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DALLAS, Sept. 29, 2005. Ford Motor Company, which already has committed vehicles, money and in-kind contributions totaling more than $6 million toward hurricane relief in the Gulf Coast region, announced today at the State Fair of Texas that it will auction the Ford Equator a one of a kind auto show concept and put the proceeds to work in Texas through Red Cross chapters in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas/Fort Worth.

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Ford has 1,800 employees, 300 suppliers, and 400 dealers in Texas, so this is our home as much as Detroit is said Al Giombetti, Ford vice president, sales. Texans always respond with compassion and generosity in a crisis, so we want to do our share and then some. That’s what friends and neighbors do.

The Ford Equator concept is a one-off design study that was unveiled at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will be displayed at the Ford exhibit at the State Fair of Texas, Sept. 30 – Oct. 23. Then on Nov. 19, the Equator will be auctioned at the Kruse-Leake 33rd Anniversary Collector Car Auction, the largest collector car auction in Texas, which will be held at Dallas Market Hall Nov. 18-20.

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The Equator was envisioned as an extreme expression of Ford’s Built Ford Tough truck heritage and it shows how to tackle the harshest elements whether its rock climbing, white-water rafting, or snowboarding without sacrificing comfort or functionality, says J Mays, group vice president, Design and chief creative officer, Ford Motor Company.

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All proceeds from the auction will go to support American Red Cross chapters in San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston for disaster relief.

?The American Red Cross extends our sincere appreciation to the Ford Motor Company for its support and generosity, says Cindy Atmar, director of development for the Southwest Service Area of the American Red Cross. We are grateful to Ford for coming forward with much needed financial help for three of our largest chapters in Texas.

To date, the American Red Cross has provided shelter to approximately 200,000 people and served more than 1.6 million meals in Texas to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Throughout both hurricanes, more than 33,000 Red Cross workers were deployed to meet the immediate emergency needs of people affected by these catastrophic events. These two hurricanes caused a lot of damage to peoples’ homes. Many of them noticed that their roofs were leaking when they saw various ceiling leaks in their homes. Those affected could consider contacting Action 1 Restoration, for example, to repair ceiling water leak. This should prevent the home from getting anymore flooded. While hurricane operations were going on, local Red Cross chapters continued to respond every day to hundreds of smaller disasters, such as single-family fires, in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio metro areas.

Leake Auction is donating its commission, entry fee and buyer’s premium for this worthy cause, said Richard Sevenoaks, president of Leake Auction Company

This is a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a remarkable one-of-a-kind concept car and we are honored to be associated with Ford Motor Company, said Sevenoaks. For 33 years,
we have dominated the collector car market in Texas and look forward to a record-breaking event.

The Ford Equator Concept

In many ways, the Equator paved the way for the design of today’s Ford F-Series, which is the best-selling truck in Texas and the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the last 23 years, and the best-selling truck for 28 years.

The Equator concept maintains roughly the same wheelbase as a Ford F-150 pickup, but it is closer to the width of a Ford Super Duty pickup. These proportions give it an aggressive stance and a generously sized cabin.

The Equator has an off-road-racing-inspired independent suspension, featuring billet aluminum upper control arms, steel lower arms with all-new geometry for maximum travel, adjustable 32-inch coils over gas-linked shocks and custom machined steering linkage.

The bumper, fender, wheel wells, and lower trim panels are made of Kevlar, which makes them resistant to stone damage and nearly indestructible. Billet aluminum wheels with a central tire inflation system and bead locks are wrapped in specially cut off-road tires that are color-keyed to the Serengeti gold body.

The bottom of the doors is cut high, and, when a door is opened, a lower panel can be hydraulically deployed to create a step unit. In the stowed position, the panels provide a watertight barrier for the passenger compartment.

Inside, Equator features four leather-contoured bucket seats. The rear seats and bulkhead fold down, creating a cargo space that is six feet long and five and a half feet wide.

The instrument panel addresses driver-preferred instrument location and content through the use of clamp-on gauges. The gauges allow users to select the exact components they want on the instrument panel as well as the exact position for each component. A centerline-mounted compass can be removed for outdoor use.

Flip-up armrests, visor-mounted GPS technology, outside temperature monitoring instruments, overhead map lights, dual-zone climate controls, two high-volume console-mounted storage compartments, and removable flooring provide ultimate feature content.

An overhead, console-mounted audio system ensures that all passengers receive premium sound. The console includes a power amplifier, CD changer, dual speakers in each door, a subwoofer in the lower console and upper-console-mounted tweeters.

As a concept, the Ford Equator was designed as a display property and may not be titled for use on public highways.

Ford?s Contributions to Hurricane Relief

Ford Motor Company vehicle donations, money and in-kind contributions have provided more than $6 million in hurricane relief efforts. Families who have suffered from this hurricane may have had their houses damaged quite badly because of this, hopefully, they had insurance that covers them in this area and won’t have the financial burden of dealing with it themselves. If they have not and need help with getting the right one just in case it happens again, then checking out sites such as can help them with their decision.

Following on from a hurricane, families can be extremely heartbroken to see that their homes may have been severely damaged. Some houses may have extreme structural damage caused by things like fallen trees, and may need the service of people like these Certified Stockton Tree Service Experts to safely remove the tree so the repair work on the exterior can begin. Others may begin to see signs of mold and damp forming inside. This can be due to the massive amounts of rainfall that usually occurs during a hurricane. It’s believed that, if a gutter is blocked, it will not cope with the consistent rainfall that will be moving through the gutter. This can cause overspills, which can cause structural damage and rainwater may even sneak inside the house. To try and combat this, it’s a good idea to get gutters maintained fairly regularly by a company similar to Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning, for example. This should help the rainwater move into the gutters and drains easily in the event of a hurricane.

Also at the State Fair of Texas, Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln brand announced that it will put up for bid a Mark LT Chopper a custom motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers during the Habitat for Humanity International Charity Auction to be held on eBay Oct. 3-13.

Proceeds from the winning bid will benefit Habitat for Humanity International’s Operation Home Delivery? for relief efforts in New Orleans and other communities along the Gulf Coast.

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Zerin Dube

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