This lovely Glasspar G2 is the only “original” the Club knows of. By original, we mean a G2 that looks like it came directly out of Bill Tritt’s Santa Ana factory in1953 with all the ’50s good stuff in it, the way he would have built it. It is one of the two “original owner” G2’s, but it has not been modified from its original engine, frame or other major components.
The owner is Bill Hoover, and he bought Serial No. G253152 from the factory in the spring of ’53 along with one of Glasspar’s 2×3 tubular frames from LA, where they were made. Two doors and the molded-in floorboard and instrument panel were also specified.
Bill was a Navy fighter pilot stationed at nearby San Diego at the time, and it was a short trip for the G2 to the San Diego 1/2 garage of his good friend Archie Everett, a master mechanic, where the car was built. It was there that Bill learned to weld, braze and fabricate with exacting detail, under Archie’s eye and with his steady hand; no expense was spared.
He bought a “like new” ’52 Ford flathead engine, the preferred mill for the G2, and went down to the junkyard and towed back a wrecked ’41 Mercury convertible to strip for parts. The Merc yielded running gear, steering, transmission and drive train, fuel tank and some other odds and ends, so the car looks like a shortened ’41 Ford on the grease rack. Other major components were the pretty ’35 Kelsey Hayes Ford wire wheels for 600 x 16 tires and ’40 Lincoln Zephyr bumpers. The stock engine was dropped in to get the car built, with hop-up plans for it later.
Built up with twin headers, Smithy mufflers and shortened driveshaft
The big day, dropping the body on
All cockpit wiring was carefully loomed and fed through the firewall through a large canon plug for ease of body removal. Paint was Chrysler Torch Red, and the stitched Naugahyde upholstery and built-up seats were copied from a nifty British sports car. Bill has a detailed list of every part that went into his G2 and the cost.
The proud owner – La Jolla, California – January 1955
Bill ran the car stock for a year, then hopped up the engine with an Iskandarian Sportsman cam, Weiand 8 1/2 to one heads, Weiand dual manifold with Stromberg 97 carbs, Lincoln valve springs and Mallory’s Best dual-point distributor. Another neat feature was the Columbia rear axle, dual-ratio overdrive. In high ratio, the engine turns only 2,000 RPM at 70 MPH; great for cruising. A feature of the car that is always an eye-catcher are the twin exhausts in the rear fenders through chrome-plated pipes. The large polished stainless steel dashboard holds every desired switch and control. Bill ran up to the Glasspar factory and picked up a fiberglass top to use on the long trips and later installed wind wings and detachable plexiglas side windows.
He registered the car as a ’54 Ford special in San Diego, but many years later he re-registered it as a ’54 Glasspar. Bill’s Glasspar cost $2,600, parts only (’53 – ’55 prices)!
The Glasspar today is unchanged with the exception of the Hurst shifter installed in the ’60s. The car has crossed the country five times between California and the east coast and runs as well or better now than ever. It spent 20 years in New York and the last 15 in Annapolis, Maryland. Bill has taken it to many car shows, and it continues to draw a crowd. He always shows his Glasspar as a ’54 production car, never as a “kit car.”
Bill is shown below as a guest entry in a Corvette show with his ’54 Glasspar alongside a 2005 Corvette. We’ll take the G2!
In the summer of 2000 when Dale Dutton’s Glasspar was donated to the Smithsonian American History Museum, Bill Tritt, the car’s designer and builder, was there for well deserved honors and later drove Bill Hoover’s G2, almost 50 years after delivering it to Bill.