Ghia was one of the styling houses that helped Italy produce so many automotive works of art. But between those highs the managed to sneak in one or two (or more) disasters. In some cases they not only smacked their designs with the biggest of ugly sticks, but they backed it up with mechanical decisions that must have left a whole bunch of engineers scared for life.
Before anyone leaps to their defense, take a look at the weirdness that was the 1959 Ghia Selene. Now you may be thinking It has a strange radiator grille, but otherwise it’s not so bad. If you are thinking like that, stop it. Right now. Because that strange radiator grille is the rear of the car.
Let’s have a look at another angle, what Ghia laughingly call “the front.”
They rounded the front for aerodynamic efficiency. Full marks there. But look at that overhang! There’s almost a whole car in front of the front wheel. You’d probably have to arrange your passengers to make sure a heavy driver didn’t make the car tip forward onto its nose. I say nose because the designers took their inspiration from the jet aircraft of the day.
This concept car had no engine. I think that’s a shame, because with the enormous front overhang driving it would have been a hoot. The car had six seats and I imagine you’d have to have them all filled to stand any chance of keeping the thing stable.
To add to the driver’s control stability problems he sat ahead of the front wheels! This would probably have been lethal in an accident, but perhaps the designers planned to keep the jet aircraft theme going and install an ejector seat?
So what do you think? Do you fancy sitting in front of all the heavy metal in a car crash? Would you have ordered one with that oh-so-chic plaid design? Or would you have held out till they did one in leather?