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Mario's Tribute to 1953 Cadillac Ghia Coupe

Ghia Concept Car

1 1953 CADILLAC GHIA COUPE.

2 The car is a dead-stock Cadillac with a lighter weight aluminum body.

3 The interior is quite simple and classy, with a three-passenger front bench.

4 Due to the low roof line, the seat sits very close to the floor.

5 The most notable styling feature on the car is the quad headlamps.

6 Elegant leather interior although headroom is tight.

7 Other design elements worth noting are the angular, wrap-around back lights, thin pillars, split rear window and side trim.

8 The sun visors are tinted Plexiglas so that you can still see when they are down.

9 Italian coach builder Ghia looked to stabilize his business by developing concept cars. This Concept car the Ghia Coupe did with Cadillac.

10 Vent handle knobs sit on the dashboard.

11 Inspired by his success with Chrysler, Ghia constructed a pair of Cadillac based concepts for the 1953 Paris Auto Show.

12 A set of fitted luggage all in the same soft tan leather as the interior is nestled behind the seats.

13 A huge sweeping split rear window creates a sleek profile, while subtle fins on the back pave way for a few years later when fins would rise to epic proportions.

14 Making it a true “touring” car is a set of Italian-leather luggage, which matches the rest of the leather interior nestled behind the front seat.

15 A 210-hp, 331-cubic-inch overhead valve V8 with automatic transmission.

16 Two coupes were built on the 126-inch wheelbase Cadillac chassis, and they were both powered by Cadillac’s 331-ci V8.

17 Stated to be the first car with quad headlights.

18 Unique quad headlights set back inside the front fender.

19 Sloping back and a huge sweeping back window creates a sleek profile.

20 This 1953 Cadillac Ghia Coupe is currently owned and on display at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, CA.

21 Quad headlights, something that wouldn’t become legal in the U.S. until sometime in 1957.

22 Small subtle fins enhance the rear. A trend that would be widely adopted in the coming years.

23 Underneath the Ghia bodywork is a conventional 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupé de Ville chassis, which means it came with a 331ci V8 making 210 hp.

24 Using a large Caddy as the base gave Ghia the freedom to build it as he saw fit without limitations.

25 Angular wrap-around back lights.

26 The fuel door was cleverly hidden among rear side louvers.

27 The car now belongs to the Petersen Automotive Museum in CA.

28 One of two such examples built by the famed Italian coach builder Ghia.

29 This coupe appeared in the 2010 Iron Man II movie with Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow.

30 The second Ghia coupe is Black and sold for $1,430,000 in 2016 to a private collector.

31 The Black 1953 Cadillac Ghia Coupe. This Ghia designed Cadillac resides in Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace.

32 One of two made, the maroon coupe was a gift to the Hollywood star Rita Hayworth from her husband Prince Ali Khan, then billed as the richest man in the world.


Video and audio clips

1953 CADILLAC GHIA COUPE


1953 CADILLAC GHIA COUPE


1953 CADILLAC GHIA COUPE



Related

More Cars of the 1950s
More Cadillac Coverage

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Comments

Mario on Nov 1, 2022 said:

The 1953 CADILLAC GHIA COUPE was the idea of the Italian coach builder Ghia looking to stabilize his business by developing concept cars. Inspired by his success with Chrysler, Ghia constructed a pair of Cadillac-based concepts for the 1953 Paris Auto Show.

Ghia designed and built two cars pretty much identical using a conventional 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupé de Ville chassis with a 331ci V8 making 210 hp.

The interior is simple and classy, with a leather three-passenger front bench, a set of fitted luggage nestled behind the seat, a very low sloping roof line, subtle fins on the back, angular wrap-around back lights, thin pillars, a hidden fuel door and fancy side trim.

The most notable styling feature on the car is the quad headlamps. Stated to be the first car with quad headlights, the Industry will follow in 1957.

The Ghia even starred in the 2010 Iron Man II movie with Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow. Fortunately, both cars survive today. Enjoy! Mario

[Reply to this comment]

azmusclecar on Nov 2, 2022 said:

I saw that movie....and didn't realize that was the car. I bet the original luggage would cost a fortune, like the ones I've seen for collectible cars on Mecum and Barrett etc. I love this color combo.

Nice to see Rita Hayworth owned one. She was a killer in the movie "GILDA".

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Nov 3, 2022 said:

I saw the movie also and did not realize this was the car. The twin to this car in Black sold for $1.4 million in 2016 which is probably higher today. And it has the original luggage. Thanks for your comments Rob. Cheers!

[Reply to this comment]

azmusclecar on Nov 2, 2022 said:

Oh was this the prelude to the 63 Corvette "SPLIT WINDOW"??????

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Nov 3, 2022 said:

Besides having a rear split window like the 63 Vette, this car also has a raised windsplit that runs the length of the roof and down the back that bisects the rear window. Did Corvette copy that too?

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