The research we do here at Forgotten Fiberglass is certainly a collaborative effort. Recently, I saw a comment posted on our website that accompanied the following story on the CRV sports car (click here to review the story)
The comment was from Steve Tuttle and in it he shared the following:
“I Worked on CRV at Jentzen Miller Co and still have press pack.”
Harold Pace, superb historian and photojournalist, volunteered to follow-up with this post and soon met with Steve and reviewed some of the history concerning the development of the CRV sports car. And what a great opportunity it was for Harold to visit with one of the original folks who worked on this first car and built one of the neatest original designs for a sports car that we saw in the 1960s.
Steve was kind enough to pass on the press pack and publicity photos to Harold who also shared them with us today. All of these photos are new to me, and having the captions describing each of the photos is a fantastic fiberglass find. Resident CRV historian Nick Whitlow (click here to visit Nick’s website on the CRV) was familiar with some of the photos but the captions were new to him too.
Let’s check out the publicity photos and captions below. And remember…click on any image below to make it appear larger on your screen.
What strikes me about the content of the publicity photos is the professionalism and quality of the job they were completing. The CRV sports car – known at this early stage as the “Cycolac ABS Research Vehicle” – was being tooled as a high quality automobile. The design of the body and the production of the cars looks top notch, and I know I would have been excited to see such an operation if I would have had the chance back in the day.
I noticed that one of the photo captions discussed the car was being readied for presentation at the 1965 Society of Automotive Engineers meeting in Detroit, Michigan. What a great thing it would be to find some of the photos from this event, and the documents that may have been shared during this meeting about this car and this project. Nick (Whitlow)….have you ever found anything from this show and event? If so, I’d love to share them here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
Finally, some of you may have noticed that the photos are numbered from 4 through 13. So I guess our research is not complete. We appear to be missing the first 3 photos and captions and perhaps some that came after #13. A quick check on the internet shows no presence of the “Holtzman-Kain Advertising Agency,” so…we’ll have to let luck play a hand again in our research. As I’ve always said, I’d rather be lucky than good 🙂
Much thanks goes to Steve Tuttle for contacting us and sharing his memories, photos, and press release packet. And…great thanks goes to Harold Pace and Nick Whitlow – both great friends who help us in every way document and share stories of these special cars whenever the need has arisen.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
Great story and photos.
Bruce Meyers also tried to vacuum form dune buggy bodies.
These are photos from a set of about 100 that documented “The CRV Story” that I have had the luck of acquiring. It included shots of the design being drawn, modeled in clay, molds being made, body parts being formed, and the car being assembled. The car was built to be displayed at the 1965 SAE show in Detroit. The car was a huge hit which drove the decision for Marbon to make a second car, the CRV-II. Centaur Engineering was tasked to have it done by the Mid-Ohio sports car race in June or July of 1965. The car was completed on time and did very well in SCCA racing that season. The CRV was powered by a water cooled Alpine engine but the CRV-II had Corvair power. Most of the suspension was based on Triumph Herald pieces. I have some photos of the CRV at the SAE event that I will send to Geoff to post.
Great article and photos. The finished car is a little reminiscent of the Goggomobil Dart.
How many of you guys had a vac-u-form kit when you were kids , you could take a hood or other model car part , place in your vac-u-form oven with a thin sheet of plastic and in a few minutes you had a new hood .
I never realized as a kid we were using the same process as the CRV people. very cool!
Geoff, just in case you’re not aware of it (I doubt you’re not!), the Detroit Institute of Arts may have a file on this bit of history, at least I’d sure hope they do, having the SAE shows in their front yard at Cobo Hall in Det. all these years. So suggest you contact them, and if you’ve never been there, you might find it fascinating. As Detroit is bankrupt, there is the threat that the DIA might be sold off to pay city debt and pensions, so it might behoove someone to inquire soon about info like this.
Another thought: have you ever thought of including in FF an article of the history of the plastic engine developed by Matty Holzberg, and the engine research done by Ford? I was around this when I was working for Dupont Engineering Plastics in Troy, Mich, and heard a lot about this but knew from the get go that his engine would never be a high volume commercial success due to the long cycle production process and cost of materials. Anyway, just a thought – oops, here comes another one: Have you ever done an article on the Brutsch fiberglass cars done in England? If not, it’s a fascinating story of a design with a really weird rubber suspension, similar to the Mini’s Moulton rubber ball suspension. I talked a few yrs ago with an Englishman who had a car and was trying to restore it, but other than giving him some ideas on how do fix it, I was never able to get to the UK and look him up. Keep on doing your great research!
Ken Nelson – Sr. Technical Development Consultant, Retired – Dupont. I brought the Porsche 911 injection-molded glass-reinforced nylon intake manifolds to Detroit mfrs in early ’80s when I came across them in our Geneva office, but Detroit was too engrossed in itself to see that Europe was 10+ yrs ahead of Detroit in the application of high strength plastic composites for cost and weight savings. The Porsche nylon manifold was in production in 1972, and Detroit only saw the light, at GM, in ’93 on one of their cars (if memory serves..), with Dupont engineers’ help. Now of course, a great many engines employ nylon intake manifolds (after a few misdirections), and the advantages are considerable over aluminum.