Mysterions… why do I keep bringing up this name and talking about these kinds of cars? Because it’s time we bring them forth and recognize them for everything they represent. The 1950’s was a time when competent builders and talented designers could collaborate and build a sports car of their dreams.
Few did this, and fewer cars have survived, but the cars that did are emblematic of the name “Forgotten Fiberglass”. That is, until we discover the names of the designers and builders of these cars, we should celebrate what they accomplished, and bestow upon these cars a name that will give them a “marque” of their own.
Lo and behold…we have the new class of “Forgotten Fiberglass” cars called “Mysterion Sports Specials“.
In supporting these kinds of cars, several different actions have been taken:
FIRST: We established a place on our website where we can post these cars for your review. This same section allows us to expand these cars as we locate and share additional “Mysterions” as well as update the story for any Mysterion where we have identified their true history.
In addition, in identifying Mysterions from the 1950’s and early 1960’s, we no longer draw a distinction on the material used to construct the car. Fiberglass, aluminum, steel….all are fine. Anyone brave enough to build a fiberglass or aluminum/steel sports special from scratch, deserves to be recognized – for their bravery and accomplishment.
Here’s a link to the “Mysterion” page of our website. The link can also be found at the top of any page in our website in the menu bar by clicking on the word “Mysterion”:
SECOND: With the help of Bill Warner and Tom Cotter of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, we have showcased the first Mysterion at a World Class Concours event. And we’re pleased it was quite well received. Both the Conceptcarz and Supercars websites profiled the Forgotten Fiberglass class, and both featured the Mysterion as follows:
In fact, the Concept Carz Website dedicated a page with pictures to the Mysterion:
THIRD: The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance allowed us to feature an article in their program about the “Forgotten Fiberglass” cars, and we thank them for their continued support. In that article, we discussed the class of cars called “Mysterions” and shared with readers that one of these cars would be present at Amelia Island for the Concours in March 2010. Here’s a link that discusses the “Forgotten Fiberglass” class at Amelia Island in March 2010:
And here’s a link to the article about the “Forgotten Fiberglass” class in the Amelia Island Concours program:
This three-pronged approach should help us in having Mysterions recognized for their design and build – just like all of the other “Forgotten Fiberglass” cars that we know and appreciate. And for this reason, I humbly and excitedly present the new class of vintage fiberglass cars from the 1950’s and 1960’s that are collectible, desirable, and even more rare than most…the “Mysterion Sports Specials“.
Some of you may remember that we discussed this issue in September of 2009 via e-mail. For reference and historical purposes, I have repeated the e-mail I sent to everyone last year about this issue. I was staying with Dennis Gerdes (son of Glasspar G2 foreman from the 1950s) at the time in Idlywild California – maybe the rarified mountain air gave me the idea explained above and shown below. In any event….thanks to Dennis for being the “muse” and bringing this idea forth to our group.
Glass on gang…
(repeat of e-mail from September 2009 shown below)
From:Geoffrey Hacker [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 11:23
Subject:New Class of Fiberglass Cars: The Mysterion Sports Special
There has always been great interest and fun for researching what we call “lost” or “mystery” fiberglass cars. I own 4 or 5 of these myself. Several people in our group own 1 or more such as Darren Swanson and others as well. While there is great interest in viewing these cars, calling them “mystery cars” there is little else that goes on in terms of bringing together people with these cars and their history – and lack of history. Rick D’Louhy and I are going to refer to these cars in a different way in our book and in writing. From this point forward, these cars are going to be called “Mysterions” for several reasons.
1: We need to band together the people who have such cars, and lack a group of like minded people to work with, discuss, research, and have fun with. Within our large group, Byers owners congregate, Meteor owners correspond, Glasspar owners exchange information, and “Mysterion” owners remain isolated. This needs to change.
2: Keeping each of the cars isolated within the larger group does nothing to help the owners of Mysterions to research and document what is known about their cars. While our larger group can always help, support, encourage, and discuss, it’s a different approach to have a group to bond with. Each of the group can help the others with approaches they have used to document their cars – or try and document the cars. The goal is to eventually discover the answer and history of the car – and have fun doing it.
3: The name “Mysterion” gives us something to discuss with the public. We can enter (and will be entering one of ours in the 2010 Ameilia Island Concours d’ Elegance using this name) Concour level events and other car shows not just with a name but a history of what these cars are, what people were doing apart from building known fiberglass bodies, and a story that is unique to each “Mysterion” that is shown or photographed.
4: The name “Mysterion” is a much better way to encapsulate what the car is and hook it to something that sounds cool. “Unidentified fiberglass sports special made in the 1950’s” does nothing to bring attention, focus, intrigue, or interest in any of these cars.
5: Yes….the name “Mysterion” has been used on a famous show car in the 1950’s. But so has Maverick, Meteor, and several other names of cars we already collect and are in our group. Branding these unknown cars as “Mysterions” is nothing different – names are used multiple times with cars and other parts of our culture (bands, songs, artwork, etc…)
6: By giving these cars a name and a story – and banding them together – we turn a weakness of this part of our fiberglass heritage into a strength. Remember….all of the fiberglass cars have been treated as red headed step-children for 50+ years. We have to recognize this, embrace this and turn every weakness into a strength. This is the reason for the careful, detailed, and heavily documented research Rick D’Louhy and I have been doing and this is the reason it’s time to change these unknown cars into something other than a curiosity and a “loss”. “Mysterions” should be sought after, appreciated, and the story of these cars told with pride and excitement. No doubt, this approach will affect their recognition and value too.
In the future, I’ll be updating the “mystery cars” page on our Forgotten Fiberglass website with the new name “Mysterions” (Mysterion 1, Mysterion 2, etc) and an explanation of what these cars are and the challenge to document and identify each one of them. In the meantime, attached is another “Mysterion” Sports Special that was passed to me on my trip to California. These pictures were given to me, but the car is purported to be fiberglass. Any idea on what this “Mysterion” might be? It might be a modified European car of some sort, but it’s not familiar to me.
Hope you enjoy the pix and I’m off to visit Merrill and Gerianne Powell today of Victress – in Flagstaff Arizona.
Best to all…
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