Sold for $527,500 at 2018 RM Sothebys : Monterey.
Between 1953 and 1955, Ghia produced a small number of special Chrysler 'show cars' that was designed to be 'shown' and driven. They were exclusive and very luxurious, and certainly showcased the talent and potential of the Ghia firm. The Italian coachbuilder was able to produce these automobiles at a cost much lower than contemporary American shops. These cars were largely styled by Virgil Exner's Chrysler studio and produced by Ghia between 1951 and 1959.
The Ghia Chryslers proved to be popular in Europe, prompting French Chrysler importer Charles Ladouch to work with the factory to have a limited number of these Chrysler Specials produced by Ghia. These road-going examples were modified versions of the show car designs and built in several different series. The ST Special was built from 1954 through 1955 and based on the Chrysler New Yorker.
This particular example, the Chrysler ST Special, was based on the new Chrysler New Yorker and borrowed the bumper, headlamps, and the instrument panel of the production car. The exterior design was based on the previous Ghia cars while the interior was completely redesigned. The luxurious interior was made of tan Havana leather and complemented by an Ivory dash. Under the hood was a V8 engine displacing 5.4 liters and offering 250 horsepower. It had a 2-speed automatic transmission, power brakes, and power steering. The car was painted a show-stopping copper-colour with an Ivory roof.
Four examples of the ST Special were built, two each for French and Italian customers.
The Chrysler Ghia ST Special made its debut at the Turin motor show in April of 1955 on the Carrozzeria Ghia stand. This example was later purchased by Mr. Oscar Lacroix, the CEO of plastics company Gilac, and was registered in October 1955 in Paris. By the late 1960s, the car was in a Chrysler workshop in Puteaux (a suburb of Paris). An enthusiast found and rescued the abandoned car several years later. It was then sold in the early 1980s to a major collector by a Normandy dealer. In 2001, it entered new ownership. A restoration soon followed but remained unfinished. In 2014, the car was purchased by another individual who commissioned a full nut-and-bolt restoration by Wayne Davis.
Between 1953 and 1955, Ghia produced about 40 Chrysler Specials. This is one of the last (if not the last) of the series.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2019