Words courtesy of Wes Shakirov / StratosWRC
Truth be told, before Automodello brought it out, I’d never even heard of the Dual-Ghia, which is a shame, because it’s such a glamorously good-looking car. It was based on a 1950s Chrysler Firearrow concept car, and saw limited production thanks to the efforts of one Eugene Casaroll, then president of the Dual Motors Corporation, hence the “Dual”. As the second part of the name suggests, coachbuilder Ghia was commissioned to build the car, and 177 units were eventually hammered together by hand. The Dual-Ghia became an instant status symbol and was enjoyed by such prominent figures as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.
Automodello is offering four versions, all limited editions. Today we will be reviewing two colour combinations: blue with a blue top and light blue/white interior, and red with a tan top and a red/white interior. They are limited to 499 units each and are mechanically identical. Automodello is also producing two further editions, Tribute and Homage, limited to 57 and 24 pieces, respectively.
The Dual-Ghia comes in a handsome box with a plastic display case, and a folded card with a brief history of the car. It is mounted on two springs, and the plastic black base is really quite basic. Provided separately are two roofs – one folded, one open – giving the owner a chance to switch them up should the mood strike. The stance and shape are spot-on. The paint finish is beautiful and smooth. It definitely helps that the car itself is drop-dead gorgeous. The chrome bumpers and grille are faithfully reproduced. The two side strakes just behind the front wheels look photo-etched and lend the model the flair it deserves. The emblems and logos, though miniscule, have depth and texture. The windshield wipers put most 1:18 scale models to shame – so slender, yet detailed. The lights are separate units, and are wonderfully translucent. The wheels are excellent tread-patterned whitewalls with flashy hub caps.
Moving on to the interior we have more photo-etched parts on the side window frame, by the A-pillar, and on the steering wheel. I don’t know how, but the gauges look like they’re glass-faced. The dash instrumentation appears to be in the shape of a well-done decal. Beware though, the sun-visors are extremely fragile and will break off with the slightest of contact.
The interior is lined in expensive-looking carpet, and peeking into the foot well, it’s good to see that the pedals received due attention and look great. When you finally put the roof in place, it fits well, and in my opinion, is best left that way. The back window frame is photo-etched as well, and the window itself has good clarity. The car is achingly elegant, and I feel like “putting the roof down” (or replacing it with the folded piece) gives it more of a Hollywood Boulevard vibe. Out of the two colours, blue is my favourite and looks best with the roof up, while the red looks best with it down.
The minds behind Automodello put effort and passion into their offerings and produce models of cars that often escape our attention. You’d do well acquiring a few of them, but beware, they’re not cheap, and are mostly in 1:43, which is a combination that ensures these pieces will always fill only a very small niche. However, with some offerings in 1:24 and even 1:12, Automodello is looking to expand that niche (or perhaps invade others?), and apart from a bit of spit and polish, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be successful. Enjoy the pictures!