Florida Mystery Sports Car – Circa 1973

Hi Gang…

In the last few years, we’re seeing fewer mystery cars from the 40s and 50s.  We have expertise now that spans the world and are fortunate to have so many of you that bring your knowledge and research skills to our group when we are faced with a mystery – an unknown car.

So it’s about time to add a new one to the fray 🙂

Today’s e-mail comes in from Rich Harris who lives in the Northeast but back in 1973 he spent some time in Florida.  In speaking with him on the phone, he’s always had an eye for the unusual – something offbeat that he hadn’t seen before, and his interest in this genre of car predates even mine.

For….on one fateful spring day in 1973 while driving thru the Miami/Hialeah area of Florida, he spotted a mystery car.  Here’s what Rich had to say:


Geoffrey,

I took these pictures on a 110 “instamatic” in 1973 in the Miami/Hialeah Fla.area.  I’m pretty sure it’s a fiberglass body, and it may have had a Ford flathead V8 block in it.  

Always wondered what it was. I did not see one on your site – maybe you can identify it?

Rich Harris


Let’s have a look at the photos and see what we can “see.”

1 2

Analysis: 

The car certainly has all the hallmarks of a fiberglass sports car from the mid 1950s.  Large flat areas to make it easier to pull a body from a mold, styling reminiscent from the early to mid 50s, 2 seat placement, sports car wheelbase (based on appearance) of approximately 100”. 

You can just make out the Ford rear axel with protruding axle nut/stem.  The grille appears to be cast in aluminum – similar to the grilles of the Allied Swallow and Falcon.  No doors – another hallmark of many a fiberglass special.  Perhaps Ford headlight bezels?  Neat car!  It even has a trunk – rare for many of these 50s handbuilt cars.

And the car certainly looks 15-20 years old for 1973.  The license plate is rusty – but it is a Florida plate.  And the paint….not much of the “racing red” left.  But perhaps the rusty license plate gives us a clue – maybe it was designed, built, and completed in Florida.  If so….it’s the first I’ve heard of a fiber car built in Florida in the 50s of this design.  But….you never know.

Rich did say that he saw a car recently that was close in design to this – and it turned out to be our 1955 Californian Sports Special.  And he’s right – there are many similar design features: 

California Special Mysterion_back & drivers side_well lighted_Ron Piasecki pic_cropped_IMG_0150

But….there are quite a few differences too.  More research needed here on this cool car gang.

Summary:

So the March of the Mysterions goes on, and we have one neat story to track down on this car gang.  Great thanks to Rich Harris for joining our group and sharing photos with us so that we can begin our research – my favorite way to spend any free time I can get 🙂

And…wait to you see the one that “didn’t get away.”  Rich has another mystery car and this one is nicely restored, and runs and drives.  More about that in a future article here – so stay tuned.

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:  One-Off Sports Cars

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Comments

Florida Mystery Sports Car – Circa 1973 — 4 Comments

  1. you do have a pic of my as yet unidentified car–that i haven’t owned for a half-dozrn years, don’t you? army hammer has it and cut off its most distinguishing feature, the molded-in windshield frame. it was on a v8 stude chassis but had a chev rear axle. wish i’d put the 4-barrel on it before i gave it up…regardz toly

  2. When I first saw the photo’s, I immediately thought it was a Turner special. But it sure does resemble the Californian Sports Special in the second group of pictures. My 2 cents worth.

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