Body By Victress – 1956 Brochure – This Is A Car You Can Be Proud Of!

Hi Gang…

The guys at Victress were always thinking, and in this case they were changing their approach to marketing once again.  Here in ’56 they released yet another new design for their company – a foldout brochure.

For the first time, embedded in the 6 panel format were all 6 main models of Victress:

  • Victress S1A
  • Victress S5
  • Victress S4 – both 3 and 5 passenger models
  • Victress C2
  • Victress C3
  • Victress Dragster

In ’56, Victress was on a “fiberglass roll,”  and nothing seemed to be getting in their way.

Let’s explore the highlights of each of these panels in this brochure.  And remember, as with every image here at Forgotten Fiberglass, you can use your mouse and click on the image to make it appear larger on your screen.

Panel 1: Now You Can Buy A Victress

Victress Manufacturing wanted to make a product that would stand apart from all others.  As they pointed out in ’56, you didn’t just buy a “body shell” – check out the list of advantages shown on the first panel below.

Panel 2: You Can Build Your Own Sport Car

I love the example provided here showing what the expected costs are for each of the major purchases needed to obtain parts and pieces to build your own Victress S4 sports car.  For comparison I checked what a new Ford would cost in ’56, and you could purchase one for $2000 to $2500.

It’s an interesting comparison and one to think about.  Put yourself back in ’56…..would you buy a Deluxe kit for a Victress model and pay between $700 to $800 (see below) or buy a new car for around $2000 or a used car for considerably less?

But could you buy a sports car for that same price?  These are some of the questions the guys back then wrestled with when considering their purchase.

Panel 3: Standard Vs. Deluxe Kit

There was a great deal of difference between doing a lot of work – or a little work – in building your own sports car, and Victress was there to help you make your choice.  As you review the differences between both kits below, here are some thoughts to consider:

  • The Standard Kit purchased by a customer was still far more than purchasing a shell from Victress.  Just the fact that hinges and latches were installed and working on the hood, deck, and doors removed a significant task for most builders.
  • I wonder what the “template kit” looked like that Victress included?  The details in the panel show that it provided details on the wheel wells, firewall, floorboards, back rest(?), trunk, and floor.  Too bad we haven’t found those vintage pieces yet!
  • The Deluxe Kit was superb!  These bodies were complete and ready to bolt down.  During a recent conversation, Merrill Powell, Vice-President of Victress Manufacturing from ’53 to ’61 shared with me that most people did not purchase a Deluxe Kit.  “They were probably more expensive than many customers wanted to buy” Merrill shared with me.  We’ll explore costs in the next panel below.

Panels 4, 5, And 6:  Models, Prices, And Pictures

Here models of each car were shown with specifications and prices.  Let’s explore the prices of the most popular model at Victress – the S1A Roaster.   Here are the prices shown for this model:

  • Basic Body: $339.50
  • Standard Kit: $534.50
  • Deluxe Kit: $759.00

Merrill Powell was right – the cost of the Deluxe Kit was twice as expensive as just the basic body, but only about one-third more than the Standard Kit.  No doubt this contributed to the fact that very few Deluxe Kits were sold.

Let’s review what the Deluxe Kit provided as outlined in this brochure:

Deluxe Kit: For those who wish to do a minimum of work, we offer the Victress bodies in Deluxe form.  These bodies are complete and ready to bolt down.  All hardware is installed.  Surfaces are sanded and primed ready for paint.  Firewall, floorboards and backrest are completely installed along with the front and rear wheel wells.  The following items are also included:

  • Grille
  • Tail lights
  • Two competition type bucket seats
  • Fiberglass repair kit – enough for eighteen square feet

I don’t know about you guys, but if I could have afforded it…a Deluxe Kit would have been for me.  “I’ll take two please, Merrill.” 😉

The Entire Brochure:

Here are all 6 panels of the brochure shown at once.  You can use your mouse and click on the image below – and any image here at Forgotten Fiberglass – to make it appear larger on your screen.

The 6 panel brochure shown in today’s story arrived via US Mail in ’56  – folded neatly as shown below.  Brochure courtesy of the Richard Lewis Collection (thanks Richard!)

Summary:

This was the last major brochure that Victress printed and distributed.

The next brochure featuring Victress cars was printed by Art Evans of Evans Industries about 4 years later, and starting in ’61 Victress cars became part of the LaDawri Coachcraft lineup and appeared with new names in new catalogs designed and printed by Les and Joan Dawes.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

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Comments

Body By Victress – 1956 Brochure – This Is A Car You Can Be Proud Of! — 5 Comments

  1. It’s great to have a real world comparison on the price of a new car compared to the body alone, these cars were not for everyone when you consider the dollars and skill level required not to mention the time involved.
    I’ll take a S-1A please!

  2. Grilles, headlights, and tail-lights–Wow! Did we really offer all that? I don’t remember ever selling that stuff, but I wasn’t directly involved in car body sales and production that much. Bill Quirk, what do you recall? We did do some bodies with floor, firewall, backrest, and wheel wells, to fit the Mameco frame.

  3. Boy that No. 93 S-5 is sure a looker… Merrill did you guys make many of the “Drag” bodies ? Love to see a few of those in action …

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