Dual Motors only existed for eight years, but in that time, the marque was able to combine the essence of Virgil Exner's uniquely American design with Ghia's hand built Italian coachwork. These flamboyant cars were based on a modified Dodge chassis with a 315 cubic-inch V8. Unfortunately, the cost to build a Dual Ghia exceeded the selling price, and less than 200 were built. Many were owned by celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
In the early 1950's, Chrysler designer Virgil Exner had created a series of striking 'Firearrow' concept cars crafted by Italian coachbuilder Ghia. Eugene Casaroll - who owned Dual Motors Corporation - bought the rights to the Firearrow design. By 1956, Casaroll's first car, the Dual-Ghia, was in production. Casaroll built about 100 Dual-Ghias through 1958 priced at $7,646.
Perforamnce was excellent, especially in the cars powered by the high performance, Dodge Hemi D-500, a 315 cubic-inch V8. Out of the cars produced, only 32 are believed to still exist. Over 1,500 man-hours were said to have been lavished on each car before it left the factory. Reportedly, Ronald Regan owned one, which he lost in a high-stakes poker game with then-President Lyndon Johnson.
This car was originally a demonstrator for a Chrysler dealership, Sanders Motors of Long Island, NY. The Pomerantz family of Great Neck, Long Island NY, purchased it. Traded in 1962, the car was slightly used with 42,000 miles. It was driven for a short period of time and then put into storage for the next 32 years.
The current owner acquired it with 44,557 miles on the odometer, then and began a complete restoration project that has taken 12 years to complete. The 2007 Radnor Hunt Concours d'Elegance marked its inaugural concours debut. It was also shown at the 2008 Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance.
Dual-Ghia was a short-lived, rare automobile make, produced in the United States beginning in 1956. The venture was masterminded by Eugene Casaroll, who formed Dual Motors in Detroit, Michigan. The design was based on an earlier Chrysler show car named the Firearrow, which had been designed by Virgil Exner. After the first run of Dual-Ghia's, Casaroll's health began to fail, and his chief engineer, Paul Farago, spearheaded the development of a second model, the 6.4L, a coupe which was produced until 1963.
The design of the original Dual Ghia was fairly conservative with single headlamps and slab-sided features, avoiding fins and other styling gimmicks. A Dodge frame and drivetrain was transported to Italy, where the bodywork was fabricated by the coachbuilder Carrozzeria Ghia. Performance was excellent, due to the cars being powered by the 315 cid Dodge hemispherical-head short-stroke V8 engine. Out of the 117 cars produced, 32 still exist.
Most Dual Ghias were bought by American celebrities, such as Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden and Richard Nixon. Desi Amaz owned one, but wrecked it. Legend says that Ronald Regan owned one, but lost it in a high-stakes poker game with then-President Lyndon Johnson.
This Dual-Ghia is freshly restored and retains its original wire wheels.
Sold for $176,000 at 2008 RM Sothebys. This 1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible Sportscar is finished in Ivory White and has been thoroughly restored. It rides on a set of period-correct wide whitewall tires and a set of chrome-plated Kelsey-Hayes 40-spoke wire wheels. The interior is trimmed in dark green leather upholstery and there is matching green carpeting. The ivory painted dash is topped with dark green padding. There are power brakes, power operated windows, and a Town and Country AM radio. The trunk is lined in gray carpeting. Power is from the 315 cubic-inch D-500 engine with its chrome valve covers and 230 BHP.
In 2008, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions where it had an estimated value of $200,000 - $300,000. It was sold for a high bid of $176,000 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2009
Sold for $176,000 at 2009 RM Sothebys. Sold for $181,500 at 2009 RM Sothebys. High bid of $120,000 at 2009 RM Sothebys. (did not sell) Between 1956 and 1958, there were approximately 117 examples of the Dual-Ghia built. The majority of these cars wore the convertible body style. They were priced at a hefty $7,646 and were $1,000 more expensive than the ultra-luxurious Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. The Dual-Ghia's were powered by a the Chrysler D-500 'Hemi' V8 engine and mated to a Powerflite transmission.
The origins of the Dual-Ghia date back to 1953. Chrysler had commissioned the Italian Carrozzeria Ghia to build several advanced show cars based on Virgil Exner's design for the Thomas Speical. Ghia produced four Dodge Firearrow Concepts that were warmly received by the public, resulting in a production version. Chrysler declined to expand on this opportunity but Eugene Casaroll negotiated for the acquiring the rights to build a car based on the design.
This 1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible has a D-500 V8 engine with single four-barrel carburetor and 230 horsepower. There are four-wheel drum brakes and an independent front suspension. There is charcoal exterior, a black convertible top and period correct Kelsey-Hayes 40-spoke chrome wire wheels and whitewall tires. The interior is upholstered in gray leather with matching gray carpeting.
In 2009, this Dual-Ghia Convertible was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Arizona auction presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $225,000 - $275,000. The lot was sold for a high bid of $176,000 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Virgil Exner, chief designer at Chrysler teamed with Ghia to build a number of concept cars on Dodge chassis. Among these were four Dodge Firearrow show cars that were engineered as road-going models. They were shown all across America but were never put into production. Eugene Casaroll, owner of the first automobile shipping company in America, finally bought the designs and built the car himself. He first bought Dual Motors in Michigan, which was the starting point for the Dual-Ghias. Combining a chassis from Chrysler and contracting the bodywork to Ghia in Turin, the cars were expensive and exclusive and were bought by suitably rich and exclusive people - Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Eddie Fisher, Glenn Ford and Desi Arnaz were all owners. Built as both coupes and convertibles, around 117 Dual Ghias were made from 1957 onwards.
Sold for $200,000 at 2011 Gooding & Company. This Dual-Ghia, designed by Paul Farago with coachwork by Ghia, was originally owned by Clyde and Evelyn Young of Monterey, California. The car was exhibited at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on four occasions (1957, 1961, 1964, and 1970) and received awards at each occasion.
There is a mid-1960s service record that indicated the car had covered some 32,000 miles. Currently, the car shows less than 45,000 miles. It is an unrestored car and is in good running condition. Most of the paint is believed to be the original 15 coats of lacquer.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach Auction presented by Gooding & Company. The car was estimated to sell for $230,000 - $260,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $200,000 inclusive of buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2011
This Dual Ghia Convertible Coupe was first owned by Evelyn Young whose husband Clyde was a prominent local motor dealer. It was shown at Pebble Beach in 1957, 1961, 1964 and 1970, when it was awarded the Gwenn Graham Trophy. The car is original and unrestored.
The Dual Ghia was the idea of Eugene Casaroll, who formed Dual Motors in Detroit to build an exclusive car at the 'moderate' price of $10,000. The design was based on a Chrysler show car named the Firearrow. The cars were bought by high flyers of the day such as Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
The Dual Ghia was the brainchild of Gene Casaroll, who owned Dual Motors, a heavy truck company, and Auto Shippers, which shipped Chrysler products. He became interested in building a passenger car and secured the design rights to this design by Ghia of Turin, Italy, using a chassis and drive train by Chrysler.
The Dual Ghia was an instant hit, particularly with Hollywood celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford. At a time when a Cadillac convertible sold for $5,000 the Dual Ghia sold for $8,000 and the company lost money on every one!
This Dual Ghia was purchased new by a wealthy Oregon family. It was acquired from their grandchildren in the early 2000s by the current owners, who oversaw a complete restoration. It is powered by a 315 cubic-inch, 260 horsepower 'hemi' V8. It is one of only 100 Dual Ghias so equipped. The color is Calypso Coral.
Sold for $176,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company. Sold for $264,000 at 2015 Gooding & Company. This Dual Ghia was sold in 1976 to Don Ryburn of Reno, Nevada. At the time it was advertised as a one-owner example. Six years later, the car found its third owner, a Mr. Bill Pearce of Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Pearce had already purchased a second Dual-Ghia for the purpose of a restoration. After a gradual 10 year restoration, the work was complete. The car was painted in candy apple red and fitted with turbine-style wheels mounted with whitewall tires.
The car was shown at the 2008 Louisville's Concours d'Elegance where it was awarded Best in Class. The current owner acquired the car in 2010. It was shown at the May 2012 Concours d'Elegance of Texas where it won First Place in the class for American Convertible and Luxury Cars, 1946-1969.
This car has polished chrome, matching-numbers soft-top frame, metal-plated instrument panel and the tan leather upholstery with red color-matched piping. Power is from a 315 cubic-inch Dodge D-500 'Hemi' V-8 breathing through a single Carter 4-barrel carburetor offering 230 horsepower. There is a 2-speed PowerFlite automatic transmission and 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.
In 2013, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $185,000 - $225,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $176,000 inclusive of buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2013
The idea for Dual-Ghia came from Eugene Casaroll, who formed Dual Motors in Detroit to build an exclusive car at a moderate price. The design was based on an earlier show car, the Firearrow, designed by Virgil Exner and built by Chrysler. The design was fairly conservative with single headlamps and slab-sided features, avoiding fins and other styling gimmicks. A four-place convertible was the only offering.
A Dodge frame and drive-train was transported to Italy, where the bodywork was fabricated by the Italian Coachbuilder Ghia. Performance was excellent, due to the cars being powered by the 315 CID Dodge hemispherical-head short-stroke V-8 engine producing 260 horsepower.
Thirteen prototypes were built followed by 99 production cars and only 32 still exist. Originally, the cars were bought by American celebrities, such as Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, Richard Nixon and Desi Arnaz. Ronald Reagan owned one, but lost it in a high-stakes poker game with then-President Lyndon Johnson, who kept the car for several years. Dean martin can be seen driving his Dual Ghia in the film Kiss Me, Stupid.
This car is the tenth of the 99 built, and is extremely rare.
Sold for $330,000 at 2013 RM Sothebys. Around just 100 Dual-Ghias were built between 1956 and 1958. With the exception of a duo of prototype coupes, all were convertibles.
This example is chassis number 100, which would make it the very first production Dual-Ghia built and, as a result, one of the most historically significant Dual-Ghias surviving. Prior to the re-discovery of this vehicle, it was believed that chassis number 101, Casaroll's own, was thought to be the earliest surviving car. It is also believed that this car, chassis 100, was a late-stage prototype.
This car was once owned by Ken McBride. It was later acquired by Joe Morgan who spent three years restoring this car to as near original condition as possible. The motor and transmission were rebuilt, the driveshaft remanufactured, new wiring installed, and the rear axle properly rebuilt.
It has the original single support arm for the trunk, padded trim around the dashboard, a unique steering wheel, and no ashtray. It was originally fitted with hand-cranked windows, but these proved impossible to restore properly, so correct power lifts, as installed on the vast majority of Dual-Ghias, were fitted. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2014
Eugene Casaroll nearly single-handedly invented the car-delivery business with his Auto Shippers enterprise and his Dual Motors Corporation built fleets of twin-engine military vehicles during World War II. He later diversified into the high-end automobile manufacturing business, acquiring the production rights to the Virgil Exner-designed, Ghia-built Dodge Firebomb concept car of 1955 that he renamed 'Dual-Ghia.'
Dual Motors shipped modified Dodge chassis from Detroit to Torino, where Ghia fitted the chassis with handmade bodies. Upon completion, the cars were returned to the Dual facilities where the cars received their Dodge D-500 V-8 engines and PowerFlite automatic transmissions. The production lifespan was short, last from 1957 to 1958, with the original Virgil Exner design mostly intact, only receiving slight modifications.
Production totals for the Dual-Ghia is often quoted at 117 cars built, which included prototypes, with all but two being convertibles. Marque experts often state that less than 100 examples were built. Priced at $7,646, the Dual-Ghia was $1,000 more than Cadillac's Eldorado Biarritz convertible.
Mr. Casaroll had intended to build 150 cars per year. It is believed that 73 examples remain in existence today. It's hard to be certain since none of the factory's shipping or original ownership records survive.
Dual-Ghias were numbered starting from 100. This particular example is chassis number 197 and was one of the last of these luxurious cars produced. It was reportedly purchased new from the daughter of the owners of The Washington Post. Circa 1971-1972, the car was gifted to a man who worked for the owners of the Post when he moved away from Washington, DC. Marvin Gregory of Greenville, South Carolina, owned the Dual-Ghia during the 1970s, and it was titled in Mr. Gregory's name during 1978. The next known owner was Mark Bueker, also of Greenville, who in turn sold the car to Joe Morgan of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, in 2004 or 2005. A concours-level restoration soon followed. In 2010, Mr. Morgan sold the vehicle to Michael Schudroff.
Mr. Schudroff was invited to enter the Dual-Ghia into the 2010 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where it earned an award. That year, it was also awarded the People's Choice award at the Fairfield County Concours d'Elegance in Connecticut, and it went on to be the official 'poster car' for the 2011 edition of the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance and Best in Show. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
Detroit was a dream-car hotbed in the 1950s. Car shows were a forum for the design chiefs, and the eye candy they created rarely reached production. That applied to the series of Dodge Firearrow concepts from Virgil Exner's Chrysler design studios, but Eugene Casaroll had his own production plan.
A Detroit entrepreneur who made his fortune building dual-engine auto carrier trucks, Casaroll acquired the Dodge Firebomb, fourth in the Firearrow series, when it left the show circuit. Then he orchestrated a deal in which Chrysler shipped Dodge chassis to Carrozzeria Ghia, the Italian design and coach-building house that executed Exner's show cars.
Using the Firebomb as a design template, Ghia hand-crafted bodies and interior; then shipped the rolling chassis back to Chrysler for the powertrain, a 260-horsepower 315 cubic-inch Dodge V8 and Chrysler Powerflite automatic transmission.
Casaroll called it the Dual Ghia, for his new Dual Motors Company. Sales went through Dodge dealerships, and the price, $7,646, was ambitious. But the car attracted a celebrity clientele, including future presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, plus Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Lucille Ball, and Desi Amaz.
A total of 115 Dual Ghia convertibles were built and sold in 1957 and 1958. At the end of the ragtop run, Ghia created two prototype coupes, but by then Casaroll's health was failing, and the project came to an end.
This is the fifth car in the original production run. It has had a six year long restoration by Whitehall Auto Sales of Hopkinton, MA. The car has been restored to the original configuration. Resplendent in 1953 Chrysler Vermont Green, it rides on Motor Wheels wire wheels, and carries NOS 1955 Chrysler carpeting. The hand crafted interior features specially dyed hides matching the original color.
This Dual Ghia convertible, originally delivered to singer Vic Damone, is one of 115 built in 1957 and 1958. The coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin was based on the Dodge Firebomb concept from 1955. The Dodge chassis was shipped from Detroit to Italy, where Ghia shortened the wheelbase before creating the hand-built body and leather interior. Ghia then shipped the rolling chassis back to the United States, where a 315 cubic-inch Dodge D500 V8 engine and PowerFlite transmission were installed. Eugene Casaroll, the owner of Dual Motors, sold these flamboyant cars to hand-picked customers that included Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher and Glenn Ford, and today just 32 are believed to exist. This example has been owned by its current caretakers since 1972 and it has recently been restored.
Sold for $231,000 at 2017 Gooding & Company. This Dual-Ghia 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. In the early 1980s, it was acquired by Dr. Paul Sable. Since then, the car has been owned by Chuck Swimmer and John O'Quinn. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2017
Eugene Casaroll, proprietor of Automobile Shippers Incorporated, was the individual responsible for the creation of the Dual-Ghia. The design was inspired by Virgini Exner's Dodge Firearrow, later called the Firebomb, show car. When Chrysler decided not to produce the car, Casaroll purchased the original Firebomb show car. It was re-engineered for public sale by designer Paul Farago. The interior room was increased, as was the luggage space. The chassis was from Chrysler, which was sent to Turin, Italy to have Ghia create the coachwork. Ghia had created the original Firebomb body, thus were the perfect craftsman to create the production vehicle. When the bodies were assembled, they were shipped to Detroit where Dual Motors fitted the drive-train and interior trim. The first series were equipped with Chryslers D500 and D500-1 engines. The D500 displaced 315 cubic-inches and produced 230 horsepower. The D500-1 had a larger, 325 cubic-inch displacement and 260 horsepower.
Production of this series lasted from 1956 through 1958 with a total of 117 examples constructed. There were two convertibles and the rest were coupes. The cars were competitively price considering they cost less than a Cadillac Eldorado and the Lincoln Continental. Just like many new automotive upstarts, the Dual Motors Company lost money on every car.
The concept was later revived in 1961. This time it was produced entirely in Italy in hopes of reducing the cost and expenses. This series is commonly known as the L6.4 as they were powered by Chrysler's 383 cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8 engine. The chassis was its own, as Chrysler now used a unitary construction method. The cars were offered in hardtop coupe form only. Casaroll doubled the price in hopes of turning a profit, or at least break even. Problems continued to escalate as overhead costs continued to soar. Production continued until 1963 with a total of 26 examples created. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
The Dual Ghia was inspired by the Chrysler Fire-Arrow prototype and went on sale in 1956. It had been introduced at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in 1955. The body of the vehicle was built by carrozzeria Ghia, an Italian coachbuilder firm. Dual was a independent automaker based in Detroit Michigan. The name of the car, obviously, came from the forging of both companies name.
Powered by a 315 cubic-inch Dodge enter and featuring a Powerflite transmission, the vehicle cost a hefty $7600. It was produced in limited numbers with 117 examples being produced before Dual Motors went out of business. Around 32 examples exist in modern times.
It was America's first four passenger sports car and popular with American celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon, Desi Arnaz, Ronald Reagan, and Sterling Hayden. Reagan lost his car to Lyndon Johnson in a high-stakes poker game. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
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