For those of you who have been a part of LaDawri.com and Forgotten Fiberglass these past many years you have witnessed an evolution. We started our focus on just one marque with Jon Greuel’s website on LaDawri sports cars. This began long before I started working with Jon. By the time I got to know him around 2006, he had already expanded his website to other cars such as the Grantham Stardust – a car on which Jon and I later worked together to write the history and save.
In the past 18 months, several of us have been looking at the underlying nature of the cars we like – the limited production, coachbuilt, hand-built, hand-crafted cars of the 1950s. The folks who have been noodling this issue the past year include (in alphabetical order): Mark Brinker, Guy Dirkin, Rick D’Louhy, Ken Gross, Rik Hoving, Rollie Langston, Tony Miller, Raffi Minasian, Harold Pace, Dan Palatnik, Paul Sable, Erich Schultz, Jim Simpson, Daniel Strohl, Jim Walker, and others.
I thank each of these folks for helping in numerous late night and early morning sessions on working out some of our understanding on the definitions and commonalities of these types of cars. Henceforth, our “Forgotten Fiberglass” cars fall into a broader classification that spans from the 1930s through the 1960s of Handcrafted cars that were conceived, designed, and built by talented individuals who worked on their own or in small shops across America.
These types of cars were not made by major manufacturers but by smaller enterprises across the country. And…any materials could be used to construct these cars which include steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and other material. As such, Handcrafted cars can be classified in some of the same ways as manufacturers classify their cars which include:
- Concept Cars
- Sports Cars
- Economy Cars
But also include classes of cars not regularly associated with major manufacturers which are:
- Custom Cars
- Hot Rods
- Sport Custom cars
- Race Cars
Milwaukee Masterpiece: August 24-25, 2013
I’m pleased to announce our first “showing” of cars that comprise this “Handcrafted” classification. When you visit the website for the Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours d’Elegance you’ll find the following description of their event:
“Handcrafted specials have been around for nearly as long as our beloved automobile. Talented designers and fabricators in the pre and postwar era were conceiving, designing, building, driving, and in some cases racing their own inspired creations to the beat of their own drummer. Visually, many of these cars would take your breath away. Others might just make you ‘gasp.’ At the 2013 Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours D’Elegance, we’ll be looking at some of the best postwar Handcrafted Specials. The class exhibits include: Sports Customs, Sports Cars, Hot Rods, and Custom cars.”
While most of cars in our Forgotten Fiberglass website would be classified as handcrafted or limited production sports cars, some might be a part of the other classes of cars depending on how they were styled and engineered. So I encourage each of you to consider two issues:
- First, please join us at this wonderful event on the shores of Lake Michigan on August 24 and 25
- Second, we encourage you to consider bringing your rare, coveted, newly classified “Handcrafted” fiberglass sports car (or built from aluminum or steel) by clicking on the link below and following the directions on how to apply for participation.
Click here to visit the Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours d’Elegance website
So come one, come all and please join us this August in Milwaukee. We’re still in the process of selecting cars for the event and welcome your application for your Handcrafted car to participate and be featured. This is the first time that some of these cars will be seen on the field in public for over 50 years – a special time for the owners and the attendees of the concours as well.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
I love it – Milwaukee leading the way with a new classic car class. Soon we will see this class at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island and The Quail!
~ haven’t those classes already become semi-mainstream? or well on their way, (due mostly to Geoff’s diligence). the inclusion at American concours events of these and similar cars is such a positive sign as i see it. they have been overlooked for so long and neglected in garages and barns, fields and yards around the country. it is high time the recognition comes to them,