Oh for the cars that almost were – or just might have been.
Woody Woodill was a man of great determination. His initial car had been launched as a modified Glasspar G2 body in November 1952 at the Petersen Motorama. His updated “Series 2” Wildfire designed by Bill Tritt (under guidance from Woodill) debuted in the summer of 1953. And here it was, 1956 and sales were on the decline. I’m sure he thought to himself:
“Gotta spruce it up a bit, Woody.”
And that’s just what he did. He added a new car to the lineup – the Woodill Wildfire Fastback Coupe.
Today’s article introduces you to the Woodill Wildfire Fastback Coupe that was launched in early 1956. And by the way….this would NOT be the last fiberglass car launched by Woodill. More about that in future articles.
New Wildfire Hardtop Sports Car (Motor Life, February 1956):
By James Richards
“Latest addition to the Wildfire line of fiberglass cars being built by the Woodill Motor Company of Downey, California is this “fast-back” coupe. Somewhat along the lines of the Italian school of design, the coupe was conceived and built to meet the growing demands for a complete weatherproof car.
With sliding glass windows, the hardtop costs only $250 more than its roadster cousin. Taking a short spin in the coupe, I found there was ample headroom and an abundance of luggage space behind the seat. In fact, a couple of small children could easily ride back there with the simple addition of suitable padding for their comfort, an asset which many a small car owner wishes he had in other makes of sports cars.”
Thoughts On The Article:
Those of you astute Wildfire fans will note the striking similarity of the older roadster to the newer coupe. That’s interesting to me, because by 1956, styling had significantly changed in the sports car realm, and the new Wildfire Fastback Coupe had a nice, but dated style – it was conceived back in 1953.
The new design in 1956 was a healthy addition to the Wildfire line, but probably too little, too late. And….to our collective knowledge with the Wildfire experts on our website (Ted and Greg Griffin, Frank Cornell, Glenn Brummer, Dick Foster, and now…Stan Fowler), only one coupe was ever built – and that coupe was never…. seen…… again.
Perhaps one of you with a bit of energy and initiative might talk Dave Perry of Old School Restorations in Alabama out of the Woodill Wildfire body/car he has in hopes of re-creating a coupe. You would have one special car, and be the envy of Woodill Wildfire owners worldwide (that group is now over 30 members, gang) 😀
So…..off you go and those of you brave enough – go forth and seek the lost Wildfire coupe. Or if you’re even more brave….create one of your own. You’ll have a special place in the fiberglass hearts of all of us out there in the fiberglass sports car kingdom.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures