In the early 1950s, Chrysler teamed up with Carrozzeria Ghia of Italy to build a handful of show cars to demonstrate what American engineering and Italian coachbuilding could produce. Chrysler built six of these vehicles, named the Chrysler Ghia Special coupe, and Ghia built 12 more.
“These Chrysler Specials were show stoppers at the time of their introduction and were reserved for celebrities the world over,” says the Phoenix, Arizona dealer advertising one of these rare coupes on ClassicCars.com.
The Pick of the Day is a 1953 Chrysler Ghia Special coupe that was hand-built in Torino, Italy, by Ghia and sold new to famous jockey Johnny Longden by France Motors in Paris.
According to this coupe’s records, Longden shipped the car on the SS Liberte in 1953 and then registered it to his home address in Arcadia, California.
A well-known Chrysler collector, Robert Frumkin of Los Angeles, acquired the car in 1960 from a woman who bought it shortly after Longden brought it to California. Longden sent Frumkin a handwritten letter confirming the car’s provenance and the original color combination.
In 1979, Frumkin passed on the car to a friend and client who is the current owner today.
According to the dealer, each of the Ghia’s owners kept the car “incredibly well-preserved,” and as it currently shows only 33,000 miles.
“It is a truly impressive car no matter what angle it’s viewed from. We love the smooth and sexy lines that are timeless,” the dealer notes.
The body is finished in an elegant Dove Gray that the ad states has a patina of originality but could have been repainted long ago. It features all-original chrome and stainless steel that appear to be in good condition.
The interior, which the dealer describes as “absolutely stunning in its design and execution,” is equipped with maroon leather seats and redone carpet.
Powering the coupe is a Chrysler 331cid Hemi V8 with a 1954 4-barrel carburetor and mated to a Chrysler automatic transmission.
“Sitting behind the wheel is quite a thrill,” the dealer says. “Whether kept as a preservation example or used as the basis of an easy restoration, this is an incredibly rare opportunity to acquire an iconic motorcar.”
The asking price for this rare Chrysler Ghia Special is $550,000.