Carbon Motors holds auction

(WISH Photo/Lauren Lowrey)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A slightly used car was auctioned off on Thursday in Indianapolis. Normally that wouldn’t be news, but the sale of this particular car symbolizes the death of a dream for an Indiana city.

A south side Indianapolis auction house is the end of the road for the romance between Carbon Motors and the people of Indiana–Connersville specifically.

Rolled out in 2009, the high tech police car was to be built in the empty former Visteon Plant.

ONLINE EXTRA | Futuristic police car goes to auction

The people of Fayette County were so excited, they flocked to the old plant to see the new technological marvel.

Company executives claimed Carbon would bring 1,500 jobs to a town with 16 percent unemployment.

Carbon executives blamed the federal government for the company’s downfall, refusing to give it a $300 million loan.

Private investors wouldn’t bite and in 2013 the company filed bankruptcy.

Carbon Motors owed nearly $22 million.

Indiana lost $7 million it gave to the company. And the prototype that started it all, was bought by a bidder in Wisconsin for $74,000.

A few other items were sold as well, adding another $3,000 to the sale. So, the bankruptcy trustee will get about $77,000 from the auction.

The two men who first peddled the project to the people of Connersville have moved on. William Santana Li and Stacy Stephens have a new company out in Silicon Valley.

Knightscope makes robots that predict and prevent crime. They have a prototype built.

The are trying to raise money for the new venture, on the internet this time, instead of the government.

The Visteon plant is now part of Wayzata Home Products which is going to make cabinets in it, creating 300 jobs.

It was supposed to open at the end of this month. That’s been delayed until the end of February. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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