Ford X-2000 by Andy Saunders
In the 1950s, magazines were filled with drawings of cars of the future and visions of space-age vehicles that would be available by the end of the century. Major manufacturers built these “dream cars” to tantalize the public and display them at auto shows. Often, they simply remained unrealized concepts. One such car was Ford’s X2000, designed by Bill Balla and Alex Tremulis, who was famous for the styling of the legendary Tucker. It made the journey from sketch to scale model but no further.
So it was until Andy Saunders spotted an image of the X2000 in a book titled Dreamcars. It sparked his memory of a Vauxhall advertisement car that seemed to closely resemble the Ford concept. He tracked it down, only to discover that while the front end had been copied from the X2000, the rest of the Vauxhall bore no resemblance whatsoever. Undaunted, he set out to re-create the Ford himself. Starting with that nose clip, Saunders found a 1962 Mercury Monterey which was used as the base for the car, donating its frame, suspension and running gear. The project was quite challenging as there was only one front overhead ¾-view of the original X2000 design from which he could work. Saunders calls his X2000 a “look-alike” rather than a replica, as he had to rely on his imagination for details such as the rear end and interior.
3,500 hours of fabrication, modification and construction followed from 1994 through 1996. It is built mostly of steel and finished in sable gold pearlescent paint with 1957 Ford wheels. In fact, the X2000 has been driven more than 6,400 kilometres and has been taxed and passed MOT inspection every year since completion. It has been featured in at least 38 publications internationally, numerous TV ads, and been displayed in about ten different countries as well as at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the National Motor Museum. Additionally, it is accompanied by a recently unearthed 30-minute Ford design study film entitled “The Designer”, featuring the X2000, which further confirms how remarkably close to the original design Saunders’ has come.
The X - 2000 is still in Andy's ownership, and regularly appears in TV commercials. It is often seen globe trotting to different exotic locations, including being exported to Australia in 2000 to promote the Melbourne Millennium International Motor Show.
Sources & Photo Credits: Andy Saunders and RM Auctions