Carbon Motors prototype hits auction block
The most visible item left behind by a failed Indiana company is in the hands of the highest bidder. At a south side Indianapolis auction business, auctioneers sold off a vehicle that one town had once counted on.
"This is obviously a special car. It's rare and there's only one. And people know about it, so it's got some collector car value to it," said Jeff Doner from Live On-Site Auction.
A futuristic police cruiser that never materialized. You probably remember the excitement, the headlines and all the people in Connersville hoping to land 1,500 jobs to build the car.
"We're going to need the best and the brightest," said Carbon Motors CEO William Santana Li in 2010.
It never happened. Carbon Motors couldn't secure a $300 million loan and filed for bankruptcy. Thursday, the prototype that represented so much hope in Connersville was put on the auction block.
"It's a real car that runs and drives. Most aspects of the car are functional but it is a prototype car. The final car would be ballistic proof. I didn't shoot it yet to find out if it's really ballistic proof, but my guess is it's not," said Doner. "The car has had a lot of notoriety and publicity for many years. Who knows how many people from Connersville will show up as spectators. We do have bidders that have flown in from out of state to participate."
In a bit of irony, the car many thought would be built in Indiana was sold to someone in Wisconsin for $74,000.
"We felt there would be someone interested in the car and all the research that went into it also. That includes the intellectual property. The car and the intellectual property are going together as a package," said Doner.
The winning bidder also gets to keep the molds and intellectual property for the prototype police cruiser. Auctioneers also sold off a television, and other items once used by Carbon Motors to try to promote the car.