A Fiat by Another Name: 1963 Ghia 1500GT

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One of only a few cars that Carrozzeria Ghia ever branded with its own name, the Fiat-based 1500GT was built to appeal to the customer thinking beyond family transportation. Ghia felt the market was underserved when it came to style, so it endeavored to dish up a swoopy little coupe to steal sales from ordinary Fiats. Conceived in 1962, the 1500GT was based on Fiat’s 1500 sedan, though the chassis was shortened, a subframe was appended to cradle the suspension components, and the engine mounts were moved back toward the cockpit. The car managed to achieve perfect 50/50 weight distribution. Here on eBay is a driver-quality 1963 Ghia 1500GT, with an asking price of $59,800. This gem is located in San Marino, California. We note that this listing is at least the second time around for this example, with the last listing (same price) expiring on April 29th. Thanks again, Araknid78, for the tip encouraging us to write about Italian exotics!

Ghia preferred the Fiat 1500 four-cylinder motor with its 67 hp packed into a compact dimension, allowing the hood line of the car to glide lower all along its length. This driving video reminds potential buyers of the slightly agricultural quality of 1960s Italians. While top speed is quoted at 110 mph, I would hesitate to push her that far. Aside from the two listings on eBay, we also note that this car sold at RM Sotheby’s in 2020 for $38,500. At that time, “recent work” was listed, including a rebuilt master cylinder, refreshed brakes, new tires, and a new battery. Today’s listing makes note of the same, though by now that work could be considerably more aged than “recent” implies.

The interior is elegant but simple. Notably, the instrument panel is painted a different color than the exterior. No work on which is correct, but I suspect it is the dash color. The driver’s seat has a split along the outside seam, but the headliner is intact. Though the interior is worn, part of the “recent work” listed was new chrome plating and refinished wheels.

The history of this Ghia includes a long stint at the Blackhawk Museum, subsequent acquisition by Dennis Mitosinka as part of a trade, and then a sale to Joe Tseng who planned to use the car in Japanese rallies (probably the RM 2020 sale). Mr Tseng settled on a different car for his rally adventures. Scanning historical prices, the asking price might be a bit high given the scruffy condition, despite production numbers south of 900 examples. Too, the Ghia probably has a niche audience even among Italian car fans. I love the lines of these Ghia’s but always find myself thinking – they ARE a Fiat, after all. What do you think?

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  1. CVPantherMember

    Very informative write up, Michelle.
    I love the sleek lines, very sexy body. Very Italian.
    It’s a shame it’s so under powered. I know, fast in a slow car and all that, but I just need more than 67 hp.
    I wonder if it will achieve it’s ask, seems like a very niche market.

    Like 1
  2. TheOldRanger

    Nice write-up !! But, to me, it’s a Fiat, so no-go for me.

    Like 1

      Fix It Again Tony.

      Like 1
      • Gregg

        Exactly! Fix it again, because I love driving it and I want it fixed, so I can continue to drive it!… Meanwhile… my broken Chevy sits in the driveway and I don’t even bother to try to fix it because it is such a miserable pile of cr@p that I really don’t care to get it fixed!

        Like 1
  3. BimmerDudeMember

    The Fiat underpinnings create a definite push away from this cute little coupe. Having had Ghia-designed or built vehicles over the years–two Karmann Ghias and a Merkur XR4ti–this has a slight pull. I like the kammback styling shown in the rear 3/4 but it will take a person with a special interest in a niche car to make this sale happen.

    Like 2
    • SubGothius

      The Merkur XR4Ti was built by Karmann, not Ghia. Despite the popular association of those names due to the VW Karmann Ghia, they were entirely separate and unrelated firms.

      Like 0
  4. Graham Line

    My biggest problem with a string of three Fiats in the ’70s was with the dealerships and the parts supply, not with the cars. The later twin-cams were gems.

    Like 3
  5. William Corke

    I think most knowledgeable car fans would dispute the description “the slightly agricultural quality of 1960s Italians”.

    Compare an Alfa Romeo Giulietta or Giulia or perhaps even more so, a Lancia Fulvia to its UK or other direct competition of the time, and the ‘agricultural’ descriptor would find its way to a country other than Italy. IMO, of course…

    Like 4
  6. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    I can’t see this car selling to someone in north America for $60 grand and I doubt it will sell anywhere near that price in Europe. This is not a restored car, and will need plenty of minor work to improve it’s value.

    It’s not a one-off, or a car that was from a VERY low production run. The company built 846 examples over a 5 year period, and according to Classic Cars Wiki page, 36 were exported to the USA. Even FIATs with rarer custom bodies usually don’t bring that kind of money unless the top folds. The 1500 GT doesn’t even have it’s own Wikipedia page.

    Yes, it’s a Ghia design, but not a groundbreaking example. It’s pretty, but not a great example of what Ghia can do. Would I like to have one in my car collection? Of course. But not at $60k.

    Like 1
  7. Araknid78

    Ended: Jun 05, 2023 , 12:05AM
    Price: US $59,800.00
    Not sold


    Like 0

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