It’s not often you can look at an early, coach-built sports car and ask, “That thing got a hemi in it?” but in the case of the one-of-one 1955 Firebomb, you’d get a resounding, “YES!” The car started out as a Dodge chassis that was shipped over to the folks at Ghia in Torino, Italy, who built the car’s body and installed the interior. The car was then shipped back to the States, where the car was completed.
Built as a nearly-production-ready prototype by Chrysler, the Firebomb was believed to be a sporty competitor to the Corvette and Thunderbird. It featured Dodge’s 270-horsepower, 315 cubic-inch hemi engine, and Chrysler drivetrain.
When MoPar pulled the plug on any luxurious sports car, Eugene Casaroll secured the rights to the Firebomb and used the car as a basis for his specialized vehicle company, Dual-Motors Corporation, based in Detroit. The cars produced were also founded on a Dodge chassis and sent over to Torino, Italy for the folks at Ghia to work their magic. Then, the cars were shipped back to the States to be completed. The process was termed, “The world’s longest assembly line. The cars were called the Dual-Ghia, to illustrate the collaboration between the two entities.
Dual-Ghia autos were manufactured from 1956 through 1958 and followed much of the original styling of the 1955 Firebomb. The car’s $7,500 price tag was expensive for the day, yet many notables couldn’t resist owning one. American celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon, and Desi Arnaz owned one. Ronald Reagan even owned one, until he reportedly lost it to then-President Lyndon Johnson in a poker game.
But, when it comes to wanting the coolest of the cool, there’s nothing like owning the original. The one that started the exclusive blaze of luxury sports cars, appropriately named, the Firebomb. Mecum Auction is offering the Firebomb to one lucky owner, but it’s not slated to cross any auction block soon. In January of this year, Mecum Auctions began what they call The Mecum Gallery, a standalone sales platform for private transactions.
The Mecum Gallery began during the Kissimmee event back in January, and the Galleries will consist of ten to twenty automobiles for private sale, like the 1955 Dodge Firebomb, at each of the Mecum Auctions around the country. Due to the recent virus, Gallery cars are biding their time in Las Vegas until Mecum can have its next live event.
Anyone interested in purchasing the Firebomb is asked to contact Rob Williams at Mecum Auctions for more information. We will warn you, that just like the original Dual-Ghia cars, this prototype isn’t for the faint-of-wallet, and unless one has enough ink to scribble out at least seven-figures, you’d do better to just peruse the entire Mecum Gallery and dream like the rest of us.