1962 Dual-Ghia CoupeSOLD

RM Auctions - Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction - August 16-18

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Estimate: $175,000-$250,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $181,500

335 hp 383 cu. in. overhead valve Chrysler V8 engine with Torqueflite three speed automatic transmission, double wishbone and torsion bar independent front suspension, live axle and semi-elliptic leaf spring rear axle, and four wheel vacuum assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase 115“

Paul Farago was the American agent for the Italian coachbuilder Ghia. He was also very much involved in the production of the Dual Ghia, an Italian-American hybrid that was the brain child of Eugene Casaroll.

The Dual Ghia was a remarkable success in many ways. It is said to have had the longest production line in the world – from Detroit to Milan and back. The cars, however, were luxurious and extravagant, and attracted a following among the celebrities and socialites of the time. They were also very expensive, selling for almost $7,500 – or $1,000 more than Cadillac’s Eldorado Biarritz.

In 1960, Farago arranged with Ghia for the construction of a concept car for a new coupe. The result was stunning – exactly what the public expected of a new Dual Ghia. It was stylish and luxurious, with every imaginable amenity including fitted luggage.

The tremendous public response made the decision to go into production easy – but this time, the man who started it all, Eugene Casaroll, decided not to participate. He had many reasons, including health issues and the need to focus on his other businesses – but he was also concerned that the new car’s breathtaking price would restrict sales.

Built on a custom chassis by Ghia, the L 6.4 was very expensive to make, and used far fewer off-the-shelf parts than the earlier Dual Ghia had. It was even more luxurious, and the quality of materials even higher, and the result was that the car would have to sell for $13,500 – nearly double the price of the Dual Ghia.

Without Casaroll, the car was never badged as a Dual Ghia, and was simply built and sold by Carrozzeria Ghia, although Farago remained the American agent. There was plenty of interest in the car, and ultimately 25 more were built. Clients were once again from the cream of the ranks of celebrities and socialites, and included Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball – and Dean Martin.
Dean Martin

Born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1917, Dean Martin was one of the most important singers, actors, and comedians of the postwar era – although that hardly seemed likely from the start he got in life.

He dropped out of school in the tenth grade and held a variety of jobs ranging from bootlegger to blackjack dealer and croupier. He was also a boxer, and to raise money he would sell tickets to bare knuckle fights with his roommate in his apartment that continued until one or the other was knocked out.

He began singing with local bands in the 1930s using the stage name Dino Martini. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he resumed his nightclub career as Dean Martin. Before long, he met Jerry Lewis, and the pair developed a comedy routine that launched their careers. They became the hottest act in America in the early 1950s.

By the late 1950s, Martin had embarked on a solo career, but it was his role in the 1957 film The Young Lions, starring opposite Marlon Brando and Mongomery Clift, that springboarded his solo acting career. New roles came quickly after that and by the sixties, he was firmly established as one of the top film and recording stars of the time.

Martin never learned to read music, but recorded more than 500 songs. It is interesting to recall that Sinatra’s “Everybody Loves Somebody” was the tune that displaced the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” from the number one spot.
It was at this time – as Dean Martin’s career was launching – when he was one of America’s top performers in films, in nightclubs, and in the recording studio – that he bought this spectacular Ghia. Its stunning design confirmed his arrival as much as its frightening cost demonstrated his status as one of the country’s most highly paid performers.

A remarkable time capsule, Dean Martin’s Ghia has never needed restoration, and retains most of its original paint, interior, chrome, and trim. A brass plaque affixed to the console affirms that this car was built expressly for him – as does the car’s original title, a copy of which – in Martin’s wife’s name – accompanies the car.

A recent service has verified that this lovely and important Ghia remains in excellent condition today, starting easily and driving well. The lovely patina of its leather interior makes one wonder if he practiced “Amore” – recorded that year – in this very car?

Please note that this lot's year is a 1962 Dual Ghia.

Reference Number 10082

as of 6/1/2007

Car 1962 Dual-Ghia Coupe
VIN 00320 
Exterior / Interior Color      Black 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Options Interior: Wooden steering wheel 
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