DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) _ Each of the key players negotiating the final details of a new contract between Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers has had a personal stake in the talks.

The most visible is UAW President Owen Bieber, negotiating the last pattern contract of his tenure as president of the 800,000-member union. He retires at the union's next constitutional convention in 1995. He was elected for the first time in 1983.

For the third time in as many negotiations, Bieber allowed the talks to run into overtime. He had hinted this might happen on the day Ford was selected as the union's bargaining target. The UAW last struck over a national contract since 1985, conducting a short walkout at Chrysler Corp.

''There is nothing magical about 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 14,'' Bieber declared in a news conference when Ford was named the target.

True to his word, the deadline came and went Tuesday night. His mood appeared to grow more somber during the day Tuesday. Bieber was negotiating with men he knew well and respected - and the thought of a strike was obviously distasteful.

Bieber's counterparts at Ford lobbied hard for the company to be named the target in this year's bargaining. In public appearances in the nine months before the target was selected, Ford and UAW officials proclaimed their readiness to negotiate a contract that could serve as the industry's pattern.

Having the negotiations led by vice president Ernie Lofton, director of the union's Ford Department, allowed Lofton his turn in the spotlight in his next- to-last chance before his retirement in 1998.

The previous two pattern negotiations were led by Stephen Yokich, the union vice president who heads the GM Department and is expected to succeed Bieber as president of the union. On the Ford side, the players have been in place for the last two rounds. Peter Pestillo, executive vice president of corporate relations, and Jack Hall, vice president of labor relations, are two reasons why Ford's relations with the union are recognized as the best of the Big Three.

Pestillo, who led the Ford side in 1987, gave way to Hall in 1990 but was still involved, as he is this year.

In an unusual move, but one seen as smoothing the bargaining process, Ford named Hall a vice president before negotiations formally opened June 24.

Not only did it send a signal that Hall had the clout to do a deal, it prevented possible embarrassment for the union had Hall's promotion been made after the contract was reached and been viewed as a reward.