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Ghia – Streamline X Gilda


Vehicle Overview

This Ghia one-off creation debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show. One of the most influential design studies in automotive history, this has been displayed as a feature car at many of the World’s Leading Automotive Exhibits. During the European marketing campaign for the 1946 film noir classic “Gilda,” actress Rita Hayworth was given the nickname “La Vedette Atomique,” or “the Atomic Starlet” for her sleek lines and dangerous appeal. This seems to have prompted Ghia SPA to name its equally sleek aerodynamic study for a jet-powered car after the iconic role played by Hayworth. The styling of the Gilda Streamline X is the work of legendary Italian designer Giovanni Savonuzzi and was commissioned by Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner, who wished to explore solutions for crosswind resistance and rear-end grip, as well as turbine power. With the forward-look and styling elements from designs such as Gilda, Exner wrested styling leadership away from General Motors’ Harley Earl and put Chrysler at the helm. With coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia, Chassis 9967, Gilda is superbly constructed, with a sturdy, elegant aluminum body atop a square tube chassis, a separate aluminum floor for the passenger compartment and a full belly pan for aerodynamic efficiency. Inside, it is both stark and stylish. The short armrests serve as side bolsters to hold driver and passenger in place during cornering, while the dashboard’s two main instruments float underneath a binnacle placed on a simple piece of bodywork sweeping from door to door. With careful planning and expert engineering, a lightweight, compact single-stage AiResearch turbine was fitted into Gilda, and Savonuzzi’s vision of a half-century prior was finally realized. Computer and wind tunnel modeling have determined that the 70hp turbine would be capable of propelling the car up to 160mph.

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
    Streamline X “Gilda”
  • Coachbuilder
  • Length (mm)
  • Width (mm)
  • Height (mm)
  • Photo credits
  • Engine Type
  • Designer

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