- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 22, 2006

ATLANTA (AP) — Ford Motor Co. officials are working to provide the founder of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain with the last Ford Taurus that rolls off the assembly line when production of the model ends Friday.

Truett Cathy, 85, has had a longtime relationship with the Atlanta-area plant that makes the sedan, crediting the success of his first restaurant to business from Ford workers across the street.

Chick-fil-A spokesman Don Perry said Saturday that Mr. Cathy had “a commitment from the plant” to receive the last Taurus.

Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said the details were not settled, although the company is “working to make it happen.”

“We want to sell him that last vehicle because we know how much it would mean to him,” she said, adding that the deal was undecided because the last vehicles scheduled for production were meant to go into a rental fleet.

Mr. Cathy planned to display the last Taurus with many of his other collectible cars at his Atlanta headquarters and at his restaurants.

He opened his first restaurant, the Dwarf Grill, in 1946 with his brother. In 1961, he developed Chick-fil-A’s trademark chicken sandwich and asked diners from the Ford plant in Hapeville to try it. He opened his first Chick-fil-A restaurant in 1967 in Atlanta.

Ford announced in January that it would end production of the Taurus after 21 years and sales of nearly 7 million vehicles.

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