Back in the golden age of big American concept cars, wonder machines that spoke to an era of almost unlimited dreams and prosperity, came one especially beautiful Lincoln.
The 1955 Indianapolis Exclusive Study showed what can happen when one of the better Italian design houses is set loose on one of the outlandishly huge chassis of the era. The result is a big car that combined American swagger with continental flair.
In this case, the body came from Gian Carlo Boano, a promising young designer of the era, and the car itself is going on the block at the Art of the Automobile Event being held jointly by RM Auctions and Sotheby’s in New York. The one-off Lincoln is valued at $2 million to $2.5 million.
The car made its big debut at the 37th Salone dell’Automobile in Turin in 1955. At the time, Lincoln, Ford’s premium division, couldn’t have been hotter, as the hit song Hot Rod Lincoln would later attest.
Like so many cars of the mid ’50s, the Indianapolis, as it was simply known, was designed with a fighter jet in mind. It had the tail meant to evoke jet nozzles and sported both exhaust pipes and a mock air scoop on the sides. RM says that for as big as the car was, it was essentially designed for two people.
It had leather seats and a dashboard that covered up most of the key instruments until it was tilted open. Inside and out, it was an example of how to let a designer’s imagination run wild.
“Even today, it remains virtually impossible to focus on any singular detail of the Indianapolis’s design; the critic’s eye catches a line and is drawn to follow it across the car. It is an engrossing automobile,” RM Auctions writes in its description.
After it was shown in Turin, the Indianapolis was purchased by Ford and brought to the U.S. It was later owned by a collector who had it for three decades and had it fully restored.