1 of 117: 1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible

For those who remember the 1950s Chrysler show car, the Firearrow, this automobile is even better! The Dual-Ghia was built between 1956-58 by Dual Motors with only 117 of them ever seeing the light of day. The car was a stylish blend of American engineering and Italian craftsmanship that was assembled in the U.S. This gorgeous example has just received a complete from-the-ground-up restoration and is on consignment to a classic car dealer in Scottsdale, Arizona. This Barrett-Jackson quality piece of automotive art is available here on eBay for the Buy It Now price of….drum roll, please….$769,000. Our thanks to BF reader, Larry D, for another great contribution!

Automobile transportation executive Gene Casaroll had always wanted to get into the car manufacturing business, but the right opportunity hadn’t come along. Until he had the chance to buy the production rights of Chrysler’s Firearrow IV show-mobile, designed by Virgil Exner. Dodge would supply chassis and drivetrain components while Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin, Italy which would provide the bodies and interiors. Dual Motors was formed so the final product could come together in Casaroll’s new plant in Detroit. A dealer network wasn’t needed because the cars were designed to appeal a certain, well-heeled audience. At $7,500 a copy, all sorts of Hollywood types would take ownership of one, including Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, Glenn Ford, Peter Lawford, Lucille Ball and Debbie Reynolds. Because so few were built, Dean Martin tried to buy one, but had no luck, but got to drive one in the 1964 movie, “Kiss Me, Stupid”.

We’re told that no expense was spared in restoring this ’57 Dual-Ghia, VIN #124 (out of 117?). More than six figures alone was spent on the body, metal, and paint (we don’t know what the car looked like before the restoration, but work was completed in 2020). The result is a stunning, Concours-quality car finished in dark blue with a medium blue convertible top. The seller says it was rust-free to begin with, so the car may be better than it was when new. Because these cars were hand assembled, no two Dual-Ghia’s are said to be exactly alike.

Thanks to Chrysler’s contribution to the Dual-Ghia initiative, this car has a 315 cubic inch Hemi V8 under the hood, paired with a PowerFlite 2-speed automatic transmission. With power steering and power brakes, we’re told the car perfectly, but has only clocked two miles since the rotisserie restoration was performed. Everything is said to have been rebuilt or replaced and that no nut or bolt was left unturned. The interior, too, is new and looks like a comfortable place to spend some time. However, it’s likely that whoever plops down ¾ of a million dollars to buy the car isn’t likely to use it to get groceries from the local store. A museum is likely it’s next home.

Rumor has it that Casaroll lost money on every car he delivered, yet he experimented with a couple of other vehicles after the Dual-Ghia until finally realizing that building cars wasn’t in his long-term plan. The company folded in 1962. Too bad because these cars made a remarkable journey when new. Dodge would ship the frames from Detroit to Turin where Ghia would shorten them slightly and add a hand-hammered, step-down body welded to the frame. The interior was fitted and then the rolling assembly was sent back to Detroit for final assembly and drivetrain installation. Just to make sure I can’t afford this car and accidently hit the Buy It Now button, I double-checked my piggybank balance. I’m only $768,000 short!

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Comments

  1. Fred W

    Russ, RE: accidentally hitting the buy it now button, I actually did that once while using my daughter’s laptop during a big time auction. Auctioneers don’t take “I bid accidentally” as an excuse, so I took delivery of a 1919 Chevy. At least I bought the cheapest car in the auction and not the most expensive, a 3 million dollar Gullwing!

    My daughter after it happened: “Daddy, sometimes that trackpad will click for you”.

    Like 8
  2. Steve Clinton

    Deduct $76,000 for those Studebaker Hawk fins.

  3. Will Fox

    FACT: Each one of these took so long to be built initially, that this 1957 model is equipped with 1956 Dodge 315 Hemi V8 engine and 2-speed Powerflight automatic, rather than the `57 325 V8 Hemi with 3-speed torqueflight automatic.

    Like 2
  4. Peter Hollinshead

    Peter Lawford drove his in “The Thin Man” TV series (1960). Hoagy Carmichael was also an owner. And Dino, along with Lucille Ball and others, got the later L6.4 coupe.

    Like 1
  5. Howie Mueler

    I have seen a couple of these at car shows, they are really nice!!

    Like 1
  6. Joe Sewell

    Truly interesting. I had heard of these but knew nothing about them. Thanks for this.

  7. Malcolm Boyes

    I was close to Peter Lawford from 1976 til his death. He told me how he and Sinatra would have their Dual Ghias valet parked right outside their favorite eating and of course drinking establishments. All was well until an 18 year old novice valet parked Sinatra’s car round the back and it was not in from he exited. Now Sinatra was a heavy tipper but that night that valet got a gift he would never have asked for from Sinatra and his boys..Lovely cars..sad tale..

    Like 1
  8. chrlsful

    wishing for better lighting, shame, not anything WE can do abt that.
    Will see what’s offered on nother page…

  9. chrlsful

    skip the 1st 1/4 to half and see a nice red one.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLr6Ugtvsw4

    Like 1
  10. Bill McCoskey

    My Questions are: Who is/was Stanley Shkuratoff? And how did he get a Dual Ghia when Dean Martin was denied one?

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