc. is deserving of close attention.
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