Ghia Streamline "Gilda"

Exner model

In 1954 Virgil Exner, director of styling at Chrysler, created a clay-model,
being able to show his stuff what kind of aerodynamic ideas he wanted to see in the future
on the drawingboards of his designers.
The form-model was finished in black color, and was put on the desk of Exner.
There it was seen by Giovanni Savonuzzi, chief-stylist at Ghia.
Savonuzzi immediately wanted to create a car with the same shape of the form-model.

Well, on the following photos you see what he did...
The photos were taken at the 2009 Concorso D'Eleganza Villa D'Este, at Cernobbio, Italy.


At the car show of Torino, Italy, in 1955, the Ghia Streamline was shown to the public for the very first time.
Today, the car is known as Ghia Gilda, thanks to Rita Hayworth' film character in a 1946 movie.

1955 Ghia Streamline

The design was breathtaking, and it was planned to power the car by a gas-turbine,
but for years, the Gilda was only a mock-up.

1955 Ghia Gilda

After touring several car-shows in Europe, in 1955, the car was shipped to the USA in October 1955,
and the Henry Ford Museum was the proud new owner.


In some literature it is mentioned that the car was powered by a 1.5-litre OSCA-engine,
which was not the basic idea. We have no idea when this modification happened.

Ghia Streamline Gilda

Perhaps when the Ford Museum sold the car...

This photo was taken at the Blackhawk Collection, Exner's daughter Marie standing next to Gilda.

In 2001, the Blackhawk Collection offered Gilda for $125,000.00.

Ghia Gilda Streamline

There it was bought by the current owner, Mr. Scott Grundfor.


Mr. Grundfor did a ground-up restoration,
and added a gas-turbine under the rear-hood!
So the car gets a lot of attention, when it is started.

Ghia Gilda 1955

The design of Gilda lead to Exner's concept-car for 1956, the Chrysler Dart,
which was sent back to Ghia, to remove the top,
and present the new car as Chrysler Diablo, which is today part of the Joe Bortz collection.

Ghia Streamline 1955

articles in magazines:
Auto Bild 3/2010 (German), 4 pages, 9 photos
Auto Bild Klassik 1/2010 (German), 7 1/2 pages, 22 photos
Classic & Sports Car 4/2010, 6 pages, 11 photos
Octane #82, April 2010, 7 pages, 15 photos

Concorso D'Eleganza Villa D'Este 2009

Virgil M. Exner