1953 Grantham Stardust Restoration Begins

Twelve Grantham Stardust Sports Cars Were Built – Just Four Remain

Hi Gang…

Exciting news for one of my favorite handcrafted cars of the 1950s – the Grantham Stardust.  While we have an unrestored example in our collection, Undiscovered Classics has partnered with David Deluca to restore and show his Stardust – one that has been in his family since the late 1950s and is the movie car from the 1954 movie Johnny Dark.  How exciting is that!

Johnny Dark Appearance: 1954

One of our favorite race car movies of the 50s is Johnny Dark.  It starred Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie and Don Taylor.  But the real feature were the cars – all handcrafted American sports cars that the public was craving information for at the time – and the movie delivered.  Included in the main race of the movie were:

  • 1953 Woodill Wildfire
  • 1953 Victress S1A
  • 1953 Glasspar G2
  • 1953 Irwin Lancer
  • 1953 Tatum Special
  • 1953 Bohman Special
  • 1950 Kurtis Sports Car
  • And…..a 1953 Grantham Stardust

Check out the short movie trailer as well as the movie photos of the Grantham Stardust below.  And see if you can spot the Grantham Stardust in the “reel” at speed and doing a spin.  Pretty wild action for 1954.

You Can See The Grantham Stardust – Called The “Tomahawk” In The Johnny Dark Movie – To The Right Of Center With A Glasspar Following Next

The Deluca Stardust

David’s grandfather bought the Grantham in the late 1950s from a movie producer who lived on Catalina Island off the coast of southern California.  It’s remained with his family since.  In the 1980s, he got the ‘ole girl running again and modernized some of the components.  Sadly, the car then sat for a number of years but always indoors or protected.  As we start our restoration with Ralph Smith, we’ll be bringing the Stardust back to its original 1950s condition.  What condition is the Stardust in now?  Let’s have a look 🙂

David Deluca and His 1953 Grantham Stardust – the name alone is one of “distinction”

And There’s More To Come

To help celebrate the restoration of this car, we’ll be featuring more history of the Grantham Stardust Motor Company in future stories here at Undiscovered Classics.  And you’ll be surprised to learn just how famous this car was back in the early and mid 1950s.  Movies, tv and exhibitions…the Grantham Stardust was everywhere and anywhere during the height of handcrafted sports cars.  For example, check out this beautiful photo of a Stardust from the John Bond archives – a photo that John Bond of Road & Track kept in his personal collection for his entire life:


So we have a lot to work with here gang for the restoration of David’s Stardust.  The car is in great shape for being nearly 70 years old and it has few missing parts.  The story on how we’ll fabricate those missing parts here at Undiscovered Classics will be a story by itself and will help other Stardust owners too.  I think you’ll enjoy this story.  Click on the following link to learn more about the Stardust and its history:

Click Here To Learn More About The Grantham Stardust

And for those interested in restorations of their cars here at Undiscovered Classics, we can be of service.  We’re currently working with 7 customers and David Deluca will be our eighth.  Across those customers are 12+ cars.  And if you add the cars that we personally have in restoration….well….that’s another story.  Those of you interested in learning more about how we can help you with your restoration can click on the link below:

Click Here To Learn More About The Services We Offer

And those of you who are embolden and wish to consider partnering on one of our rare cars and working together to restore it can explore the link below:

Click Here To Learn More About The Cars That Are Available For Partnership

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…

The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.



1953 Grantham Stardust Restoration Begins — 1 Comment

  1. Great too see another. What type power are you going with? Would love to see the original floor boards and other close up photos. Has it been altered or changed over the years and in what way? Going to be fun to follow. Clyde/Clyde

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