Fiberglass Buyers Guide (Car Craft, March 1956): Part 1 – The Woodill Wildfire

Here's a Small Inset Picture From The Buyer's Guide. I Wonder Where The Woodill Wildfire Fastback Coupe Is Today?

Hi Gang…

This is our first in a series of “spotlights” on sections of a Buyer’s Guide for fiberglass sports cars published by Car Craft in March, 1956.  Click on the link below to review all fiberglass cars discussed in this 1956 Buyer’s Guide as of today:

Click here to review all articles published on the Car Craft, March 1956 Buyer’s Guide

Today’s article focuses on the Woodill Wildfire Sports Car designed by Woody Woodill and Bill Tritt and debuted in 1952 (Series 1) and 1953 (Series 2) in Downey, California.

Fiberglass Sports Car Builder’s Buyer’s Guides:

Buyers Guides, Buyers Guides, Buyers Guides…

Where are all the “Buyers Guides” published back in the 1950’s?  The answer – as I’ve alluded to before in recent articles is – there weren’t any.

At least not a booklet published like we now expect in 2011.  There was one exception, and that was the “Manual of Building Plastic Cars” published by Motor Trend in 1954.  I’ve written a story about it – click here to review the story on the “Manual of Building Plastic Cars.” Apart from that, few full-blown articles on various fiberglass bodies were published.

Lucky for us, Car Craft Magazine published one of the best of these articles back in March 1956.  They covered 12 fiberglass cars you could build over 6 action packed, photo-filled, specification-laden pages.  Rather than cover all the cars in this article at once, let’s take a look at each of the cars reviewed – one story at a time.

This means I’ll post several articles about this “Buyer’s Guide” over the next few weeks, and each of these articles will be short.  You’ll be able to experience what the car guys experienced back in the 1950’s – excitement about which car you like and which one you would like to build.

To kick off this series of articles, we’ll discuss the first one mentioned in Car Craft Magazine: The Woodill Wildfire.

Background: Woodill Wildfire Sports Cars

Is That Woody I Spy Behind The Wheel Of This Wildfire? I'll Have To Check And See If He Was Photographed Smoking A Pipe In Other Pictures Too.

By late 1955, Woodill Wildfire sales were declining.  Not a big surprise – with the help of Bill Tritt, they burst forth on the automotive scene at the Petersen Motorama in November 1952 with the introduction of what we now call the “Series 1 Woodill Wildfire.”  This was a prototype for what was to come, and utilized a modified Glasspar G2 body as the basis of design.

By mid-1953, the new design for the Woodill Wildfire was out, and received great acclaim and several “covers” on famous automotive magazines of the day.  So by early 1956, Wildfire bodies were known, and something new was needed.  Enter the Woodill Wildfire coupe.

The coupe utilized a modified Wildfire body, and received great publicity at the time.  It even appeared on the front cover of at least one magazine.  Only one Wildfire Coupe appears to have been built, and this car has not been seen since 1956.

So…enjoy this first segment of Car Craft’s 1956 Fiberglass Buyers Guide, and maybe one of you lucky guys or gals out there will find the car mentioned in today’s story – the missing Woodill Wildfire Fastback Coupe.

Car Craft (March 1956):  The Woodill Wildfire

Car Craft (March 1956)
Woodill Wildfire
Specifications (Roadsters and Coupes)

Wheelbase
  • 101.5 inches
Tread, Front
  • 56 to 57 inches
Tread, Rear
  • 55 to 56 inches
Overall Length
  • 160 inches
Overall Width
  • 68 inches
Overall Height at Cowl
  • 39 inches
Roadster Body Kit
  • $935.00
Coupe Body Kit – Complete With Top and Rear Window
  • $1135.00
Complete frames and other accessories are available also
For additional information, write: Woodill Fiber Glass Body Corporation
8640 E. Firestone Blvd.
Downey, California
Logan 8-7246

Summary:

I’ll share more of the “Buyer’s Guide” over the next few weeks so be on the lookout for more stories with more cars and more choices for you to make.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

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* Click on the following link to view all stories on:  Woodill Wildfire Sports Cars

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