This is a beautiful brochure from Sterling Gladwin, the designer, creator, and builder of the Maverick Sportster. Although the Maverick was first offered in late 1952, this brochure is dated as “received” on June 8th, 1955. We’re still working to establish the year this brochure was first released so as usual…research continues. In the brochure there are several things of note.
* First, you can see the prototype or first Maverick is in most if not all of the photos. This is the darker colored car that has louvered access plates over / near each front wheel on the top of the fenders. Sterling had initially provided minimal access to the engine area through these access plates. This was necessary because Maverick #1 did not have a hood. Instead, the body was meant to be lifted off to access the engine. Not the most convenient arrangement on a car that was large enough to be touted as the world’s largest fiberglass bodied car at the time. Sterling changed the design with all subsequent Maverick Sportster’s built and he included a hood (glory be) and this is seen to those of you with scrutinizing eyes if you turn them on the photo with two Mavericks shown together in the brochure. The “Maverick in white” has a nicely shaped hood.
* Second, another interesting feature is the lack of doors on Maverick #1. As far as we know, only this first car is doorless. Subsequent Mavericks found have had a passenger door but no driver’s door. Tom Garross, nephew of Sterling Gladwin, recently shared that the passenger door only feature was due to a safety concern that Sterling had. He did not want anyone to exit his car, streetside, and be put in harm’s way by forthcoming traffic. Forcing the occupants of the car out the passenger side door was intended to increase the safety of every Maverick on the road.
So let’ check out this grand brochure and see if a Maverick is in your future.
And away we go….
The Maverick Brochure
The Long-Range Commuter
The Maverick Sportster is the combination of big car comfort and sports car performance. Stemming from years of aeronautical and automotive engineering, it brings together classic beauty, super streamlining, and a power-to-weight ratio that would be the envy of a military airplane. To afford beauty of line, the ridged. Almost indestructible fiberglass body complements the power furnished by a standard American engine. All engine and running gear is manufactured by the largest automobile corporation in the world. It is truly the land-bound Pegasus with air-borne power and cloud-like riding quality. The Maverick is built for high-speed transportation on today’s long highways and its extremely low center-of-gravity and over-all height yield security that is found nowhere else.
Being entirely of American manufacture, the Maverick presents no problem in maintenance and repair and both these items are held to a minimum due to the fact that all parts and accessories come from the nation’s most experienced and highly respected sources.
Chassis and Powerplant
All components on the stock Maverick Sportster are of Cadillac manufacture or parts made by other reputable sources that manufacture replacement parts. Some Cadillac parts have been modified to afford lower center-of-gravity and better riding and steering qualities commensurate with a much lower and lighter vehicle.
In cases where parts have been modified, blueprints are included in the owner’s information file which describe in detail the extent of such modification. This includes re-arching of rear springs, alteration to individual front wheel suspension, and changes in steering geometry.
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. This unit, the most desirable transmission combination, gives a 2.71 to a 1 over-all engine-to-wheel ratio and complete shop manual for its care is included with each unit as well as a blueprint describing its installation.
The power plan t is the latest Cadillac overhead value engine, completely stock, which affords a weight-to-power ratio of twelve pounds per horsepower. With the standard 3.77 to 1 rear end, low gears virtually forgotten. Fuel economy is phenomenal since such great weight has been saved by the use of light materials.
The super sleek fiberglass body is built of the strongest polyester resins reinforced with the best glass cloth and mat available. Passengers sit in a floorboard assembly made up of marine plywood impregnated with glass and resin and further reinforced by two 12-gauge steel roll-bars, one at the instrument panel and the other at the seat support itself. In cars with doors, the door is a structural member, a design found nowhere else, so that the driver and passenger have the ultimate in protection and security. The rim of the driver’s compartment is lined with the functional crashpad which affords safety in the case of sudden stops or traffic mishaps.
The windshield and seat are extremely wide, providing more than ample seating capacity for three passengers. They are deeply upholstered air-foam and innerspring cushions with center arm rest. The seatback hinges forward to allow access to the large trunk and baggage area. The spare tire is housed in the same area in its own well.
Leg room and seat inclination are tailored to the owner-a Maverick exclusive.
Service and Maintenance
Unlike most smaller cars of the sport variety, the Maverick is strictly American and is serviceable at any Cadillac or reputable repair agency. As mentioned before, all parts are Cadillac or Cadillac modified, with blueprints to describe such modification. The running gear is therefore familiar to any Cadillac mechanic.
Service organizations have been set up for the repair of fiberglass bodies and components by others building smaller cars and these agencies can handle any repairs in the category. Further, there is available a repair kit from Maverick which contains ample supplies of all repair material. This kit contains complete instructions and may be used by the owner or the owner’s regular repair man.
Skill is not required to mend breaks in fiberglass as is the case with metal. It should be added that repairs will seldom be required as metal usually comes out second-best in an altercation with fiberglass. Any section of the automobile damaged may be ordered from Maverick and inserted easily in the place of the original part such a manner as to make one single piece.
Of special interest to the mechanically-minded, it is to be noted that the body is completely removable in six minutes for major overhaul.
The Maverick is designed by engineers and assembled from well-chosen parts by highly-trained and skillful mechanics. Every part of the automobile has been designed for it as a specialized vehicle.
The power plant is the very best available. The seats are ample and made by the best upholsterers and the windshield prevents burble and back draft at the passengers’ heads. Gear ratios and steering geometry, springing and weight balance, roll characteristics and shock absorption-all have been engineered into a compact, well-balanced machine.
The instrument panel in beautiful spun copper has functional instruments including 160 mile-per-hour speedometer, complete engine performance gauges with vacuum gauge and tachometer in one unit. The tachometer is the driving instrument and is located in full view on the steering wheel centerline directly in front of the driver. All controls are exclusively for the driver’s left hand and out of reach of passengers. In the sake of safety, the passenger is the radio operator, as he should be.
Color and Equipment
As far as is known, the Maverick is the only stock automobile that can be had in any combination of upholstery and lacquer color. Agents will gladly discuss choice of seat color and body and top contrast with owners. Upholstery is of the finest solid plastic materials, wearing infinitely better than leather, and all paints and lacquers used are of the best procurable.
Optional equipment is kept at a minimum as Maverick feels that the car has been made as complete as possible. The instrument panel is designed for the Motorola Golden Voice, and the antenna is usually molded into the body. An extra door is available on the driver’s side.
Choice of transmissions is the widest in the automotive industry. Stock Mavericks have column shift Synchromesh transmissions, with or without overdrive. The owner may decide on floor shift, column shift, Borg-Warner overdrive or Cadillac Hydromatic. Hydromatic is discouraged as it precludes future engine modifications and it is felt that the overdrive combination best fills the needs of the owner. All in all, the manufacturer believes that everything possible has been done to cater to the individual’s tastes – why not put your brand on a Maverick!
Put Your Brand on a Maverick
Editor’s Note: Shown here in the brochure are quotes that appear in print through early 1955:
* The influence of aviation clearly had a hand in the design of the new Maverick Sportster.
Flying Magazine A.O.P.A. Edition
* … the gigantic speed potential of the super-sleek Maverick…
San Francisco Examiner
* … is getting a lot of publicity and deserves it…
“Josh” Hoague in S.F. Chronicle
* The shape of things to come…
* … with lines as smooth as an airplane…
San Jose News
* The Maverick is custom built for the ultra-discriminating customer who likes the distinction of the foreign-built sports car, the beauty and glamour of future-design, and the functional efficiency of the world’s largest motor vehicle manufacturer.
Pacific Sport News
* Center arm rest, thin framed windshield… complete the traditional luxury look.
* …Sleek looking modern sportster…
Los Altos News
(Note to self….seems like I have a lot more research to do to find the original articles above…*wink*)
Fiberglass Body and Top
For those who wish to have the pleasure of building up their own cars, Maverick offers as units the same streamline body and top used on the Maverick Sportster. The top is equipped with necessary hardware to attach to the body and windshield assembly. The body is furnished and lacquer. All edges are trimmed except the wheel cutouts so that any wheelbase from 122 to 128 inches can be accommodated. The material may be sawed with conventional hack saws and disc-sanded smooth. The finish of the body is excellent, requiring no more filling and sanding then the average metal car repaint. The body may be ordered with one, two or with no doors. A hinged and locking hood is provided in all bodies.
To complement the Maverick body a floorboard assembly is offered to fit, with a minimum of effort, almost any frame within the wheelbase limits. This assembly is complete with spare tire well, seat and instrument panel supports, two 12-gauge steel roll bars. Installation is made by correctly spacing the flat floor above the chassis to be used, and attaching the lower outriggers of 6-inch metal channel to the frame and drilling through the floor to match the upper outriggers. Bolts are supplied for the attachment of the outriggers and upper units are predrilled. The assembly is essentially of 1/2-inch marine plywood glassed and resin-impregnated with a final coat of insulated paint for sound deadening.
To set off the combination of Maverick body and floorboard assembly, an instrument panel assembly and windshield are available. The instrument panel includes Stewart-Warner instruments as follows: Vacuum gauge and tachometer combined; 160 miles-per-hour speedometer; cluster for oil pressure, water temperature, fuel capacity, and ammeter. Switches include: windshield wiper, ignition-starter, lights, and cigarette lighter. The panel is completely wired with headlight relay and Motorola Golden Voice Radio with speaker grille. Terminal strip output and wiring diagram are furnished.
The windshield assembly is of stainless steel channel and brass, chrome-plated, stanchion. All moulding and hardware are provided as well as green-tinted safety glass.
Assembly and Consultation
All units offered by Maverick include photograph or blueprint instructions for assembly, and consultation, after receipt of packages, is free. Everything is done to help the builder in producing a car of which he can be truly proud. Upon purchase of any or all of the components, Maverick will provide list of part numbers of grille, bumpers, head- and tail- lights, etc., or can furnish these items at standard automotive list prices.
Weight of body is approximately 240 pounds. Floorboard assembly about the same.
Prices are F.O.B. Mountain View, California. Freight rates are 1 ½ times first-class rates. Crating will be done at a nominal cost to consignee.
Assemblies are not jigged to individual automobiles but are versatile enough for the average mechanic to have little difficulty.
MAVERICK MOTORS, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA
Fred and Deanna Roth currently own Maverick #1 and its most recent appearance was at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2012. It’s stunning and makes a grand appearance at every show. While two other Mavericks exist and are in unrestored condition. The other Maverick shown in this story with the nicely sculpted hood remains missing.
And…lest you forget fiberglass gang….please visit our new “Vintage Catalogs” section of our website. I’ve already posted the Maverick catalog there too so you can page through it like a book on your screen – the marvel of technology. Click here to view this page, and then scroll down to click on the Maverick catalog and begin your review – in “book-like” fashion.
Who will embark on the next journey to track down this long lost car (the one shown in the brochure with the hood) and bring your tale back to Forgotten Fiberglass? I will be your number one supporter and fan as you go forth on this journey, and look forward to hearing what you might find. And of course we’ll feature your story here at Forgotten Fiberglass 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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