Year: 1956 to 1958
Exterior: Calypso Coral
Features: Removable convertible top with tonneau cover
Please note: Edition limited to 57 hand-numbered units.
Eugene Casaroll, owner of Automobile Shippers, Inc., a Detroit trucking firm that moved most of Chrysler's cars from the factory to dealers and distributors, was the force behind the Dual-Ghia car. Impressed with one of Chrysler's Italian designed (Carrozzeria Ghia in Torino) dream cars that Chrysler had commissioned, The Fire Arrow, he acquired the design and production rights from Chrysler. Casaroll hired a then well-known Detroit Italian-born mechanic, stylist, racer and car builder, Paul Farago, to produce with Ghia of Italy a more practical family car using the styling of the original Fire Arrow show cars. He set up an assembly plant in Detroit on Van Dyke Avenue under another corporation he owned, Dual Motor Company.
A four passenger sport convertible prototype with added leg room, trunk space and other features was introduced on June 28, 1955 at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Detroit under the name, Firebomb. One year later at the International Automobile Show held in New York, the progressively refined styled car was introduced at $7,646. The new name was Dual-Ghia, combining the names of the manufacturer and coachmaker in traditional European fashion. The all steel, hand formed (over aluminum dies) bodies made in Italy were shipped to Dual Motors for assembly using many Chrysler Corporation drive train parts.
The attraction of the Dual-Ghia was the successful mating of a superbly styled and executed Ghia body with easily serviced Chrysler running gear. The automotive press lavished it with praise, as did non-automotive magazines of the era such as Time, Life, and Good Housekeeping who reported on the Dual-Ghia as a social phenomenon. It became known as the "car of the stars" owned by such celebrities as Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, musicians Hoagy Carmichael, David Rose, and other such "well knowns" as actress Natalie Trundy and flamboyant tennis star Gussie Moran.
The car is exceptional in design and engineering with a step down floor and 50/50 weight transfer. An overall height of only 54" yet sufficient head room resulted in the car actually being called a four-passenger sports car by a number of magazines. Detailing of the bodies is extraordinary for the era. All body trim, as well as the grille, windshield molding and other exterior appointments such as inner doorsills are chrome plated solid brass. The engine and truck compartments are edged in polished aluminum molding. Over 1,500 man-hours were said to have been lavished on each car before it left the factory. While production of 150 cars per year was planned over two years (1957-1958), only 99 to as many as 117 cars were built.
Diecasm Payment Plan:
This model is eligible for Diecasm's exclusive Automodello Homage Edition for 3 payment plan. Please see details here.