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Everyone Needs A Concept Car: The Ford “Via” Is For Sale

Nothing creates more interest, appreciation, and desirability than a real concept car. Most get crushed as the manufacturers don’t need the liability concerns that concept cars pose. Build shops in places like Detroit; Milan, Italy, and internally within the manufacturer’s deepest sanctuaries crank them out by hand. They are one-of-a-kind triumphs of design, technology, and hand-crafted beauty. These masterpieces are virtually never sold to private individuals. But the 1989 Ford Via is an exception. And now you can own it.

pose. Build shops in places like Detroit; Milan, Italy, and internally within the manufacturer’s deepest sanctuaries crank them out by hand. They are one-of-a-kind triumphs of design, technology, and hand-crafted beauty. These masterpieces are virtually never sold to private individuals. But the 1989 Ford Via is an exception. And now you can own it.

The Via was created by Ford’s Ghia design house. It was first shown at the Geneva Auto Show. It made its way stateside for the 1990 Chicago Auto Show. Among the members of the design team were brothers Ian and Moray Callum. Ian spent years designing masterful Jaguar vehicles and Moray is still head of Ford Design. 

The Ford Via concept is for sale, even if it doesn’t have a drivetrain

1989 Ford Via concept car | BAT
1989 Ford Via concept car | BAT

Made of fiberglass, the futuristic sedan featured photosensitive roof panels and fiber optic headlights way before they became available for production vehicles. Design features include dual hood ducts, two fuel-filler caps, and an active rear spoiler. The interior is complete if not functional. That’s because there is no drivetrain. It’s now for sale on Bring A Trailer.

RELATED: 10 Great Concept Cars That Fell Short as Production Models

This concept car is what is known as a pusher. Some if not most concepts are not functional as is the case with the Via. Some elements like the headlights do work, but this is mostly a show car without much functioning. That includes the steering wheel, which is not connected to the front wheels. You’ll need to turn them by hand to move the Via around.

The other oddity is that the driver’s side doors are functional, while the passenger side doors are not. Chalk it up to compressed build times. When concept builders start running out of time certain compromises are instituted. A simulated shifter, faux buttons, and other functionally appearing interior controls are not functional. The Via is wired with dual voltage hookups to make the lighting look functional. 

The Ford Via concept is just a nice door stop

1989 Ford Via concept car | BAT
1989 Ford Via concept car | BAT

Basically, this is a really nice door stop. But, wouldn’t it be great if the new owner could make it a functional vehicle. Aside from licensing issues, making it functional would also make it accessible. The owner could trailer it to shows and display it like a normal car. By that, we mean powered by an engine with everything functional.

Is this possible? Absolutely. Are we likely to see the Via transformed into a functioning concept car? Probably not. Especially if the body is set on a production chassis then that could be the basis for building it out. Otherwise, a simple production full-frame Ford chassis of the time like from a Fox-body would work splendidly. The suspension is already there. Just drop a small block Ford engine into the engine bay and you have a powertrain.

The Via could be made functional

1989 Ford Via concept car | BAT
1989 Ford Via concept car | BAT

Everything would be off-the-shelf like the brakes and steering. You would need a dedicated fabricator or owner to complete the Via, but it would be no more involved than fabricating a nice hot rod. But the result would be above anything hot rod-like. 

A dealer in Canada originally bought the Via when Ford was auctioning off concept vehicles in 2002. A bill of sale in Ontario, Canada, comes with the winning bid. It is currently bid to $1,600. If you buy it, you’ve got to make it functional.