Provided you deeply appreciate Ford’s bubble-shaped ’90s styling, now’s your chance to snag a real-life concept car … as long as rolling fiberglass sculpture with neither interior nor steering will suffice. The Blue Oval’s 1994 Ghia Vivace concept, an early interpretation of a design language that would reach production with the ’96 Taurus, is up for sale on Bring a Trailer.
We wrote about this bubble-shaped concept back in December, when we met with New York-based owner Eddie Palaghita and had the chance to see it in person. After he bought the car in western Michigan, Palaghita’s plan was to make the concept steerable and add a remote-controlled electric motor so it could be more mobile at car shows, but that scheme did not come to fruition. Palaghita recently acquired some other vehicles and is looking to make some room for them, which means it’s the Ghia Vivace’s time to go.
Ford built the Vivace concept at its Turin-based Ghia studio, using the Mondeo/Contour’s steel platform and its 24-valve, 2.5-liter V-6. The project amounted to a styling exercise that also explored the packaging possibilities of aluminum space-frame chassis construction. The concepts arrived at a time when the Acura NSX and the Audi A8 were topics of major conversation concerning aluminum and lightweighting; Ford itself was experimenting with its Aluminum Intensive Vehicle program.
Despite the car looking a bit awkward in photos and from certain angles, in person it has a cohesiveness and purity of form that’s pleasing to the eye. The rounded form was cutting-edge in 1994; at the time, the Ghia Vivace and related Arioso concept were thought to preview the third-gen Ford Probe’s styling. Ultimately, Ford killed the Probe and instead went with a Mercury Cougar that was drawn from the 1997 Mercury MC2 concept.
When Ford first sold the concept car in Dearborn at a 2002 auction, it sold for $7638. As of this writing, with six days to go on the auction, the top bid is $700.