Wednesday, 17 April 2013

'58 Dual-Ghia

If there's one car that screams '1950s Hollywood', it's the Dual-Ghia Convertible.
Dual-Ghia was a short-lived marque set up in 1956, selling cars for just two years - exclusivity was key to the brand; indeed, noted columnist Dorothy Kilgallen joked that at that time a Rolls-Royce was 'the Hollywood status symbol for those who can’t get a Ghia'. Their rarity and phenomenal quality, as well as their gorgeous, detailed design, makes them pretty hot property these days.

Designed by Chrysler, a four-seater convertible was the only bodystyle on offer. Dodge chassis and drivetrains were shipped to Italy, where bespoke bodywork was lovingly stroked onto the base by the crafstmen at Ghia. They were then shipped back to the States, to be bought by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Richard Nixon. Ronald Reagan once owned one too, which he famously lost in a game of poker to Lyndon Johnson. Just 117 cars were built, with around a quarter of those surviving today.

This particular one is due to go under the hammer with RM Auctions later in the month. With its 230bhp, 315ci Hemi V8, Carter four-barrel carb and Chrysler PowerFlite transmission, it's a pretty racy little thing, although those sumptuous lines just cry out for luxurious boulevard cruising. It used to belong to Hoagy Carmichael, and won Best in Show at the 2003 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. RM's guide price? $250,000-450,000. Click here for more.

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