Jan Burnett Baker is the proud owner of this Glasspar G2, a car that has been in her family since her brother Mike and their father Ed built it in 1957. It is shown here with Jan and longtime family friend, Dan Stowell.
The story of this outstanding example of the Glasspar G2 began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when 17-year-old Mike approached his father with the idea of building a sports car. Ed agreed, and they began by ordering the G2 body from Bill Tritt. It is one of the rare bodies that were designed to accept the Nash grille, and only two of these are known to exist today.
Mike and Ed acquired a 1941 Ford to use as a donor car for the frame and running gear and searched the local salvage yards to find a 1954 Oldsmobile engine and transmission and a perfect Nash grille. They painted the car a ’54 Oldsmobile Metallic Blue and installed pleated and rolled upholstery. Dan Stowell was one of Mike’s close friends and was a frequent visitor to the Burnett garage during the car’s construction.
Mike drove the car during his four years at Oklahoma State University. He also entered it in the local car shows and drag races. Toward the end of his college days, he switched to a 283-cubic-inch Chevy. After his graduation, he left the car in Tulsa and moved to Detroit to take a job as an engineer with one of the big three automakers. It was there that he lost his life in a tragic accident in 1963.
As a tribute to Mike, his father continued to work on the car for the next 17 years. He reregistered the car using the nickname that he and Mike had given it: “Burnetti,” a combination of the Burnett name and the name of the Italian sports car, the Masaratti. He even replaced the original Glasspar serial plate with one that says, “Burnetti No. 1.” During this time, he installed an almost-new 1969 327 Chevy V-8 and Powergilde transmission, a late-model Ford rear end, and the Corvair bumpers that you see in the photographs.
After Ed Burnett passed away, Mike’s mother, Ruth Burnett, kept the car. She loved to drive it and was a frequent participant in local parades. She finally moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to be close to her daughter Jan and her family. Jan inherited the car a few years ago and continued to drive a few miles a year around Kalamazoo.
When Jan’s job required relocation to the Boston area, she did not have an easy way to move the Burnetti. She contacted Dan Stowell who arranged to move the car to his home in Connecticut. He garaged the car for over a year, and although the original paint and interior were in perfect condition, the car did need some maintenance. Dan managed many needed repairs and added front-wheel disk brakes to the car. The pictures show Dan and Jan the day he finally delivered the Burnetti to Jan’s home in Groton, MA.
As you can tell, this car has a very special meaning to Jan Baker, her family, and Dan Stowell. It holds many fond memories for them as well as being a fun car to drive. Jan says that the Burnetti will always be her family car, and it rightfully gets raves whenever she takes it out for a spin.