Timeline

Ok guys….this is a “work in progress” but will help establish specific beginning dates and significant events in the postwar history of American Fiberglass Sports Cars.

Date Event Reference
1945, Fall
  • End of World War II
 
1946, July
  • Debut of fiberglass Stout Car: Project Y
 
1946, Summer
  • Debut of Darrin’s fiberglass car
 
1949, December
  • Introduction of Kurtis Sports Car – first production car to utilize fiberglass body components
 1949, December: Road & Track Magazine
 
  • Convair Car (flying car)
 
1950
  • Henry J (100″ wheelbase) introduced and produced from ’51-’55.
 
1950, June
  • Korean forces invade South Korea on June 25, 1950
  • This has impact on resin/polyester products for suppliers in ’51 – See story about creation of Glasspar’s 2nd car – the Alembic I.
 
1950, November 16th-19th
  • First Annual Petersen Motorama
  • Location: Shrine Convention Hall, Los Angeles, California
  • Fiberglass cars did not appear 
  • Cars That Appear Include:

 

 
 
  • Wasp, Skorpion
 
1951, May
  • Irwin Lancer Completed and Driving
 1952, November: Modern Man Magazine
1951, June
  • Brooks Boxer Completed and Driving
 1952, November: Modern Man Magazine
1951, November 7th-11th
  • Second Annual Petersen Motorama
  • Location: Pan Pacific Auditorium
  • Fiberglass cars debuted here for the first time
  • Cars That Appear Include:  Glasspar G2, Irwin Lancer, Wasp, Skorpion, Aerocar
 
1952, September
  • American Enterprise fiberglass cars first appears
1952, September: Road & Track Magazine
1952, November 10th-16th
  • Third Annual Petersen Motorama
  • Location: Pan Pacific Auditorium
  • Cars That Appear Include:

 

 
1952, November
  • Birth of Atlas Fiberglass Sports Car Company
1953, April: Hop Up Magazine
1952
  • Willys returns to producing American cars with the Aero series of cars including the Lark, Wing, Ace, and Eagle.  Production of Willys cars continued in America thru ’55.
 
     
     
1953, March 24
  • Kaiser announces purchase of Willys Overland Motors for estimated $62,300,000, making Kaiser-Frazer the world’s fourth largest auto company with assets of more than 200 million dollars.
 
1953 – early
  • Allied Falcon 94″ wb roadster released
  • “After the first of the year Atlas plans to build a fiberglass roadster body for MG’s along similar lines which wil sell at the low figure of $485.00″
1952, December: Road & Track Magazine
1953, June 2nd-7th
  • First Annual Michigan Motor Show
  • Location: Michigan State Fair Grounds, Detroit Michigan
  • First and only “Petersen Motorama” organized outside Los Angeles by Petersen Publishing
  • Cars That Appear Include: Grantham Stardust
 
     
     
1953, October 26th-November 1st
  • Fourth Annual Petersen Motorama
  • Location: Pan Pacific Auditorium
  • Cars That Appear Include:
 
     
1954, February
  • Atlas / Allied Introduces 100″ Wheelbase Coupe
Letters From Allied, Kunicki Collection and Others
1954, April 27th
  • Announcement of formation of Clearfield Plastics. 
The Progress Newspaper:  April 27th, 1954
1954, November 5th-14th
  • Fifth Annual Petersen Motorama
  • Location: Pan Pacific Auditorium
  • Name Changes To: International Motor Revue and (Motorama)
  • Cars That Appear Include:
 
     
     
1955, October 14th-23rd
  • Sixth Annual Petersen Motorama
  • Location: Pan Pacific Auditorium
  • Name Changes To:  International Motor Revue
  • Cars That Appear Include:
 
     
     
     
     
 1958
  • Recession – impact on fiberglass companies
Hemmings:  Daniel Strohl Article:  You Auto Buy Now!  Anything!
     
     
     
1966, February 3rd-6th
  • Seventh Annual Petersen Motorama
  • Location: Pan Pacific Auditorium
  • Name Changes To:
  • Cars That Appear Include:
 

 


Comments

Timeline — 2 Comments

  1. Hello…

    Great stuff. A few points…

    • No mention of Henry Ford’s sledge-hammered plastic prewar decklids?

    • No mention of the 1941 Esquire article on plastic cars showing fiberglass Packards?

    • The 100th Michigan State Fair I believe was 1949 and certainly featured what amounted to an auto show. They even built a special entry gate that was named for Packard.

    • 1954 was the Kaiser Darrin… and the Packard Panthers (4 of them made)…the Dodge Granada sports concept. I could go on and include the Mercury XM-800, but this wasn’t really a sports car as it was understood at the time.

    • The Petersen Motorama shows were re-named a few times… and waffled. This was a political thing due to the fact that GM was also using the same name for its shows.

    • There were numerous GM exercises and concepts in fiberglass during the 1950s.

    • One of my all-time fave fiberglass 2-passenger sports cars appeared sometime around 1960-61 and made all of the custom car shows. Don’t recall the name but it was well done (some claimed it was going to production) and sure predicted the look of the 1961 Thunderbird–though on a much smaller scale.

  2. @Leon Dixon…Happy Holidays Leon – good to see you. Thanks for the added detail. I’ve been compiling a list of fiberglass concept cars too – the timeline is something I am building over time and I appreciate the detail you’ve added here. Thanks! Your friend, Geoff

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