Note: This is a multi-part story on the advertising, flyers, and brochures put out by Hellings in support of Victress sales. These primarily occurred when Hellings was the exclusive distributor for Victress in ’53 and early to mid ’54.
Vergil Rice and Hellings Company was ready to help you build an American sports car back in ’53 with every available bit of information, supplies, and product possible. All you needed to do is belly up to the bar, gather enough courage, imagination, and enthusiasm and begin your project step by step.
The Hellings Company was the exclusive distributor of Victress sports car bodies in ’53 and thru early to mid ’54. The first advertising for Victress bodies sold by Hellings appeared in the following magazines:
- July 31st, 1953: Motor World (shown below)
- August 28th, 1953: Motor World
- October 1953: Motor Trend
We’ve been reviewing what Vergil Rice and Hellings Company created in support of the exciting new “build your own American sports car” phenomenon sweeping the country. That is, if you wanted to drive an American sports car – you had to build one. And Hellings Company was there to make it happen for everyone who wanted to drive an American sports car.
Let’s see how:
Hellings Company Manufacturers (Letter)
11423 Vanowen Street, North Hollywood, California
Letter (envelope) Postmarked / Dated: July 31st, 1953
Stamped August 3rd, 1953
The HELLlNGS COMPANY takes pleasure in offering to the public for the first time — the all new VICTRESS SPORT CAR BODY. We think it is certainly one of the most beautiful and up to date designs that has been offered anywhere in the world.
Our main objective has been to make it possible for the average sport car enthusiast to build his own sport car for around $1000.00. In other words a satisfactory chassis of around 1940 vintage can be purchased for about $100.00 and added to the price of a VICTRESS sport car body means that for an investment of about $800.00 you are in business and you have the basic components required for your nifty sport car you have been wanting to build.
Listed below are the answers to your most important questions—
Body and panels (hood, deck, doors) are of laminated fiberglass and are approximately 3/16″ thick. All parts are untrimmed. There is about 1 1/2″ of flash to be trimmed off which is easily done with a hack-saw or rotary saw plus a little sanding.
Metal angles are already bonded into the body itself which provides means for attaching body to chassis. The body fits over the frame and not on the frame which means that the body is not dependent on any certain shape or contour of the frame rails.
The body is made for 102″ wheelbase but one inch either way seems to work out very well. This is a shell – no structure is included.
No hardware is included. Some builders may prefer to make their own or it may be purchased from us. Prices on the hardware are not yet available as they are now in the process of fabrication. Available will be hinges for doors, rear deck and hood.
Also grills, grill frames, windshield brackets, bumpers and latches. More information of these items will be available shortly.
$570.00 VICTRESS kit:
- This includes the body shell, hood panel, rear deck panel, but no door panels.
$595.00 VICTRESS kit:
- Same as above but includes one door (specify which side wanted).
$620.00 VICTRESS kit:
- Same as item #1 but includes two door panels. Cutouts in the body have been made and are ready for hinging. Same applies to item #2 which has only one door cutout.
ALL PRICES ARE F.O.B. NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIF.
Crating and freight are extra.
ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO THE 100% EXCISE TAX – (plus sales tax if in Calif.).
FIBERGLASS CONSTRUCTION KITS:
$15.00 This kit contains all necessary cloth, mat, resin and instructions for bonding in clips, hinges etc. A must if you are going to fabricate your own car.
$200.00 with order – Balance before shipment – Freight collect. All Cashiers checks (no personal checks accepted) made payable to the Hellings Co. please.
The following picture was inserted with the letter. Let’s have a look:
It’s also possible that some of the other Hellings Company Victress flyers shown in earlier stories here at Forgotten Fiberglass were included with letters such as this. It would just make good business sense to do so.
We’ll feature more of the Hellings Company legacy with Victress here at Forgotten Fiberglass in the near future.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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