The Marketplace: Ghia L6.4
Carrozzeria Ghia is responsible for some of the prettiest car designs that have come out of Italy over the years. The wonderful flowing lines of the Karmann-Ghia and the pretty Renault Floride are good examples of this. The Ghia L6.4 you see here is a bit of an exception in my opinion, it drew heavily the 'Dual Ghia' that was the result of a venture between Ghia and Chrysler. This L6.4 builds upon Chrysler components as well, but containing a custom chassis and (of course) a body that was built and designed by Ghia in Italy. Definitely American-influenced in its design, it is no wonder that this car was primarily targeted at the US market. Ghia agent at the time, Paul Farago, had a big hand in realising this project together with Eugene Casaroll, boss of the Dual car manufacturing company based in Michigan (who was also behind the Dual Ghia). It was frightfully expensive ($7500) at the time, meaning that many cars were sold to well paid actors, musicians and the like. Frank Sinatra had one, while the car in this post was owned by Dean Martin (who was at the time one of the US' hottest singers/actors/comedians).
In fact Dean Martin decided this Ghia wasn't exclusive enough and sent it off to Californian customiser 'Barris Kustoms'. Now, this car must have been subject to very little customising as I, for one, can't spot the difference between this and 'standard' Ghias. For the time it obviously had quite a few modern gimmicks like power steering, air conditioning and power brakes. Combine that to a huge American V8 lump with 335hp (in comparison a Ferrari 250 GTO only had about 300hp on tap at the time) and you can be certain, despite the weight, that this Italo-American hybrid was pretty competent when it came to a traffic light Grand Prix. And in the corners? Well, I wouldn't know, try flying to St. Louis, Missouri where the car is for sale and make a test drive. Hyman Ltd. is offering it for the gigantic price of $199,500, hmm..
Photos: Hyman Ltd.