More than a half dozen major auctions are going to be taking place on the Monterey Peninsula this mid-August. And the exotic cars are starting to roll in from around the world. Hemmings has tipped us off to two Ghia Supersonics to cross the auction stage, including a one-of-two remaining 1952 Jaguar XK120 Supersonic and a 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic.
Mouth-watering and sumptuous…
1952 Jaguar XK120 Supersonic by Ghia. Jaguar Supersonic photos by Darin Schnabel, courtesy RM Sotheby’s.
The Supersonic was designed by Giovanni Savounuzzi – renowned for penning the celebrated Cisitalia 202, one of a handful of cars recognized for design merit by New York’s Museum of Modern Art), and would go on to style the famed Ghia Gilda. The design was crafted by Carrozzeria Ghia, initially for an Alfa Romeo 1900 to compete in the 1953 Mille Miglia.
The Alfa crashed and burned in the race, but Ghia went on to produce 15 Supersonics on the Fiat 8V chassis, three on the Jaguar XK120 chassis and one on the Aston Martin dB 2/4 chassis.
The Supersonic is recognized as one of Ghia’s most seminal designs! Everything is sleek and refined but vaguely futuristic including the well tailored fins and the graceful ridge adorning its sides.
It was a Paris dealer who wanted the two 1952 Jaguar XK120s recast in Supersonic guise, one red and one blue. After being showcased at the 1954 Paris and London motor expositions and Montreaux and Cannes Concours d’Elegance shows, the cars were delivered to the buyer, who disputed payment. They were repossessed.
The red one passed through a couple of Jaguar collectors until reaching the current consignors who are offering it through RM Sotheby’s. It’s expected to fetch between $1.9 and $2.4 million.
The blue one, a 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic, will be offered in Bonhams Quail Lodge sale. Its first owner was Lou Fageol, a three-time Gold Cup winner in hydroplane racing and who created a twin-engine racer for the 1946 Indy 500. His taste turned to the extravagant, as he modified the Supersonic with Imperial-style fins and a Continental kit.
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic. Fiat Supersonic photos courtesy Bonhams.
Fortunately his son rescued the car’s essential design upon Lou’s passing. In the ensuing year, the car was reunited with its original engine. $600,000 worth of restoration was invested in 2007 and Bonhams is predicting a similar selling price as its fellow Supersonic: $1.8 – $2.4 million.
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