1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car

In the post-World War II era, with manufacturing in full swing and businesses blossoming, the infrastructure and roadways greatly improved, including a growing number of highways. Eugene Casaroll took notice of Detroit's problem of shipping new cars to their final destinations and knew that it would soon become viable to ship cars over the road instead of by rail. He came up with an idea of what is now known as the modern car carrier and this concept would reward him with wealth, prosperity, and the ability to move into new manufacturing arenas. He called his company 'Automobile Shippers,' and at its height, a fleet of over 130 truck-transport rigs serviced his main client, the Chrysler Corporation. Casaroll even sponsored an entry in the Indianapolis 500 from 1946-1954, with his best team finish coming in 1954 with Troy Ruttman driving to 4th place in the Automobile Shippers Special number 34 Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser and Duane Carter finishing 15th in the number 16 car. Reinventing the way Detroit delivered its production and racing fast cars was not enough for Casaroll, and soon he had moved on, creating a car company that became renowned for its luxury, style, and exclusivity.

Virgil Exner, the 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 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.

The stock frames were sent to Ghia to have the body created and then were shipped back to Detroit for engine and interior fitting. Instead of following the trends of the time, which evolved around excessive amounts of chrome and tall tailfins, the Dual Ghia was restrained with minimal brightwork and finely sculptured body lines. The large oval air intake was flanked on either side by single round headlamps, and a thin trim spear traversed the entire bodyside ending at the rear where there were small but elegant tail fins. Large chrome bumpers protected the vehicle in the front and rear. The interior featured a jet-inspired theme, with a wraparound dashboard that contained large twin pods in an engine-turned cluster that held the tachometer and speedometer.

Chrysler's 315 cubic-inch Hemi V8 engine delivered 230 horsepower and was backed by a Chrysler Powerflite two-speed transmission. In the front was an independent suspension with coil springs while the rear used semi-elliptic springs. Drum brakes were placed at all four corners and kept the 115-inch wheelbase vehicle in the driver's control.

First-series production lasted from 1956 to 1958 with 117 examples built during that time. All but two were Convertibles. In 1961, Eugene Casaroll revived the concept with a new series. Built entirely in Italy, the second-series Dual-Ghia L6.4 used its own bespoke chassis as Chrysler had gone to unitary construction on all its models except the Imperial. Chrysler's 383 CID V8 engine was used to provide power. Just 26 of these cars were made before production ceased in 1963.


by Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2019

Related Reading : Dual Ghia Sports Car History

Eugene Casaroll, the proprietor of Automobile Shippers Incorporated, was the individual responsible for the creation of the Dual-Ghia. The design was inspired by Virgil Exners 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....
Continue Reading >>

1957 Vehicle Profiles

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

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 w....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

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 n....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: DUA12157

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....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 132

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 Eld....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 197
Engine Num: D-500-7723

Dual-Ghia production numbers began with 100. This particular example, chassis number 197, is one of the last cars built at the end of the production run. It is believed to have been purchased new for the daughter of the family who owned the Washingto....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 135

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 r....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

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 u....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

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....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 134

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 ....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

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 ....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 100

Around 100 (as many as 117) Dual-Ghias were built between 1956 and 1958. With the exception of a duo of prototype coupes, all were convertibles.....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

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, b....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 119

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 I....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: DG128
Engine Num: D500-7715

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....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 125

This Dual-Ghia Convertible was built in 1957 on a 1956 Dodge chassis. Power is from the 315 cubic-inch D500 Hemi V8 engine. It is one of six Dual-Ghias acquired by Frank Pritt, one for each of his children. It was later purchased from Mr. Pritt by Dr....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Eugene A. Casaroll was an American-Italian businessman who set up Dual Motors during WWII to build trucks and generators for the military. He also ran Automobile Shippers, Chrysler's main car transporter. Smitten with the Firearrow IV concept car des....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 145

Eugene Casaroll's tribute to power and wealth was the Dual-Ghia. Mr. Casaroll had enjoyed success as a Detroit trucking magnate, particularly with the twin-engines trucks built by his Dual Motors. After Dodge had introduced a car called the Firebomb ....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

During the Dual-Ghia's brief production run from 1957 -1958, just 117 examples were constructed including 115 convertibles and two coupes. Underpinning the stylish body (itself based on the Dodge Firebomb concept from 1955) was a Dodge-supplied chass....[continue reading]

1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car vehicle information

Convertible
Coachwork: Ghia
Designer: Paul Farago

Chassis Num: 150

Dual-Ghia production began with chassis number 100, making this chassis - number 150 - in the middle of the production having left the factory in 1957. This example resided in California-based collection and was featured in the 1992 TV mini-series Si....[continue reading]

Convertible by Ghia
 
Convertible by Ghia
 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: DUA12157 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 132 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 197 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 135 
Convertible by Ghia
 
Convertible by Ghia
 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 134 
Convertible by Ghia
 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 100 
Convertible by Ghia
 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 119 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: DG128 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 125 
Convertible by Ghia
 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 145 
Convertible by Ghia
 
Convertible by Ghia
Chassis #: 150 


Concepts by Dual Ghia

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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$295-$7,600
1957 Sports Car
$7,600-$16,800
1957 Dual Ghia Sports Car Base Price : $7,600

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Dual Ghia
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)

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