(first posted 8/1/2011) The relationship that Chrysler had with Ghia was multidimensional. Initially, Virgil Exner picked Ghia because they could quickly transform his 3/8 scale clays into a complete and very drivable car for $10,000; considerably less than Farina. But it blossomed into much more, where Ghia took the lead and modified Exner’s designs to be built in small quantities, in the classic role of the carozzeria. Only a very limited number of these magnificent GS1 were actually built.
Exner’s Chrysler Special of 1952 (above) was the basis of the Ghia production cars. And Virgil Exner’s son claims that the Special, as well as the K310 and the D’Elegance was 100% daddy’s work (along with his small group of designers). And of the three, the Special is very special indeed.
And, lo! No toilet seat to be found. That is a very tasty rear, reminiscent of the Bentley R-Type Continental and of course the ’49 Caddy.
Green or blue? Hmm… It’s quite apparent that the main difference from Exner’s Special and the “production” GS1 is the roof line. The GS1 has a lighter roof, reflecting the changing taste that was leaving quickly the fastback quickly behind. It’s hard to think of a more delectable way to wrap a husky Chrysler hemi.