Author Topic: Ghia L6.4 in Poland  (Read 1710 times)

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Offline ImpishGrin

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Ghia L6.4 in Poland
« on: November 18, 2015, 11:05:05 AM »
Maybe someone could help in explaining a certain mystery surrounding a Ghia L6.4. One of the most exclusive cars in the world back then, made in only 26 examples, was caught on picture in Warsaw, in the middle of the grey, communist reality. At a time when any foreign car caused sensation in the street, the ghia must have looked like a spaceship among all the Volgas and Warszawas. You can see the photo below, made at the 1965 grand opening of the Grand Theatre/National Opera in Warsaw. The car (probably the same, as I don't believe that 2 of them could have accidentaly visited Poland) was also caught in Katowice in 1970 on another two photos. It is possible, judging by the size, shape and colour of registration plates, that it came from Switzerland or Italy.
No-one knows who the owner was. Is there maybe a register of all the 26 cars or something that could shed some light on this interesting issue?
It's not denial, I'm just very selective about the reality I accept.

Offline Doc

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Re: Ghia L6.4 in Poland
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2021, 08:14:53 PM »
While the only help I could possibly provide is a long-ago photo of me in my Ghia L6.4 in the early 1980s, I sold it within weeks of buying the car and have little info, but I might be able to find the VIN for the car if the file still exists. I know it was not in Europe back in the 1960s.

I find it interesting to look at what is parked in that lot. Next to the Ghia we find the back end of a Mercedes with CD and PL markings [CD for Corps Diplomat]. I find it interesting the Polish diplomatic car would be a German car, not Polish or other eastern European car. Above the roof of the Ghia I think is a circa 1962 to '64 Chevrolet sedan. Next to that is a tall Vanden Plas Princess limousine, a typical limo used by the British Ambassador. Next to the Princess is a GAZ13 Chaika limousine. Off to the extreme right I think I can identify a ZIL limousine [or 2] as well.

The grand opening of any eastern European State Opera is an opportunity for Politicians and Diplomats to mingle on the premise of the arts, not politics. If this was in a western European situation, we would see elite cars from business leaders as well, but this is Warsaw, so I would expect most of the cars in this lot are for diplomatic or political use. The license plate on the front of the Ghia is indeed small like Swiss or Italian plates. I would suggest you might focus on who in the Swiss and Italian Diplomatic community might have owned such a car. My money is on Swiss ownership.

But there is another component to this photo and the Ghia. It's winter. The ground, roadways, and parking lot are covered in ice, snow, and slush. Many of the cars are dirty, some have snow on them. ONLY the Ghia looks as it did when new. Not a single drop of water/dirt/slush is to be seen on the car, not even the tires are dirty. Nor are there boot tracks around the car from a chauffeur wiping the car down. The only other photos where I see snow/slush/ice on the ground and elsewhere, without human tracks or tire tracks visible, while the feature vehicle is clean and dry, are for auto manufacturer's PUBLICITY PHOTOS.

Because this car is so unnaturally immaculate, with no evidence it was cleaned after being parked, I suspect the car was placed in position in advance of a real event, the car was parked & covered hours before, perhaps for a possible European Ghia L6.4 brochure or media package. And yes, auto manufacturer's publicity departments arranged photo shoots like that on a regular basis.

Offline Doc

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Re: Ghia L6.4 in Poland
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2021, 08:48:55 PM »
I did some more digging:

There is a private Ghia L6.4 registry. According to information compiled and provided by Dr. Paul Sable and Dyke W. Ridgley, chassis 0306 was originally delivered to Switzerland to an unknown private buyer, finished in dark amaranth over a camel-colored leather interior. The car remained in Switzerland for most of its life and is believed to have been in the care of the original owner until about 2000, when it was sold to Peter Rau, proprietor of Touring Garage AG, in Oberweningen, Switzerland. Registry notes show it was a sound and complete original car needing minor service. From there, it passed to an American collector who held it in his private collection for the next 16 years but never restored it.

While this is not absolute proof this is the car in the photo, as there were only 26 built, and the dark Amaranth color closely matches the grey scale for a B/W photo, it's likely the car in the photo is #306. I suggest you search for Mr. Peter Rau.

Offline Wendax

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Re: Ghia L6.4 in Poland
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2021, 01:42:02 AM »
The small license plate at the front has white lettering on a black plate. So it can't be Swiss (black lettering on a white plate), but must be Italian.