I believe we’re going to witness the second birth of this Glasspar G2 – and I hope today’s story helps bring the latest chapter of the Ron Amos Glasspar G2 to fruition.
Ron has owned this G2 since 1960. As you’ll find out from his story below, it was a dream of his to own a Glasspar since he first laid eyes on it when he was 12. He got his wish and has owned the car for 51 years. But the last 40 years or so, life has been hard on his G2 and all that remains today is the body and the wonderful memories told by Ron below.
Also, we only have pictures of what the car looks like now – and just one picture of what the car looked like after it was removed from its chassis – so I’ll sprinkle pictures throughout the story.
Ron was kind enough to write up the history of his G2 in four succinct chapters – all presented below.
So without delay, let’s ask Ron to begin.
And away we go…
Chapter 1: Ron Amos Gets His Car
In 1960, when I was 12 years old I was looking through a Road & Track magazine and came across an ad in the classified section. Here I saw a picture of an immaculate, white, completely built Glasspar G2 Sports Car. My family was heavy into race cars and racing at the time, and my Dad drove and raced a 1956 Mercedes 300SL Gull-Wing.
I took Dad’s Magazine and showed him the ad for the Glasspar, and asked him if we could go see it – and if it was any good – maybe buy it. After a great deal of begging, haggling, and dickering on my part about how I had the money to buy the car, that I could keep it up and running, and my most compelling argument – he could drive the car whenever he wanted – my Dad finally called and made arrangements to go see her.
The car was located between Hemet and Temecula CA, not too far from our home in Palm Springs, so my Dad made arrangements for us as a family to go see the car. It seemed like an eternity to get to Hemet as there were no freeways in those days. We knew the route well as this was the way we went to San Diego. It turned out that after hours of driving back roads out in the middle of nowhere, we finally came to the address and place we were looking for. It turned out to be a chicken ranch – somewhere between Hemet and Temecula.
We drove in through the big gates and up the mile long driveway to a large sprawling California ranch house where we met the owner of the ranch, his wife, and the car. We took a long walk down through the chicken coupes (long, low building maybe 100‘ long with thousands of chickens screened in with lights the full length of the coupes). When we came out from between the chicken coupes we were right in front of a conventional enclosed barn.
The owner said he kept the car inside this here barn, and he pulled the doors open for us to see. There before my eyes was the cleanest most immaculate, beautiful white sports car I had ever seen. It was the Glasspar – looking just as good in real life as it did in the ad. To be honest, I expected to see chickens roosting on and in her with chicken poop and dirt all over her. I just stood there, staring… mesmerized. I heard my dad talking with the chicken farmer but I have no recollection of what they were talking about.
The next thing I know my dad is getting into the car, starts the engine and drives away. He wasn’t gone for long before he drove back up to where we were standing, gets out of the car, hands the keys back to the owner and we walked back to the ranch house. We spent some time sitting, drinking some homemade lemonade while dad and the farmer talked. Then just as abruptly as my dad getting into the car and driving away, my dad and the farmer stand shake hands. I see my mom reaching into her purse and getting something out.
She proceeds to be involved in the conversation with the farmer and my dad for maybe 5 minutes then I see mom and dad coming back out of the house onto the porch were my sister and I were waiting. There again was some hand shaking and then dad said lets go – he told us to load up in the station wagon kids. I still am dumb founded and have no idea of what transpired. I know better than to ask question as in our household the rule of the house was that children were to be seen – not heard. Mom gets into the driver’s seat of the wagon and Dad goes back down towards the barn.
I asked mom, now that we were all alone in the car with the engine running “Where is dad going? Isn’t he coming with us?” Mom replies, “Your Dad is going to get the car.” I replied back to mom, “did we buy it?” Mom says, ”yes, and your dad has to drive it home now.” When dad drove the Glasspar up to where we were waiting for him, he waved me to come with him so I jumped out of our station wagon and ran back and jumped into the Glasspar for the long ride home. It was now dusk and the light was low. The temperature had dropped seriously. I was only wearing my summer shorts and a “T” shirt.
I had no coat or warm clothes to put on and there was no heater in the Glasspar so the trip back home was excruciatingly cold. The next morning I ran out into the driveway to look and worship the brand new Glasspar in our driveway. Dad took me for a drive that day and explained to me that because I was only 12 years old, the car would have to be licensed and insured in his name, but that this was my car and when I got to legal age, I would get my car and be able to drive it.
Chapter 2: Work Begins on the Glasspar G2 “Pixy”
During the next couple of months, dad drove the Glasspar from home to work and back each day. He and mom picked a name out for the car calling it the “Pixy” and had these letter embossed on the front grill. From then on, in our house the Glasspar was referred to as the “Pixy.” He started making drawings of changes he would like to see made to the car to make it better handling and with more power. He solicited a frame shop in Banning CA to take the straight front Ford axle out of the car, cut it in half, put two pivot points in and then re-attach the now split axle to the chassis.
He also had the rear Ford axle and shocks removed and replaced the rear end with a ‘57 Pontiac axle mounted to the existing cross leaf spring but added a double torsion bar suspension in place of the rear Ford shocks. Then he had the V8 Ford flathead (the most beautiful three carb aluminum Edelbrock intake manifold along with aluminum Edelbrock heads, hand hammered brass headers all put together with chrome acorn nuts) motor and trans removed.
He replaced it with a Pontiac 315 cubic inch V8 coupled to a manual shift, 4 speed Hydromatic transmission. This whole process took a good year to complete the work, work out the bugs and get the car back in running order. All the while Dad was driving and racing his 300 SL Gull-Wing from Palm Springs to Riverside, Del Mar, Goleta, Willow Springs, etc…in FCCA (Four Cylinder Car Club of America) events.
When the Glasspar/Pixy was finally ready, dad started driving and racing it and deciding that it was a better performer than the 300 SL and far less expensive to maintain. So he sold his 300 SL for $5,500 to some lucky soul. Dad drove and raced the Glasspar/Pixy until 1964 when he got his Devin “C” hand built by Bill Devin’s sons and myself over in Costa Mesa, California.
Chapter 3: To Be Or Not To Be – Driving the G2, That Is…
When I finally reached the age of 16, I thought dad was going to let me have my car as it was now just sitting in the side yard . Dad was now driving and racing his Devin but oh no…I could not have the Glasspar. Dad came up with the excuse that the Glasspar/Pixy was too powerful, and he didn’t want me to be driving a car on the street with a V8 in it.
So he authorized me to buy a 1958 Chevy four door Biscayne for $200 which had an inline six cylinder engine. It was owned by a little old lady down the street. Little did he know that I was going to replace the engine with a bored out 348 with progressive linkage on three duces, headers, straight through exhaust, big cheater slicks, a total weight transfer displacement racing suspension designed by me. This would transform the car into a 12 second quarter mile rocket by the following summer.
When I came home from my summer vacation from Klamath Falls Oregon where I went every year to work the hay fields to make money, I called my dad out to take a ride in the 58 Chevy. I took everything nice and slow until we got onto El Mirador Rd. in Palm Spring. I came off the stop sign at Cabaleros and nailed the throttle throwing both myself and Dad back into our seats as we crossed over the 100 MPH mark and I shut her down. At this point my dad says, “well so much for not driving the Glasspar/Pixy. I would rather have you driving it than driving this fire breathing monster. You’re going to get yourself killed.
So from this point on when the weather was good or I needed to impress someone I would drive the Glasspar. It was during my Senior year of high school that I changed the color from white to the blue you see in the pictures. I also had custom magnesium wheels made for her to fit 10” wide Goodyear Blue Streaks on the back and 8” wide Goodyear Blue Streaks on the front (these were stolen while I was in the Navy).
If you look close you can see several holes around the rear wheel opening where I had to put fender extensions to cover the tires to be able to make her street legal with the extra wide tires. I also built a new custom white Naugahyde dash with all Stewart Warner gauges, aircraft gauge lighting and a row of toggle switches that controlled every light individually – with indicator lights for each switch to let you know what was on and what was not.
Chapter 4: Saving the Legacy
I joined the U.S. Navy in May of 1969 which gave me 4 months to get my stuff in order before starting active duty in September 1969. After getting seven traffic tickets Easter week in Palm Springs, Judge Thoerow made me destroy my ‘58 Chevy.
Since the Glasspar was never transferred to my name, it was spared from the dismantlers. I parked the Glasspar in my parents back yard and left for the Navy. When I got back in September of 1973, I found the Glasspar sitting on its brake drums. The head, tail, and turn indicator lights as well as all the gauges were shot out by a BB gun or broken with rocks – compliments of my brother.
While teaching auto mechanics at Collage of the Desert, I had my students take the Glasspar apart with the intension of doing a frame up restoration but was terminated due to prop 13 before I could get started on the restoration. Since I had no place of my own to store the Glasspar and all it parts, I stored her at one of my best friends from High School (Steve Chagin) brother’s (Bruce Chagin) place in Cathedral City.
When I was finally able to gather all my stuff, I went to get the Glasspar and all its parts from Bruces Chagin, but all that was left was the body, radiator, gas tank, rear bumper and removable hard top – all of which I still have today. I also have the original hand written manual on how to assemble the Glasspar along with an original Ford parts manual to find and order all the parts needed to complete the build.
The registration is still in my dad’s name and it says the car is a 1948 Ford. I have no idea what the year of the car really is. Also the “Pixy” embossed lettering on the grill is gone. Note: no one has been able to identify the grill on this Glasspar. While bringing the Glasspar down last year from northern California, I threw a tire tread on my car trailer and it took out the windshield. I have both sides though and as they are flat glass it will be very easy to get new ones made. The rubber that fits around the windshield frame blew away so this will need to be replaced.
This is the short story of my Glasspar and me. I have very fond memories of the trips and places I drove her and she will always occupy a very large place in my heart. Selling her and having her gone will be like losing one of my children but it is time for her to find a good home where she can be restored to all her glory.
I’m sure she will make someone very happy and continue her legacy to make memories for another fortunate soul.
So…as you know by now Ron Amos has put his beloved Glasspar G2 up for sale – a car he had kept for more than 50 years in the hopes of bringing it back to its once former beauty. Ron and I wanted to share the history of this special car in the hopes that the new owner will appreciate its legacy, and perhaps light the fires of its restoration.
In the meantime, the gang here at Forgotten Fiberglass will begin looking for the original heritage of this G2 as well as the magazine ad that Ron saw when he was twelve that started this 50+ year odyssey off so long ago.
And I’m sure this is not going to be the last we’ve heard of this G2. It’s a story in the making, and the new owner will get to tell Chapter 5 of the story. And it’s THAT chapter that will be one grand story to share – here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures
I would like to contact Ron, I knew his father and mother in Palm Springs, my husband was Ron Hardin and raced with his dad in a 1956 Porsche Speedster kept it till 1994. Can you pass my email address on?
The grill looks like this 1949, 50 Nash grill on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/49-1949-50-1950-Nash-GRILL-/300456769099?pt=Vintage _Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item45f49e764b.
It is a 1949/50 full size Nash grill. The proto-type and early RHD Nash-Healeys used it, too. The 51 Nash grill is more common on Glasspars. All work well with the G2 frontal body shape.
Here’s the detail:
[url removed because of suspected malware site]
It’s still on Craigslist as of today and if you need Ron’s contact info, e-mail me 🙂
Hope this helps…
So, if the G2 is for sale, do we know what he is asking?
Hi, Ron. If the 300SL gullwing was red, had rudge wheels, and a sport cam…
I think I know who bought it. The Time fits, as does the $5500.00 price.
Let me know. Might be a coincidence, but stranger things have happened in this crazy hobby.
~ the shape of the grill surround looks much like the ’51 Nash unit as on the Ricker / Van Arsdale G2, what do you think, Geoff? sc
do i understand correctly, ? a municipal court judge has the authority to order your car destroyed? that’s a kick in the butt 🙁
The Judge vs the 58 Chevrolet: I had no idea that law was still on the books in 1969. It had been used in SoCal since WWII when the term Hot Rod came into use, Several very nice Henry bodied roadsters were broken up by court order in the 1940s. Police tried to work with wild driving kids. They even helped set up some of the first legal Drag Racing. There were a number of other laws that could be used when encountering a ‘smart ass’ driver. In LA the height of the headlights could be an issue. And plastic windshield like Devins had were not street legal. I helped a guy install a MGA windshield on a Triumph/Devin as he compiled tickets. Another friend at Art Center spent the weekend in the ‘clink’ when the told a cop he did not like the looks of a front license plate on his 55 T-bird and refused to put it back on.