The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
July 24, 2017 3:05 p.m.

Story by Myles Kornblatt • Images courtesy the manufacturers

Fiberglass kit cars of the 1950s and ’60s hail from an era when daydreams could be affordably molded into reality. Many of them emerged from underdog companies looking to strike it rich by mixing inexpensive, mass-produced parts into a winning sports car recipe.

Those who got it right attracted racers and enthusiasts who couldn’t afford the true exotics. These owners were willing to put in the sweat equity at home to build and refine these creations.

Fiberglass-reinforced resin was the key ingredient of this new movement in car making. When it first appeared on the scene, it not only gave large companies like Chevrolet and Studebaker a new medium to sculpt, but it also allowed much smaller factories to make bodies–and even complete cars–in a space no larger than a suburban garage.

This sparked a small revolution in the industry, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Brass Era. A surge of fledgling manufacturers entered the ring, armed with new technology and an enticing selling point: Their products could make exotic dreams come true for commuter-car money.

Today, the same holds true. Sure, some of these kit cars have achieved true collector status–Hagerty’s value guide says that a V8-powered Devin SS is now worth about $200,000. But the rest of the field is still as affordable as ever.

Case in point: our own limited-run fiberglass special, a 1958 Tornado Typhoon. We’re restoring and preparing the roadster for this year’s Amelia Island show field, but the project is only going to cost us rubber-bumper MGB money.

Read the rest of the story

wspohn HalfDork
July 26, 2017 10:56 a.m.

I'm a fan - own or have owned Jensens (which didn't get a mention), TVR, Buckler and my American bodied MG

Trans_Maro PowerDork
July 26, 2017 12:20 p.m.

We've got a Marcos 1600GT in the shop at the moment.

alfabeach New Reader
Aug. 9, 2017 10:47 a.m.

I know everything about fiberglass from my 1954 Motor Trend Manual of Building Plastic Cars.

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