Ford Product Development Center
16 June 2002
This Lot has no reserve
GHIA MANX CONCEPT
Light yellow pearl with brown leather trimmed interior
Ghia Manx is a highly practical city concept from Ghia. Built on a tiny 67.4 inch wheelbase, Ghia Manx is only 101.8 inches in overall length, 58.7 inches wide and 54.5 inches tall.
Built during the aftermath of the 1973 energy crisis, Ghia Manx responded to the strong feeling at the time that it was necessary to explore concepts that would provide reliable and reasonably safe transportation in a coming time that was foreseen to have both prohibitively expensive fuels and traffic-strangling congestion in cities and even suburbs.
One solution was tiny cars powered by equally tiny engines. Great fuel economy also reduced the absolute amount of exhaust emissions. Performance wasn't really a consideration. If city cars became necessary it was most likely that inter-city transportation would be by mass transit and parking at stations would be relieved by the city cars' diminutive size.
Ghia Manx is one of the concepts proposed. It has adequate interior room to carry four friendly adults for short distances, but short distances are all that are contemplated or needed for effective city transportation. Ghia Manx also has room for luggage or packages in a storage area in front of the driver and the rear seats fold to make a larger space available for carrying cargo - or a week's groceries. Its design is neatly integrated but at the same time sensitive to weight. For instance, the side marker lights wrap around the corners of the body, letting one light serve two functions. The Ghia Manx concept bumpers are designed to meet the then-prevailing US 5 mph standard.
It is designed for a rear-mounted engine and transaxle which is now missing. Like most Ghia concepts, Manx is built of metal. The windows are plexiglass with sliding panes in the door windows for ventilation and paying parking fees. 12" cast alloy 4-spoke wheels carry 135SR-12 Pirelli CN54 tires. It has a 3-spoke steering wheel with leather rim.
Ghia Manx may be small but its interior is positively posh in comparison with its dimensions. The seat upholstery, dashboard and interior trim panels with integrated map pockets are covered in soft and supple brown leather and the floors are carpeted.
Now more than a quarter century old, Ghia Manx is wearing its age well, particularly its interior which is still a tactile delight. The exterior paint shows its age but is sound. Body panels are straight, the doors work and fit well with even gaps and flush fit.
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This lot has no reserve.
Specialist Joy McCall answers key questions for collectors of the glassmaker’s exquisite pieces. Illustrated with lots offered in the Lalique sale on 15 May
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