Sold for $253,000
- 315-cid, 260-hp OHV Chrysler V-8 engine, two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission
- 1 of 117 built
- Deep Gloss black with black leather upholstery with white piping, black carpet
- In very good condition
Coachwork by Ghia
Chassis no. 871
315-cid, 260-hp OHV V-8 engine, two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115-inches.
The Italian-American Dual Ghia is forever conflated with its best known customers, Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Eddie Fisher and other Hollywood notables. However, it was a Detroit auto transporter and dealer, Eugene Casaroll, who was the brains behind it.
Enamored of the Exner-designed and Ghia-built Chrysler show cars of the 1950s, Casaroll, through his Dual Motors dealership, acquired manufacturing rights to the Firearrow series of cars, which had been produced on Dodge chassis in 1952 and ’53. In the spring of 1955 he announced plans to build one under the name “Firebomb.” Dual Motors built a couple of prototypes, the first one shown at Detroit’s Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in June. It was November, however, before production started, under the name “Dual-Ghia.” On a shortened Dodge chassis, the body was hand-formed from aluminum.
Power came from a 315-cid Dodge V-8, the standard unit making 230-hp and a “Super Firebomb” D500 version was rated at 260-hp. Motor Trend tested the 260-hp version and was impressed with zero-to-sixty times of 8.2 seconds and top speed of 124-mph.
The Dodge chassis were shipped to Italy, shortened and clothed with the hand-formed Ghia body. Thus mated, the two journeyed back across the Atlantic to have the drivetrain installed. Casaroll was a stickler for quality, so cars were thoroughly prepped before being released to the public. Though not officially involved, Chrysler was tacit partner and no doubt was pleased with the publicity.
This 1958 Dual-Ghia presents extremely well in black, complemented by black leather upholstery with white piping. The paint exhibits a deep gloss and the leather is as new. Black carpet covers the floor. The undercarriage is as clean as the body albeit with a textured finish. Chrome wire wheels with medium-width whitewalls complete the motif. Some of the brightwork shows a bit of age, but one has to look closely to notice.
Equipped with power steering, power brakes, power windows and an AM radio, the Dual-Ghia uses Chrysler Corporation instruments and switchgear. One of 117 built from 1956 to 1958, this car exhibits the spirit of the Firearrow with a late 1950s flair.