In 1954 Ghia designed the Adventurer II as a prototype to showcase their own version of a Rocket Age Desoto. With an extended hood, long rear overhang and small greenhouse, the Adventurer II had many Desoto proportions with European style.
Adventurer II came from Ghia’s own Supersonic design by Giovanni Savonuzzi. It was reworked by Virgil Exner to accommodate the length of the Desoto chassis and in doing so he created a much more dramatic design.
A unique feature of this Ghia special is the sliding sunroof which hides into the trunk area.
The Adventurer II was built on the Desoto Imperial Series S-19 chassis and is powered by the Chrysler Firepower Hemi displacing 276 cu in.
The first owner, King Mohammed V of Morocco used the Desoto sparingly and in 2005 the Adventurer II only had 15,000 miles on the odometer. Around this time it was retained by Blackhawk Collection and displayed at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It also reappeared at Pebble in 2010 for the Ghia Styling class under private ownership.
Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Tube Shocks
3188 mm / 125.5 in
1430 mm / 56.3 in
1514 mm / 59.6 in
5441 mm / 214.2 in
1979 mm / 77.9 in
1410 mm / 55.5 in
Auction Sales History
1954 Desoto Adventurer II 1493762 – sold for $1,430,000
One of the most spectacular Ghia designs was the DeSoto Adventurer II, a derivative of the Savonuzzi Supersonic Series, somewhat reworked by Virgil Exner. Extremely long for a two-seater, its form is at once elegant and refined yet boldly spectacular. An innovative feature that seems never to have been replicated was the sliding-into-the-trunk backlight, opening up the roof behind the seats, giving a draft-free open area and many of the advantages of a convertible with none of the inconveniences. A close look at the DeSoto will show just how fastidious and perfection-minded Ghia designers, managers and workmen were. Auction Source: 2012 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction