Back in the 1950s and ’60s, it didn’t get much cooler than the Rat Pack – a supergroup of actors and entertainers with enough star power the drown out the sun. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr were all prominent members. So if they were so cool, what did they drive?
The answer is what you see here: the 1961 Ghia L 6.4. This one belonged to Peter Lawford, the British actor who was not only a member of the Rat Pack but brother-in-law to JFK, having married the president’s sister Patricia.
Put into production as the Chrysler Dual-Ghia was winding down, the Ghia L was essentially a muscle car in an Italian suit. It was built by Carrozzeria Ghia at its workshop in Turin in the decade before Ford took it over, and packed Mopar muscle: a 6.3-liter V8 good for 340 horsepower, with a transmission, suspension, and other components also borrowed from Auburn Hills in a transatlantic tryst that presaged the eventual Fiat Chrysler marriage decades later.
Only 26 Ghia L 6.4s were made, making them rather rare indeed. But this example was even more special, one of five or so customized to Rat Pack specifications by legendary Hollywood hot rodder George Barris. Sinatra had one. So did Dean Martin. Lawford held this one from delivery in 1960 until 1963. It was then owned by fellow Hollywood actor David Lawrence, and was acquired by its current owner in 2006 fresh from a three-year restoration process that included a full bare-metal respray and an interior reupholstery with Bentley-spec leather. With numerous awards to its name, the Ghia is now heading for the auction block in Monterey. Take a drive in the image gallery below by Karissa Hosek for RM Sotheby’s, and imagine just how cool you’d look behind the wheel.