Three Prototypes

Three Prototypes

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1, 2018


2004 Ford GT Confirmation Prototype CP4

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

We’ve featured prototypes of the original Ford GT40, but here’s one of what we’ll call the “second coming” of the GT. The original concept car for this model debuted in 2002 and it’s thought that Ford built nine “confirmation prototypes” of which this is CP4, or vehicle #00007. Its purpose was to be the test bed for ride, steering, handling, and climate control systems.

All black, it was the first GT to hit 200 mph. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 making 550 horsepower. It joined the collection it is being sold from in 2012 and it is street legal. It’s the only “CP car” from the GT program that is road-registered and not governed to 15 mph. It’s thought that only four GT prototypes remain and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $467,500.


1997 Ford Ghia Vivace Concept

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Well here’s a weird one. It looks like the love child of a Ford Ka and a last-gen Mercury Cougar (it’s actually based on a Mondeo platform aka the Ford Contour). It’s honestly pretty crazy this car still exists at all. It’s just a rolling concept car – there’s no engine, no interior. It’s just a two-door coupe body with some wheels on a chassis.

Ford and Ghia teamed up for two concept cars in 1997 just to explore new shapes and using aluminium space-frame construction. The body is fiberglass, the wheels don’t steer, and the doors don’t even open. It’s like having a rolling brick. Not much to do with it other than look at it. But hey, at the same time, you’re going to be the only person who has one. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,650.


1960 Seagrave Prototype

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

In 1960, the Seagrave Fire Apparatus, the longest-running producer of fire apparatus in the United States dating back to 1881, decided they wanted to build passenger cars. But not just normal American passenger cars, but economy cars. This in 1960, when American automobiles were perhaps approaching their largest.

This two-door hardtop is much smaller than the photo above makes it look and it weighed in at only 1,700 pounds. Seagrave managed to build three prototypes (two in fiberglass, one in aluminium), and this fiberglass example was powered by a 2.7-liter Continental straight-four engine capable of 65 horsepower. It was pulled out of a barn in Michigan in 2013 and is restoration ready. It’s one of the most interesting cars for sale in Auburn this year. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $11,000.

Plymouth Asimmetrica

1961 Plymouth Asimmetrica Roadster by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

While based on one of their chassis, this is no hum-drum Plymouth Valiant. This car, dubbed “Asimmetrica” for its asymmetrical design, was one of the last projects kicked off between Chrysler and Ghia during Virgil Exner‘s design reign at Chrysler. Or, at least that’s the thought. Some people say this was a Ghia thing all around.

Built as kind of a successor to the Plymouth XNR Concept, this was supposed to be a “more realistic” car that could actually be built in limited numbers and sold to the general public. Yes, this was the restrained version. The plan was to build a run of 25 of these, but it’s thought that only two were ever made.

Power comes from a NASCAR-spec 2.8-liter Hyper-Pak slant-six making 101 horsepower. Displayed at the 1961 Turin Motor Show and, later, the Geneva Show, this example was purchased off the Geneva stand by novelist Georges Simenon. Acquired and restored by the Blackhawk Collection in 1989, the current owner purchased the car in 2000. A wild example of unrestrained early 60s design, it should bring decent money in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $335,000.

Ferrari 212 Europa

1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet by Ghia

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

The 212 Europa was actually a series of 212 Inter cars that had an “EU” suffix on their chassis and engine numbers. The 212 Inter was introduced in 1951 and lasted through 1952. In all, just 78 examples were made and only the last 29 of those were identified as Europas. It was sort of a stepping stone to the 250 Europa that burst on the scene in 1953.

This car has wonderful style. Bodied by Ghia, it appeared on the 1952 Geneva and Turin Auto Show stands. It was one of two cars like this they built but the cars differ slightly as they were different colors and had minor trim differences. The rear fender skirts make this thing look amazing. It’s powered by a 2.6-liter V-12 making 170 horsepower.

This car has a pretty amazing history. It was in the Detroit area in the 1960s and in 1972 it was found at a swap meet (it had a Corvette engine in it at that point) and traded hands for $600. Ferrari hunter Tom Shaughnessy was able to rescue it in 2011 and it was restored over a six year period thereafter by its next owner. It’s a classic Ferrari with great 1950s styling and it should bring between $1,800,000-$2,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,600,000.

Juan Peron’s Ferrari

1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari’s weren’t always red. In fact, this yellow and black paint scheme with whitewalls and knock-off wire wheels is one of the most brilliant Ferrari road car liveries we’ve seen in a while.

The 212 Inter was introduced at the 1951 Brussels Motor Show and produced in either 73 or 82 examples through the following year. This particular chassis (#49) was on Ferrari’s stand at the 1952 Paris Salon where it was purchased by Juan Perón, President of Argentina. The car remained in his possession until he was forced out of Argentina in 1955. In 1987 it was sold to a European and the car was then restored. The current owner acquired it in 1999

The 212 Inter is powered by a 150 horsepower 2.6-liter V-12. Bodies were supplied by different coachbuilders including Vignale and Touring. This is a one-off body by Ghia and it is fantastic. The proportions are perfect and that understated from end with dim headlights just begs you to buy it. The livery it sports is what it looked like on the Paris stand in 1952.

Early Ferraris are some of the best looking Ferraris and this one has pretty impressive provenance. It is expected to bring between $1,600,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,187,500.

Chrysler D’Elegance

1952 Chrysler D’Elegance by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The relationship between Chrysler and Ghia resulted in quite a few different designs during the 1950s. There were a series of Chrysler Specials including this one and this one. There were concept cars and the relationship bore fruit for DeSoto as well. Ghia benefited too, with Chrysler powering the Dual-Ghia and Ghia’s sports cars.

The car you see here, the D’Elegance, was a show car bodied for Chrysler by Ghia on a shortened New Yorker chassis. It’s a gorgeous two-seater with a built-in spare tire where the trunk would be. The engine is a 280 horsepower, 5.8-liter Firepower V-8.

This car has been listed as a 1952 or 1953 in various places, but it was built in 1952 and debuted at the 1952 Paris Auto Show. Each of these Italian-bodied 1950s Chryslers is different, bringing their own heightened sense of style and flair to what was already a stylish automotive landscape in the 1950s. This is definitely one of the best-looking of the lot and it should bring between $900,000-$1,100,000 at auction this December. Note: it sold for $946,000 in August of 2011. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $885,000.

Abarth 1100 Ghia

1953 Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In 1949, Carlo Abarth jumped off of the sinking ship that was Cisitalia to start his own business… utilizing the leftovers of Cisitalia. It started with sports cars and today is a trim level of sporty Fiats. Abarth only built cars in limited numbers and the 1100 you see here is a one-off.

There was a car called the Abarth 205 and they took a chassis from that car and fitted Fiat’s new 1100 engine to it. The car was sent to Ghia for this incredible Jet Age body, and voila! Originally, Fiat’s 1.1-liter straight-four made about 35 horsepower. Abarth no doubt increased that figure.

This Ghia masterpiece has all the right little details, not to mention a brilliant blue interior that will blow you away because you just don’t expect the vividness it provides. Exhibited initially by Ghia at the 1953 Turin Salon, this car was later shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show by its first owner, who re-christened it the “Vaughn SS Wildcat,” with V-8 underhood.

The car was rediscovered in 1982 and the current owner had it restored in 2015, correct Fiat engine re-installed. It’s an awesome – and remarkably small – 1950s Italian design. You’ll be the only one with anything like it. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s in Monterey.

Update: Sold $891,000.

Ghia Streamline X

1955 Ghia Streamline X Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2017

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

We generally don’t feature cars on Saturdays, but I’m making an exception here for two reasons: 1. the ownership history of this car tells me it is unlikely to come up for sale again anytime soon (if it sells) and 2. I just turned on Barrett-Jackson on Velocity for coverage of Friday’s sale (as I watch RM Sotheby’s on my laptop) and I happened to look at their catalog (which I was doing almost daily for about a month) and I found this car. It wasn’t in their catalog when I finalized the cars we were going to feature from Arizona’s sales but appeared as a late-add by Barrett-Jackson (or, at least, not a timely addition).

Anyway, we’re here, so let’s talk about what this is. Built at the the request of Chrysler chief Virgil Exner, this Ghia-bodied streamliner is the perfect Jet Age concept car. Why? Well it’s powered by a turbine for starters. It only puts out 70 horsepower (and idles at a bat shit crazy 54,000 rpm), but in the world of turbines and sleek aerodynamics, it was theoretically enough power to push this thing to 140-160 mph. The only cars doing that kind of speed in 1955 were doing it on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans.

It debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show and was dubbed “Gilda.” The interior (and the engine compartment) are wild and hearken back to an era when people dreamed of the “car of tomorrow.” Ghia eventually put it on display at the Henry Ford Museum where it stayed until 1969 when it was acquired by Bill Harrah. The Blackhwak Museum got it when that collection was dispersed and the current owner bought it in 2005. It’s been to Pebble Beach, Ville d’Este, and was even a no-sale at a Gooding auction years back.

Now Barrett-Jackson is featuring it as the wildest car in their lineup this year (well that, and this). Anyway, I’m writing this late on a Friday night for a Saturday morning post because it was starting to make me sick to my stomach that I was potentially missing out on featuring a car I’d never see offered for public sale again – it has, after all, spent most of its life in museums. Click here for more info. Price? Well the Blackhawk was offering it for $125,000 in 2001 and it no-sold at Gooding with an estimate of $1.0-1.3 million. Expect the owner to want more than that at Barrett-Jackson later today.

Update: Not sold.

Alfa Romeo Sprint Supergioiello

1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Supergioiello by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This might look more like a coachbuilt classic than a rally car, but it turns out that it is both. The Alfa Romeo 1900C was the short wheelbase version of the 1900. The 1900 was built between 1950 and 1959 with the C having been introduced in 1951.

It is powered by a 1.9-liter straight-four making 100 horsepower. This car was bodied by Ghia and is one of 18 such examples built (and was apparently the final one). It was sold new in Spain and used extensively for rallying between 1954 and 1961. It actually ran in the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally with owner Gumersindo Garcia Fernandez at the wheel.

This car has spent most of its life in Spain and Portugal but was restored in Italy recently. It looks fantastic and the numbers on the door give away its racing past, even if those wire wheels don’t. It should sell for between $555,000-$660,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ghia 450 SS

1967 Ghia 450 SS

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Houston, Texas | April 23, 2016

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Carrozzeria Ghia is primarily known as a coachbuilder that was founded in Turin in 1916 by Giacinto Ghia. Ghia bodies have appeared on cars from many marques, from Alfa Romeo to Volkswagen to a series of Chrysler cars. There was a short period of time where the company built a few of their own cars. Three models to be exact, with this being the sportiest.

The 450 SS was a convertible (with removable hard top) that was offered between 1966 and 1967. It started as a concept car where Ghia put a convertible body on a Fiat 2100 sedan. A Hollywood producer convinced Ghia to put it into production, using a 235 horsepower, 4.5-liter Chrysler V-8 instead of whatever Fiat powerplant they were considering. The stuff underneath was now based on a Plymouth Barracuda.

Think of it as an Italian muscle car (like the Iso Grifo). They only built 56 of these and it is believed that about 26 remain. This one has never been restored, but carries 59,000 miles and fresh servicing. You’ll never pass another one on the road. It should bring between $120,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $151,250.

Ghia 1500 GT

1965 Ghia 1500 GT

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 9, 2016

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

Carrozzeria Ghia is primarily known for their custom bodies that they apply to other people’s cars. There’s a little more history about that coming in a future post, but I’ll keep it short and say that Ghia built a few models of their own in the 1960s. This, the 1500 GT, is one of them.

This 1500 GT is powered by a Fiat 1.5-liter straight-four with power ratings varying based on whom you ask, but it was probably somewhere around 73 horsepower. Top speed was over 100 mph and it is said that this is a fantastic sounding car for having such a tiny motor.

The cars were only built between 1963 and 1966 and about 300 were made. It was bought by an American soldier in 1967 and it returned stateside with him in 1970. It went to Canada in 1987 but just sat there. The current owner, who acquired it much more recently, restored it. It should bring between $72,500 and $106,000. Click here for more info and here for more info.

Update: Sold $71,900.