Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
5/15/09 3:25 p.m.

It lurks in the darkness, creeping around corners and hiding in crevices, threatening to eat your classic alive and bleed your wallet dry. In our hobby, rust is the stuff of nightmares. However, some of our favorite machines—including the Lotus, Corvette and TVR—have been able to sleep a little more soundly. How? They’re made of fiberglass.

When it comes to car construction, fiberglass has many advantages. Aside from being rustproof, this composite material is lightweight and well suited to small production runs. It can also be molded and formed in ways that steel just can’t match.

While fiberglass itself is safe from road cancer, fiberglass-bodied cars are not immune to problems. Older bodies can be riddled with star cracks, accident damage and nicks. Old, unpainted bodies that have been left out in the sun can lose all or part of their gelcoat. Luckily, these issues can be fixed at home, and the material is easy to shape. We admit that the process can be messy, but unlike traditional metalwork, restoring fiberglass can be much less time-consuming.

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