Most of Detroit’s concept cars from the 50s and 60s were like the mediocre rock stars of the same era. They get a lot of attention for a little while, but when the spotlight faded away they died young. Concept cars disappear for a number of reasons including keeping company design secrets, failure to meet current safety regulations, too many are produced to store them all, avoiding taxes, etc. But all reasons are meet by the same fate: death by crusher.
There are a very few of these originals that stay alive in private hands, and eBay currently has one for sale. It seems the 1954 Mercury XM-800 avoided the crusher through donation. Ford gave the car to an automotive specialist school at the University of Michigan. When the school closed, the car was sold into private hands. Eventually the car wound up in the hands of concept car collector Joe Bortz.
The XM-800 may have been able to live on, but today it’s in need of a good restoration. The all-fiberglass car was never made with intension of lasting this long. Since it is a one of a kind car, restoration will be a little harder than ordering parts form a catalogue. But like any good concept car, it’s worth the effort.
This is not the first time this Mercury concept car has been offered on eBay, but hopefully this time it will find a new loving home.