1954 Chrysler GS-1 Special by Ghia

During the 1950s, Italian coachbuilder Ghia built numerous one-off “dream cars” for Chrysler Corporation. One, the slab-sided and extremely modern “Thomas Special,” named for Chrysler export executive C.B. Thomas, was so well received at European shows that a limited run of duplicates was produced for European customers. Others soon followed, including the so-called Ghia Special.

Chrysler’s Export Division had two 1954 Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe chassis, each with a 125.5-inch wheelbase frame, a 235-horsepower Hemi V8, and a PowerFlite automatic transmission, and they were delivered to Ghia to be bodied with variants of the Special design. These two cars were distinguished from other Ghia Specials by their 4-passenger interiors and flat exhaust tips, and they borrowed numerous Chrysler parts throughout, including the bumpers, taillights, steering wheel, dashboard gauges, and even the sexy wire wheels, which were a dealer accessory on Grandma’s Chrysler.

These two GS-1 Specials are believed to have been used during Chrysler promotions on the European continent, including the Turin show of 1954.

The car offered here is one of the two Chrysler-ordered, 4-passenger GS-1 Specials. In the 1950s, the Ghia-bodied Chryslers thrilled show crowds worldwide with their Italian flair and American brawn. The GS-1 Special packs the power to impress. It is a beautiful machine — special then and special now.

Carl Bomstead

Carl Bomstead - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Carl has been writing for SCM for 19 years. His first article appeared in the February 1997 issue, and at least one of his articles has appeared in every issue since. When he’s not writing, he serves as a National Director for the Classic Car Club of America and tends to his extensive collection of automobilia. He has been a judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the past 20 years, and he also judges at Amelia Island and other major concours. An extensive number of collector cars have passed through his garage, and a 1947 Cadillac 62 Series convertible and a 1968 Intermeccanica Italia are current residents.

Posted in American