Byers and Kellison and Fiberglass Trends….Oh My!!! (Part 2)

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Note: This is the second of a two-part story on Byers, Kellison, and Fiberglass Trends.

Click here to review both parts of the story.
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Hi Gang…

Today’s contribution is possible through the generosity of good friend Ed Almquist of Milford, Pennsylvania.

Rick D’Louhy and I had a chance to stop by and visit with Ed and his wife Marion several years ago.  During our visit, we reviewed his scrapbook on his fiberglass cars and projects of the era.  Stuck in with the wonderful memorabilia was a “Fiberglass Trends” catalog.  This turned out to be a much more important find than we knew at the time.

While on the cover of the Fiberglass Trends catalog was a wonderful Cheetah that you could purchase, on page two was none other than a Byers CR-90 available for purchase.  Jim Byers legacy lived on – but in a completely new company to Rick and I – Fiberglass Trends.  Wow!

Here’s what we found in that catalog:

Fiberglass Trends Catalog:
Circa 1966

 

Thoughts on the Catalog:

The newest date in the catalog is ’66 so at best it was printed and distributed in ’66 or ’67.  This puts this at the same timeframe that we identified Byers divesting himself of both molds or supporting transfer to Kellison.  See part 1 of this story for more information.

Until recently, we thought that Kellison produced the Byers SR100 and Fiberglass Trends produced the CR90.  This pointed to Jim Byers divesting himself of both molds at approximately the same time to two companies.  With the earlier research now showing Kellison offering both the SR100 and the Byers CR90 – things have gotten a bit more interesting 🙂

Either both companies offered the CR90 body (Kellison and Fiberglass Trends) or Kellison ceased production of the CR90 body and Fiberglass Trends picked it up soon thereafter (’66 or ’67).  More research and data gathering is needed to pinpoint whether two companies produced the CR90 bodies simultaneously or whether Kellison first produced it followed by Fiberglass Trends shortly thereafter.

Time will tell.

Oh…and for you “Cheetah” fans out there, here’s the sales information printed within the Fiberglass Trends catalog.

Fun stuff!

Summary:

So now you have “the rest of the story” about Fiberglass Trends and how it relates to both Byers and Kellison.  Research continues and we hope to nail down even more information about the legacy of Jim Byers’ beautifully built “CR90 body.”

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff
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Comments

Byers and Kellison and Fiberglass Trends….Oh My!!! (Part 2) — 7 Comments

  1. And again…I have to compliment you on this super posting Geoffrey,
    I had a tube frame and a Cheetah body …so many years ago…If only I could have kept all the kits. The GT-40 is another regret……
    I still have the slot car body of the Cheetah though…
    Thanks again Geoff…….. Great posting…
    And some where in my collection, I still have an old Almquist catalog. Those where the days, when you built a kit car from scratch…. john

  2. Just had time to read part one and part two of this great posting a bit more….

    I always thought that it was Bill Thomas that made the Cheetah..???

    And in part one, they gave the expression of “Lose your ass in fiberglass….” But if I am not mistaken…The expression was “Wrap you ass in Fiberglass” john

  3. John – Bill Thomas was the originator of the Cheetah (Bill Thomas Race Cars). After a fire destroyed his facility, a number of companies built replicas including Elegant Motors here in Indianapolis, IN.

  4. CORRECTION – Accoring to WIKIPEDIA, two companies built the fiberglass Cheetah bodies for Bill Thomas – Contemporary Fiberglass and Fiberglass Trends. So, Fiberglass Trends built some of the original car bodies and continued with the G.T.R.

  5. And if you want to go into business building Cheetahs today,go to E-Bay item #330671769914 and for a mere starting bid of $75,000 reserve not met you are buying the molds,jigs and the rights to build more ..

  6. The Cheetah was indeed a “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” story in American race car construction. The first two cars were bodied in aluminum, the first was the car Jerry Titus tested at Riverside for Sports Car Graphic. The second was shipped off to GM for testing that reportedly yielded promising results.

    It’s said that between 16 and 26 cars were built (Road Racing Specials, page 228, copyright 2003, Vintage Motorsports).

    Sadly it all came to an end in 1965 after fire devastated the Cheetah factory in Southern California. If only they could’ve made the 100 units needed for homologation with the FIA, they would’ve no doubt given Shelby and his Cobras a real run for their money at the top levels of international road racing.

  7. I believe. I have the first cheetah marv eldgeridge built. Interesting story about a pillars thomas didn’t want a pillars eldridge did and that is why thomas went to second glass shot. But you will observe the super cheetah has a pillars.

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