As part of Forgotten Fiberglass, I’m honored to meet the most interesting people and their wonderful collections of little known – or unknown – sports cars and boulevard cruisers. One of these folks is racer and sports car enthusiast Toly Arutunoff.
Toly recently stopped by my home in Florida, and I was reminded during his visit that he had sent in pictures of a mystery sports / race car which he wanted help in identifying. While the car has remained at the top of my list in terms of determining what fiberglass sports car body might it be, so far I’ve had no luck. So…. it’s time to see what you guys think.
To jump start your investigation, here is what we think / know about the car so far.
Thoughts on the Sports Car Body:
I did some comparisons to the most likely candidate – a Meteor SR 1 – and I’ve posted pictures of a Meteor at the end of this story for comparison.
This is the closest in design but doesn’t match up in the profile line (unbroken sweep from front to rear), front grill design, or rear design of body. Yes, it might have been a starting point for the current body in terms of a “plug” which they added clay or plaster to, but if this is the case, significant changes were made across all parts of the body. It’s Meteor heritage has been long since forgotten.
I sent pictures to good fiber friend Erich Schultz and he saw some more points of note. First, Erich thinks the wheelbase is around 88”- 90”, and this is based on a comparison of the wheel size to the body. In fact, when I pulled up a picture of a Meteor SR 1 body, it was gigantic compared to size of Toly’s car so Erich is right on target with his assessment. The area in front of the windshield on a Meteor is extensively long – like most 50’s fiberglass sports cars – and that alone showed that its Meteor heritage – if it existed – was far in its distant past.
Erich also thought the grille might be from a Nash or an upside down Volvo PV544 grille shell, and that the bolt pattern on the wheels may be Volvo since they appear to be 5 on 4 and 1/2. More research needed, of course.
If it’s a production body, Erich and I both think it may be from overseas. If this is the case, we need your help from over the pond gang. Wolfgang Buchta, Rob Daniels, and Kenn Brosk – time to press you into action. We hope to hear from you – let us know your thoughts.
So now…off we go….let’s take a look at some pictures of Toly’s car.
Toly Arutunoff’s Mystery Fiberglass Sports / Race Car:
Meteor SR 1 Photos – For Comparison
I’ve included 3 photos of Dudley Cunningham’s Meteor SR 1 below, as an aid for comparison.
Toly has since sold the car and it’s off to a new owner – but the body is still in need of identification. So keep your eyes and ears open gang….and be on the lookout for the nugget of information that will solve this mystery. So many “Mysterions…” so little time…..
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures
It’s vaguely a Victress SR 4 more or less, especially at the rear, and the front treatment is similar. It’s possible that the car was modified for engine installation, or some other reason which puts it into the atmosphere of the unknown.
i didn’t think to ask, but what type of chassis does it have and do you have any idea about what year it may have been built in?
with the studebaker engine i see the wheels are probably studebaker also, ford, dodge, ply, small chrysler, studebaker, almost endless array of automobiles that used that bolt pattern. i agree on the grille possibly volvo, the nash might be lots more narrow. i’m getting old and memory takes a little prodding at times, but something looks familiar on the rear of the car. i’ll keep thinking on this.
the doors were ducttaped on when i got it–little more than a barely driveable shell. can’t remember where i got ’em…really a neat neat car.
Interesting Studebaker WhoDunit Geoff.
I’ve no clue but , I EMailed info to a prominent Studebaker guy to see if he can help.
The builder must have gotten a quantity deal on the external hinges !
Michael Hammer, Armand Hammer’s grandson, has the car now, and sez it had a Chevy rear axle in it (weren’t the Stude axles a bit weak)? He put on Pontiac finned brakes and those heavy wheels from the early ’60s and cut the windshield off. I’d found him a 4barrel manifold, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he put a smallblock Chev in it. The car had no emergency brake so if it was in o/d it would just roll away when I left it!
The windshield is the rear window from a Lowey Studebakes coupe. Several have been used on glass cars and Bill Tritt even used them on Glasspar boats.
The Studebaker V-8 came out in 1951. They are a close copy of a Cadillac 331. Stude V-8s were 232 cid. In 1955 were 259 cid. And the Avanti era ones were 289 cid. The 1949 Cadillac had 4 center bolts on the valve covers – a one year only thing copied by Studebaker.
Hi Jose…Studebaker engine.
What engine is in it?