Maverick Sport Car: Car Life, February 1954

The Maverick Sportster Has The Distinction of being America's Last Boattail Speedster.

Hi Gang…

Alden Jewell’s eagle eyes recently spotted this short article on the Maverick Sports Car.

This article offered bodies for $950 as one of the options available – not a bad price for such a striking car.  These guys (H. Sterling Gladwin, in this case) were designers AND entrepreneurs so anything that would move product out the door would be a good thing.

Let’s see what this article had to say about this nicely styled car – the first neoclassic sports car and kit offered to the public starting in 1952.

Maverick Sport Car
Car Life: February 1954

One of the newest entries in the fiberglass sport car field is the Maverick, manufactured at Mountain View, California, and selling for $3850.  Produced by H. Sterling Gladwin, Jr., the Maverick is also available in kit form to fit any Cadillac chassis as far back as 1936 models.  

The body panels can also be adapted to any Hudson, Packard, Buick and Chrysler chassis with 120 to 128 inch wheelbases.  The $3850 job includes a 1953 Cadillac powerplant, modified chassis and a body which includes one right-hand door, hood and choice of upholstery and paint.  Optional equipment available for this model includes radio, fiberglass hardtop, left-hand door, overdrive or Hydra-Matic.

The body is molded in one piece – with the exception of the hood – without joints.  The trunk lid is solid, access being through a hinged back seat back.  The body may be bought separately, for installation on chassis of choice, for $950.  The floorboard assembly, matched to fit the top, sells for $200.

Also available is an instrument panel assembly with tachometer, 160 mph speedometer and radio.  This is marketed for $350 and the windshield frame with safety-glass sells for $100.  Sixteen feet long and six feet wide, the complete body weighs only 220 pounds.  The shell is attached to the chassis by four bumper brackets and two body bolts on each end of the front fender.    

Summary:   

The Maverick Sportster was the largest fiberglass body kit available to sports car and American Boulevard cruiser enthusiasts back in the day.  The wheelbase is 128 inches from the center of the front wheel well to the center of the rear wheel well.   Anything less would require modifying / shortening the body significantly.  This is one long car gang!  And….. it was available to the American public a full year before the fiberglass Corvette hit the streets in the Fall of ’53.

Less than five Mavericks have been found leaving another 5-7 unaccounted for out there gang.  Anyone want to go Maverick hunting?   I bet Alden Jewell’s up to the task…

*wink*

Thanks again to Alden for his help with locating the article for us to share today.  Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

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Comments

Maverick Sport Car: Car Life, February 1954 — 4 Comments

  1. the options that you listed in the running gear section has an error because cadillac has never had an overdrive. only a three speed of the Cad/LaSalle style.

  2. Jim….the comments you have are excellent but I’m simply copying the exact text from the 1954 article. If there is an inaccuracy in the article – you may be right. For example, if an overdrive was not available for the Cadillac – as you state – then that is a problem in the article from 1954 – not from today. Thanks for the comments and keep them coming. Thanks. Geoff

  3. James, that’s a direct quote from the article, and overdrive WAS listed as a Maverick option. As stated in the Maverick brochure: “The only part used in the chassis of the Maverick that is not Cadillac-built is the Borg-Warner overdrive, which is offered as optional equipment.”

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