1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible  Chassis no. 128 Engine no. 7715

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Lot 320
1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible
Chassis no. 128 Engine no. 7715

US$ 175,000 - 225,000
£ 130,000 - 170,000
Amended
1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia

Chassis no. 128
Engine no. 7715
Back in the late Forties and early Fifties Gene Casaroll, the force behind the Dual-Ghia and its Ghia L 6.4 successor, was on a roll. His Automobile Shippers company had a 100+ fleet of semi-trailers on the road hauling new cars from factories to dealers who could sell just about every one as soon as it arrived. Gene wasn't one to bask in the success, however, and kept looking for new challenges. During the war he conceived of a dual-engined lowboy transporter for tanks and other heavy weapons. He established Dual Motors to build them but found demand for tank-haulers dropped off quickly after V-E Day.

He went to Indy with his Automobile Shippers Specials, employing veteran drivers Henry Banks, George Lynch, Bill Schindler, Carl Forberg, Walt Faulkner, Troy Ruttman and Duane Carter. He dabbled with the idea of putting Frank Kurtis's two-seat sports car into serious production. Then he spotted the Dodge "Firearrow" dream cars.

A series of four different designs, the Firearrows' coachwork was designed and built in Italy by Luigi Segre's Carrozzeria Ghia. The fourth Firearrow, with accommodations for four, particularly appealed to Casaroll and he and Paul Farago negotiated rights to the design and supply of chassis and engines with Chrysler. After redesigning the car for more room, chassis rigidity and weight distribution (which included moving the Dodge engine a full foot back in the chassis), the first cars, now called the Dual-Ghia, began to arrive in mid-1956.

It was an immediate hit and Casaroll resolved to allow only the most select clientele to buy one. Every order crossed his desk and was summarily accepted or rejected based on Casaroll's subjective criteria, one of which was geographic and social distribution. When the Rat Pack seized upon the Dual-Ghia as their ride of choice Casaroll accepted orders from Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher and Peter Lawford. Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin didn't make the cut, but Gary Morton, Lucille Ball's husband who frequented the Rat Pack's periphery, did. Other owners included Eddie Fisher and Glenn Ford.

Viewed with hindsight, these are perhaps even more amazing automobiles, a swansong of the luxury car industry, they combine European Ghia styling with Mopar performance.

The series one 1957 Dual-Ghia convertible offered here is beautifully presented as the result of much recent work which has been lavished on it. This has included a 'no-expense spared' new leather interior in sumptuous camel leather and tan canvas convertible top. Wide white wall tires accent the superb body work and lustrous pale yellow exterior. Underhood, the impeccably detailed engine bay reveals the powerful Chrysler D-500 "HEMI" V8 engine, which displays period correct finishes and components.

From the collection of a well know Ghia collector, this car was one of the most sought after-luxury cars of the 50's. Today, astute collectors continue to prize the Dual Ghia for its incredible appearance and superior construction as well as its high performance.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the year on this lot should read 1958. This car is currently titled using a modern engraved plate attached to the firewall. The original factory VIN plate remains in the doorjam and Bonhams will assist in correcting the titlework.
1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible  Chassis no. 128 Engine no. 7715
1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible  Chassis no. 128 Engine no. 7715
1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible  Chassis no. 128 Engine no. 7715
1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible  Chassis no. 128 Engine no. 7715
1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible  Chassis no. 128 Engine no. 7715
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