Hershey | Lot 264
1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible
The Thomas F. Derro Collection
$341,000 USD | Sold
| Hershey, Pennsylvania
6 October 2017
- Offered from The Thomas F. Derro Collection
- A beautiful, correct restoration in striking colors
- Optional, potent D500 Hemi V-8
- Ideal for shows or elegant touring
When Chrysler opted out of putting its striking Dodge Firearrow show cars into production, Detroit trucking magnate Eugene Casaroll purchased the rights to the design. By 1957, his Dual Motors, named for the twin-engine trucks that the factory once produced, had a modified version of the Firearrow in production. It was known as the Dual-Ghia, and it featured an unbeatable combination of reliable Motor City-bred Dodge V-8 power and gorgeous hand-formed bodywork by Italian coachbuilders Ghia, of Turin.
Casaroll personally hand-chose his customers from a list of clamoring applicants. Frank Sinatra, who was the brightest of all stars at the time, was a natural choice, as were his friends Peter Lawford and Eddie Fisher. It was this one-upmanship that led legendary Hollywood columnist Dorothy Kilgallen to wisecrack that a Rolls-Royce was the “status symbol for those who can’t get a Ghia.” Presumably, there were a lot of Rolls-Royces delivered in the late 1950s, but only about 100 Dual-Ghias were made between 1956 and 1958. With the exception of a duo of prototype coupes, all were convertibles.
The car shown here, no. 125, was built in 1957 on a 1956 Dodge chassis, and has the desirable 315-cu. in. D500 Hemi V-8. One of six Dual-Ghias acquired by software entrepreneur Frank Pritt, one for each of his children, it was subsequently purchased from Mr. Pritt by well-known Dual-Ghia historians, Dr. Paul Sable and Joseph Morgan, who sold it to Thomas Derro in 2006. Mr. Derro proceeded to have the car fully restored to original condition, in this period-correct bright red with an authentic red and white interior. Afterwards the car was selectively exhibited at various concours d’elegance. The restoration has been well preserved, and after a fresh detailing and brake service presents well in all regards, with a clean engine and undercarriage, fine bright paintwork, and very good chrome and interior.
This is a beautiful example of the great Hollywood status symbol of its era, the Bugatti Chiron of the Jet Age – the Dual-Ghia.