Total Production: 117 1956 - 1958
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
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