Motor Trend Magazine was so impressed by the success of fiberglass sports cars and the excitement over them that by late ’53 they featured a 6 page article featuring 7 different fiberglass cars you could purchase or build yourself. They opened the article with the following introduction:
“Fiberglass, until so few months ago big news merely because it existed at all, has now obviously made the grade. On these pages, Motor Trend brings you the latest designs in this versatile material.”
Today’s article is the fourth in a series that presented these cars to a ready, willing, and excited worldwide public.
Click here to review all articles in this series
Motor Trend dedicated a full page or more to each of the cars presented in this article. Today’s article is on the fourth one they presented – the Maverick Sportster by Sterling Gladwin.
And away we go…
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International Success: The Maverick Sportster
Motor Trend, October 1953
From the Great Lakes to the Pacific to the North Sea, Fiberglass Has Become the Favorite of these Designers
Impressive is the word for the long, boat-tailed monster known as the Maverick.
Presumably the name refers to an “independent individual” rather than the dictionary’s first listing (“an unmarked calf”). Be that as it may, the car shown is number one of the Los Altos, California cars, and its awkard features, by and large, are scheduled for discontinuance in production models.
The standard cars will have hoods, doors and rear decks will be available to those who want them. A top will open from either side.
However distinguished certain components of different cars may be, they seem to take on a sort of Irish stew effect when they are all used at once. The Maverick’s LaSalle grille is beautiful; so are its Lincoln lights. Together they detract from its sweeping lines.
It sounds like the author of this article – Pete Molson – was not entirely impressed by the initial prototype of the Maverick. Apart from his thoughts on styling, he’s right on some accounts. The first Maverick did not have a hood, and the louvered area on the top of each front fender was actually a panel that lifted off and gave you access to the engine area. This was not the best design, and this was corrected on all subsequent models with a normal hood.
We’ve found Mavericks and pictures of vintage ones with at least a passenger door, so Sterling Maverick was headed in the right direction with hoods and doors – as the author indicated. I’m not sure, however, what changes Pete Molson meant concerning the “rear deck”. We’ve never found pictures of – or a Maverick with a trunk or rumble seat – which I think would be too cool!
The Maverick debuted in late ’52 and Sterling Gladwin produced at least 7 Sportsters in a 3-5 year period. We’ve found 3 of them so far – four more to go! Which one of you will find the next Maverick Sportster?
We’ll race for “pinks” if you find one 😉
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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How it was back then – New 1957 Thunderbirds and 140 Jaguars were about $4,000.
A 1959 Olds 88 post 2 door was about $2,000. New Pickups were under $2,000 with all the extras! So does that mean today fiberglass bodies would sell in the 10 to 15 K range?