AUTOROTICA: Hollywood + Italy + Detroit = The Ghia 450SS

As the story goes, television game show producer Burt Sugarman (who is married to television talk show host Mary Hart) asked the folks at Ghia to create a custom car similar to a Ghia-bodied Fiat he saw on the cover of Road & Track magazine in 1965.

The result is the Ghia 450SS. The spyder (convertible) was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and built by Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin, Italy using a 273 Commando V8 engine from a Plymouth Barracuda with an automatic transmission (air conditioning and a removable hardtop were available options). 

There were a few dozen Ghia 450SS's produced between 1966 and 1967, but seems to be some confusion as to how many of the cars were built. The story goes that the custom cars were mostly sold through a Beverly Hills dealership, and many ended up in the hands of Hollywood-types. Johnny Carson reportedly bought one, but only rode around town as a passenger—rather than a driver. Some say 52 cars were built, although apparently only 26 are known to exist with one confirmed destroyed.

Sticker price at the time: $13,100—about the same price as a Maserati or Ferrari, and far more what would cost to buy a Corvette. A fully restored Ghia is current available on eBay for a BUY NOW price of $179,900 seems like it is going for an affordable price for such a rare classic.



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