Ford Product Development Center
16 June 2002
This Lot has no reserve
GHIA ALTAIR CONCEPT
Pearl white with brown accents and tan leather trimmed interior with brown accents
Altair is a 1983 Ghia project based on the European Ford Granada to demonstrate that the preferred luxury 4-door sedan format of classic 3-box styling could be executed in an attractive low-drag configuration. Ghia Altair followed Ghia's Megastar series of concepts which used pronounced wedge style and a modified Kamm Back to achieve low drag coefficients.
The relationship between Ghia Megastar and Ghia Altair is apparent, both in Ghia Altair's edgy wedge profile and in the use of earth tones in its presentation. It is only 2 inches longer than the Granada on which it is based, length which is employed to extend the nose for better air penetration. Three inches have been taken out of the Ghia Altair concept's overall height while adding 4 inches to its width. Combined with the windscreen's steeply raked angle and overall clean execution, the Ghia Altair concept achieves a calculated drag coefficient of 0.35, a large and very significant reduction from the standard Granada Cd of 0.44.
Drag also is reduced by the use of various techniques including a deep front air dam and covering the six-element headlamps with a single sheet of bronze tinted plastic to reduce turbulence. The windshield is cleared with a single large wiper which retracts below the hood's rear edge to smooth air flow in this critical area.
Ghia Altair was introduced at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show, traditionally the venue of choice for coachbuilders' important concepts, to demonstrate the use of scientific air management techniques to improve economy without reducing performance. In its 1980 Geneva Show appearance Ghia Altair was silver with bronze accents and it apparently was subsequently re-presented in 1983 in today's pearl white and brown livery.
Bodied in steel on a standard Granada chassis, the Ghia Altair concept has the Granada's 2.8 liter fuel injected V-6 engine, 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, four-wheel independent suspension, power windows and the instruments and 4-spoke steering wheel of the Ghia Granada luxury model. The interior is luxuriously trimmed in soft tan leather upholstered with an attractive gathered style. The dashboard is trimmed in brown leather which also is used throughout the interior for trim and seat accents.
Ghia Altair rides on 220/55VR-390 Michelin TRX tires on cast alloy wheels painted body color. The exterior paint is in good condition while the interior is lightly soiled but sound. The doors close well. Body panels fit flush, have even gaps and are smooth, showing the care and craftsmanship of Ghia's shop.
Ghia Altair is definitely Eighties in its appearance and trim, an efficient and luxurious example of the refinement Ghia's designers were able to effect on a standard 3-box sedan.
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