Stainless steel Ford Model 38, Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental headed to auction

Anyone wanting to know what Tesla Cybertruck ownership will entail should get a bidder's placard ready for the Auburn Auction over Labor Day Weekend in Indiana. On September 5, Worldwide Auctioneers will offer three stainless steel Fords — that's right, Fords — as one lot, without reserve.

Before DeLorean ginned up his DMC-12 and before Cadillac put a stainless steel roof on the 1958 Eldorado Brougham, executives at Allegheny Ludlum Steel contacted Ford in 1935 about building a car with the chromium-tinged metal. Ford was game, the company ruining a set of stamping dies to punch body panels for six 1936 Ford Deluxe Tudor sedans. Allegheny Ludlum sent a car to each of its six regional sale execs, and the story goes that the reps gave the region's top salesman the keys to the car for one year. With every one of the glinting Deluxe Tudors powering through more than a few 85-horsepower Ford V8s on their way to doing more than 200,000 miles apiece before being retired in 1946, the steelmaker and Ford reaped huge publicity.

The two parties collaborated again 24 years later on two 1960 Thunderbirds with body skins, grilles, and bumpers formed from T302 stainless. Both Thunderbirds are still fitted with their original T409 stainless steel mufflers and T304 exhaust pipes. Supposedly, Ford remembered the lessons of ruined tooling learned with the 1936 Deluxe, choosing to stamp the Thunderbird panels after standard 1960 Thunderbird production ended.

Seven years after that, three 1967 Lincoln Continental convertibles donned the gleaming garb. Contrary to what you might think, the weights of all three cars don't differ much from their production brethren.

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Pictures of the week: June 7 - 13
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 12: Tailor Gary Keenan (R) of Bogart Menswear measures up a suit using a customer pod designed to keep customers safe from Covid-19 after their store reopened for business on June 12, 2020 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. After being shuttered for months to curb the spread of Covid-19, retailers here reopened with social distancing measures, a few days ahead of when similar businesses can reopen in England. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Bryn Hughes (L), the father of Pc Nicola Hughes, and Paul Bone, the father of Pc Fiona Bone, during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alreewas, Staffordshire.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Hollie Doyle heads out of the weighing room to the paddock prior to a race at Wolverhampton Racecourse on June 12, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Steve Davies/Pool via Getty Images)
Boards being put up around the statue of Thomas Guy at Guy's hospital in London, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Local residents show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Locals show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Two people cover under their clothes to protect from a rain shower as they row a boat on the river Thames at Windsor, as the the UK is forecast to be hit with heavy showers, strong gales and colder temperatures over the weekend, with Britons being warned not to move gatherings indoors.
Amanda Holden seen with an umbrella departing the Global Radio Studios in London. (Photo by Brett Cove / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A sticker placed on the tongue of one of the lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square, London, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Cecil Rhodes statue stands at the front facade of the Oriel College in Oxford during the protest. Cecil was an English-born businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. The founder of the diamond company De Beers and the founder of the state of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) , which was named after him. The Rhodes Must Fall campaign was reignited from a 2016 campaign following recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations after the demise of George Floyd under police custody in Mineapolis. Despite the Covid19 lockdown, protesters globally have united to demand change. (Photo by David Mbiyu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Protesters hold Rhodes Must Fall placards during the demonstration. The Rhodes Must Fall campaign was reignited from a 2016 campaign following recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations after the demise of George Floyd under police custody in Mineapolis. Despite the Covid19 lockdown, protesters globally have united to demand change. (Photo by David Mbiyu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Police during a protest calling for the removal of the statue of 19th century imperialist, politician Cecil Rhodes from an Oxford college which has reignited amid anti-racism demonstrations.
A cyclist passes graffiti in Edinburgh following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Locals show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street, in Westminster, London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) at the Houses of Parliament. Picture date: Wednesday June 10, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
A worker cleans graffiti from the plinth of the statue of Sir Winston Churchill at Parliament Square in London, following a Black Lives Matter protest at the weekend. A raft of protests across the UK were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A worker collects discarded placards from Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, London, following a Black Lives Matter protest at the weekend. A raft of protests across the UK were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Graffiti that reads 'Britain built on Slavery' on Great George Street on June 08, 2020 in London, England. As the British government further relaxes Covid-19 lockdown measures in England, this week sees preparations being made to open non-essential stores and Transport for London handing out face masks to commuters. International travelers arriving in the UK will face a 14-day quarantine period. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Member of the public Graham Newby cleans graffiti, that included the letters BLM and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", from a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A person with a sign protesting 'British History Matters' alongside the statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset. The statue is due to be removed and placed in "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A person holds a sign during a Black Lives Matter protest in Edinburgh, following a raft of protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A woman looks at a graffiti art piece on Black Lives Matter on a wall in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
McDonald's Shirley Road in Southampton operates under social distance measures as lockdown restrictions have been relaxed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
Council workers clean graffiti, that included the letters "BLM" and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", from a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A policeman stands at the edge of an anti-racism protest in Queens Gardens, Hull, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A member of staff has their temperature checked as they arrived to work at Woodford Dental Care in north London, as the practice opens up for the first time since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown.
CHELMSFORD, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: David Egan riding Queen of Silca (orange) win The Chelmsford Handicap at Chelmsford City Racecourse on June 08, 2020 in Chelmsford, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Dentist Dr Roy Woodhoo and Dental Nurse Charlie Coppen wear PPE to examine the first patient through the doors at Woodford Dental Care in north London, as the practice opens up for the first time since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown.
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen celebrates her 94th birthday this year, in line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Members of the Welsh Guards perform in a ceremony to mark Britain's Queen Elizabeth's official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen celebrates her 94th birthday this year, in line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Of the 11 total stainless steel Fords made, nine remain. Two of the 1936 models bit the dust somewhere along the way, the rest are in public galleries like the Early Ford V-8 Museum in Auburn, Indiana, and the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, or in the steel company's collection. Now called Allegheny Technologies, the company is auctioning a complete set believing "they deserve to take their place in a significant collection or museum where they can be more widely appreciated in a collector car environment for generations to come."

Worldwide Auctioneers hasn't provided a pre-sale estimate for the lot, but any bidder should expect to bring money. Ford built a heap of 1936 Deluxe Tudors, with high auction sale prices of around $100,000 over the past decade. Continentals at auction have been a little more affordable, Thunderbirds a touch more affordable still. But the special provenance of these cars should upend all that; in 2010, a private owner sent one of the stainless steel 1936 Fords to auction with Mecum and turned down a $550,000 bid. Giving collectors a chance to swipe three museum-quality pieces with proven history in one go sounds like a recipe for seven figures.

- This article first appeared on Autoblog

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