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Mon, Oct 23, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Mr Chick-fil-A earmarks the very last Ford Taurus

END OF THE ROAD The sedan, whose production ends this week, has a special place in the affections of fast food entrepreneur Truett Cathy

AP , ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Ford Motor Co officials are working to provide the founder of the Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant chain with the last Ford Taurus that rolls off the assembly line when production of the model ends on 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 on Saturday that Cathy had received "a commitment from the plant" to receive the last Taurus.

Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said that the details were not completely 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.

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.

Earlier this year Ford announced that it would cease production of the Taurus after 21 years and sales of nearly 7 million vehicles.

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