Old Cars has been following Tom Maruska’s beautiful restoration work from the beginning (see finished car here). Someone will own a piece of artistic automotive history when Mecum Auctions puts it up for sale on January 14th in Kissimmee, Florida.
Maruska purchased the long-hidden XM-Turnpike Cruiser in 2017 and soon began an extensive restoration of the Ghia-bodied concept car, which was covered extensively in Old Cars. The XM-Turnpike Cruiser was originally displayed with a matching Ford tractor and a trailer built with a turntable to display the concept car, but only the car itself has survived.
The XM-Turnpike Cruiser was debuted by FoMoCo’s Mercury division at the 1956 Cleveland auto show, then appeared at the Detroit, Chicago and New York auto shows. It also paced the Daytona Beach Grand National Race on Feb. 17, 1957, by which time the 1957 Mercurys, whose styling it predicted, were in production. The XM-Turnpike Cruiser’s last public appearance was the 1957 Grand National Race, so very few people have ever seen the car in person since then. For this reason, among others, famous concept car collector Joe Bortz is expecting the XM-Turnpike Cruiser to fetch a staggering amount.
“I would expect it to certainly break into the seven-figure area,” Bortz said. “I think Tom Maruska took a car that was rough and through massaging it and everything else he did, certainly, in the pictures, it looks to be right on the money.”
Only time will tell what the final bid will be when the car sells at the Saturday climax of Mecum Kissimmee, which will run from Jan. 4-15. Learn more at www.mecum.com.
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