Monterey | Lot 158

1961 Ghia L 6.4



$418,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California

18 August 2017

Chassis No.
  • The first production L 6.4 of just 26 built
  • Reportedly originally owned by Peter Lawford
  • Period George Barris “Rat Pack” modifications
  • Documented, award-winning three-year restoration
  • Never before offered for public sale

As production of the original limited-production Dual-Ghia slowed, assembly of the second-generation model, the L 6.4 fastback coupe, was turned over entirely to Ghia. The car was hand-built around a custom chassis with a hot Chrysler Mopar 383 cubic-inch “Wedge” V-8, and was priced at an astonishing $13,500. No one could deny that the buyer did not get his or her money’s worth, as the Ghia was among the finest-finished automobiles in the world. However, the cost of production and the complications that came with building a car in Italy and selling it in the United States meant that the L 6.4 was destined to a brief yet glorious existence, with only 26 built and sold.

The car offered here is chassis number 0302, the first production L 6.4 built and the second after the original prototype, and thus has several unique features, including a special gauge cluster, as well as factory-installed air conditioning (that still blows cold!). It is also one of between four and six to have received custom modifications by the legendary George Barris, most prominently Cibie headlights. These so-called “Rat Pack” models were fitted to the L 6.4s delivered to members of the Rat Pack, including those of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin; indeed, this example is said to have been first owned, from 1960 to 1963, by Peter Lawford.

Subsequently the Ghia was owned for several years by David Lawrence, then by a well-known Hollywood actor and car enthusiast. The current owner acquired it in 2006, as an excellent original example that had been driven fewer than 40,000 miles, and oversaw a just completed, thorough three-year restoration. The body was stripped to bare metal and refinished in black, with a complementary interior in Bentley-specification leather. The car has won Best of France & Italy at the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance and was featured in the Hall of Customs at the most recent Los Angeles Auto Show. It is offered with its owner’s collection of models and literature, including original factory brochures and advertising.

This fine L 6.4, offered publically for the first time, boasts a superb, fascinating history and quality restoration. It is deserving of a star, now as in 1961.

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