The Bangert Manta Ray – Limited Only By The Builder’s Imagination: Motor Life, July 1955

Hi Gang…

Here’s another great article on a special car introduced in ’55 by Noel Bangert (Marshall), and what’s interesting about this car is how flexible Noel saw that the design could be.  In this article, Noel put together six sketches to show interested buyers how the car could be modified to the owners liking.  A very cool idea indeed!

Let’s see how this concept sounded when “pen was put to paper” and the proposal reviewed by a major automotive magazine – Motor Life – in this case – for today’s article.

Off we go….

Design For Custom Styling
Motor Life, July 1955

A Good-Looking Body Shell Has Been Created In Fiberglass To Form The Basis For Further Personalized Treatment 

The most refreshing designs in cars are those that come from custom builders.  The very nature of their operation enables them to put new ideas on the road long before a major manufacturer’s complex machinery can be readied for production of even the most limited character.  An interesting twist to this procedure is currently being applied by Bangert Enterprises, Hollywood, California.  The firm is turning out fiberglass bodies, one of which can be seen in the large photograph at the right. 

The chief difference, however, lies in the fact that the body is so fashioned that it is easily adaptable to further personalized treatment by individual owners who yearn to incorporate their ideas in grille, line or trim.  In order to get some idea of the variations possible, a half-dozen sketches, shown on these pages, were prepared.  They can be considered as nothing more than a starting point.  There is, quite literally, no limit to the alternations in final themes that can be achieved.

It should be emphasized, however, that such finishing touches are not provided in so many forms by the firm, which deals only in two basic “kits” at present.  These consist of the body molded to accept either a stock Corvette windshield or a competition type of screen.  The firewall comes with both.

Price of the body shell itself is relatively inexpensive ($495), and it can be obtained with a frame suited to Ford running gear.  For those who prefer to supply their own, anything in the 96 to 104 inch wheelbase bracket can be used.  Engine compartment is spacious enough to handle the largest of Detroit production types. Cadillacs, for instance, have been installed successfully.  For shorter wheelbases, such as the MG, sectioning of the body is possible.

Weight of the shell is approximately 125 pounds, including structural reinforcements and mounting brackets.  The car pictured at the right, with a Cadillac engine and on a 100 inch wheelbase has a dry weight of some 2000 pounds.

Let’s have a look at the sketches that Noel put together for this article….

Bangert Manta Ray Concept Sketches for Enthusiastic Owners To Consider:


Of the three models of cars Bangert built, Noel built about 15-20 Manta Rays which is the design shown here.  Less than six Manta Rays have been found to date, and still missing is the car shown in the photograph in this article.  This same car appeared at the Petersen Motorama in late ’55 and would be an excellent find for any of our car hunting aficionados out there.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

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