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The 1955 Chrysler Ghia Streamline X is Up for Auction

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The 1955 Chrysler Ghia Streamline X Photo: Barrett-Jackson

The 1955 Chrysler Ghia Streamline X
Photo: Barrett-Jackson

One of the best places for automobile enthusiasts to find vehicles with a lot of history surrounding them is at an automobile auction. In fact, many of those motorists might even drive away in a piece of automotive history. At this week’s Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Car Auction, drivers have a chance to purchase an automobile that is a perfect representation of the era during which it was built.

The 1955 Chrysler Ghia Streamline X is up for auction during the 46th Annual Scottsdale Collector Car Auction.

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A vehicle that is truly one of a kind, the Ghia Streamline X was created through a collaboration between Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner and Italian designer Giovanni Savonuzzi. The defining motivation behind the creation of the 1955 Chrysler model was to explore crosswind resistance in Chrysler vehicles by making them more aerodynamic.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a... Chrysler? Photo: Barrett-Jackson

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… Chrysler?
Photo: Barrett-Jackson

One look at the design of the Ghia “Streamline” X reveals exactly how the model has earned its name. In many ways looking more like a jet than a car, the Ghia Streamline X borrows heavily from the design of a plane in order to increase its crosswind resistance. The design aesthetic also embodies the era of the 1950s, where vehicles were becoming increasingly slender and sleek.

A jet plane was just one of the many influences behind the design of the 1955 Chrysler Ghia Streamline X. Surprisingly enough, actress Rita Hayworth was another influence. During the marketing campaign for Hayworth’s film, Gilda, the actress was nicknamed “La Vedette Atomique”, or “the Atomic Starlet”. Hayworth’s dynamic personality seemed to have an influence on the designers of the Chrysler Ghia Streamline X, who even nicknamed the vehicle “Gilda”.

Can't you see the resemblance?

Can’t you see the resemblance between the two?

The Ghia Streamline X debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show. After its initial debut, the Chrysler model found a new home at the Henry Ford Museum, where it stayed until 1969. Following its tenure at the museum, “Gilda” changed ownership several times, including an extended period at the Blackhawk Museum.

During that time, the 1955 Chrysler vehicle received several refurbishments and upgrades. Its current owner, a Pebble Beach judge in the Preservation Class, even outfitted the Ghia Streamline X with a single-stage AiResearch turbine. According to computer testing, when outfitted with its current engine, “Gilda” is capable of reaching speeds of up to 160 mph.

An inside look at "Gilda"Photo: Barrett-Jackson

An inside look at “Gilda”
Photo: Barrett-Jackson

It would seem that it is time for ownership of the magnificent “Gilda” to exchange hands yet again, adding a new chapter to the history of this classic Chrysler vehicle.

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Source: Barrett-Jackson