When it comes to interesting and classy designs, I think that Ghia is the first thing that comes to our minds. After all, they gave us the elegant VW Karmann, and that was a show-stopper. However, before the mentioned VW, Ghia made a similar-looking car based on an Abarth 205.
The car was presented at the 1953 Turin Motor Show with a name Abarth 1100 Sport Ghia Coupe. It had a 1.1-litre straight-4 engine from Fiat, which could produce 65 HP.
On the outside, clearly, there are a lot of styling cues borrowed from American cars, and Italian press referred to it as a masterpiece. When it was presented, it got a lot of attention, and was even bought by Bill Vaughn, who was famous for creating some fiberglass-bodied sports cars in the 50s.
Abarth Ghia on the right at the Turin Motor Show. Credit: CarStyling.ru
The next year, Vaughn took this car to the New York Auto Show, calling it “Vaughn SS Wildcat” and claiming that he had stuffed an overhead camshaft V8 in it. But, there are no evidence that this car ever had that engine in, so maybe Vaughn was just pretending.
After spending some years in Vaughn’s ownership, the car found its home in Peter Sherman’s garage in 1978. Unfortunately, Sherman died in a plane crash that year, and the car remained without an owner for the next 4 years. In 1982, it was bought by Russ Baer and Pat Braden at a real estate sale. After that, the 1100 Sport fell off the radar, and showed up in 2010 when it was bought by an anonymous restorer.
Credit: RM Sotheby's
At this point, it was nothing more than just a skeleton; many pieces were lost and a lot of research needed to be done in order to find what was missing. Thankfully, there are so many pictures of if from its Turin presentation that the owner could easily remake the missing components.
Amazing color for the interior. Credit: RM Sotheby's
After 5 years of restoring this machine, the owner took it to the 2015 Pebble Beach and amazed the world. This was the first time the car was seen in public after the 1954 New York Show. The new owner took care of it for some time, but later sold it at an auction for $891.000. Hopefully, whoever has it now will show it off more in public.
Abarth at the 2015 Pebble Beach. Credit: UltimateCarPage.com