Monterey

19-20 August 2016

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Lot 152

1962 Ghia L 6.4 Coupe

  • Chassis no. 0319
  • Engine no. 00319

Sold for $577,500


335 bhp, 383 cu. in. OHV Chrysler “Wedge” V-8 engine with a Carter four-barrel carburetor, three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, independent front suspension with torsion bar and tubular shock absorbers, solid rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and tubular shock absorbers, and front Girling disc brakes with rear Chrysler hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115 in.

  • Offered from the personal collection of a marque enthusiast
  • The finest restored example available
  • Rare European-delivery model
  • Exquisite original color scheme with factory air conditioning
  • 2015 Concorso Italiano Best in Class winner


No one can deny that Eugene Casaroll fought the good fight. The Detroit businessman had taken a Chrysler concept car and developed it into a limited-production convertible, employing such features as reliable MoPar mechanicals and svelte hand-built Ghia coachwork. Not only had the car been successfully produced in only three short years since its 1956 introduction, it had also become the favored automobile of Hollywood royalty. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Lucille Ball all had Dual-Ghias in their driveways.

Nonetheless, by 1958, Casaroll was ailing, and business for the shipping line, which was his bread and butter, had slowed. He was not in the market to continue his success, but Vice President of Dual Motors Paul Farago was, and he and the Ghia designers drew up a second-generation model, a “two-plus-two” fastback coupe with lines refined by Chrysler’s Virgil Exner. Ghia would hand-build not only the body, but virtually the entire car, including the chassis, which was based on 1960 Chrysler suspension, and a 383-cubic inch “Wedge” V-8. As the involvement of Casaroll’s Dual Motors shrunk, the new model was simply christened the Ghia L 6.4, or “6.4 Liter,” which is the metric displacement of its engine.

The L 6.4, priced at an astonishing $13,500, nonetheless brought back the Rat Pack—Sinatra, Martin, and Lawford—as return customers, and no one could deny that the buyer did not get his or her money’s worth, as the Ghia was among the finest-finished automobiles in the world. The price was not the problem; the problem was the cost of production and the complications that came with building a car in Italy and selling it in the United States. In the end, the L 6.4 was doomed to a brief yet glorious existence, with only 26 built and sold.

CHASSIS NUMBER 0319

The car offered here, chassis number 0319, was the 19th of the 26 examples built. According to Dual-Ghia historian Dr. Paul Sable, the car was originally delivered in Italy, subsequently being imported in the 1980s to the United States. Its owners here have included such well-known enthusiasts as Fred Kanter, perhaps the country’s foremost Dual-Ghia collector.

In its current ownership, the car has been completely restored, with the owner recounting that every component was refinished to factory-authentic condition and appearance using either original Ghia and Chrysler parts or precise reproductions where originals were not available. Visually the car is stunning in Rosso Rubino Metallizzato, with an interior in Wollsdorf Nappa Exclusive red leather. The L 6.4 is fitted with the rare factory air conditioning system, as well as with the extremely rare original hubcaps.

While the car was properly restored with correct Ghia “two-light” taillight assemblies, it was originally delivered with the European “three-light” configuration; the original parts for the latter accompany the car, as do a set of fantastic Borrani wire wheels, made especially for the L 6.4 from original plans in the Borrani archive. Included are also authentic period Cibie oval headlights and custom-made grilles, as were used by George Barris on the Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra L 6.4s. These parts allow the next owner the option of dressing up the car further, in true Rat Pack style! The car is also offered with the owner’s extensive collection of published L 6.4 documentation, comprising original sources, including an extremely rare factory brochure.

Since restoration, the car has been judged Best in Class at the 2015 Concorso Italiano, where it was also one of the eight finalists for Best in Show, as well as Best in Class at the 2015 Concours on the Avenue in Carmel. It is ready for further show appearances, and in a recent telephone conversation, Dr. Sable vouched for the quality of its restoration. It is, without a doubt, the finest L 6.4 on the market today and an exceptional, significant addition to any collection.

Addendum

Please note that a correct set of fitted luggage has just been completed and will be accompanying the car at the sale.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more