Ford Product Development Center
16 June 2002
This Lot has no reserve
GHIA QUICKSILVER CONCEPT
Silver with grey cloth interior and tweed inserts
It is hard to imagine an automobile as completely different as Ghia Quicksilver concept is from the chassis upon which it was built, the AC Ghia Cars 3000 ME coupe. The 3000 ME was a tightly-packaged mid-engined 2-seat sports coupe powered by the English Ford "Essex" V-6 engine. At the same time as Ghia was redesigning it into the AC Ghia (also offered here) they added 11.4 inches (290mm) to the 3000 ME wheelbase and created an attractive, functional and even spacious 4-door high-speed luxury sedan, the Ghia Quicksilver concept. Yet the two Ghia creations are externally completely different, not only in size and application but also in appearance and even details.
Mid-engined 2-seaters can make space for their engine behind the seats by moving the passengers forward into what would be the engine bay of a front-engined car. That solution is of only partial help to a full 4-seat mid-engined design. The practice in front engined sedans of placing the rear seat passengers between the rear wheels is ruled out. And not only is a mid-engined 4-door difficult to package but also it becomes boxy and cumbersome with visual - and physical - masses burdening the area behind the front doors. The Ghia Quicksilver concept's resolution of the quandary is exceptionally creative and sharply executed. Ghia also managed to make the Ghia Quicksilver aerodynamically efficient, with a drag coefficient of only 0.30, in 1983 an entirely credible and satisfactory figure for a sports coupe, and excellent for a 4-door sedan.
Ghia achieved the Quicksilver concept's low drag with a low nose and steeply raked windshield, smooth sides and a cleanly-shaped tail. A low air dam controls undercar air flow while undercar turbulence is limited by a belly pan. Rear wheel skirts reduce wheel well turbulence; headlights retract to keep the nose smooth. In fact, when seen in isolation Ghia's treatment of the Ghia Quicksilver concept's nose, with horizontal grille bars in and below the bumper and across the front deck lid, and slots in front of the headlight covers, looks a lot like the Ferrari Testarossa which would be introduced in 1985. The Ghia Quicksilver concept also employs a Ghia invented side window channel and frame system which allows the window glass to fit almost flush with the body sides, further reducing drag-inducing turbulence.
Inside, the Ghia Quicksilver concept is appointed comfortably with supportive bucket seats upholstered in grey cloth with tweed centers and carries the same theme to the door trim and headliner. An asymmetrical round instrument panel groups the instruments and driving controls in front of the driver. Some of its radial lines continue into the center of the dash housing ventilation controls and the radio.
Three horizontal slots break up the rear quarters, then merge with wraparound taillights while matte grey rocker panels rise gradually behind the rear wheels eventually to form the lower portion of the rear bumper. A vertical rear window lies between buttresses that continue from the top to the edge of the decklid. The space between the buttresses is dressed with carbon fiber-look slats and a body color spoiler to manage air flow.
The Ghia Quicksilver concept is bodied in metal by the craftsmen at Ghia. The doors fit and work well. All windows are glass and functional. The paint and interior are both good although the fabric covering the driver's seat is slightly stretched. It is fitted with 225/50VR-15 Pirelli P7 tires on alloy wheels.
Ghia's mastery of creating prototypes and concepts from existing chassis is perhaps no better demonstrated than in the Ghia Quicksilver concept, a creative and graceful solution to a difficult set of problems.
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