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 fifth in a series that presented these cars to a ready, willing, and excited worldwide public.
Motor Trend dedicated a full page or more to each of the cars presented in this article. Today’s article is on the fifth one they presented – the Victress S1 Roadster by Doc-Boyce Smith and Hugh Jorgensen.
And away we go…
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International Success: The Victress S1 Roadster
Motor Trend, October 1953
From the Great Lakes to the Pacific to the North Sea, Fiberglass Has Become the Favorite of these Designers
Find yourself a chassis with 102 inch wheelbase and you’re all set to add a Hellings Victress body (above) and build yourself a sports car. The body shell comes with hood and deck panel for $570; add $25 each for doors. No hardware is included.
Parts require attention with a rotary saw or hacksaw plus some sanding. Metal angles, bonded into the fiberglass, attach the body to the frame. The Victress represents a most important approach to the would-be sports car owner.
The North Hollywood, California company’s contention that “a satisfactory chassis of around 1940 vintage can be purchased for about $100 can be proved by an zealous habitué of used car and junk lots. Second all-important factor for those enthusiasts with wives is that rugs will be safe from wet plaster.
This article was penned in the Fall of ’53 and would have been published at the time Merrill Powell started working with the guys at Victress. It wasn’t until the Spring of ’54 that Merrill became part owner, so this article correctly relates the relationship Virgil Rice of Hellings had with the folks of Victress – from the Summer of ’53 until early ’54 – Hellings was the exclusive dealership for Victress bodies and accessories.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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