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1954 Chrysler GS-1 Ghia news, pictures, specifications, and information
Coupe
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Exner
 
Based on the 1953 Thomas Special Chrysler Ghia, the Chrysler Ghia GS-1 cars were designed by Virgil Exner at Chrysler and built by Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin during the mid-1950s. A production run of 400 was the target, but in fact only 12 were ever built - and all were slightly different.

This example has quad-headlights and an unusual hood treatment. Virgil Exner transformed what was a modified show car into a limited-edition grand tourer. The GS Specials were built on a New Yorker chassis with a 125.5-inch wheelbase. A Chrysler 331 cubic-inch 'hemi-head' V8 with the new PowerFlite two-speed automatic transmission made up the power train.
During the early years of automobile production, especially in Europe, it was not uncommon for an automobile maker to supply only the chassis and mechanics. Custom coachbuilders were tasked with creating the bodies often building to meet customer specifications, resulting in truly unique creations. By the 1940's, this practice had all but vanished in the United States. In Europe it was still being utilized by companies such as Ferrari.

In 1950 Chrysler Corporation approached Finin Farina, one of the more reputable custom coachbuilders, to produce a prototype body. Negotiation did not progress fruitfully, so Chrysler tasked Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin in 1951 to build a series of cars based on designs by Virgil Exner, Chrysler's chief stylist. This transatlantic agreement between Ghia and Chrysler lasted for fifteen years.

In 1954, the limited production Chrysler Ghia GS-1 coupe was introduced. They were sold exclusively in Europe by Societe France Motors. The vehicle was built atop a Chrysler 125.5 inch chassis, the same used on most of the Chrysler automobiles. Power was supplied by a 180 horsepower Chrysler Hemi V8 engine. The vehicles were equipped with either a Fluid Torque transmission or the newer PowerFlite two-speed automatic.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2005
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