This one-of-a-kind beauty is expected to sell for as much as $950,000.
An extraordinary one-off Chrysler concept car from 1957 will go under the hammer at Bonhams' Scottsdale auction in January 2023 and is expected to sell for as much as $950,000.
This Ghia Super Dart 400, once part of the Ramshead collection, is the work of the Torinese design house Carrozzeria Ghia and looks just as striking as the day it was first shown off at the 1957 Turin Motor Show. The concept boasts a futuristic design based on a '57 Chrysler 300C chassis. The striking grille is beautifully detailed and unlike anything American at the time. The sleek bodywork stretches to the rear of the car, where you'll find the dramatic high-rise fins.
The chrome exterior trim is uplifted by the striking yellow paintwork, while the roof has been coated in black vinyl. From the rear three-quarter view, the Super Dart appears to be a mix of exuberant '50s design and '70s modernity; without the fin-tail design, one can see similarities between this and the late '60s/early '70s New Yorker.
Then again, that comes as no surprise. It is said that the Ghia Super Dart 400 inspired Virgil Exner to adopt the "forward look" design for Chrysler vehicles, something that was incorporated into future products from the American marque.
But there's more to this one-of-a-kind car than unusual beauty. Under the hood lives a 400-horsepower Chrysler Hemi engine that boasts a pair of four-barrel carburetors. The surfeit of muscle comes courtesy of the optional Power Pack offered by Chrysler at the time. Power is sent to the wheels via a three-speed push-button automatic transmission.
The Ghia Super Dart's interior is just as spectacular as the exterior. The cabin has a decidedly Italian feel, which features four individual seats trimmed in black and white upholstery. Even though it's nearly 70 years old, the Super Dart 400 boasts power steering, seats and windows, air-conditioning, and the wonderfully retro Highway Hi-Fi record player.
As with any great car, the Super Dart 400 has a wonderful backstory. After stunning the crowds in Turin, the concept was sold to Dual Motors and showcased at the 1958 New York Auto Show. The reason behind Ghia selling the vehicle is unknown, but it wouldn't be the last time the one-off motorcar would change hands.
At the New York Auto Show, privateer Alex Freeman saw the Super Dart 400 and begged Dual Motors to sell the car. After handing over a blank check, Freeman got the vehicle for $15,000 (a healthy amount of money at the time) and used it regularly. During his two-decade-long ownership, he covered 38,000 miles.
It was sold again in the 1970s and kept for 40 years before joining the Ramshead collection just a few years ago. Unsurprisingly, the Super Dart 400 won a class award in the Postwar Preservation Class at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The concept currently has 49,725 miles on the clock and has never been restored, highlighting how well-preserved this one-off wonder is. It's a superb piece of design history and will make an incredible addition to any collection worldwide.
Bonhams estimates the Ghia-designed Chrysler will sell for $750,000 - $950,000 when it comes up for sale at the Scottsdale auction on January 23, 2023. Included in the same are old black-and-white images of the vehicle. The vehicle will be sold alongside two other special Chrysler Ghia models from the same era.
We'd love to see exciting styling like this make a return, especially as we head into the electric era. Perhaps the Chrysler 300 replacement, rumored to be electric, could modernize design cues seen on the Ghia Super Dart 400.