1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia

Courtesy of Bonhams

The pedigree of every one of the 15 Ghia 8V Supersonic automobiles is unequivocal. However, this example comes with a celebrated history and provenance, rendering it ultimately rare.

Conceived as the sports car for the elite, chassis 0043 was completed alongside its stablemate, 0039, by Ghia in 1953. Car 0039 was painted ivory, while 0043 was finished in white with red leather, a front grille with additional lights and no bumpers. The two Supersonics were shipped from Genoa, Italy, to the United States by “Dutch” Darrin — founder of the coachbuilder Hibbard & Darrin and co-designer of the Kaiser Darrin marque.

At the 1954 World Motor Sports Show in New York City, Briggs Swift Cunningham struck a deal with Darrin to buy chassis 0043. Cunningham gave the car to his wife, Lucie, who drove it throughout 1954 until her husband sold it to a dealer in Hartford, CT.

In 1959 the 8V was purchased by Dr. Webb of California. In 1963 the Supersonic was acquired by Bruce Pierce, who had the original transmission and engine replaced with a Chevrolet V8 and drivetrain. Some 20 years later, in 1981, the Supersonic was purchased by Jarl de Boer, who retained the car until 2001, when ownership was transferred to Paul Sable of Pennsylvania.

In 2012, the 8V Supersonic was purchased by a rare-car collector in Belgium — who recognized the prestige of this rare sports car and commissioned a superb nut-and-bolt restoration back to its original specification. The car was fitted with its original engine and transmission. Displayed at the Salon Rétromobile in February 2018 in Paris at the Portes de Versailles, it was acquired by the consignor — a U.K.-based collector.