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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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