Concept Classic: 1953 Cadillac Ghia Coupe – The Rita Hayworth Of Cars

No, I wasn’t the first to come up with this; it was her husband; who else? In 1953, Prince Aly Kahn saw the Cadillac Ghia Coupe on the stands at the Paris Auto Show, and was inspired to buy it for his beautiful wife, American actress Rita Hayworth. So my job is easy; just paste the pictures together and you decide whether her husband saw an intrinsic connection between the two, or just had good taste in women and cars

Both their front ends are certainly stunning. Rita was born Margarita Carmen Cansino, to a Spanish Flamenco dancer father and Zigfield girl mother. She was an under-age dancer at a Tijuana club when she was discovered by Fox Studios. Acting did not come easy, but she quickly became one of the hottest stars in Hollywood. Her one-glove strip tease in the movie Gilda cultivated her sultry image, and in 1949 her lips were voted best in the world. I’m afraid a lot less information is available about the 1953 Ghia Coupe. Do you even care?

Rita was a top pinup girl during the forties, and married Orson Wells in 1948. Her career continued to blossom, but that was temporarily endangered by her reckless affair with Kahn. Since their brief marriage ended right about the time the Ghia coupe was made, perhaps it was a reconciliation gift. If so, it didn’t work. Her next of five marriage already began in 1953.

Like Marilyn Monroe and many other stars, Rita struggled with alcohol all her life, and her last years were a sad decline until her death in 1987. But she left an enduring legacy on screen and in the memories of those she captivated. The Ghia Coupe fared better: it sits well preserved in the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California.