Ghia 450SS Convertible

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450SS Convertible





Carrozzeria Ghia SpA (established 1916 in Turin) is an Italian automobile design and coachbuilding firm, established by Giacinto Ghia and Gariglio as Carrozzeria Ghia & Gariglio. The headquarters is located at 4 Corso Valentino in Turin.

Ghia initially made lightweight aluminium-bodied cars, achieving fame with the Alfa Romeo 6C 1500, winning Mille Miglia (1929). Between the world wars, Ghia designed special bodies for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Lancia, one of the most famous was the Fiat 508 Balilla sports coupe (1933). The factory was rebuilt at Via Tomassi Grossi, after being demolished in an air raid during World War II (1943). After Ghia's death (1944), the company was sold to Mario Boano and Giorgio Alberti. The Ghia-Aigle subsidiary was established in Aigle, Switzerland (1948).

The decade between 1953 and 1963 saw many foreign firms ordering Ghia designs, such as Ford (the Lincoln Futura concept car), Volkswagen (the Karmann Ghia), and Volvo. Chrysler and its designer Virgil Exner became a close partner for 15 years, resulting in eighteen Chrysler Ghia Specials (1951–53), the K-310, the Chrysler Norseman, the Imperial Crown limousines (Jackie Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, and other luminaries owned one), and others. There are even a few Ghia-bodied Ferraris. Ghia also participated in the short-lived Dual-Ghia venture. Production by Ghia was always in very low numbers, giving the company's products even greater exclusivity than those of the other Italian coachbuilders.

In 1953, Boano left for Fiat, the factory moved to via Agostino da Montefeltro, and Luigi Segre took over. Ghia then brought in Pietro Frua, appointing Frua as head of Ghia Design (1957–60), designing the Renault Floride. After Segres death (1963), Ghia was sold to Ramfis Trujillo (1966), who sold to Alejandro de Tomaso (1967), owner of a rival design house, who took over, but had difficulty in running Ghia profitably. In 1970, he sold his shares to the Ford Motor Company. During this transition period, Ghia had partial involvement in the De Tomaso Pantera, a high-performance, mid-engine car utilizing a Ford V8.

The Ghia 450 SS What the brainchild of Hollywood producer Burt Sugarman (producer of such noteworthy movies as the Children of a Lesser God and television shows that included The Newlywed Game). Sugarman had seen a Fiat-based Ghia GT on the 1960 European show circuit and encouraged the coachbuilder to create a production model. Ghia had its designer Giorgetto Giugiaro had a curvaceous steel body but Sugarman had a different idea for the mechanical aspect of the car.

The semi-monocoque body was given steel-tube underpinnings and Plymouth Barracuda suspension. Under the hood what Chrysler's venerable 273-cid small-block 'Commando' V-8 with Carter AFB four-barrelled carburettor, delivering power to a TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Introduced at the 1966 Turin Show, the 450 SS had a lofty price tag of $ 13,000 and was retailed through a single Beverly Hills dealership. Just 57 were built, of which perhaps a handful survive.

Sold for: 220000 USD
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