This car is a stunning styling statement, a jet-age objet d’art very much of its time that has also proven timeless
One of Ghia’s most famous designs, the Supersonic was not merely a brilliant fashion statement; it was, in many ways, the result of economic necessity. The two-seat sports car featured stylized, streamlined forms, subtle tail fins, a delicate use of brightwork and a taut, swept-back roofline.
During the fall of 1953, Luigi Serge traveled to Detroit to meet with Chrysler executives, including stylist Virgil Exner. Also present at the meeting was a gentleman by the name of Paul Farago, a designer and engineer who was very much involved in Chrysler’s styling department and later, in the development of the Dual-Ghia cars. With full support from Exner, Paul Farago placed the first order for a Ghia-bodied Fiat 8V Supersonic.
It is his car that we have the great honor of presenting here today. During the early 1950s, Paul Lazaros worked for Paul Farago as an engineer and machinist. With a background in automobiles and a keen eye for design, it is understandable that he would be attracted to the bespoke Italian sports car. In 1955, after admiring the car for some time, Lazaros struck a deal with Farago and purchased the car.
It is safe to say the Supersonic has led an unusually protected and secluded life during the past 55 years in Mr. Lazaros’ care. At the time of cataloging, the odometer displayed a mere 26,700 kilometers, just under 17,000 miles. This astonishing figure is corroborated by the car’s highly original condition, minimal use and airtight provenance. The paint appears to be 80% original and possesses a lovely uniform appearance, showing only the wonderful visual traces that come with decades of continuous use and interaction with its long-term caretaker.
The Supersonic is, quite literally, original down to the wheels and tires. The Borrani knockoffs still wear the factory-installed Pirelli Cinturato tires, and the unique polished wheel discs are the only set that is known to have survived intact. The car’s interior is as complete and original as the exterior and remains in fine order throughout. The leather upholstery wears its age beautifully and has a wonderfully inviting feel. In addition, the carpets, headliner, rubber and hardware have a consistent patina.
Almost every component of the car, from the Securit glass to the Marchal lamps, was fitted at the factory and remains undisturbed. The engine bay is largely untouched and is consistent with the low mileage. The engine is the original, matching-numbers unit and is topped with twin Weber DCZ3 carburetors as well as a unique air-intake system.
Elsewhere, one finds the factory-delivered data plates, Marelli equipment, original fasteners and correct factory finishes. As would be expected of such a well-kept automobile, all the important accessories are present, including the original key and spare tire, as well as the tool kit and jack stowed in the factory-delivered canvas pouches. After spending time in the presence of this car, it is hard not to be captivated by its extraordinary appearance, magnificent patina and impeccable history. Each and every detail exudes character and speaks to the single-minded dedication that has helped to preserve this car in its remarkable state. When Paul Lazaros recalls the moment when he first set eyes on the Supersonic, he describes the feeling as “love at first sight.” For collectors with a deep appreciation for extraordinary automobiles and the history behind them, it must be difficult not to feel the same way about this one-of-a-kind car.