This is our fifth in a series of “spotlights” on sections of a Buyer’s Guide for fiberglass sports cars published by Car Craft in March, 1956. Click on the link below to review all fiberglass cars discussed in this 1956 Buyer’s Guide as of today:
Today’s article focuses on the Victress S4 Sports Car designed by Hugh Jorgensen and debuted in 1954 in North Hollywood, California.
Background: Victress S4 Sports Cars
The S4 sports car was a bold move for Victress.
Hugh Jorgensen and Doc Boyce-Smith put their heads together and wanted to throw gas on the flames of building your own sports car. But what to do next? Was it a design change that was needed? A new type of car? They already “owned the market” with the wildly successful Victress S1 body. Introduced in 1952, it was already known for being used on the “World’s Fastest Sports Car” when the Guy Mabee Special set an over 200mph record at Bonneville in August of 1953.
What’s a company to do?
Why change the game, of course!!!
Doc Boyce-Smith challenged Hugh Jorgensen to design something that could fit on an unmodified frame from the 1940’s through 1950’s. If a customer didn’t have to modify, cut, and lower the frame….the entire process of building your own sports car might be more tenable – and reach thousands more people. In fact, in all Victress S4 advertising, the following point was made (and this appears in the Buyer’s Guide below too):
This body is designed to fit any stock Ford chassis from 1939 to 1955 and will also fit other make cars of comparable wheelbase.
Doc Boyce-Smith was a visionary in more ways than people know.
Marketing The Victress S4 Sports Car:
So…in 1954 the Victress S4 was launched. It was the lead car on Victress’ 1954 Brochure and more than one article appeared about the launching of this car and how to build one yourself. In 1955, Doc even put out two publications by Victress showcasing how to build a frame for your sports car and how to build a sports car from the ground up. Both featured Victress S4 sports cars.
So how many Victress S4’s were built?
Merrill Powell and Bill Quirk recall not many – perhaps 25 bodies which included 1 or 2 cars (Hugh Jorgensen built these or had them built for him). And today, a handful of these cars survive – along with 2 steam powered Victress S4’s – more about those in a future story.
So…enjoy this segment of Car Craft’s 1956 Fiberglass Buyers Guide and be on the lookout for the next Victress S4 hiding out there. Just a few have been found, and your efforts could make you the next lucky owner. And…..you’d make Doc Boyce-Smith and Hugh Jorgensen very proud.
Go get ‘em gang!
Car Craft (March 1956): The Victress S4 Sports Car
|Car Craft (March 1956)
Victress S4 Sports Car
|Tread – Front
|Overall Height at Cowl
|Overall Height with Top
|Body Kit Semi-Complete
|Body Kit Including Hardware
|This body is designed to fit any stock Ford chassis from 1939 to 1955 and will also fit other make cars of comparable wheelbase.
|For additional information and prices, write:
|Victress Manufacturing Company
11823 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CaliforniaPoplar 5-5339
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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