The Ghia Focus, a Ford concept unveiled in 1992, sold for $1 million Sunday at the automaker's concept car auction, which brought in about $3.8 million for charity.
The unnamed bidder made his winning offer by phone.
Joining the Focus at the high end of the bidding the 1997 Mercury MC4, which sold for $580,000, the 1992 Mustang Mach III, $440,000, and the 1993 Lagonda Vignale, which sold for $360,000. The lowest winning bid was offered for the 1983 Mini Max, $4,500.
The auction, organized by Ford Motor Co. and Christie's International Motor Cars of New York, was held at the automaker's product development center in Dearborn, Mich. Proceeds will be donated to the Ford Fund, which supports more than 1,000 U.S. charities.
The auction was held on the 99th anniversary of the incorporation of Ford Motor Co. It marks the beginning of Ford's centennial celebration.
Ford design chief J Mays, who proposed the one-of-a-kind auction, did not take part in the bidding. But he said the Taru Lahti-designed Ghia Focus would have been his choice. He said he expected it would bring in more than $300,000.
On Christie's Web site, Mays described the Ghia Focus, which was unveiled in Turin, Italy, as, "a concept that is as close to a piece of art as you'll ever find, an astounding one-off that has less to do with auto design than sculpture."
O.C. Welch III, owner of O.C. Welch Ford Lincoln-Mercury in Beaufort, S.C., purchased the 1995 Lincoln Sentinel for $40,000. He plans to display the concept in his auto museum in Savannah, Ga.
He said he first saw the Sentinel at the auto show in Detroit. "I never thought they'd sell it."
Collector Scott Grundfor of Arroyo Grande, Calif., bought two Probe concepts, the Ghia Brezza, the Ghia Barchetta, the Ghia Shuttler and the Ford Synthesis 2010. He said he doesn't plan on driving them, but he will make them operable in order to make it easier to move them around.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."