How did our favorite ‘glass companies get new business?
- Was it thru articles in magazines?
- Was it thru brochures?
- How ‘bout racing events at Bonneville and road courses?
- And course thru word of mouth – right?
So how about good old fashion, American born and bred advertising?
In fact, we at Forgotten Fiberglass have been gathering vintage fiberglass ads from ’51 thru ’65. Like archeologists on the hunt for the missing link, we’re looking for patterns and products that give us insight into the operations of how these companies worked, as well as understand what the customer may have felt viewing these ads and considering a potential purchase.
Recently we’ve been covering fiberglass cars that appeared in the March ’56 issue of Car Craft in which the issue focused on fiberglass cars in two articles. Let’s see what the some of the ads had to say that appeared in this same issue of the magazine:
Victress Advertising: Car Craft, March 1956
Victress Sports Car is Yours For Less Than $1500!
Now available, for the price conscious sports car enthusiast a production sports car, take a Detroit V8 engine, chassis and running gear and enclose it in a sleek Victress S1A body, and you have a high performing sports car – second to none.
Take the list price of a Victress body of your choice, plus a couple hundred $$$ for a good used car and tabulate the cost! That’s right! You have saved hundreds of $$$ on your sports car. Plus you are beating completion in styling and savings. Illustrated car built from ’39 Ford components.
Special Limited Offer! On a limited basis, we are offering for only $1.00 a :
- Fiberglass Body Construction Catalog (step by step process on how to design, mock-up, and lay-up laminate fiberglass bodies.)
- Frame Modification Brochure (illustrating frame modification with complete instructions)
And at no extra charge is included the latest Victress Sports Car Catalog. Send ONE DOLLAR for all three.
This car built for less than $1500 using the S-1A 99” wheelbase sports car body priced at $595 plus tax.
Other Body Styles Available:
- S-4 stock Ford (3 or 5 passenger) chassis, $695
- S-5 MG-TD or TC chassis, $575
- Dragster (accommodates all engines), $250
All prices subject to Federal Excise Tax.
Victress Manufacturing Company
11823C Sherman Way, North Hollywood, California.
Meteor Advertising: Car Craft, March 1956
The Ad’s Small But So Are We!!!!!
And quite frankly, we are swamped! So…. unless you are really serious about owning a Meteor, DON’T WRITE.
Meteor Sports Cars
7995 Robin Lane
Denver 11, Colorado
Prices From $475 to $775
Sorrell Advertising: Car Craft, March 1956
Competition Bodies: Aluminum or Fiberglass
The following production bodies are available in coupe or roadster styles, SR-100 and SR-190 (prices on request). Also build experimental bodies of all types. Phone or write:
9616 Felton, Inglewood, California OR7-1402
Almquist Advertising: Car Craft, March 1956
Taylor & Art, Inc., Plastics Advertising: Car Craft, March 1956
Post Publications: Fiberglass Book Advertising: Car Craft, March 1956
Thoughts On The Ads:
A few notes here on the ads:
- The Victress ad shows the Johnny Dark Victress built by Hellings Company.
- Interestingly, here it was in March of ’56 and the C2 and C3 Coupes were not yet being advertised. However, inside the same magazine a short piece in the “Buyers Guide” shows the Victress C2 94” wheelbase car being available for purchase. So at least by early ’56, the Victress C2 Coupe was available – but it was early on in this car’s life. Merrill Powell and I are trying to nail down the exact timeframe that the C2 and C3 Coupes by Victress were released. More to come soon.
- The Victress S4 was offered in 3 or 5 passenger configuration. Merrill….did you recall if Victress built any 5 passenger Victress S4 roadsters? I’ve not found pictures of any yet.
- The Meteor ad now shows that the Meteor hails from Colorado – Dick Jones new home. He had started building Meteors with Jim Byers in ’53 in Compton, California, but moved to Colorado within about 2 years. During the transition, Meteors were built by Dick’s brother Larry Jones in San Clemente, California. So…Colorado was the third location in which they were built and sold. And there was a “fourth” – more about that soon.
- Did you notice the humorous text in the Meteor ad? One of our group – Mike Wittman – kiddingly said he was so concerned about Dick’s ad that he never did write and waited 50 years or so to purchase his first Meteor SR-1. More about Mike Wittman and his Meteor in a future story here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
- Almquist didn’t used the opportunity to promote their newly acquired Clearfield “Sabre” bodies in their ad.
- Bob Sorrell was advertising aluminum or fiberglass bodies that he could build – and he built both. Bob was quite an artisan, who later went on to build some very special cars including the “Super Cheetah” (along with Don Borth) which was the last design Bill Thomas was in the process of creating before his company folded.
- Dan Post advertised his book on how to design and build a fiberglass car by John Wills and…
- Taylor & Art, Inc., Plastics advertised that you could buy supplies from them to build a fiberglass sports car – “Clear, step-by-step, photo instructions included in each shipment.” Pretty cool.
This issue of Car Craft was a “soup to nuts” kind of magazine showing you what was available for purchase or how to do it yourself – a “must-have” for any vintage ‘glass enthusiast out there.
One of my favorites!
This is another way of viewing the cars we enjoy – purely from the perspective of the customer. And if you strain your eyes a bit and think about the advertising…it can help you understand the companies and how they saw their product and their customers too.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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