Another LeMans Coupe Surfaces! The Carl Schoonhoven California Special

Hi Gang…

The world of Forgotten Fiberglass is expanding like catalyzed resin….

Recently, Rick Feibusch sent in some pictures from a friend of his showing a car that I immediately recognized as Carl Schoonhoven’s LeMans Coupe.  I’d heard about it for years – first from an article that Harold Pace shared from the UK Magazine, Classic and Sports Car, in which it appeared back in ’92.  Later from one of the partners who brought the LeMans Coupe sports car to reality – Ed Monegan.

But I had only seen one picture of the Shoonhoven LeMans Coupe.  Here were three more pictures, and I was excited to learn more from the person who sent them in – Russ Brownell of Redding, California.

Off on the research trail once again…

Russ Brownell Family Photos

I called Russ up and talked to him for a bit.  It turned out that Russ’s father, Phillip Russell Brownell, was a close friend of Carl Schoonhoven and Carl’s wife Rae.  He had taken these pictures in ‘81 when Carl was 69 years old.  Carl, Rae, and the LeMans Coupe all looked to be in great shape in ’81 – Leopard skin upholstery and all!

Let’s check out the pictures of what Russ sent to Rick for review.  And remember to use your mouse and click on each picture to make them larger on your screen.

The Ed Monegan Interview

Back in late ‘06 and early ‘07, I had a chance to interview Ed Monegan about his memories of the LeMans Coupe project he worked on with partners Marvin Horton and Alton Johnson.  Part of our interview focused on his memories of one of his friend’s building a car – Carl Schoonhoven from Chatsworth, California.

Ed worked with Carl from ’62 to ’65 at Whittaker Controls.  He remembered that the LeMans Coupe body was the third or fourth of the many built in the first few years.  Ed last saw Carl and his car in ’65.

He shared that Carl had built a LeMans Coupe from scratch in the early ‘60s.  He wanted to fit it to a Jaguar XK120 chassis and to do that he had to widen the fiberglass body.  He could not recall if the doors were made of fiberglass but did recall that they had roll-up windows – so the doors may or may not have been fabricated from metal.  Carl did build the full interior, and made the bucket seats for his LeMans Coupe out of aluminum.

Summary:

So where is this LeMans Coupe today?  The car was last seen about 20 years in Los Angeles, and not since.  How fun this would be to see it again today, and share more photos of it here at Forgotten Fiberglass.

Thanks again to Rick Feibusch and Russ Brownell for making today’s article possible.  Great job guys!

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

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Comments

Another LeMans Coupe Surfaces! The Carl Schoonhoven California Special — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Geoff,
    Thanks for this latest article on Carl’s LeMans coupe. It appears to have been finished to a more complete state than any of the other ones that I have seen. The quarter windows are interesting, and I am really impressed in the roll up door windows. Carls doors are also standard opening with a smaller cut into the roof area than Altons gull wing style were.
    Could it be of any coincidence that Russ Brownell would have been related to the owner of Bruno’s Corvette body shop in which Alton Johnsons car # 1 was built ? I always thought that his name was Roger Brunell but I could have the spelling wrong. The names are very similar.
    Seems like this would be an easy “hunt” for Erich Schults, as it was last known about quite near where he lives now.

    Doug Ward

  2. For me this is a shape that never fails to excite… What an amazing and lovely car.
    Wonder how many there really were?
    Great to see these old pics.

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