Billetproof wasn't the only Detroit-area car show this weekend, we also popped over to Ypsilanti's Orphan Car Show, where we found the only car to make an appearance at both shows — Wilt Chamberlain's 1967 Ghia.
The Ghia coach building company developed this GT body over a Fiat chassis for the 1960 Turin motor show, and eventually went to production with a modest 2.3 liter, 136 HP six cylinder, it also attracted the attention and American entrepreneur Bert Sugarman. Bert liked the car, but the motivation was lacking, so he dropped a Plymouth 273 V8 Barracuda with 235 HP in it and brought it to the US, selling some 52 examples with the "450SS" belying the engine displacement.
This particular example was owned by none other than Wilt "The Stilt" Chamblerlain, who found it to be the only sports car he could actually fit in. While he owned it, he took it in to a young upstart to the hot-rod industry, one "Boyd Coddington" for a full restoration and upgrades to the powerplant. It was part of Chamberlain's estate at the time of his death and still remains titled in his name.
The little details on this car make it an excellent example of custom coachbuilding of the era. Notice the lack of door handles, instead, an indent in the rear fender to pull it open. The handsome curved wood dash with elegant gauges, row of switches on the dash are labeled only by number instead of function (you had to know what they do), the wire wheels, functional vents, and various other Italian design elements. Mr. Chamberlain certainly had some taste.