The Quest for Patents – LaDawri, Venus, Glasspar, Victress, and Others…

What a Beautiful Illustration of the Venus Sports Car by Ken McLoad. Fiberglass Cars designed on the West Coast Were More Influenced by Foreign Designs While Those in the East and Mid-West/South Focused More On Detroit Designs.

Hi Gang…

How many automobile designs do you know are patented / copyrighted?  Well….if you know at least “one” then you can add a few more to your list – some of our wonderful fiberglass cars of the 1950’s.

Research points us in different ways, and during discussions with a number of the founders of these companies, I heard time and time again that they applied for patents or copyrights on their sports car design – or related product.  With a bit of research and assistance, we are starting to get copies of some of those patents – and as I mentioned yesterday with the wireframe or cutaway drawing of the Byers SR100, these patents would make nice posters for garages or offices across the USA…

Patent Pending – The LaDawri Conquest (1957)

The first patent I found was for the Les Dawes LaDawri Conquest.  The application was filed in 1957, and it’s always interesting to read the detail on the patent and the references it makes use of.  I’ve looked for more patents for other car designs by Les Dawes (Daytona, for example), but this is the only one I’ve found so far.

Ken McLoad’s Venus (1954)

The Patent for the LaDawri Conquest Was The First I Found. After I Shared it With Les Dawes Wife Joan, She Said…”Ah…Now I Remember”. (I Wonder What Other Pieces Joan Is Hiding From Me….*wink*)

Thanks to the help of Patrick McLoad, we’ve found a patent for his fathers car – the “Venus Sports Car” made in Texas in 1953/1954.  So far, two Venus cars have been found, and hopefully more will be located in the future.  Click here to learn more about the Venus and its restoration by Ken’s son Patrick.

The Victress Counterbalanced Deck Lid (1961)

Someone had to invent the first fiberglass deck lid for the Ford Ranchero and it was William “Doc” Boyce Smith and Merrill Rush Powell in the late 1950’s.  The patent was filed in 1961, but sales started before then, and Les Dawes from LaDawri Coachcraft continued making these deck lids after he bought Victress in 1961.

I’ve looked, but have not found other sports car designs patented by Victress.  That would certainly be cool if they existed for Victress owners out there.  I’d love to see a Victress S4, S1A, and maybe even the famous Victress Dragster – Hey…Bill Quirk (production manager for Victress 1952-1961)….want to file a patent for the Dragster with me???   *wink*

Glasspar Boats – But Not Cars (1959)

Several patents exist for Glasspar boats and boat related objects.  A beautiful and simple design was filed by Bill Tritt in 1959, and is included for your review.  So far, no car designs for the G2, Ascot, or Woodill have been found.

Great Detail Showing the Patent For the Victress Deck Lid. Finding Such Engineering Detail Further Illustrates The Legitimacy and Hard Work Doc Boyce-Smith, Merrill Powell, and Other Founders of Fiberglass Car Companies Approached Their Trade in the 1950’s.


For those of you wanting to join in the hunt for patents, you can do so online via google.  All patents can be researched from the comfort of your home.  Click here to visit the home page where to begin your patent search.    And be sure to let us know what you find.  So….if any of you know of patents that exist for any of our cars, send them my way and I’ll share with everyone.  Finding even “one” patent was more than I expected, so we’re already ahead of the curve, and going strong.

Hope you enjoy the images and…as always…

Glass on gang.



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