Carrozzeria Ghia, the famed Italian coachbuilder that has lent its name to so many exquisite designs, and worked with Chrysler on memorable concept cars and the Mopar-powered Ghia 450 SS, at a certain point in the 1960s decided to produce its own compact sports coupe.
The Pick of the Day, a 1967 Ghia 1500 GT, is one of the scant 846 that were built from 1963 to 1967, despite the company’s initial plan to mass produce the stylish coupe – the carrozzeria’s small size wound up limiting its output. Just 35 of the 1500 GTs were officially imported to the US, making them rare indeed.
The Ghia was based on the bones of the Fiat 1500 sedan but with swoopy styling from the company’ stylists working under design chief Sergio Sartorelli. The result was highly attractive, in the vein of such Italian stalwarts as Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, with “a long, sloping hood line and dashing fastback profile that terminated in a neat Kamm tail,” according to the Dallas dealer advertising the 1500 GT on ClassicCars.com.
“Special detailing abounded in delightfully shaped front fender vents, hidden door handles, and a slender rear bumper that perfectly shapes the rear panel and its simple round taillamps,” the seller states.
Although the Ghia 1500 GT was originally powered by the Fiat 1.5-liter inline-4, which put out between 67 to 84 horsepower, this coupe was restored with a sturdy replacement engine from Volvo, a 2-liter unit rated at 118 horsepower.
“The replacement motor weighs considerably less than the original motor,” the dealer notes. “A superb and fast car, the extra 40-60hp makes it an exciting drive.”
Aside from the engine upgrade, the Ghia was restored to original spec and stands in excellent condition, the seller says, which the photos with the ad seem to confirm.
“This is an exceptional example, perhaps one of the finest in the world,” the ad says. “The body and frame were blasted, epoxy primed and painted Rosso Corsa by a top-quality paint shop in Bellingham, WA. The Borrani wheels have been powder-coated and new tires were fitted. The headliner, seats and carpet are all fully restored.”
This rare piece of Italian artistry with the Swedish engine would be a huge hit at any Italian car gathering, even though some purists might turn up their noses.
The seller notes that the Ghia is lower priced than comparable custom-bodied Italian specials, although it’s still fairly substantial at $69,000. But maybe not so much for such a rare and stylish coupe that could be driven with confidence on any number of tours and rallies.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.