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Bankrupt, City of Detroit wants to sells its prized auto collection

62 cars and concepts, a few so rare that they have never been evaluated, will be sold by the City of Detroit in an attempt to recover as much of the 20 billion dollar debt that sent the former glittering metropolis in bankruptcy.

City of Detroit - Detroit Historical Museum - prized auto collection auction

Faced with serious financial problems that led to the bankruptcy, the U.S. City of Detroit – the so-called Big Three – the global headquarters of the big three American automakers: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors – takes some desperate measures to get back on track and to regain at least partly some of its lost brilliance. The richest city in the U.S. in the ’60s became a ruin today, 60% of children living here building their way in life in acute poverty.

City of Detroit – The Big Three: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors

With many of historic buildings abandoned or in an advanced state of decay, the City of Detroit being determined to find new ways to harness everything it can from their assets. And one of the potential sources of immediate income is the auto museum of the city – Detroit Historical Museum, which has a some extremely rare and valuable exhibits.

Ford Mustang 2 Concept presented at the 1963 Detroit Auto Show.

Ford Mustang 2 Concept presented at the 1963 Detroit Auto Show. The most valuable exhibit held by the museum.

According to an initial inventory in the Detroit Historical Museum are 62 exhibits of undeniable historical value. Among them are the 1963 prototype from which the Mustang 2 was born, both 1963 Ford Cougar 2 concepts (a coupĂ© and a cabriolet based on Shelby Cobra) and the 1919 Dodge Coupe owned by John Dodge, one of the brothers that founded the company with the same name. The latter car has the golden JFD initials and displays only 4,126 miles.

Ford Cougar 2, the Coupe version, one of the two copies of the concept.

Ford Cougar 2, the Coupe version, one of the two copies of the concept.

In the “cars owned by big names” chapter we can name the Cadillac Osceola copy donated to the museum by the Henry Leland’s family, the man who founded Cadillac after a fight with Henry Ford, later founded the Lincoln brand, which sold it to Ford.

Cadillac Osceola - the personal car of Cadillac and Lincoln founder

Cadillac Osceola – the personal car of Cadillac and Lincoln founder

Amongst the cars full of history that will be sold from the Detroit Historical Museum is a 1951 Pan American Packard prototype, one of the nine copies of the Stout Scarab built by William Bushnell Stout (who drew the Trimotor aircraft for Henry Ford), a 1984 Dodge Caravan donated by Sandra Studebaker, a 1934 Chrysler Airflow, a 1987 Cadillac limousine and a AMC Pacer built in the ’70s.

The "beetle-like" Stout Scarab featured an all-aluminum tubular airframe covered with aluminum.

The “beetle-like” Stout Scarab featured an all-aluminum tubular airframe covered with aluminum.

Most of the 63 cars that will be auctioned by the City of Detroit are in impeccable condition, being stored in perfect conditions and covered with aerated foil. The car collection is valued somewhere around $ 12 million, but experts expect sales to multiply independently of each exhibit several times this amount, especially considering the fact that some of the exhibits have never been formally assessed.

City of Detroit museum car auction via detroitmi[dot]gov

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