The 1955 McCormack: Henry McCormack’s Custom Fiberglass Sports Car

Hi Gang…

During my recent trip to the Northeast, I pulled back home a McCormack Sports / Custom car from its resting place for so many years.  I’ll share the full story with you in the near future, but I thought it might be fun to share some of the documentation and articles about the car that were printed back in the day before I share the photos of the “survivor” as it is today.

In our first article on this car, let’s take a look at Henry McCormack’s brochure.

McCormack Plastics: 1955 Brochure
1344 East Collins, Orange, California
Henry N. McCormack, Owner

Page 1: Cover

Page 2: Introduction:

The McCormack Coupe was designed to fit a 106” wheelbase and a tread of 56”.  It is intended primarily for the “special builder” who wishes to use American passenger car components.  Obviously the answer to building an inexpensive sports car is to use a domestic engine and chassis.

Other benefits besides low cost are accessible parts, nearly overwhelming performance, and handling characteristics that can match or exceed those of most cars.   Since we are chiefly interested in the special builder, every effort has been made to produce a body shell that is pleasing in appearance, yet practical.  As an example, each body comes complete with a dash, door jambs and hood flange.

The door jambs are not the usual narrow flange but a full width jamb, with provisions for easy installation of hinges and locks.  Also, the often-difficult windshield problem has been solved by designing the body to receive a Thunderbird windshield assembly.

This gives a finished touch which many “specials” often lack, and is surprisingly inexpensive.  Briefly, other salient features are a removable hardtop for all weather sports, a large engine compartment (which will accommodate any passenger car engine), a large trunk space and return flanges around wheels, grille, and cockpit openings.

Also the surface finish is outstanding by any standard and the body requires very little preparation prior to painting.  All this adds up to a very smart yet practical sports car body, starting as low as $495.

Page 3: Technical Data

  • Body Material: Polyester resin reinforced with 100% glass fibers
  • Wheelbase: 105 – 107 inches (106” optimum)
  • Tread: Front 54 to 56
  • Tread: Rear 56 to 58
  • Height to Cowl: 35 inches (measured from ground)
  • Overall Length: 165 and ½ inches
  • Overall Width: 69 inches
  • Weight of bare shell: 125 pounds

Page 4: General Notes

Summary:

Henry McCormack’s Coupe was actually a roadster too – the hardtops were designed to be removable, and the car was stylish with or without it.  It debuted at the Petersen Motorama in November 1955, and received great recognition at the time.  In the near future, we’ll explore the debut article which introduced the McCormack to an enthusiastic automotive world and an adoring public.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

Update: 1/5/2012:   In 1960, Track Kraft began offering the McCormack body under the name “TK-103.”  By 1961, the McCormack molds were once again for sale in the July issue of Hot Rod Magazine, and the car and the molds to make it disappeared from history.  Click here to review the story of “Track Kraft” and the “TK-103.”
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Comments

The 1955 McCormack: Henry McCormack’s Custom Fiberglass Sports Car — 1 Comment

  1. That’s one ‘cool’ car! The design was ahead of its time in 1955. I’ll look forward to future stories about this car.

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