Trio of factory-built stainless steel Fords for auction

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

Stainless Steel Ford Trio cover Stainless Steel Ford Trio cover

Worldwide Auctioneers to offer trio of historic Fords for No Reserve sale

While the DMC Delorean is perhaps the most famous stainless steel-skinned vehicle; Ford Motor Company, in partnership with Allegheny Ludlum Steel, built 11 alloy-skinned vehicles decades before in the 30s and 60s.

This trio, representing one of each of the models built, has been retained by the original Allegheny firm since new, and are coming to auction as a single No Reserve set at Worldwide Auctioneer’s Auburn auction on September 5.

While the advent of stainless steel began back well into the 19th century, the new-age material was still relatively new in the early 1900s. The chromium-steel alloy was often named inconsistently by its various manufacturers, and sold to market under names like "Allegheny metal" and "Nirosta Steel".


It was the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Ludlum Steel – today known as Allegheny Technologies – that partnered with Ford Motor Company in 1935, to produce a special solid stainless steel car and to show off the durable properties of the unfamiliar material.

The first stainless steel subject was a 1936 Ford Deluxe Sedan, of which just six were produced and were utilised by Allegheny executives for ten years and over 200,000 miles until their "retirement".

They outlasted many of their non-stainless steel counterparts, and four survive today. This particular example has been retained by Allegheny Ludlum ever since, and has lived much of its retirement on display at Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Centre.


Allegheny Ludlum Steel and Ford would connect again decades later, producing two more stainless steel models in the 60s.

Just two 1960 Ford Thunderbirds were built in 1960, whose bodies were formed out of T302 stainless steel. The ‘square birds’ – at over 60 years old – have covered more than 100,000 miles and still retain their original exhaust systems.


The last of the three stainless steel cars produced was the 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible. Apart from the steel skin, all underpinnings are identical to a standard Continental convertible. Just three were made.

John Kruse of Worldwide Auctioneers described the trio as "extraordinary artefacts from a dynamic era of innovation for both the steel and automotive industries in America".


"After lifetime custodianship Allegheny Ludlum believe that they deserve to take their place in a significant collection or museum where they can be more widely appreciated in a collector car environment for generations to come".

Worldwide Auctioneers have yet to publish a pre-auction estimate, but the trio will be sold as a singular No Reserve lot at the Auburn Action on September 5.

See more information about the auction here, and stay tuned at for all of your latest auction news and results.


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