The quest for research and information – so long after when it happened – is both fun and challenging. Just finding the people and talking to them about events that occurred 50 years ago has its own strengths and weaknesses. But if you ask enough questions, dig into the material, cross reference what you find, peruse magazine articles and search for the best and unequivocal sources – you can find some amazing information that helps document the history of our cars in indisputable ways. That’s what happened recently when I got a call from Roger White, Curator for the Smithsonian Museum Department of Transportation.
Roger and I became acquainted when I was researching the induction of the Glasspar G2 into the Smithsonian that was coordinated by Jean Poirier, Dale Dutton, Harold Pace and other luminaries of Glasspar history. Roger and I have stayed in touch and recently he called me about an article being written concerning the Corvette – and Glasspar’s specific involvement the General Motors. I hadn’t focused on this aspect specifically yet, so off I went thru magazine articles, interviews, and phone calls to the Tritt family (Matt and Greg), Bert McNomee (US Rubber VP of Public Relations in the 1950’s), Harold Pace, and others.
I was pleased to put together a much better understanding of what happened during that time that I can share in our upcoming book, but the best resource I found came from Harold Pace. Harold turned me toward a book written by Karl Ludvigsen about the Corvette in 1978. Karl’s reputation as a researcher is stellar and he has some of the most thoroughly researched books on the market. Harold was true to his word about this being an excellent source, and what I found was the best and most complete history of the build up to Glasspar G2 cars (much has been written with questionable accuracy about Glasspar, but the best and most thorough and accurate history I’ve found is in this book and one by Daniel Spurr called “Heart of Glass”).
I’ve scanned the pages for your Glasspar aficionados out there to enjoy, and I encourage you to find a copy on ebay or your local used bookstore. It’s easy to find. The only issue concerning accuracy in the article is the reference to the Brooks Boxer being sold (or implied sold) to Naugatuk and it being turned into the Alembic I. John Knebel, one of our gang, was friends with Ken Brooks and his wife and he built his car because of the car that Ken had – for many years throughout the 1950’s.
John reported that he did not remember Ken Brooks selling his car in any way to Naugatuk or other company. In fact, both John and Ken kept their Glasspar cars throughout the 1950’s and beyond (John kept his car until 2007 or so – see the story published on our website earlier about this car – the Adkins Knebel Glasspar Special).
So…as with any research, many things get cleared up, and some new questions pop up. It’s part of the fun, but for now I thought I would share the fun of this with each of you so enjoy the article below.
Happy Holidays gang…
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