Note: The next series of stories here on Forgotten Fiberglass are going to focus on the brochures and associated customer communication of the Atlas / Allied Fiber Glass Company. We’re lucky here at Forgotten Fiberglass to have become friends with Darren and Julie Crispin whose family created the “Multiplex” line of cars back at the turn of last century and resurrected the make in the ‘50s as well (some using the Atlas / Allied body).
In addition, we’ll be featuring some of the historic Atlas and Allied documents from Dennis and Brandon Kunicki (father and son) who have owned an Allied Sports Car since the early ‘60s, as well as materials from automotive historian and good friend Alden Jewell.
Thanks to each of these families and folks for their support of Forgotten Fiberglass!
More and more and more from the Allied Fiber-Glass Company. Brochures and support for making your own sports cars – that is – and boy they were busy!
Last night Bill Fester, Allied sports car owner and good friend, discussed what we knew about how these cars were built – and who built them. We’ve both talked to Bill Burke about these cars numerous times and each time Burke mentions that he was the only one who built these bodies. So far, that fits with other information we know as follows:
- Roy Kinch was a good friend of Burke’s, but wheel-chair bound. He could serve as the President of the company, but could not participate fully in laying up each fiberglass body. Burke confirmed this as well.
- Mickey Thompson was involved – but only financially – not as a participant building bodies. This was confirmed by Bill Burke too.
- Bill Burke was already full-time with Petersen Publishing. But Burke was an amazing man not only carrying on a race car building career, but a race car “driving” career simultaneously. And I thought I was busy writing stories here at Forgotten Fiberglass. I have it easy!
- According to personal correspondence on Allied stationary via Roy Kinch, we know that Allied Fiber-Glass was no longer producing bodies by the early Summer of ’55. So this means their “production run” was approximately from the Fall of ’52 to the Spring of ’55 – about 2 and ½ years.
- During an interview with Bill Burke in 2009, we estimated that he produced about 35 bodies during this time. Most were 94” wheelbase Swallow Coupes. A fewer number of 100” wheelbase coupes were built. And the smallest number was the model shown in today’s brochure: the 94” wheelbase Allied Falcon roadster.
As I’ve said time and time again….Allied Fiber-Glass and Bill Burke….one busy company and one extremely productive and super-speedy guy!
Let’s take a look at what is shared in the brochure:
The Allied Falcon Fiber-Glass Body (1953)
All Views Show Body Mounted on MG-TC Chassis
Front view shows customer’s car with stock head lights and grill of 1” aluminum squares. Chrome bar grill is also available if desired. Full hood opening hinged at front with heavy duty steel hinges is ample to accommodate most popular engines. Hood is fastened with standard automotive hood catch.
Push button doors are paneled inside with fiberglass panels and are secured by heavy duty steel hinges constructed to stand the strain of daily usage.
Rear view shows customer’s car with custom-built rear bumpers and ’49 Ford tail lights, which are furnished as stock.
Allied Fiber-Glass bodies are of light weigh, sturdy construction, non-corrosive and dent-resistant. Reduced body weight results in a lowered center of gravity and therefore increased maneuverability and speed, also less wear and tear on brakes, tires, etc. The advanced Continental Styling and the extra smooth finish make the Falcon Roadster body beautiful as well as practical.
As with every image here at Forgotten Fiberglass, use your mouse to click on the brochure image below and make it larger on your screen.
Photographs Of The Car In The Brochure:
As I said in my previous story on Allied….my favorite saying will be etched on my tombstone as follows:
“I’d rather be lucky than good”
From the archives of the Crispin family emerged 2 original black and white photos used in this brochure – high quality and 8″ x10″ in size. At least one of them was used for this brochure. Simply amazing. Each of these photos is shown below. Unfortunately the photograph showing the side profile is missing. Hopefully we will find this image in another collection over time.
As with every photo here at Forgotten Fiberglass, use your mouse to click on the photo and make it larger on your screen.
Who Owned What: When, Where, and How?
The first brochure discussed in an earlier story showed a photo of a dark colored nicely finished Allied Swallow Coupe Sports Car. This car was Bill Burke’s personal car. The light-colored Allied Swallow Coupe shown in the second brochure is a beautiful car, but with an unknown owner and builder.
But the good news about the Allied Falcon Roadster shown in this brochure is that the owner and builder is known – Bill Burke. So he built and owned about 3 of these cars – including the famous gullwing racecar he took to Bonneville. And we call these “Factory Cars.”
Information about this car has been published and here is what’s known so far. In the picture below, Burke’s Falcon roadster is shown early to mid-year of ’54. The car was painted in two shades of purple separated by a simple line – striped by no other than Von Dutch himself. This appears to be the exact picture shown in the brochure above.
The badge at the nose of the car is a “Barris” badge. Bill Burke put the Barris Crest on it because that’s where he had his Allied Falcon Roadster painted – the same place where the mold for the original Cisitalia was taken from the original Petersen car to create the model sold by Allied Fiber-Glass.
By November ’54, Burke had finished the car with a Ford Flathead V8, bucket seats, and changed the paint a bit from the previous year. The picture below shows it at the ’54 Petersen Motorama. Von Dutch added more striping at the Motorama including a rabbit on the nose of the car. Trophies on the hood were reported to be some of those won by Bill Burke at various race event in Southern California.
At least one Allied Falcon Roadster has been found, and it’s not the one shown in this story. The one that appears in the photos above is still missing – along with at least two others we have vintage photos of that were being raced on the West Coast. Lots of cars to still find gang – and many with more history than you can imagine.
Thanks again to the Crispin and Kunicki families as well as Alden Jewell for helping make this story possible. And…we’ll be on a roll for a few more stories about Allied Fiberglass and the brochures and sales papers utilized to market their cars and company in the near future.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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