Electric Light Orchestration: Classic Ford Neon Signs

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Sotheby's auction

Sotheby’s to focus on the sign o’ the times with vintage Ford neon, June 23-24.

Neon signs evoke a spate of images. A moody nightscape lit by a dreamlike glow. A beacon of light on a lonesome road on a moonless night. A diner bathing its Edward Hopper-like patrons in a blue or pink light. Curls of smoke diffusing the glow in a clandestine bar. The palpable energy of Times Square. A snapshot of mid-Century America, a garage of classic cars, their curves and chassis illuminated by a glimmer of blue. Yes, vintage and antique neon signs lend instant mood to any environment. And they are now the subject of an upcoming auction at RM Sotheby’s.

RM Sotheby’s auction features some rare neon finds in The Dingman Collection on June 23-24. Michael Dingman, a longtime director of Ford Motor Company, loved and collected iconic original neon signs and other automotive memorabilia. Sotheby’s has curated a unique collection of neon signs that are quintessential imagery of Americana. To us, this is art from an important and bygone American era.

Classic Ford Neon Sign

Sotheby's auction Ford Sign 1

A simple and bold logo of the Blue Oval that would look perfect, well, anywhere.

Ford Service Neon Sign

Sotheby's auction Ford Service Sign

This regal sign has a design featuring a crest with lions.

Ford Service Neon Arrow Sign

Sotheby's auction Ford Service Sign

This arrow shaped sign features red neon against a blue background inscribed with “Kalamazoo Sign Company, Kalamazoo, Michigan.”

Ford Double-Sided Porcelain Sign

Ford Double Sided Sign
A great (and big) collectors item for Ford fans, this has perfect signs of wear that just adds miles to its character.

Edsel Neon Sign

Sotheby's auction Edsel sign

There’s a lot of opinions (and a few punchlines) about the Edsel, but it is a part of Ford’s history. Plus, we love the period-perfect lettering and the green.

Ford Service Neon Sign

Sotheby's auction Ford Service sign

Speaking of green, this sign blends it with blue and yellow in this vintage sales and service sign.

Wilson-Cornelius Ford Dealership Neon Sign

We did some Googling and found this Vallejo, California Ford dealership was founded in 1940. A cool piece of Bay Area history.

Ford Mercury Neon Sign

A throwback of better days. RIP Mercury.

Ford Double-Sided Punched Lighted Sign

This weathered sign stands out as a favorite, rare and overflowing with character.

Double-Sided Punched Lighted

Ford V-8 Neon Sign

Sotheby's Ford V8 sign

This sign is a sleek and crisp blue and white tribute to Ford’s powerhouse powerplant.

Ford Winged Oval Double-Sided Neon Sign

Sotheby's Ford winged sign

We love this classic Art Deco style.

All items listed can be bid on online. For more details, and to see more neon signs, go to RM Sotheby’s.

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

S.J. Bryan is an editor with Ford Truck Enthusiasts and regular contributor to F-150 Online and Harley-Davidson Forums, among other auto sites.

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