I thought I would “spice it up a bit” and start talking about some of the other fiberglass cars you may not be aware of such as the beautiful Edwards America sports car. I saw my first “America” at the 2007 Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance, and it’s striking – and powerful – in every way.
And most interestingly, friend of fiberglass Chuck Tatum worked for Stirling Edwards back in the day, and helped build the molds and some of the bodies for these very cars. Way to go Chuck! You seem to have been everywhere back then. You can see why Chuck Tatum is one of my favorite people – and one of our best sources of historical information about these cars.
Since this is our first article on the “America” let me allow the article from 1954 to give us the introduction and review.
Off we go….
Long, Low, and Lively: The Edwards America (Mechanics Today, March 1954)
The newest American sports car is a sleek-looking job.
Built to beat out European competition, it stresses the practical.
After years of experimentation, both as a designer and driver of racing cars, Sterling Edwards, California manufacturer and sportsman, has produced what is being regarded as the first practical sports car for the American market.
Dissatisfied with the lack of parts availability in emergencies of many foreign sports cars, their high original and maintenance costs, Edwards determined that practicality would be the basis of his design. The low, sleek, convertible body is mounted on a standard Ford chassis (shortened 7 inches) and powered by a Lincoln 205 HP motor, with Lincoln Hydramatic transmission.
A beautifully engineered molded fiberglass body embraces comfort features and luggage space not usually associated with sports cars. Tasteful, pleated leather upholstery, tan convertible top and glass windows which recess into the doors, insure comfort under all weather conditions.
Performance is considered exceptional in view of a power-weight ratio of under 14 pounds per horsepower (13.6) for the Edwards car.
Specifications For The Edwards Sports Convertible:
- Wheelbase: 107 inches
- Tread: 56 inches, front and rear
- Overall Length: 179 inches
- Height (top raised): 55 inches
- Weight: 2800 pounds
- Engine: Lincoln 205 horsepower
- Transmission: Lincoln Hyrdamatic
- Body: Custom designed molded fiberglass
Fewer than 10 of these cars were ever built, and all exist today. I’m happy to share that I’m working with the Edwards historian to help document and promote the history of these cars and will be honored to share more articles on Forgotten Fiberglass in the near future.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures
I was there when the Edwards America car was introduced in South San Francisco. The event was published in the local newspaper. Do you know where the 5 cars are?