Ford Product Development Center
16 June 2002
This Lot has no reserve
GHIA MEGASTAR CONCEPT
Metallic orange with orange velour interior and brown leather trim and carpets
Originally built in 1977, the Ghia Megastar concept advocated the estate wagon form for achieving exemplary internal space and low aerodynamic drag. The pronounced wedge shape and nearly vertical rear hatch employed the principles identified by Professor Kamm demonstrating that a sharply cut off object has less parasitic aerodynamic drag than one with a mildly tapered deck.
The Ghia Megastar concept was nothing less than revolutionary...and also effective. Its high tail gave excellent interior space for four passengers and plenty of luggage. It must have pleased Don Kopka, head of Ford design after Gene Bordinat, a longtime advocate of acknowledging the contribution of aerodynamics to good design and efficiency.
Its design leaves no doubt it is a "concept", with big oval fixed side windows surrounded by exterior color accents and a broad chevron sweeping upward behind the rear side windows accentuating its high wedge shape. Built on the European Ford Granada chassis with 3-liter V-6 engine and automatic transmission, Ghia Megastar was, befitting its chassis' upscale positioning in the European market at the time, fitted with air conditioning, power steering and power disc/drum brakes.
Ghia Megastar employed a number of techniques to improve its aerodynamics, techniques that were innovative in 1977 but today have become accepted practice. In addition to the cut off Kamm Back, Ghia gave Megastar a low front air dam to clean up undercar aerodynamics. The nose was extended for easier air penetration and the windshield was steeply raked. Interior ventilation air was taken from the high pressure area at the base of the windshield and exhausted into the low pressure area at the rear quarters. Headlights are set behind aerodynamic covers.
The colors chosen for Ghia Megastar are distinctly Seventies, brilliant but earthy metallic copper orange paint with brown accents around the side windows and equally brilliant orange velour upholstery surrounded by brown leather trim and brown carpets inside. Front seats are well-bolstered adjustable buckets; the rear seats are a bench-bucket style. Air conditioning is a necessity as, in a further enhancement to Ghia Megastar aerodynamics, the flush side windows do not open. The rear hatch, however was fully functional and opened into a large luggage area which could be expanded by folding down the rear seats. The leather covered steering wheel has four spokes and complete instrumentation is placed in dual square modules directly in front of the driver. A center console houses the shifter, parking brake and ash tray.
Ghia Megastar has stood up remarkably well. The four doors in the all-metal bodywork function well and fit accurately. The paint is showing its age, has some scuffs and appears at some time to have had minor area repairs. The interior velour upholstery has stretched a little, particularly on the driver's seat, but is sound. The interior leather trim is in good shape. Underhood the air conditioning compressor is missing. The fixed bronze tinted side window glazing is in plexiglass and is in good condition. The windshield and rear hatch window are glass.
From its wedge shape to its brilliant colors and exaggerated contrasting accents, the Ghia Megastar is an attention-getting show concept from the Seventies that pioneered efficient aerodynamic design as a solution to energy concerns in a time of crisis and did so without sacrificing style and space.
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