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The big B-J auction just dropped a release to let us know the 2008 Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale will feature the 1963 Ford Thunderbird 'Italien' concept car. While very nice looking, if we're gonna spend money on a Ford-built concept car — heck, any concept car — we'd still rather have this 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII. What can we say — we totally digg the roll-up doors. Full release after the jump.
Picture Credit: Jay Leno

37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Auction to Feature the World's Only 1963 Ford Thunderbird 'Italien'

The 1963 FORD Thunderbird ?Italien? concept car will be sold at No Reserve during the 37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event on Jan. 12-20, 2008, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oozing with European panache from the aerodynamic roof line to the front and rear leather bucket seats, this one-off concept was an extreme departure from the traditional classics rolling out of Detroit in the early 1960s.

Hailed as ?The World?s Greatest Collector Car Events?,? the Scottsdale auction will feature 1000 of the world?s finest collector vehicles and lavish lifestyle events. As always, Speed Channel will broadcast live-coverage of all six auction days.

?It?s rare for such a classic concept to be offered at auction,? said Craig Jackson, Chairman/CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. ?The ?Italien? features design cues that were virtually nonexistent in the United States during its time of production. This could be the most sought after and significant Thunderbird to ever cross the block at Barrett-Jackson.?

The ?Italien? was designed and built by Vince Gardner at the Dearborn Steel Tubing Company, an outsourcing contractor responsible for various non-assembly line Ford concepts, including the 1964 Ford Thunderbolt and Mercury Super Cyclone. It was showcased in Ford?s 1962-63 ?Custom Car Caravan,? numerous Autoramas across the country and in the 1964 New York World Fair?s ?Cavalcade of Custom Cars.?

?The ?Italien? was born during an exciting period in automotive history,? added Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. ?In the ?50s and early ?60s, concept cars were showcased across the world in parade-like settings. This rare Thunderbird was a great attraction at many famous shows, and we plan to recreate that same exciting atmosphere in Scottsdale. When it hits the block in January, it will be the first documented public appearance since its showing at the World?s Fair in 1964.?

While most Ford concept cars were destroyed after their world tours, the ?Italien? was rescued by actor Dale Robertson of TV?s ?Tales of Wells Fargo,? ?Wagon Train? and ?JJ Starbuck.? Tom Maruska purchased it from noted Ford collector Don Chambers in January 2006, and immediately began its restoration to original specifications.

Barrett-Jackson continually reaffirms its leadership position in the collector car market by elevating consignment standard and serving as the barometer for market trends. Barrett-Jackson recently announced that Portland-based Endeavour Capital purchased a significant minority share in the company, further validating the integrity and growth potential of the world?s leading automotive/lifestyle event.

About The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company

Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces the ?World?s Greatest Collector Car Events?? in Scottsdale and Palm Beach, Fla. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit