We haven’t had a chance to write about the Victress S4 very much in the past and that’s been for two reasons. First, the Victress S4 sports car is quite rare – even by my standards for our handbuilt American Specials. The second reason is that to my knowledge, none are currently in restoration. Hopefully that will change with today’s story.
The Victress S4 came out in 1954 and it was the second car brought out by Victress after their S1/S1A debuted in 1952. They proudly showed both cars on the front of the 1954 catalog as shown below.
Hugh designed the S4 as a “sporty” larger car. As shown in the detailed drawings above, the chassis could be from 112″ to 118″ inches. This was meant to simplify the construction for the enthusiastic sports car builder out there in the mid 1950s. They could use a chassis from a Ford or other car and not make the usual changes to shorten or lower the car – at least in general. Think of the S4 as an American Boulevard Cruiser – still sporty but larger than most of the sports cars out there which had a 99 inch wheelbase or shorter.
Those of you who may be interested, can click here to explore the full 1954 Victress catalog.
But when you introduce a car, you do it with “style” – and even though Victress was a small company, they certainly outdid themselves when they created the first Victress S4. The designer of the S4, Hugh Jorgensen, was an Art Center student. The “Art Center” was one of the primary schools which taught auto design and at the time, Strother MacMinn was in-house there and one of their teachers – soon to become the head of their Design school. It was exciting times – for Victress, for the Art Center and for “design” in general.
The First Victress S4
Hugh built the first Victress S4 with stylish headrests that were “space age” all the way. We even have one photo of his S4 with a hardtop – it’s poor quality but photos of the first S4 including the “hardtop shot” are shown below.
Victress S4 Surfaces
Late last year, one of our Undiscovered Classics aficionados sent in some interesting cars that were being sold in an auction in the midwest. And what did one turn out to be? You guessed it….a Victress S4 and one that appears to have been nicely built. Hopefully the new owner of it is off and running on a restoration, but in the meantime, let’s check out the photos that were shared during the auction:
So will the folks (including myself) be excited enough to move forward on restoration plans for their Victress S4? Time will tell. In the meantime, those of you wanting to learn more about the Victress S4 can do so by clicking on the link below:
Click Here To Learn More About How The Victress S4 Came To Be
Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…
The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.
hi im Don A. I bought the S4 from mecum auction at the time no one at mecum new what it was . I am going to rebuild it put I have 2 vehicle in front of it to do first . it is a nice car I have no original in formation on this car though .glad to see you found the pic. from the auction.
Very good. The taillights were from a Willys.
The rear license plate on at least one car was set under a vac formed plexiglass window.
( not legal today )
The finished original car had padded nacelle headrests, turning indicators at the back.
No door locks but push button releases.
The original as shown in the old images outside the works was a ‘49 Ford. Bodies were molded without rear wheel well openings to allow for different wheelbase chassis to be fitted. That car sat in our parking carport parking space until 1966 sometime – then she led off as my father bought an XKE. Was restored and crumpled in a freeway crash.
Driver walked away, the frp body absorbed the impacts well. I was told there were 41 made during the Victress period. My father felt what is really needed was a modern chassis with better suspension and brakes.
mine had the head rest cut off you can still see the remains of the push but door latch on the quarter panel and in side looks like the were maybe electric . has the license plate hole were the plexiglass would go. and a Fiberglas molded interior console