I keep searching and searching and searching….but I’ve only ever found one ad for Sorrell Engineering – until today.
Good friend and automotive historian Alden Jewell sent me a second ad – a nice one that included a picture and more detail. So now we have two ads for Sorrell Engineering. Not many for a company which started in ’53, but let’s look at what we’ve found so far.
Ad 1: 1955 – Unknown Published Reference
This is the ad that Alden sent in to me earlier today. It shows a picture of Denny Larsen’s Streetliner Sorrell bodied car, and a statement that should have read:
“Akton Miller and Mickey Thompson Using Sorrell Bodies in 1954 Mexican Road Race”
The Mexican Road Race ended in ’54, and Alden’s ad is hand-dated ’55 – so the reference above should be correct. But we still don’t know where the ad appeared. The paper is glossy and not magazine-like, so it’s probably from a race program. Based on information on the back side of the ad, the location of the ad was in the Los Angeles, California area. Research continues to correctly identify the printed reference for this ad.
It’s also neat to see Sorrell Engineering was advertising fiberglass and aluminum bodies – Sorrell was the only fiberglass manufacturer offering bodies of both materials that we are aware of at this time.
The first Sorrell body was made of aluminum at California Metal Shaping according to a conversation in 2007 with Dick Jones (Meteor) who was a friend of Bob Sorrell. One day in ’53, Dick joined Bob and they went down to check on the progress of two Sorrell bodies being made. By ’55 and/or ’56, Bob may have had the skills to start offering aluminum bodies himself – that certainly was the case many years later.
Ad 2: Car Craft Magazine: March, 1956
The provenance of the following ad is known, and again Sorrell Engineering is offering aluminum or fiberglass bodies. Pretty impressive! In this ad he is offering additional styles with model specificity (SR-100 and SR-190) so it appears that this ad was printed after the first – as the handwritten date on Alden’s ad confirms too.
So….how many more Sorrell Engineering ads will we find?
I hope many more, and each of you can help. Check your magazines and send in the ads that you have for Sorrell Engineering and other fiberglass body manufacturers. We continue to compile these for a complete listing, and make these available to everyone here at Forgotten Fiberglass in our Vintage Fiberglass Ad Gallery.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…