Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Ghia
Don Ryburn, Reno, Nevada (acquired in 1976)Bill Pearce, Louisville, Kentucky (acquired from the above in 1982)Private Collection, Houston, Texas (acquired from the above in 2010)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Louisville Concours d’Elegance, October 2008 (Best in Class)Concours d’Elegance of Texas, May 2012 (First in Class)
Seeking exotic good looks and exclusivity? Here is one of an estimated 70 surviving Dual-Ghia convertibles of the original production of approximately 100 cars. Beautifully presented and offered from an important East Coast collection, this striking example is the epitome of Dual-Ghia’s imaginative mix of Italian styling and American horsepower.
The story of the Dual-Ghia is fascinating. Marque authority Dr. Paul Sable relates that in the 1950s, Eugene Casaroll, who amassed a fortune transporting new cars from factories to dealerships, became entranced with Chrysler’s series of Ghia-styled postwar concept cars. When the company decided against production, Casaroll obtained the rights and contracted with Ghia to build a prototype named the Firearrow. It was so well received that Casaroll engaged Ghia to build a small series. The name “Dual” came from Casaroll’s unique heavy military transporters that utilized twin transmissions. The new cars were offered in only seven colors: white, blue, red, black, burgundy, green, and copper, although Dr. Sable says there is correspondence indicating that Ghia would paint cars to order. Interiors were lavish, with high-grade leather, and the carpeting was the finest wool. Dual-Ghias were powered by high-performance Chrysler V-8 engines and used two-speed automatic transmissions. With its exotic styling and jet-set image, the Dual-Ghia became an instant status symbol. Owners included Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Eddie Fisher, and Glenn Ford.
This Dual-Ghia, chassis 134, was advertised as a single-owner car when Don Ryburn of Reno, Nevada, acquired it in 1976, and when it was sold six years later to Bill Pearce of Louisville, Kentucky, it found a keeper who was intensely dedicated to the marque. As well as being a collector, Pearce was a very skilled restorer. Over a 10-year period, Pearce brought this Dual-Ghia back to showroom condition. His reward was a Best in Class honor at the 2008 Louisville Concours d’Elegance.
The strength of Pearce’s restoration efforts continued to pay dividends at the inaugural Concours d’Elegance of Texas in May 2012, where the Dual-Ghia won First in Class for American Convertible and Luxury Cars, 1946–1969.
While in the care of the consignor, a noted collector with a passion for important American styling and concept cars, this fine example has continued to enjoy ideal care, storage in a climate-controlled environment, and service as needed to remain in lovely condition throughout. Resplendent in jet-black paint, this magnificent symbol of wealth from the 1950s is ready for showing and many years of enjoyable motoring. This Dual-Ghia will certainly turn heads at every avenue.