The Norm Jensen Glasspar G2 – A Magnificent Build By A Special Guy

Here’s Norm Proudly Showing Off His Completed Chassis In The 1980’s.

Hi Gang…

Another research story for you gang – and a car for you “Los Angeles” guys to find.  I’m sure the owner would appreciate being found too!

Jean Poirier Features “The Norm Jensen Glasspar G2:”

I first came across Norm’s name when I began reviewing the Glasspar G2 Newsletters that good friend and Glasspar Historian Emeritus Jean Poirier sent to me many years ago.  In his Glasspar G2 Newsletter of September 1994, here’s what Jean had to say:

“In this month’s newsletter, I feature Norm Jensen’s Glasspar G2.  Look very closely at the pictures and compare the height of the front and rear decks to the fenders.  The longer you look, the more you discover.  This G2 has it all, beauty, and muscle.  I would love to see this baby go down the quarter mile.  Thank you for your contribution to the Newsletter Norm.  Your friend, Jean Poirier.”

Then, in a series of 3 color photos, Norm himself explains in the newsletter about his G2:

Great Photo Of Back Of Car Showing Low Stance And Laid Back MGA Windshield

“This is mine (Glasspar G2).  Virgin body found in March 1965, took 4 years to build, but was destroyed in 1977.  Found another wrecked body, grafted 16 pieces together and fabricated a new nose.  I sculpted the cowl to windscreen line.  There were no doors.

The fresh chassis was built in 1965, it now has a Cadillac engine, TH400 GM Hydramatic transmission, and Oldsmobile 3.08 rear end.  All the fabrication was done by me including body, paint, leather, chassis, wiring, drivetrain, dash, trick stuff – everything.  It runs in the low 10’s, 130 mph, and in the quarter mile exceeds 160 mph on the speedometer.

It still gets my attention.

Norm.”

Bill Craddock Features “The Norm Jensen Glasspar G2:”

Continuing my research, I became friends with Bill Craddock who in the early 1990’s started the “Vintage Kit & Custom Club.”  This club was short lived and only produced two newsletters, but kudos to Bill and his enthusiasm for starting such a club so early on when information was impossible to find, cars were hidden and unknown, and interest was lukewarm from the automobile community – at best.

Bill…you were a gutsy guy to do this at the time – hats off to you!

Here Bill Tritt Is Shown Inspecting Norm’s Car At The 1994 Show By Fred Roth in Thousand Oaks, California.

We’re lucky to have had Norm Jensen’s story told again in one of Bill’s two newsletters.  Here’s what Norm had to say:

“When I spotted a (Glasspar) virgin body on a lawn in Bell Flower in 1965, I grabbed it.  It was 3 years to running.  Then in 1977 I decided (it was decided for me) to totally redo the car.  I don’t drive it much now, but it’s there when I want it.  Power is a nasty 429 cid 1965 Cadillac with an TH400 transmission.  I did all the fabrication, from modifying the 1951 Ford frame to stitching the leather.  I modified the body, painted it, made the dash, built the engine – everything.

Mine is one of the best, oh hell, it is the best, partly by virtue of being so recently built as to benefit from the modern fanaticism for quality.  They weren’t so detail conscious in the 1950’s – believe me, I was there.  I’ve had offers from across the water that you would not believe.  I’ll never be able to do this again, so I don’t want to sell at any price. 

Sort of a life’s work after all the time and it really did come out nice.

Norm.”

Bill Hoover Features “The Norm Jensen Glasspar G2:”

In the late 1990’s, Bill Hoover took over the reins of the Glasspar G2 club, and was in contact with Norm Jensen.  Norm was one busy guy, and he must have loved his Glasspar G2 quite a bit!  Here’s what Norm had to say to Bill about his car:

This Photo Of Norm’s Car Was Taken By Fiberglass Friend Tony Miller – Not Too Many Years Ago At A Los Angeles Car Show.

“Bill…

The 12 year restoration was completed in 1988.  I’m the original builder both times.

This is actually 2 cars.  I built the car (original builder) in 1965 – 1968, but it was totaled in 1977.  I found a wrecked G2 body, cut both bodies up and grafted pieces to make the present car.  It has a new frame (again, modified 1951 Ford) and up.

I modified the body thusly: I fabricated a new “nose” (hood line forward), frenched the headlights, installed a Jaguar gas cap in it’s own frenched well, glassed in the passenger side door (each of the bodies I owned had just one door), swept the cowl up to meet the windscreen which was a very laid-back MGA on my own fabricated brackets.

The dash is Carpathian Elm Burl with my own gloss finish.   It’s 10 years old and no cracks yet.  It has a full set of Stewart-Warner instruments in the dashboard – which I built.  The interior is light grey leather with black pica carpets – I designed and stitched it myself.

The engine is a healthy 429 CID (bored over to 437) 1965 Cadillac with (high performance) cam and pistons, headers, intake manifold, and cylinder head modifications and porting.  It has an HEI ignition, and 800 CFM Quadrajet Carburetor.

Last Sighting Of Norm Jensen’s Glasspar Was Just Months Ago – In The North Hollywood Area.

The car is painted base coat, base coat, clear coat, acrylic enamel with mix of metallic grey over purple base.  It has chrome wheels with knock offs and special offset rims of 8” rear and 7” front.  The car hauls ass like Madonna’s “undies” and gets more attention than a Lamborghini on fire.

Norm“

Finding Norm And His Glasspar G2

I have more information written by Norm and he was quite a writer.  Much of what he said is on target, but much of what I didn’t share in the story today is exaggerated.  That is, it’s fun to read, but not historically accurate.  Norm did his best for remembering details, but as I said before, there wasn’t as much information available back then, so he filled in some “gaps” with information as he could best remember.

Norm was 54 years old back in 1994, and I began tracking him and his car down several years ago.  I was able to find his father, Otto Jensen, and he told me the sad news that his son had passed away on June 29th, 1998, and that the car was sold to a collector.  It hadn’t been seen since.

However, in 2010 there was a sighting in the Burbank area and Glasspar Aficionado Rodney Packwood jumped right on it.  Tony Miller also saw the car in the same area several years ago, so it still appears to run around Los Angeles – at least secretly as far as our group is concerned.

So…if you know the owner of this fine Glasspar out there, have him get in contact with our group.  He’s got a great car and we’d be honored by his addition.  And…we have more information about the build of his car too!

Summary:

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

Technical Specifications

Body
  • Glasspar G2
Designer
  • Bill Tritt
Body Work and Paint
  • Norm Jensen
Upholstery
  • Norm Jensen
Seats
  • Norm Jensen
Windshield / Glass
  • Laid-back MGA Windshield mounted on hand-fabricated brackets
Hood / Doors / Trunk
  • Factory hood
  • No doors – Norm glassed in original passenger door
Frame
  • 1951 modified Ford frame
Body Number
  • The second body shows G2633173 (someone stenciled in a “5” on the paper I have above the first “3” – not sure what that means.)
  • Norm also said that the first shell he owned did not have an ID badge.
Suspension
  • 1951 Ford
Front Axle
  • 1951 Ford
Rear Axle
  • Oldsmobile 3.08 rear end
Engine (make/year)
  • 1965 Cadillac
Speed Parts (heads, intake, cam, other):
  • High performance cam, pistons, headers, intake manifold, modified and ported heads
Transmission (type/year)
  • TH400 transmission
Carburetion
  • 800 CFM Quadrajet Carburetor
Displacement
  • 437 cid (bored out)
Dashboard / Gauges
  • Dashboard is made of Carpathian Elm Burl with gloss finish
  • Full set of Stewart-Warner instruments
Wheelbase
  • 99”
 Track/Tread (front/rear)
(distance between center line of tires)
  • 55”
Wheels / Rims
  • Chrome wheels with knock offs and special offset rims of 8” rear and 7” front
Top Speed (0-60)
  • Runs in the low 10’s
  • 130 mph, and in the quarter mile exceeds 160 mph on the speedometer
Special Features
  • Fabricated a new “nose” (hood line forward)
  • Frenched the headlights
  • Installed a Jaguar gas cap in it’s own frenched well

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Comments

The Norm Jensen Glasspar G2 – A Magnificent Build By A Special Guy — 4 Comments

  1. I grew up in the Burbank neighborhood where I’d see Norm working on his Glaspar while walking to and from school. I was probably only 14 or 15 years old at the time but Norm was patient and happy to share the car with this car crazed kid. I believe I’ve seen the car within the past five years – although I now live in Portland, Oregon I faithfully attend the Bob’s Big Boy Drive In Cruise-In in Burbank whenever I’m in town on a Friday and saw the car there in Burbank just a few years ago. Oh, if you see a terribly original ratty looking RHD Cobra with Oregon plates at Bob’s – that will be mine.

    • Hi George, this is matt the now owner of norms glaspar,i was goofing off on the computer and stumbled across this,the pics you got of the car when norm was around are great thanks very much for having a display of them, I knew norm as a friend from the gang in burbank that knew him well including my father,he would visit me at the cadillac dealer which i worked at and thats where are friendship grew from. I could go on and on if there is a way i could get in touch with u it would be great.

  2. Hi Matt:

    Please feel free to call me on my cell phone — 97I-998–27O3. I may even be in Burbank for a few days next week or so.

  3. Interesting that this series of cars, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75 (only #71 still unaccounted for) have all been restored to a very high standard, with the exception of #75 that was last reported as unrestored. In addition, this beautiful example has elements of two G2’s, accounting for one more that we know the status of, that being the un-numbered Bellflower car. There are now over 73 G2′ Glasspar cars or bodies on the Glasspar G2 Registry. Glass on!
    Rod recently posted…1953 Sierra Sportcar Frame By Bill Jones – Tested by Caroll Shelby: Part 1My Profile

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