Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Ghia
*Please note that this vehicle is titled by its engine number.
B.W. Godwin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (acquired new in 1958)Arthur Lori Jr., Northeast Pennsylvania (acquired from the above)Dr. Paul Sable, Kutztown, Pennsylvania (acquired circa 1981)Charles Swimmer, San Diego, California (acquired from the above)Private Collector, Las Vegas, NevadaJohn O’Quinn, Houston, TexasCurrent Owner (acquired from the above in 2009)
Automobile design expert Robert Cumberford characterized the Dual-Ghia’s styling as “Symphonic surfaces from one of the most creative periods of one of the finest Italian coachbuilders.” Writing in Life magazine at the end of 1958, Paul O’Neill described it rather less poetically, as “a hot-looking automobile with an Italian body and a Dodge engine.” This lovely example, No. 128, was the very car that introduced renowned marque authority Dr. Paul Sable to the Dual-Ghia. Eventually, he would own 24 more.
The Dual-Ghia was developed from Chrysler’s Firearrow concept cars by Paul Farago. To make the Dual-Ghia more practical, back seats and bumpers were added. Under the skin, the Dodge frame was shortened and the wheelbase reduced. The engine was moved back in the frame to improve weight distribution, and a new floor pan featured a step-down frame. While GM’s Motorama cars of the early 1950s were noted for their dramatic space-age styling, it seems likely that the understated beauty of the Dual- Ghia was responsible for the buzz created among the Hollywood set. Approximately 60 Dual-Ghias are thought to survive today.
Equipped with the desirable, high-powered D500 Hemi engine, this example was sold new to B.W. Godwin of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The second owner, Arthur Lori Jr., was from a family of Dual-Ghia owners: his father Arthur Sr. owned No. 188. The younger Lori had Tiny Gould maintain and freshen his Dual-Ghia. Dr. Sable acquired No. 128 in the early 1980s, and fell in love, writing his seminal article about the Dual-Ghia for Automobile Quarterly, which, he states, features numerous images of No. 128. Dr. Sable also compiled the research on No. 128’s provenance. Since then, No. 128 has been owned by collectors Chuck Swimmer and John O’Quinn. Mr. O’Quinn had acquired it along with two other Dual-Ghias, including Dean Martin’s, with the intention of forming an exhibit at a new museum.
Today, No. 128 presents in highly attractive condition. Under the hood, the consignor notes, the engine bay is painted the correct blue, while the engine itself is the correct orange. The cream leather interior presents wonderfully and No. 128 remains a beautiful example that the consignor believes has never been fully disassembled for total restoration. According to a letter from Dr. Sable, the Dual-Ghia retains many correctly numbered parts. Even the four rarely seen wheel covers have survived. The consignor highlights that No. 128 also retains the dash plaque stating the name of its first owner, which is extremely rare. Equipped with its original pushbutton radio, the car is supplied with brochures and a history file. This charming Dual-Ghia represents an exclusive opportunity to acquire the very finest in Italian coachbuilt styling combined with robust American mechanicals.