Today’s Carrozzeria Ghia SpA in Turin was founded by Giacinto Ghia (1887-1944) and his partner Gariglio under the name of Carrozzeria Ghia & Gariglio in 1915 (some sources state the year of its foundation in 1921). At that time, the focus was on the production of luxury and sports cars. The company became famous for the victory of an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 made of aluminium at the 1929 Milli Miglia, where Ghia designed special superstructures for the Italian automobile manufacturers Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Fiat between the two world wars. The Fiat 508 Balilla Sport Coupé of 1933 became famous, but the main reason for its growing success was the initiation and development of the so-called Italian line. In 1944, an air raid destroyed the facility of the Carrozzeria Ghia with all its tools. Ghia couldn’t take the loss, got a heart attack and died shortly afterwards. The company was sold to Giorgio Alberti and Mario Boano, whom Ghia had appointed as successor shortly before his death.
Under the management of Luigi Segre, the coachbuilder developed several Fiat and Lancia Aurelia prototypes as well as a special model of the Simca-Abarth. A series based on Bentley, Talbot and Delahaye was also created. Foreign companies such as Volvo, Ford and Volkswagen ordered designs. In 1952, the designers of the Carrozzeria Ghia designed a prototype of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, which Bertone completed two years later. In the following years, the company worked for numerous automobile manufacturers such as Chrysler, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
In the early 1960s, the Carrozzeria Ghia took on the dimensions of a major industry. Activities were no longer limited to pure car body construction, but also included the design of dream cars in the truest sense of the word, the manufacture of special vehicles and the design of production vehicles. After Segres’ death in 1963, Ramfis Trujillo bought the company in 1966. In 1967, he sold the company to the American automobile manufacturer Rowan Controller. In 1970 Ford acquired 80 percent of the shares from Rowan, 20 percent went to Alejandro De Tomaso, who sold his share to Ford after only two years. Since then, the Carrozzeria Ghia has been working almost exclusively on design studies for Ford.