1952 – 1961
This section of our website is under construction as of 10/1/2019. We will continue adding details and features over the next few months so check back and see our progress. And….welcome to our home page on Victress Manufacturing 🙂
First Appearance in Literature
Victress was started by Doc Boyce-Smith in 1952 as the “Boyce-Smith Company” with the intention of providing sports car bodies to the growing legion of you men in America who wanted to build their own car and run it or race it. Their first car was co-designed by Doc Boyce-Smith and his close friend Hugh Jorgensen.
This car was called the Victress S1 and was an immediate success. It was designed as an alternative to the Jaguar XK120 look, and was the first of several body styles designed by Victress from 1952 thru 1961 that kept them at the top of the list in terms of design and innovation.
In July 1953 Merrill Powell was honorably discharged from the Air Force (2 years active duty) and returned to his home in Los Angeles, California. Merrill became an Art Center student (car design) and friends with Hugh Jorgensen – another student. In November 1953 Merrill went to the Petersen Motorama and saw the Victress cars being built during the show. After the show, Hugh introduced Merrill to Doc (Hugh and Doc had been fraternity brothers at UCLA). The Victress S1 was still the only body being produced in 1953. In late 1953 the S1 was altered and changed from a 102 inch wheelbase to the new S1A which had a wheelbase of 99 inches. S1’s were no longer made after 1953.
On February 15, 1954 Merrill purchased 49% of the company and it was named as “Victress Manufacturing Company, Inc.” Doc Boyce-Smith was President and Merrill Powell was Vice President.
Hugh Jorgensen started his clay mockup of the Victress S4 in late 1953 and the mold for the S4 was pulled in early 1954. The Victress S4 started being offered in the summer of 1954. About that same time, Hugh Jorgensen designed a European looking (with Aston Martin influeces) 116 inch wheel base roadster called the S4. The 116 inch wheelbase was chosen so that frame modifications were minimized or eliminated in building this car.
Summer of 1955 the Victress S5 was introduced on an MG sized wheelbase and a Victress Dragster body. In late 1955, the Victress C2 coupe (approx 94″ wheelbase) was introduced followed by the Victress C3 coupe (approx 99″ wheelbase) in 1956.
The C2 and C3 Coupes- Italian influenced and smart for their time. Victress bodies were used by both race car drivers and sports car enthusiasts throughout the 1950’s and into the 1960’s when Victress was purchased by LaDawri Coachcraft in 1961.
Jantzen Diving Girl, Big Boy and Other Commercial Projects
Ask Merrill Powell
Brochures, Advertising and More
Patents – Coming Soon
Articles of Incorporation (2/15/1954)
Victress Models Offered
Click Here To View The Victress Showcase
Famous, Well-Built, Beautifully Restored Victress Sports Cars
Handcrafted Cars That Have Stood The Test Of Time
In The Press And On The Field
Vintage Articles, On The Web, In Print, Podcasts, Videos and Events/Concours Attended
Background Information and Key Individuals
Co-Founder of Victress Manufacturing (founded 1952)
Designer of Victress C2 and C3 Coupe
America’s First Fiberglass GT Coupe of Sports Car of Original Design
Foreman Victress Manufacturing
Friend of Victress in the 1950s
Saved a Famous Victress, Built a Byers Race Car, Owns A Sport Custom
Review All Contributors and Supporters of Undiscovered Classics
Victress Communication: Owners and Enthusiasts
Undiscovered Classics Facebook Page
Visit And Review Our Day To Day Activities Here
Victress Sports Car Facebook Group
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Scale Model Victress Cars
Click Here to Learn More
Parts Available For Victress S1A
Hardtops, Doors, Hoods, Trunks, Hinges and More
E-mail For Availability
Welcome To Undiscovered Classics
Celebrating Postwar Handcrafted Automobiles
The Emergence Of The American Postwar Sports Car
The Great American Car Story NEVER Told
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Program: March, 2015
American Sports Car Specials
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Program: March, 2010