Ghia L6,4

Car producer : 

Ghia

Model:

L6,4

Year:

1958-1961

Type:

Coupe



Ghia initially made lightweight aluminum-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).

Following differences between Boano and the company's Naples-born chief engineer and designer Luigi Segre, Boano left the company in 1953 and ownership passed to Segre in 1954. Under the leadership of Luigi Segre,[2] 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 (the Volvo P1800). 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 Crown Imperial 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 bought 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 with a 351 cu in (5,750 cc) OHV Ford V8.

No one can deny that Eugene Casaroll fought the good fight. The Detroit businessman had taken a Chrysler concept car and developed it into a limited-production convertible, employing such features as reliable MoPar mechanicals and svelte hand-built Ghia coachwork. Not only had the car been successfully produced in only three short years since its 1956 introduction, it had also become the favored automobile of Hollywood royalty. Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Peter Lawford all had Dual-Ghias in their driveways.

Nonetheless, by 1958, Casaroll was ailing, and business for the shipping line, which was his bread and butter, had slowed. He was not in the market to continue his success, but Vice President of Dual Motors Paul Farago was, and he and the Ghia designers drew up a second-generation model, a “two-plus-two” fastback coupe with lines refined by Chrysler’s Virgil Exner. Ghia would hand-build not only the body but virtually the entire car, including the chassis, which was based on 1960 Chrysler suspension, and a 383-cubic inch “Wedge” V-8. As the involvement of Casaroll’s Dual Motors shrunk, the new model was simply christened the Ghia L 6.4, or “6.4 Liter,” which is the metric displacement of its engine.

The L 6.4, priced at an astonishing $13,500, nonetheless brought back Sinatra and Ball as return customers, and no one could deny that the buyer didn’t get his or her money’s worth, as the Ghia was among the finest-finished automobiles in the world. It wasn’t the price that was the problem; the problem was the cost of production and the complications that came with building a car in Italy and selling it in the United States. In the end, the L6.4 was doomed to a brief yet glorious existence, with only 26 built and sold.

Sold for: 577500 USD
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