Carrozzeria Ghia

Carrozzeria Ghia SpA (established 1916 in Turin) is an Italian automobile design and coachbuilding firm, established by Giacinto Ghia and Gariglio as Carrozzeria Ghia & Gariglio. The headquarters is located at 4 Corso Valentino in Turin.

Carrozzeria Ghia
Founded1916, Turin, Italy
FounderGiacinto Ghia
Key people
Felice Mario Boano
Servicesautomotive design, coachbuilding
OwnerFord Motor Company
Ghia 450 silver vl TCE
Ghia 450[1] - one of 56 built.
Ghia-Fiat G230S
Ghia G 230 S based on Fiat 2300
Fiat 500 Ghia Jolly
A rare Ghia-designed Fiat 500 Jolly
Plymouth Explorer
1954 Plymouth Explorer concept car by Ghia


Ghia initially made lightweight aluminium-bodied cars, achieving fame with the Alfa Romeo 6C 1500, winning Mille Miglia (1929). Between the world wars, Ghia designed special bodies for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Lancia, one of the most famous was the Fiat 508 Balilla sports coupe (1933). The factory was rebuilt at Via Tomassi Grossi, after being demolished in an air raid during World War II (1943). After Ghia's death (1944), the company was sold to Mario Boano and Giorgio Alberti. The Ghia-Aigle subsidiary was established in Aigle, Switzerland (1948).

Following differences between Boano and the company's Naples-born chief engineer and designer Luigi Segre, Boano left the company in 1953 and ownership passed to Segre in 1954. Under the ownership of Luigi Segre, between 1953 and 1957, Giovanni Savonuzzi became Direttore Tecnico Progettazione e Produzione Carrozzerie e Stile and established GHIA as the most influential proponent of that Italian styling that came to define automobile design trends worldwide.[2] The decade between 1953 and 1963 saw many foreign firms ordering Ghia designs, such as Ford (the Lincoln Futura concept car), Volkswagen (the Karmann Ghia), and Volvo. Chrysler and its designer Virgil Exner became a close partner for 15 years, resulting in eighteen Chrysler Ghia Specials (1951–53), the K-310, the Chrysler Norseman, the Imperial Crown limousines (Jackie Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, and other luminaries owned one), and others. There are even a few Ghia-bodied Ferraris. Ghia also participated in the short-lived Dual-Ghia venture. Production by Ghia was always in very low numbers, giving the company's products even greater exclusivity than those of the other Italian coachbuilders.

In June 1953, Pierre Lefaucheux, Renault's chairman, requested Carrozzeria Ghia assistance with the Renault Dauphine.[3]

In 1953, Boano left for Fiat, the factory moved to via Agostino da Montefeltro, and Luigi Segre took over. Ghia then brought in Pietro Frua, appointing Frua as head of Ghia Design (1957–60), designing the Renault Floride. After Segres death (1963), Ghia was sold to Ramfis Trujillo (1966), who sold to Alejandro de Tomaso (1967), owner of a rival design house, who took over, but had difficulty in running Ghia profitably. In 1970, he sold his shares to the Ford Motor Company. During this transition period, Ghia had partial involvement in the De Tomaso Pantera, a high-performance, mid-engine car utilizing a Ford V8.

Ghia L6.4

Ghia L6.4 (Chrysler base) mfd 1962
Ghia L6.4

After the Dual-Ghia project had ended, the more up-to-date Ghia L6.4 appeared in 1961. Fewer Mopar parts were used, but the car’s bespoke nature meant an astronomically high price and when production ended in 1963 only 25 (or 26) cars had been built. The car's 6,277 cc (383 cu in) Chrysler V8 has 340 hp (254 kW) SAE, and suspension and transmission parts were also hand-picked from Chrysler's production line. Both the front and the rear seats consist of separate buckets.[4]

The Ghia name

From 1973, the Ghia name became Ford's top trim-level in its mainstream model range. The trend began in Europe and North America (Mustang II, Granada, Capri, Cortina, Escort, and later Fiesta, Sierra, Orion, Scorpio, Mondeo, Galaxy, Focus all had Ghia trim levels), but soon spread worldwide, particularly to the South American (with the Argentinian Ford Falcon and Taunus, the Brazilian Ford Del Rey and versions of Escort, Focus and Mondeo) and Australian markets. One notable exception to this convention was the Scorpio model in the United Kingdom, where it was badged as a Granada Mk.3 – in this case the "Scorpio" name was instead used to designate a trim level higher than Ghia.

In the British market, however, the practice of using the Ghia name in such a capacity was finally phased out in 2010. The Titanium name has instead replaced Ghia as the flagship trim level, and is now used globally across all of Ford's markets to denote the top trim level. The British Ford Fiesta retained the Ghia trim designation for the longest period of any model: 31 years 8 months, uninterrupted, from February 1977 to November 2008. In the rest of Europe, the Ghia trim was discontinued as well.

As of 2012, the Ghia studios produce various concept cars under the Ford banner.

Ghia cars

  • Ghia L6.4 (1961–1963) [5]
  • Ghia 1500 GT (1963–1966)
  • Ghia 450 (1966–1967)

See also


  1. ^ "1966 Ghia 450 SS". Retrieved 2007-12-25.
  2. ^ "Nachtschicht im Schloss: A report on a concours d'elegance at Schloss Bensberg". Auto Motor u. Sport. Heft 25 2010: Seite 41. 18 November 2010.
  3. ^ "D'une nécéssité aux prototypes "109"..." Dauphinomaniac (in French).
  4. ^ Björklund, Bengt, ed. (June 1962). "Sportiga skönheter 1962" [Sporty Beauties 1962]. Illustrerad Motor Sport (in Swedish). No. 6. Lerum, Sweden. pp. 22–23.
  5. ^ Brennan, Jim (2009-05-11). "Chrysler's Italianate Diversions, Part Two: the Ghia L6.4". Automotive Traveler. Archived from the original on 2011-02-17.

External links

Chrysler C-200

The Chrysler C-200 was a concept car released in 1952 by Chrysler.

Chrysler Norseman

The Chrysler Norseman was a four-seat fastback coupe built in 1956 as a concept car. Although designed by Chrysler's stylists, actual construction was contracted out to the Italian coach-building firm of Carrozzeria Ghia. The concept car was lost during the sinking of SS Andrea Doria.

Felice Mario Boano

Felice Mario Boano (Turin 1903 –– Turin 8 May 1989) was an Italian automobile designer and coachbuilder.

He worked for Stabilimenti Farina in Turin before joining Pininfarina in 1930.

In 1944 (with Giorgio Alberti), Boano bought the Carrozzeria Ghia in Torino when their friend Giacinto Ghia died. Boano and Luigi Segre were central in several low-roofline designs; the Alfa Romeo 2500 CC, Lancia Aurelia (1950), Karmann Ghia (1953), Chrysler K200, Alfa Romeo 1900SS, and some Ferrari 166 of berlinetta style. He is also credited with Lancia Aurelia GT coupe design.

In 1954 he founded Carrozzeria Boano in Grugliasco with his son Gian Paolo Boano (born 1930) who also had been with him while at Ghia. They took over some of Ferrari 250 GT production from Pininfarina. After only three years, Boano closed, and his son-in-law Ezio Ellena took over the 250 production in his Carrozzeria Ellena (1957–1966).Starting in 1957, Boano worked under Dante Giacosa for Fiat in their Turin styling department, creating the Fiat 600 and the square style of Simca 1000. His son Gian Paolo Boano (1930–) succeeded him in 1959, as leader of the Centro Stile, Fiats styling department.Mario retired from Fiat in 1966. Gian Paolo remained with Fiat until 1988. Mario Boano died in 1989.

Ferrari 166 Inter

The Ferrari 166 Inter was Ferrari's first true grand tourer. An evolution of the 125 S and 166 S racing cars, it was a sports car for the street with coachbuilt bodies. The Inter name commemorated the victories claimed in 166 S models by Scuderia Inter. 38 166 Inters were built from 1948 through 1950. Note that both the 166 S and 166 F2 were also called "166 Inter" in the days that they were actively raced by the Scuderia of the same name.

The 166 Inter shared its Aurelio Lampredi-designed tube frame and double wishbone/live axle suspension and 2420 mm wheelbase with the 125 S and 166 S. It was replaced by the 2.3 L 195 Inter in 1950.

The first Ferrari GT car debuted at the Paris Motor Show on October 6, 1949. It was an elegant coupé designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan who had previously created a number of similar Ferrari and Alfa Romeo models. Customer sales soon started, with 166 Inter models becoming the first Ferraris to be purchased for the road rather than the race track. As was typical at the time, a bare chassis was delivered to the coachbuilder of the customer's choice. Majority used Touring with coupé or barchetta style. Carrozzeria Ghia produced one-off coupé designed by Felice Mario Boano. Others were built by Stabilimenti Farina, who penned coupés and cabriolets. Bertone bodied one cabriolet. Vignale also joined in with seven bodyworks, presaging their designs of the coming decade, foreshadowed those companies' later involvement with Ferrari.

The 2.0 L Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine from the 166 S remained, as did its chassis, though the wheelbase would eventually grow from 2,420 mm (95 in) to 2,500 mm (98 in) or even 2,620 mm (103 in). Output was 90 PS (66 kW) at 5600 rpm with one carburetor and top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).

Ferrari 195 Inter

See also the 195 S sports racerThe 195 Inter is a sportscar produced by Ferrari in 1950 as a grand tourer (GT) version of the Ferrari 195 S racer.Introduced at the 1950 Paris Motor Show, it was similar to the 166 Inter shown a year earlier and was aimed at the same affluent clientele. 27 were built in less than a year, receiving the odd-numbered chassis numbers. Out of the 28 cars, 13 were bodied by Carrozzeria Vignale, 11 by Carrozzeria Ghia, 3 by Carrozzeria Touring and 1 by Motto.The more-potent (but otherwise similar) Ferrari 212 Inter was introduced at the 1951 Paris Motor Show and replaced the 195 Inter.

Like the last of the 166 Inters, the wheelbase was stretched by 80 mm (3.1 in) to 2,500 mm (98.4 in), but the larger 2.3 L (2341 cc/142 in³) version of the Colombo V12 was the true differentiator. The engine increase was accomplished by pushing the bore from 60 to 65 mm, retaining the 58.8 mm stroke. A single Weber 36DCF carburettor was normally fitted, for a total output of 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) though some used triple carbs.

Ford CX

The Ford CX is a car that was produced by Ford in Britain from 1935 to 1937. During that period 96,553 cars were produced. It was powered by an 1172 cc Ford Sidevalve engine. It was a de-luxe version of the Ford Model C Ten.


Carrosserie Ghia S.A., Aigle (established 1948 in Aigle, Switzerland, closed 1988) was a Swiss automobile design and manufacturing company, commonly referred to as Ghia-Aigle.

Established by P. P. Filippi of Torino, the company originally operated as a subsidiary of Carrozzeria Ghia, becoming independent in 1953 and temporarily located in Lugano (1954–58). Designers were mainly from Ghia, including

Mario Boano (1948–53),

Giovanni Michelotti (1948–57),

and Pietro Frua (1957–60).

Small-scale special designs such as

Delahaye 135 (1948),

MG T-type#TD (1952),

Jowett Jupiter (1951),

Panhard Dyna Z coupe (1954),

VW coupe (1957),

Lloyd Alexander (1958–59), the

Austin-Healey 100 spider,

Fiat 500 spider (1957),

Lotus Eleven spider and coupe,

Chevrolet Corvette coupe,

Renault Dauphine spider,

MG spider,

Porsche 356B coupe,

Jaguar XK150 coupe,

Alfa Romeo 1900 SS coupe and spider (1958).

Since 1960, the company was mostly involved in minor remodeling of vehicles and closed operations in 1988.

Giacinto Ghia

Giacinto Ghia (18 September 1887 – 21 February 1944) was an Italian automobile coachbuilder and founder of Carrozzeria Ghia.


Giottiline is an Italian mobile home manufacturer and producer of the small scissor doored minicar the Giottiline Ginko. It produces also recreational vehicles.

Giovanni Savonuzzi

Giovanni Savonuzzi (Ferrara 28 January 1911 –– Ferrara 18 February 1988) was an Italian automobile designer.

Savonuzzi received a degree in Mechanical engineering from Politecnico di Torino in 1939 and worked for Fiat Aviazione and taught in Aeronautics at the politecnico. During World War II he served in Albania. In August 1945 he succeeded Dante Giacosa as technical director of the Cisitalia carmaker, first completing Giacosa's Cisitalia D46 cigarshaped racing car. Before he left for in 1948 due to a disagreement, he had sketched out the Spider Nuvolari and the 202 CMM Aerodinamica Savonuzzi (to be built by Pininfarina).He designed the SVA Midget racer while with Società Valdostano Automotori (SVA) 1948–49, lectured at politecnico and had some freelance work, including for Cisitalia in 1951 under Carlo Dusio, leading to a short collaboration with Ford led to his chassis design for the 808X prototype.

As the technical director for Carrozzeria Ghia under Luigi Segre from 1953 to 1957, Savonuzzi developed the "Supersonic" series inspired by gas turbines (as a result of his access to wind tunnels at the politecnico). First one-off car was an Alfa Romeo 1900 tuned by Conrero for Mille Miglia race. He then applied this to Fiat 8V (14 chassises), DeSoto Adventurer II, Jaguar XK120 (three chassises) and Aston Martin DB2/4.Even more futuristic and bold styling saw the 1955 Ghia "Gilda" (named after Rita Hayworth), and a less radical Ferrari 410 Gilda Superamerica.

From 1957 to 1969 Savonuzzi worked under research director George J. Huebner (1910–96) for the turbine department of Chrysler in Detroit, being chief engineer for automotive research from 1962. The resulting Chrysler Turbine Car 1962–64 were not designed by Savonuzzi, but bodied by Carrozzeria Ghia. He also studied crash-proof cars. Following some time as Director of R&D under Gianni Agnelli at Fiat, he devoted himself to teaching at the politecnico until retirement in 1977.


Italcar is an Italian company based in Turin who produces and distributes electric vehicles.

Luigi Segre

Luigi "Gigi" Segre (8 November 1919 – 28 February 1963) was an Italian automotive designer noted for his business and engineering acumen during his stewardship and ownership of Carrozzeria Ghia (1953-63), one of an Italy's premier automobile design and coachbuilders.Segre is widely associated with his prominent role in the genesis of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia — a car that reached a production of nearly a half million, and a car that noted designer Dick Teague called one of the "most beautifully designed products.

Plymouth Explorer

The Plymouth Explorer was a 1954 concept car coupe. It was designed by Luigi Segre at Carrozzeria Ghia.

Renault Caravelle

The Renault Caravelle is a sports car manufactured and marketed by Renault for model years 1958-1968 in a single generation — as a rear-engine, rear drive open two/four-seater designed by Pietro Frua of Carrozzeria Ghia, using the floorpan and engine of the Renault Dauphine.

Outside of North America and Britain it was, until 1962, marketed under the nameplate Renault Floride.

Sergio Coggiola

Sergio Coggiola (1928-1989) was an Italian designer known primarily for his automotive work at Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin for 15 years — serving as the head of Ghia’s prototype shop until 1952 — and later at his own company, Carrozziere Coggiola, which he founded in 1966 in Orbassano, Italy, a commune of Turin.

In the 1980s, Coggiola freelanced for car manufacturers, sometimes executing third-party designs, such as Trevor Fiores design of the concept car Citroën Karin, the Lamborghini Portofino or prototypes of the Renault Megane. Coggiola also produced individual vehicles, special ordered by customers as one-off cars, including Bentley B2 and B3 coupes and convertibles, which Pininfarina had designed for the Sultan of Brunei — Coggiola making a total of 17 copies of this model from 1994 to 1996.Other original work included the asymmetrically designed Coggiola Janus (1978), the Fiat Punto Surf pick-up study and the 2000 Coggiola T-Rex, a SUV that used a Hummer chassis.Other work included the Saab Sonett III, Volvo 262C, Lancia Thema Coupé,, Lancia Dunja (build only), Fiat Brava Sentiero, Pontiac CF 428 (with Paul Farago), the Copper Development Association (CDA) Exemplar I and the 1976 Honda Civic “Lady” prototype.Corrozzeria Coggiola declined quickly when founder and owner Sergio Coggiola died suddenly and the Turin design houses, including IDEA and Ital Design, declined offers to take over.

Sergio Sartorelli

Sergio Sartorelli (Alessandria, 7 May 1928 – Torino, 28 November 2009) was a noted Italian automotive designer and engineer.

During his career at Carrozzeria Ghia, OSI, and finally Fiat, Sartorelli became widely known for his work on the Fiat 2300 S Coupé, Karmann Ghia Type 34, and the Fiat 126.

He was the honorary president of the Italian Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Club.


Vignale was an Italian automobile coachbuilder company. Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale was established in 1948 at Via Cigliano, Turin by Alfredo Vignale (1913–69) in Grugliasco, near Turin (Torino).

The first body on a Fiat 500 Topolino base was made in 1948, followed by a special Fiat 1100. Most customers were Italian firms such as Cisitalia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati, Lancia.

In 1952, Vignale collaborated with Briggs Cunningham to jointly produce the Continental C-3. In 1968, Vignale designed the body of Tatra 613.

Vignale designed and built cars, usually low volume variants of the main production cars of these automobile manufacturers. Amongst them were 850, Samantha, Eveline and the Vignale Gamine, based on the Fiat 500.A close cooperation was maintained with Giovanni Michelotti.

Vignale was taken over by De Tomaso in 1969 who already owned Carrozzeria Ghia. Shortly after selling, Alfredo Vignale died in a car crash. Both coachbuilder firms were sold to Ford in 1973 but the Vignale brand was discontinued.

At the 1993 Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin, at the time owned by Ford, produced a concept car called Lagonda Vignale. Ford then used the Vignale name in the Ford Focus Vignale concept car introduced at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, however the production model was named as Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet.

In September 2013, Ford of Europe announce plans to resurrect the Vignale name as an upscale luxury sub-brand of Ford. The cars will be visually distinct from regular Ford products and have an improved dealership experience. Exclusive services, such as free lifetime car washes, will be offered as well. The first Ford model to receive the Vignale name will be the 2015 Ford Mondeo.

On 1 March 2016 Ford of Europe announced a Kuga Vignale Concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show. where the company also announced the line-up of Vignale products, Ford S-Max Vignale, Ford Edge Vignale and Ford Mondeo Vignale five-door models debut alongside Ford Kuga Vignale Concept, offering a vision of the future of upscale SUVs as well as revealing Vignale Ambassadors and the signature Vignale collection

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is a sports car marketed in 2+2 coupe (1955–1974) and 2+2 convertible (1957–1974) body styles by Volkswagen. Internally designated the Typ 14, the Karmann Ghia combined the chassis and mechanicals of the Type 1 (Beetle) with styling by Italy's Carrozzeria Ghia and hand-built bodywork by German coachbuilding house, Karmann.

For its final model year, the vestigial rear seat was deleted for North America models, as it had no provisions for seatbelts; both coupe and convertible for 1974 were marketed strictly as two-seaters. From 1962-1969, Volkswagen marketed the Typ 34, with angular bodywork and based on the Type 3 platform and mechanicals.

More than 445,000 Karmann Ghias were produced in Germany over the car's production life, not including the Type 34 variant. Karmann Ghia Brazil produced 41,600 Type 34s for South America between 1962 and 1975.

Long noted for its exterior styling, the Karmann Ghia was designed with input from numerous individuals at Carrozzeria Ghia and was strongly influenced by Virgil Exner's work, though all of its designers passed without a definitive individual styling attribution.

American industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague included the Type 14 Karmann Ghia in his list of the world's most beautifully designed products.

Volvo P1800

The Volvo P1800 is a 2+2, front-engine, rear-drive sports car manufactured and marketed by Volvo Cars between 1961 and 1973. Originally a coupe (1961–1972), it was altered into a shooting-brake for the duration of its production (1972-1973). Styling was by Pelle Petterson under the tutelage of Pietro Frua when Frua's studio was a subsidiary of the prestigious Italian carrozzeria Ghia, and mechanicals derived from Volvo's dependable Amazon/122 series.

Marketed as a stylish touring car rather than a sports car, the P1800 became widely known when driven by future James Bond actor Roger Moore in the hit television series The Saint which aired from 1962-1969.

In 1998, an 1800S was certified as the highest mileage private vehicle driven by the original owner in non-commercial service — having exceeded three million miles (over 4.8 million km) as of 2013.

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