- Horsepower @ RPM:
- 383 cubic inches
The Ghia L6.4 was just about as exclusive as you could get in the 1960s, as it was designed and built only for actors and other high rollers in Hollywood. The final of the 26 Ghia L6.4s ever built was built for one of the largest stars of that era, Dean Martin. Martin was not the only Rat Pack member to own a L6.4, as Frank Sinatra also owned one, as did other Rat Pack members.
Recently, one of the 26 Ghia L6.4s built, the one owned by Dean Martin, was put up for auction on eBay as Hyman Ltd. got its hands on Martin’s old L6.4. For a car of its age, the modern features are plentiful, but it still wasn’t enough for Dean Martin, as he shipped the car off to George Barris, “Hollywood’s King of the Kustomizers,” to have even more customizations performed on this already rare vehicle. This customization turned Martin’s L6.4 into a one-of-a-kind vehicle.
Click past the jump to read the full review on this vehicle and see how it has held up throughout the years.
The first thing that will stand out when looking at Martin’s custom Ghia L6.4 are the headlights. The standard headlights on the 1962 Ghia L6.4 are round and near the outermost edge of the front end. On Martin’s Ghia L6.4, you’ll notice that the headlights are an oval shape and surrounded by chrome, which was completely unheard of in the 1960s.
These modified headlights resulted in a shortening of the grille to the inside of each headlight. You will also notice that the bumper is one straight chrome horizontal piece, lacking the vertical chrome sections just to the inside of the headlights.
The oval-shaped main grille has a shiny chrome border around it with a chrome divider that splits the grille into an upper and lower section.
The extra-long hood on the Ghia L6.4 is a thing of beauty, as it seemingly goes on forever and features a raised section in the center that starts at the top of the main grille and gets wider as it heads toward the windshield. A raised center line on the hood rounds this super-modern-looking hood out.
Surrounding the hood are two raised front fender fins that start out protruding about 6 inches upward, near the front of the car. As you head down these fins toward the windshield, they slowly sink downward until they are about even with the hood.
Down the side of the Ghia you have plenty of chrome, as there is a thin chrome strip outlining each wheel well, a chrome piece near the top of the rocker panels, a chrome outline on the simulated heat extractor, chrome outside door handles, and chrome surrounding the side glass. Yeah, it sounds like an abundance of chrome, but it was tastefully done.
The side profile of this classic custom ride is absolutely stunning. Not only do you have the elongated hood, but also the windshield is raked rearward slightly and the massive rear glass tapers toward the trunk, making this car look fast just sitting there. While we are on the topic of glass, this Ghia has plenty of it. The only pillars supporting this massive amount of glass are nearly unnoticeable A and B pillars and the rear glass wraps around the backside unlike anything seen at the time.
The rear wheel wells hide about one-quarter of the rear tires. This allows it to look luxurious while still showing off the awesome chrome wire wheels and whitewall tires.
The rear end of the Ghia L6.4 is nearly as stunning as the front end, as it has a rising beltline that starts at the rear of each door and doesn’t end until it meets the unique overhang that makes up the tail end. The turn signals are recessed into the rear quarter panels and surrounded by chrome. These recessed turn signals may look custom, but that is actually how the Ghia came.
The taillights and reverse lights are slightly less exciting, as they are your run-of-the-mill circular lights.
Dean Martin’s Ghia L6.4 dons a black paint job that is in the same condition it was when it was delivered to him. There are no signs or restoration, nor is there any restoration needed, as the chrome and paint both shine brightly.
Overall, the Ghia L6.4’s exterior is odd, yes, but that simply adds to its stunning nature. It is certainly one of those cars that you either absolutely fall in love with or completely despise from the moment you lay eyes on it. We tend to take the former stance on this one.
The interior is in the exact same original and immaculate condition as the exterior. It was never restored or modified from its original state. The seats are wrapped in black leather and the floors boast black carpeting, completing the black-on-black-on-black look.
This Ghia L6.4 boasts a custom wood-rimmed steering wheel by Nardi, which was added by Barris. The wood and three chrome spokes are all in superb condition for their age. The center stack is trimmed in wood and features an AM radio with a single speaker just below it. Near the base of the center stack is a rather petite gear shifter to control the three-speed automatic transmission. Also near the base of the center stack are power window controls. Yup, this classic ride even has power windows.
The instrument panel is what appears to be a polished aluminum or steel. Regardless of its construction, it is perfectly polished to contrast the black interior without looking out of place. Strewn across the instrument panel are seven chrome outlined gauges and numerous chrome knobs and levers. Even the glove box is tastefully outlined in chrome, making this interior one for the ages.
About the only thing this interior is lacking is rear legroom. The rear seats appear to have been thrown into the car as a bit of an afterthought and there is almost zero legroom, so don’t plan on taking anyone out with you, besides the person sitting in the passenger’s seat.
In addition to the one speaker under the AM radio, this Ghia has an additional two speakers in each door, making its total number of speakers five. On top of all of these high-end luxury options, the L6.4 even has air conditioning and power steering.
Engine and Drivetrain
There is only a small amount of information available about this car’s engine and drivetrain. The first thing that we know is that is features a Chrysler 383 cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V-8 engine that cranks out 335 horsepower. The 6.4-liters is where the car gets its name.
The Chrysler 383 is no tiny engine. In fact, it is downright massive. This Ghia’s expansive hood makes for plenty of room to wedge this V-8 in and still have enough room to slap a shiny chrome piece in front of the engine. The engine looks clean enough to sit and have a meal on, though we wouldn’t challenge you to.
Connected to the engine was a TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission, which tosses the power to the rear axle.
Both on Ebay and Hyman’s website they list the car at $199,500. That appears to be quite the steal, as a less-rare factory L6.4 just had a final gavel value of $400,000 in Pebble Beach. Given this one is in excellent shape without restoration, owned by arguably the second-most famous Rat Pack member and was customized by George Barris, this is a car that may just net you a nice profit almost immediately.
You have a 1-of-26 car customized by one of the most famous custom car builders of the era and owned by a legendary celebrity… Yeah, no competition for this one.
We love it all, as of now. It’s a superb price for an all original car in great condition with only 46,000 miles. Plus it was once owned by Dean Martin. You can’t really do much better than this, unless Frank Sinatra’s L6.4 comes up for sale any time soon.
Completely original and un-restored excellence
Dean Martin, folks...
Awesomely modern for its era
Unknown actual value
Parts are non-existent for the body
gallery: Ghia 4
1962 GHIA L6.4 CAR FOR SALE
The last iteration of a series begun by Gene Casaroll’s Dual-Ghia, the Ghia L6.4 embodied not only increasingly capable chassis and engines but also more refined design by Ghia. There are only 26 Ghia L6.4s. Each was individually specified and built for celebrities and industrialists, most famously the Hollywood stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and their Rat Pack friends. Dean Martin found the Ghia L6.4 insufficiently exclusive as delivered by Ghia and had this one subtly customized for him by Hollywood’s King of the Kustomizers, George Barris. Identified by a plaque on the center console and a pair of original Sixties’ Barris Kustoms decals inside the corners of the windshield, this exceptional car has never been restored, nor needed restoration. Finished in black that highlights its body lines and the vast glass area of its greenhouse, the oval headlights reflect Barris’s touch. It is fitted with a Nardi woodrim steering wheel and all the luxury touches expected of an exclusive Sixties semi-custom. Power comes from a 335hp Chrysler 383 cubic inch V-8 with TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes and air conditioning. Chrome wire wheels with narrow whitewall tires are highlighted by thin chrome accents around the wheelwells and along the rocker panels nicely setting off thin chrome front fender vent trim. The black leather interior is original and has an inviting patina. With provenance, history and exceptional care, Dean Martin’s Ghia L6.4 needs nothing to be enjoyed and shown. Its originality and celebrity history are a delight
Stock Number: 4130
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