For the aforementioned reasons concerning the time and effort it took to complete a sports car, more – or less – of these cars were built than one might have imagined. When looking at production numbers from the large companies of this era (Glasspar, Woodill, and Victress), each built approximately 100 bodies of their most popular design.
And when you add in the smaller companies such as Meteor, Byers, Allied, Grantham Stardust, and other such manufacturers, you only get to about 1000 bodies being produced by companies, coachbuilders, and one-off fabricators from 1947 through 1956.
This estimate coincides nicely with a letter written in 1977 from John Bond, owner and editor of Road & Track magazine in the ’50s and ’60s to Ray Scroggins about these very cars – handcrafted cars. In this letter, based on his knowledge of the era, John Bond estimated that nearly a 1000 of these cars were individually and collectively built in the 1950s.
If you are liberal in your estimates about how many bodies became “cars”, you might estimate a figure such as 50% – which brings the number to about 500 handcrafted cars built during these years. And if you further estimate that about half of these were built at a very high level, this brings you to about 250 nicely built cars from ’47 to ’56.
Then, factor in about a 50% survival rate of these 250 cars and you get to about 125 cars that perhaps survived today that were nicely built. And…about 125 cars that perhaps survived that were less than a quality build. Taken together, about 250 handcrafted cars from this era are estimated to survive today.
Of course, these are estimates based on research completed over the past decade (click here to review the background research that went into substantiating this history and these production numbers). And, these numbers would change from 1957 forward with the introduction of more bodies being built by companies and individual designer/builders such as Devin, Kellison, LaDawri, Bocar, and others.
Note: The information below is being added to and edited as of 7/29/2014
|1951||Glasspar G2 (1951-1955)||100|
|Woodill Wildfire (1952-1956)||Series 1 (1952-1953): 7Series 2 (1953-1956): 100|
|Wasp / Skorpion (1951-19xx)|
1940 Ford Conversion: