Note: This is the first part of a two part story concerning the history of Plasticar’s Marquis. Click here for the other part of this story
Editor’s Note: In honor of my recent trip – and new friends made in Pennsylvania….let’s discuss a fibercar from Pennsylvania today 🙂 The car featured here is the Marquis by Plasticar of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Shown is the aluminum version, but plastic versions of the car were touted as “soon being on their way…” Introduced in late ’53, it would have been one of the earliest fiberglass sports car coupes ever built.
As you read today’s story and part 2 which I’ll publish soon, you’ll soon learn why the fiberglass version of this car has been lost to time – or perhaps not lost at all.
So many fiber-mysteries to solve…so little time…..
Off we go!
Plasticar Inc., of Doylestown, Pennsylvania burst forth on the fiberglass sports car scene in late ’53 with the following statement shown proudly on the front of their multi-page brochure:
“Presenting The World’s First Rear Engine Plastic Sports Car”
In this large-format 8 and 1/2 by 11 inch brochure, they introduced two cars that met this criteria: their sporty roadster called “The Rogue” and the stylish and elegant coupe called “The Marquis.” Click here to review an earlier story posted here on Forgotten Fiberglass concerning Plasticar’s Rogue.
They attribution above was right on for their Rogue, but not exactly accurate concerning the Marquis. Before digging into the history, let’s take a look at the relevant parts of their ’53 brochure having to do with the “Marquis.”
As with every story here at Forgotten Fiberglass, use your mouse to click on any picture below and it will become much larger on your screen.
Plasticar Brochure: Cover
Here the Marquis is shown handsomely on the first page of this large format 8 and ½ by 11 inch brochure. No doubt, this was going to be the model they would promote and sell. It was their “lead” car.
Page 1: The Marquis
The world-famous Renault 4CV engine and chassis combine with the finest American craftsmanship to create the Marquis – the world’s first rear engine sports car with a custom-built aluminum body which has been designed for reproduction in fiberglass (metal body available to order for European reproduction.)
Clean, dynamic lines – utilizing the best Foreign and American design principles – give unparalleled grace and lithe new beauty to the American sports car scene. The thoroughbred performance of a true sports car – road-hugging roadability…quick, easy steering…instantly responsive power to match speeds with the most expensive cars – are just part of the thrill of owning a Marquis.
Yet the price is only a trifle above the most popular “standard” American passenger cars.
Page 2: The Marquis…Fashioned for Elegance, Economy, and Speed
For body styling that signifies the ultimate in international dignity, the Marquis offers that continental “look” with full sports car performance. All-weather comfort is provided by its hardtop body at present available on special order in aluminum and later reproduced in fiberglass reinforced plastic body.
The performance-proved Renault “750” engine mounted in the rear makes possible an extremely high degree of roadability without need for a space-consuming drive shaft tunnel running down the center.
Spare wheel and tire, as well as the battery, mounted under the hood leave ample room for luggage and tools. Equipped with two conventional racing type bucket seats, the Marquis further will accommodate jump seats or additional luggage in the rear.
Accessories include all those you would expect to find on a well-equipped modern sports car as exemplified by: an instrument panel that includes a speedometer, a tachometer, fuel, temperature, and oil gauges; sealed beam headlights with dimmer; and self-cancelling turn signals.
Page 3: The Renault 4CV Chassis…Trophy Winner ‘Round The World
Page 4: Specifications For Engine, Chassis, and Optional Equipment
So far we have found at least two Plasticar Rogue sports cars, but where are the Marquis sports cars? You ask very good questions gang 🙂 More on the history of the “Mystery Marquis” by Plasticar in a future story here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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