All fields are required.MONTEREY 2015 CONSIGNMENTS
CONTACT A CONSIGNMENT SPECIALIST
Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 13th – 15th, 2015 at Russo and Steele’s 15th Annual Monterey California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia of Torino, Italy Chassis No. 197, Engine No. D-500-7723
As a man possessed of virtually boundless vision and drive, Eugene Casaroll almost single-handedly invented the car-delivery business with his foundation of Auto Shippers and his Dual Motors Corporation built fleets of twin-engine military vehicles for America and its W W11 allies. Next, he diversified into high-end automobile manufacturing by acquiring production rights to the Virgil Exner-designed, Ghia-built Dodge Firebomb concept car of 1955 which he renamed the Dual-Ghia. Dual Motors shipped modified Dodge chassis from Detroit to Ghia in Turin, where the sleek, handmade bodies were fitted. Once back at the Dual facilities, Dodge D-500 V-8 engines and PowerFlite automatic transmissions were installed. Production ran from 1957 to 1958, with the original Virgil Exner design only slightly modified by Paul Farago, Casaroll’s partner and Ghia’s American representative, who increased passenger and luggage space and specified the subtle aircraft-inspired tailfins.
While total Dual-Ghia production is often quoted at 117 cars including prototypes, with all but two of them convertibles, marque experts cite perhaps 100 were built at most. Priced from $7,646, the glamorous Dual-Ghia cost $1,000 more than Cadillac’s Eldorado Biarritz. The era’s top celebrities, including members of the legendary “Rat Pack,” adopted the Dual- Ghia as their car of choice. While Casaroll once intended to build as many as 150 cars per year, uncompromising quality generated losses on every one. According to experts, an approximate 73 Dual-Ghias remain today, with enthusiasts closely tracking each survivor. None of the factory’s shipping or original ownership records survive; therefore, history on each specific car has often been collected orally and hand-recorded. Since Dual-Ghias were numbered starting from 100, this example, Car Number 197, is one of the last few of these luxurious performers built.
According to Dual-Ghia owner and noted marque expert Dr. Paul Sable, Car 197 was reportedly purchased new for the daughter of the owners of the Washington Post. Circa 1971/72, the car was gifted to a man who worked for the owners of the Post when he moved away from Washington, D.C. Later owner Joe Morgan confirmed that Marvin Gregory of Greenville, South Carolina owned the car during the 1970s and he titled it in his name in 1978. The next known owner was Mark Bueker, also of Greenville, who in turn sold the rare Dual-Ghia to Joe Morgan of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire in 2004/2005. Mr. Morgan, who has owned some 16 Dual-Ghias to date, commenced a total concours-level restoration of the car with body and paint by Jimmy Lowrey, the interior by Petter Davidsen, and the engine rebuilt by New England Engine and Machine. In 2010, Mr. Morgan sold the vehicle to the next owner and his wife, who were invited to enter the Dual-Ghia into the 2010 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. There, it formed part of “Class P: Ghia Styling” and garnered a creditable Second Place. That year, the Dual-Ghia was awarded the People’s Choice award at the Fairfield County, Connecticut Concours d’Elegance and it went on to be selected from over 250 entries as the official “Poster Car” for the 2011 edition of the Greenwich, Connecticut Concours d’Elegance. The Dual Ghia was next sold to the Consignor in March 2014.
As now offered, Dual-Ghia 197 remains immensely attractive and show-worthy. Correctly and properly finished and detailed throughout, it exemplifies the unique American presence and Continental panache emblematic of Dual-Ghia. As such, it stands proudly as a tribute to its creators, Virgil Exner’s design genius, and Ghia’s renowned craftsmen.