Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Ghia
Paul Farago of Ghia USA, Detroit, Michigan (used as factory demonstrator in 1963)Ghia of Beverly Hills, California (acquired from the above in 1967)Dean Martin, Beverly Hills, California (acquired from the above in 1967)Gary Morton, Beverly Hills, California (acquired from the above in 1972)Jack Bart, New York City, New York (acquired from the above in 1973)Chris and Curt Riley, Stamford, Connecticut (acquired from the above in 1989)The Blackhawk Collection, Danville, California (acquired from the above in 1998)Sidney H. Craig, Rancho Santa Fe, California (acquired from the above in 1999)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2009)
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Italy, 2014 (Baer Bank Trophy)
After manufacture of the luxurious Dual-Ghia convertible ended, Gene Casaroll’s partner, Paul Farago, launched a lavish new coupe aimed at the Hollywood in-crowd. This time it would simply be called a Ghia, and to the initiated, the model number L6.4 signified that Chrysler’s powerful 6.4 liter, or 383 cid, V-8 lurked under the hood. With its dramatic space-age styling, the L6.4 was the star of the October 1960 Paris motor show, and soon Frank Sinatra had one in his garage. With an outrageous $13,000 asking price, one could alternatively have had two Cadillac Eldorados or an average house for about the same amount.
According to thorough research by historians Paul Sable and Dyke Ridgely, this Ghia L6.4, chassis 0325, was first shipped to Paul Farago in Detroit, finished in dark green with a stainless roof and camel-colored “Boar” leather interior. Mr. Farago used it as a demonstrator for four years before it was sold via Ghia of Beverly Hills to Rat Pack member Dean Martin, its first private owner.
Mr. Martin owned the Ghia for two years before commissioning famed customizer George Barris to personalize it for him. Modifications included Rose Bronze metallic paint, a new dash and center console facing in wood, a storage locker between the seats, a gun holster under the driver’s seat, and special oval Cibie headlights, themselves a common upgrade performed by Barris on a number of L6.4 examples. The final touch was a Barris plaque on the console stating, “This Ghia designed and coach built exclusively for Mr. Dean Martin.” Mr. Martin sold the Ghia in 1972 to stand-up comedian Gary Morton, who was married to Lucille Ball and served for years as her manager.
The Ghia would go through a series of doting owners before being purchased by the Europe-based consignor in 2009. Sympathetic cosmetic freshening was subsequently performed, and in 2014 the Ghia was shown at the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, where it received the Baer Bank Trophy for exceptional craftsmanship. Still fitted with its Barris modifications, this low-mileage Ghia is now finished in a stunning coat of black paint and retains its original interior. With 17 examples believed to still exist, any Ghia L6.4 is a very rare car. Chassis 0325, with its celebrity provenance and well-preserved condition, reflects a superior example of the model. Embodying the sparkling glory of the Golden Era of Hollywood that is long gone, this Ghia L6.4 Coupe demands the attention of all who encounter it.