Glasspar Studebaker – by Dean Moon: Rod and Custom, November, 1953

Hi Gang…

Good friend and Jaguar historian Terry McGrath from Australia sent in this article last year – something that was completely new to me and should be exciting to see for you Glasspar G2 fans out there.  And what makes this more exciting to read is the fact it was written and photographed by the legendary “moooneyes” himself – Dean Moon.

Let’s check out what Terry found in a 1953 edition of Rod and Custom about one of our favorite glass cars – the Glasspar G2 sports car by Bill Tritt.

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Glasspar Studebaker
A Doctor and His Partner Combine Their Talents To Produce This…
Photos And Text By Dean Moon

Ever since the end of the war, the sports car craze has been growing, slowly at first, then by leaps and bounds.  Not to be outdone by the invasion of foreign cars, many Americans have entered the field, building anything from accessories for foreign cars to completely American creations.

While the great percentage of some of the smaller companies have died as quickly as they were born, a good many have caused themselves to become nationally recognized.  One of these manufacturing companies is Glasspar of Orange, California.  Their production of fiberglass bodies is on the continual increase.  Their bodies are suited for almost any American chassis, with a few modifications, of course.

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The car pictured here was built by Dr. J. T. Allen and Virgil Blewett, both of Whittier, California.  They purchased the body from Glasspar for the sum of $700.  A body, of course, is not much good unless it is mounted on a chassis so a trip to a wrecking yard was in order.

After considering many possibilities, the partners trucked home a burned out 1950 Studebaker Champion with a 6 cylinder engine.   Since the bodies are designed to have a short wheelbase, it was necessary to eliminate twelve inches of the Studebaker frame.  To aid handling qualities, the engine was moved rearward nine inches.  This, together with the amount cut from the frame, eliminated the forward 21” section of the two-piece Studebaker driveshaft.

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Although the new body severely cut down on the weight of the car, it was decided to work over the engine to provide additional acceleration and general performance.  Modifications to the 6 include:

  • Jahns pistons
  • Edmunnds head and manifold
  • Dual Carter carburetors
  • Mallory ignition

Needless to say, the Glasspar-Stude really steps out.

As do many doctors, Dr. Allen has a Cadillac of recent vintage for his outside calls.  However, now that the newly built “gem” is completed, the Cad is gathering dust in the garage.  Since this light, easily driven car requires only minimum effort to part, the Doctor uses it almost exclusively.

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Summary:

Great thanks to Terry McGrath for sending in this excellent article. 

With around 70+ Glasspar G2 sports cars accounted for in the Rodney Packwood Glasspar Registry, we should be able to figure out who has the G2 with a bit of research.  And..anyone out there want to help locate the families involved – Dr. J. T. Allen and Virgil Blewett, both of Whittier, California?  No doubt they may have some photos, film, and perhaps….the car itself 🙂

Let me know who’s interested in a bit of car research himself (or herself).  It’s always a fun road to travel. +1

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember gang…

The adventure continues here at Forgotten Fiberglass.

 Geoff

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* Click on the following link to view all stories on:  Glasspar G2 Sports Cars

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Comments

Glasspar Studebaker – by Dean Moon: Rod and Custom, November, 1953 — 8 Comments

  1. Hello Geoff,

    I will presume that you saw the bare body WITH hard top that was at last year’s Mitchell Museum auction in Michigan? I took photos, of course. Gas filler was side mounted rather than rear mounted as in the R&C article. Grille appeared to be painted FRP. Other than that… same bat time… same bat-channel! I think it was oddly listed as a “uni-body.”

    There were some interesting letters there that should have gone with the body, but probably didn’t from what I could see. Know who got it? Understand it “went to Florida”…

    • That body came from an estate sale in Colorado. It had been set up to drag race with a Pontiac V8. The chassis was total ‘shade tree’ junk and was scrapped. For years the body hung on the museum wall behind the James Garner G2 which was also white. I saw them in 1992 in Owasso MI. The Colorado estate also owned the Steers Glasspar an several Kaiser Darrins.

  2. Hi Leon….wish I knew. Not me and whoever bought it has not dropped into fiber-town to say “hi” to us. We’re on the lookout though 🙂 Geoff

  3. Great find Terry! I go to the biggest swap meets in the country , look at 1000’s of magazines and have never seen this one, now its on my list. thanks jean

  4. Hi Geoff – Glad to see this article. An old friend/boat partner of dads back in Newport had an Ascot with the same running gear – including the speed equipment + overdrive. It spent a number of years in Hawaii then was shipped back to our place (Montecito at that point) where I brought it back into running condition and drove it thereabouts. Most enjoyable….. Dad then sold it to a local fellow before moving to Jamaica. I’m not aware of what’s become of it since but it was a nifty car. All the best, Greg

  5. In 1992 I visited the Mitchell collection. They had a flathead powered G2 [white] that James Garner once owned. On the wall behing it was this body I think. It came from an estate sale in Denver which also had the Steers G2. Both car were sold to Mitchell Corp but the Steers Special was left behind and re-sold. The G2 that made it to Michigan was in very poor shape. The chassis had been chopped up to put a Pontiac V8 in. They junked the chassis and restored the body. as a display piece. These guys were vary good with fiberglass as they had built pre 1964 Corvette bodies for GM and several Concept cars for the Big 3. Who ever got this body got a real deal.

  6. Hi Geoff— If you recall the 3way phone call with Phil the Post employee, he said Shortys car had this basic setup. With Greg\\\’s recall of an Ascot with a Stude 6 (how many prototypes where a made?), there is room for discussion that Bill Tritt and Glasspar were looking to powering the Ascot with this Studebacker platform. So it is possible that the Shorty Post Glasspar was the mule to try to get some racing results quickly before the announcement of the release of the Ascot. Imagine the initial marketing campaign of a race winner with a real cool American sports car. Way ahead of Chevy and the corvette (also with a 6cly) .Too bad things never materialized and 1954 never saw release of the Glasspar Ascot. Boy— the Glasspar board of directors were totally wrong and the motoring world would have a different history if the Ascot was put into production. Darn!!!!!!!!

  7. Items of note…
    I have three cars on the roster that are listed as having Studebaker power, but two of them are listed as V8’s. Those are the Valpey car, New Hampshire, and the Oldham B car, Quartzite,
    Az. (the complete example, stored indoors), and the probable car, Vareen, South Carolina, that is listed only as “inline six”, but is on a Studebaker frame, as is the Valpey car.
    In addition, I spent a (very nice) few hours with Dan Crowley, who owns the “Kaoss” car. It is
    undergoing a re-restoration, the last one being in the 1980’s. That will make 3, count ’em 3,
    running and driving Glasspar G2’s within a 15 mile radius. How about that!

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