by Mike –
Here is my pick for the classic car for sale today that I would like to own. The original owner of this beautiful Ghia 450SS was the TV talk show host Johnny Carson whose replacement on The Tonight Show was Jay Leno.
Johnny Carson set the standard for the late night talk show host on American TV.
The Hollywood producer, Burt Sugarman, saw a Ghia-bodied Fiat on the cover of Road & Track magazine in 1965. Sugarman loved the looks and wanted one for himself. He approached Ghia and persuaded the company to build a similar car. Thus, the Ghia 450SS was born.
1966 Ghia 450SS – Originally Owned by Johnny Carson
The seller says,
* One of 52 made
* Convertible with hardtop
* Owned by Johnnie Carson
* Paint is very nice, body is straight and rust free (California car) with superb body gaps, chrome is also very nice
* Soft top is in fair but very usable condition, interior is very nice and most likely the original leather
* Hard top is steel and is nicely finished
* Runs and drives as it should
* Chrysler 273 Commando V8 engine
* It was recently photographed for an upcoming issue of “Hemmings Sports and Exotics” magazine
This Ghia 450SS is for sale on eBay with a price of $179,000 US.
Today the Ghia 450SS is an extremely rare car that combines the elegant styling of Giorgetto Giugiaro with Chrysler power. I believe that all of the Ghia 450SS examples were sold by one dealer in Beverly Hills, California and this explains why so many were driven by movie and TV stars.
These are not fast cars but are elegant boulevard cruisers and this one will cruse with the top down just fine but it also has the very rare factory hard top which is a big plus.
The price seems a little high but where are you going to find another one in this condition with a hard top and originally owned by Johnny Carson? I say if you have a chance to own a former Johnny Carson car you should take it!
I feel the same about Jay Leno except with Leno there are at least 100 choices so which one would you choose if you had the choice? One of the steam cars, jet powered cars or an electric car from 1900? Maybe the 700 hp 1970 Olds Toronado? I could go for a Lamborghini Miura or Espada. I don’t think I will have the choice but dreaming is part of the obsession with classic cars. I don’t think that Jay Leno owns a Ghia 450SS.