1966 Ghia 450SS
(Featured on 19th June 2013)
Sellers original description:
The Ghia 450SS is a very interesting hybrid of Italian coachwork with American power plant. Although the exact number is not known, best estimates are 52 cars were built. Of those 26 are known to exist with one confirmed destroyed. The other 25 may or may not have been built. Most of the cars were sold through a dealership in Beverly Hill, California. All were spyders (convertibles) and used the 273 Commando V8 engine from a Plymouth Barracuda matted to an automatic tranny. All cars were fitted with Borrani wire wheels and had a removable metal cover that would expose two rear seats. There were two options, a removable hard top and air conditioner; this car has both of these options. The Ghia 450SS was an expensive car. The window sticker price on this car (which I have) was $13,100; which was about the same price as a Maserati or Ferrari, and far more what would cost to buy a Corvette.
Do not think of the Ghia 450SS as simply a Barracuda with a fancy Italian sheet metal. In fact the monocote chassis was specifically designed and built by Ghia in Turin, Italy for this car and then the beautiful sheet metal wrapped around it to create the incredible shape. The design was by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also designed the Maserati Ghibli Iso Grifo and many other great cars. One thing I find very interesting is minimal use of chrome on this car. At a time when most cars had a ton of chrome this car let the curves of the bodywork do most of the talking. The shape of the bumpers and the way they integrate into the bodywork is just a work of art.
Do to the fact that most 450SS were sold by Beverly Hills Ghia, many first owners were somehow related to the Hollywood scene.The first owner of this car was TV personality Johnny Carson. Apparently Johnnie did not like to drive and gave this car to his personal pilot so he could travel as a passenger in style.
Paint is very nice, body is straight and rust free (California car) with superb body gaps, chrome is also very nice, all five Borrani wire wheels were just done and sport new tires, soft top is in fair but very usable condition, interior is very nice and most likely the original leather, hard top is in steel and is nicely finished. Mechanically she runs and drives as it should. Of course parts and people that can work on the Chrysler components are readily available.
The seats have a very unique design. What looks like headrests are in fact adjustable back supports. Leather appears to be the original and is in very good condition. The gauges are unique to the 450SS and have the Ghia script. All gauges are in working order. This car was featured on the cover of the December 1995 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
It was recently photographed for an upcoming issue of Hemmings Sports and Exotics magazine.
Car includes the optional removable hardtop, rear metal cover (which is missing on many cars), rear leather cover, spare tire, jack, Borrani knock off hammer, period magazines, original manuals, original specification sheet (very rare) and original window sticker.
Rare opportunity to acquire a beautiful and unique car with an interesting history.