Introducing the 1958 Hurricane By Sports Car Engineering

Hi Gang…

When I first saw hints of the Hurricane Sports Car by Sports Car Engineering, I called good friend Harold Pace and said “tell me it isn’t so Harold!”  What a great design – a bit “off” but distinctive in so many ways.  I wondered out loud if they made any.

Harold Pace, my mentor and inspiration for so many things “fiberglass” calmed me down and said, “Geoff….they made at least one…I have a photo of it that appeared in advertising.”  So…the hunt was on for more information.

Today’s article is a result of magazine historian and consummate car guy Tony St. Clair who sent this article to my attention and also posted it on his website / blog “Deadly Curves.”  Click here to review Tony’s website and some pretty cool articles.

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CAPTION: Designed mainly for street use, the new Hufficane fiberglass sports car body has open-faced and contoured front wheel well.

A New Bolt On Sports Car Body
Motor Life: April, 1958

One of the newest bolt-on body kits to be offered the sports car enthusiast is the Hurricane, a neat streamlined design developed and built by Sports Car Engineering, Inc., of Los Angeles.  Clean and distinctive in appearance, the Hurricane is the culmination of about 10 years of close association to racing and the sports car field by Bud Goodwin, the enthusiastic president of the above firm.

Knowing that backyard car builders often have a difficult time assembling their kits, Goodwin with his molded fiberglass bodies has come up with a design that is unique in that reinforced struts in the form of tubing is laminated into the body and is an integral part of the shell.

With this tubing left longer than necessary, it can be cut and then welded to the customer’s chassis, regardless of what make or model it is.  Detachable bodies can be easily made by fixing flat plates onto the ends of the body tubing; these plates can then be bolted to the chassis.

This simplifies the formerly complicated process of body mounting.  Besides the new Hurricane, which is available in both two and four passenger sizes, this firm offers a Spyder with slightly different styling, a rugged box section chassis completely assembled for street use, and a tubular chassis for racing.

They also build many fiberglass accessories, including bucket seats, headrests, air scoops, and the like.  The firm also has a new plant in Mexico.  The address: Florencia 57, Mexico City DF.

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Caption: Tubular struts are used effectively to reinforce this highly adaptable fiberglass sports car body. Not a knocked-down kit, this rugged box section chassis is completely assembled, ready to be used with any of the body styles offered. Ideal for street use, it includes frame, all front suspension components, all steering components (from steering box out to the wheels), rear axle, springs and wheels. Low price is attractive.

Thoughts on the Article: 

Mexico?  That’s a new one on me and will push me to research some new pathways here.  But seeing Bud Goodwin’s name in print is added confirmation of his history prior to his starting FiberFab years later.  It’s really neat to see this confirmation to interviews we’ve conducted with folks knowledgeable about Sports Car Engineering and Bud Goodwin, and helps nail down the early years of Goodwin and what he accomplished before starting Fiberfab in the 1960s.

It’s also interesting to see the added “tailfin option” for just $60 bucks.  And…anyone else notice how similar the Spyder body looks to the Dick Williams Special?  By the way…the “Spyder” is the newer name for the “Mistral” which previously was sold in 1956/1956 by Bud Goodwin.

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Caption: Proof of the puddin’ is shown by this fiberglass-bodied Spyder at a recent sports car race. With a body weight of only 80 pounds, an excellent power-to-weight ratio can be obtained with the selection of even some of the less-powerful engines. Body design is engineered so as to keep wind resistance down to a minimum. (some of you eagle eyed fiberguys may have noticed that the “Spyder” is being closely trailed by a Noel Bangert “Manta Ray.”)

 

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Summary:

And some added news for those of you who read this far.  I recently found more information and the Hurricane and a Hurricane Sports car body too.  So much to share in all things fiberglass….so little time in each day to do it 😉

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

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Comments

Introducing the 1958 Hurricane By Sports Car Engineering — 12 Comments

  1. ~ i’m confused by the caption on the picture of the race scene.
    does the article refer to two different cars? i have missed something.

  2. @Scot – yes…the article mentions two cars. Sports car engineering came out first with the “Spyder.” It’s second car was the “Hurricane” and third car was the “Tornado.” Harold and I believe that the Tornado was just a concept shown in a drawing but never built. But..you never know. What makes this more interesting is that when I showed Noel Bangert these cars and the brochure (which you’ll see in a future story here) he quickly identified that the “Hurricane” was a modified Bangert Manta Ray body. The Tornado would have been too. But the Spyder was designed overseas and started as a “Mistral” body. And there’s a reason why Bud Goodwin changed the name to “Spyder” and that’s for another story as well. So much to write and share….hope you stay interested Scot…. Geoff

  3. Geoff i remenber seeing a car very much like the hurrican 20 odd years ago in a shop that had a Bocar and a Devin. T he Bocar was being retored,i will look at my old pictures i believe i shot all 3 cars that day MIKE (stillinthehighdesert)

  4. @Mike. That would be great! So far we’ve only found one surviving Hurricane – more to share on that one later. I look forward to the pictures. Geoff

  5. Holy Batwings Robin! The “Tailfin option” is a bubble top short of a Batmobile… Cartoon fins like these were popular with Italian coachbuilders like Abarth and Pinin Farina in the mid 1950s,,,,

  6. Did your Tiburon used to live in Dunedin in the mid ’80s? I had a friend who lived across Michigan on Pinehurst who told me about the car, but I only saw it once. Strangely enough, I have that issue of R&T with the article in it. It wasn’t until I saw the pictures of it at Amelia that I did a facepalm and went- Hey- that’s the same car! Am I correct?

    • I’m thrilled that it’s the same car. Small world and all, but still. That thing is literally a needle in a haystack. Glad I got to see it, as I recall it was white at the time. Wow, can’t believe that after all this time my memory still works! Cheers! Dunedin is still awesome, by the way. Bring the Shark back, I know many car guys, and girls, who would be so happy to see it.

  7. Geoff:

    think Bangert was same firm thsat built bodies for Baldwinb special Mark III
    as raced bvy Bill Pollack at Pebble Beach 1954/55,,it was fast but tricky to handle.
    we regarded Bill as ” Brave as Dick Tracy”

    jim sitz
    Oregon

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