Lot 323

Monterey 2023

1961 Ghia L 6.4


$665,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
US Title
  • One of just 26 examples produced
  • Wears a recent, concours-quality restoration
  • Among the most luxurious cars of the period; owned by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin
  • Powered by its numbers-matching 383-cu. in. Chrysler V-8 engine
  • Exquisitely presented in a warm shade of metallic silver over parchment leather interior

“Luxury that Moves with you.” This bit of generic American marketing-speak announced an exclusive multinational luxury grand touring car, the Ghia L 6.4. Officially a product of Dual Motors, the Ghia-badged L 6.4 followed-up the beautiful but flawed Dual-Ghia, with roots back to the long and fruitful relationship between Chrysler’s flamboyant design boss, Virgil Exner, and Ghia’s ambitious leader, Luigi Segre.

Like the Dual-Ghia, the L 6.4 set its sights on Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, and Cadillac at the pinnacle of the luxury car market. Boasting muscular Chrysler power in a striking Italian suit, the L 6.4 was another nuanced Ghia interpretation of an Exner design. The L 6.4 conveyed Exner’s exuberant sense of mid-century glamor but with restrained sophistication courtesy of the Italian carrozzeria. The running gear was all Mopar, in the form of the 383-cubic-inch “Wedge” V-8 engine, mated to a robust TorqueFlite automatic transmission. With 335 horsepower on tap, the L6.4 had proper continent-crushing performance ability.

The L 6.4’s shocking $13,500 price limited the audience, though Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Dean Martin each owned L 6.4s. However, like similar Italian-American hybrids of the era, even the outrageous price tag could not overcome the ballooning production cost. Rising labor rates in Italy combined with the complexity of shipping bodies across the ocean, and ultimately, the gorgeous Ghia L 6.4 was destined to be a glorious flash in the pan. After Ghia completed just 26 examples, the project met its demise.

This spectacular Ghia L 6.4 is the sixth of the 26 produced and is offered wearing a recent concours-quality, nut-and-bolt restoration. Presented in a stunning shade of warm metallic silver over a parchment leather interior, this striking Ghia surely ranks as one of the finest examples available. According to information compiled and provided by Dr. Paul Sable and Dyke W. Ridgley, chassis 0306 was originally delivered to Switzerland to an unknown private buyer, finished in dark amaranth over a camel-colored leather interior.

The car remained in Switzerland until about 2000, when it was sold to Peter Rau, proprietor of Touring Garage AG, in Oberweningen, Switzerland. Registry notes show it was a sound and complete original car needing minor service. From there, it passed to an American collector who held it in his private collection for the next 16 years but never restored it.

As offered here, the Ghia is returned to its original splendor. The warm metallic silver paintwork is exquisitely finished, and the shade highlights the coachwork’s elegant form with a sense of mid-century sophistication. The chrome and brightwork are superbly restored, and the car rides on period-correct Goodyear Super Cushion whitewalls, with the correct Ghia hubcaps in place.

The polished alloy fascia dominates the interior as it sweeps from the instrument panel and down the center console. Gorgeous parchment leather piped in brown covers the seats, door panels, quarters, and dash, and the dark brown carpets tie in with the warmth of the silver paint. Equipment includes electric windows, a full array of bespoke instruments, Ghia-branded radio, and a gorgeous Ghia-badged Nardi steering wheel.

Power comes from the numbers matching, Chrysler-sourced 383-cubic-inch V-8 engine. It is exquisitely detailed and wears the proper Ghia-script valve covers in the correct black wrinkle-finish paint. Other touches include the correct Mopar hose clamps, quilted underhood pad, and polished alloy shut panel.

Dual Motors produced just 26 examples of the L 6.4, and few of the survivors are restored to this level. This superlative Ghia is undoubtedly one of the finest of its kind extant, proving that with Best in Class awards at the 2021 Audrain Concours d’Elegance and the 2023 Arizona Concours d’Elegance. Striking and elegant, it would be a welcome entry to any number of exclusive events worldwide.