To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVEEstimate:
$30,000 - $50,000
- An unusual and mysterious custom-bodied French Ford
- Appears to be a variant of the limited-production, Facel-bodied
- Offered with a stock Ford Comete parts car to assist in
- Highly engaging and potentially rewarding research and
In the early postwar years, Francois Lehideux, president of Ford's
French subsidiary, decided to develop an elegant new
top-of-the-line model. Lehideux audaciously worked outside of the
Ford organization, developing the car with the body-makers Facel
Metallon, later of Facel Vega fame, working on a shortened version
of the Vedette sedan platform with a small 63-horsepower flathead
V-8 engine. The end result was a luxuriously appointed and solidly
built coupe of beautiful, subtle lines, dubbed the Comete.
Reportedly, Ford's U.S. design studio remained unaware of the car's
development right up until its introduction in 1951. Some 699 would
be built over the next four years.
Dennis Mitosinka's car appears to have been built as a Comete
variant, including the same serial number plate and the same
general lines of its bodywork. However, there are numerous
differences, including chrome headlight "eyebrows," an extended
grille, nerf bar bumpers, a hood scoop, a sliding metal sunroof,
and a much more luxuriously trimmed leather interior, with bucket
seats of rather ornate design, armrest ashtrays, and an adjustable
steering column. The rear of the body is also significantly
The car was brought into California in 1961, the year its title was
first issued in the state, and bought by John E. Morris of El Monte
in 1965. Last registered for road use a year later, it remained
unused and in storage with Mr. Morris until 1988, when Mr.
Mitosinka bought it. Considerably aged from its long storage, it is
in need of complete restoration. The original Ford V-8 has long
since gone in favor of a 1956 Chevrolet 265-cubic inch V-8,
visually updated with Corvette valve covers. The car has recorded
over 60,000 miles.
Accompanying the car is a second Ford Comete of the standard
design, off the road for many years following front-end damage;
otherwise largely intact, it was acquired by Mr. Mitosinka as a
parts donor for this automobile, a purpose for which it is sure to
assist the new owner. Both cars have the Pont-a-Mousson four speed
manual transmission, and the parts car has Monte Carlo emblems on
the front fenders. In addition, a history file records much of Mr.
Mitosinka's detailed research into the unique French Ford that he
has performed in the last 30-plus years.
This fascinating automobile is one of the greatest mysteries of the
Mitosinka Collection; it seems destined to reward the effort of a
new owner willing to invest in returning it to its former
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction,
please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mt20