Victress – Home

Victress  Manufacturing
Home  Page
1952 – 1961

This section of our website is under construction as of 10/1/2019.  We will continue adding details and features over the next few months so check back and see our progress.  And….welcome to our home page on Victress Manufacturing 🙂

Merrill Powell at the 2007 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Shown driving the 1953 Victress “Guy Mabee Special.”

First Appearance in Literature

Victress First Appeared in Literature in this Hellings Ad which was published in Motor World Magazine on July 31, 1953.  The car shown was built by Virgil Rice of Hellings Company and appeared later in the year in the 1954 (release date) movie “Johnny Dark” Starring Tony Curtis, Don Taylor and Piper Laurie.

Victress  History

Victress was started by Doc Boyce-Smith in 1952 as the “Boyce-Smith Company” with the intention of providing sports car bodies to the growing legion of you men in America who wanted to build their own car and run it or race it.  Their first car was co-designed by Doc Boyce-Smith and his close friend Hugh Jorgensen.

This car was called the Victress S1 and was an immediate success.  It was designed as an alternative to the Jaguar XK120 look, and was the first of several body styles designed by Victress from 1952 thru 1961 that kept them at the top of the list in terms of design and innovation.

In July 1953 Merrill Powell was honorably discharged from the Air Force (2 years active duty) and returned to his home in Los Angeles, California.  Merrill became an Art Center student (car design) and friends with Hugh Jorgensen – another student.   In November 1953 Merrill went to the Petersen Motorama and saw the Victress cars being built during the show.  After the show, Hugh introduced Merrill to Doc (Hugh and Doc had been fraternity brothers at UCLA).  The Victress S1 was still the only body being produced in 1953.  In late 1953 the S1 was altered and changed from a 102 inch wheelbase to the new S1A which had a wheelbase of 99 inches.  S1’s were no longer made after 1953.

On February 15, 1954 Merrill purchased 49% of the company and it was named as “Victress Manufacturing Company, Inc.”  Doc Boyce-Smith was President and Merrill Powell was Vice President.

Hugh Jorgensen started his clay mockup of the Victress S4 in late 1953 and the mold for the S4 was pulled in early 1954.  The Victress S4 started being offered in the summer of 1954.  About that same time, Hugh Jorgensen designed a European looking (with Aston Martin influeces) 116 inch wheel base roadster called the S4.  The 116 inch wheelbase was chosen so that frame modifications were minimized or eliminated in building this car.

Summer of 1955 the Victress S5 was introduced on an MG sized wheelbase and a Victress Dragster body.  In late 1955, the Victress C2 coupe (approx 94″ wheelbase) was introduced followed by the Victress C3 coupe (approx 99″ wheelbase) in 1956.

The C2 and C3 Coupes- Italian influenced and smart for their time.  Victress bodies were used by both race car drivers and sports car enthusiasts throughout the 1950’s and into the 1960’s when Victress was purchased by LaDawri Coachcraft in 1961.

Styling of Victress S1

Jantzen Diving Girl, Big Boy and Other Commercial Projects

Ask  Merrill  Powell

Click  Here  To  Post  Your  Victress  Questions  so  Merrill  Powell  Can  Answer

T-Timer’s Victress S1A at 1954 Petersen Motorama. From Left to Right: Doc Boyce-Smith, unknown, Merrill Powell.

Brochures,  Advertising  and  More



Instruction / Assembly Manuals

Patents – Coming Soon

Articles of Incorporation (2/15/1954)

Victress  Models  Offered

Click  Here  To  View  The  S1/S1A,  S4,  S5,  C2,  C3,
Dragster,  Custom  Bodies  And  More

Victress  Showcase

Click  Here  To  View  The  Victress  Showcase
Famous, Well-Built, Beautifully Restored Victress Sports Cars

Handcrafted  Cars  That  Have  Stood  The  Test  Of  Time

In  The  Press  And  On  The  Field

Vintage Articles, On The Web, In Print, Podcasts, Videos and Events/Concours Attended

2006 – Present

1953 – 2005

Victress  Stories  On  The  Undiscovered  Classics  Website

Personality  Profiles

Background  Information  and  Key  Individuals

Doc  Boyce – Smith
 History in 1940s Hot Rod Scene
Founder of Boyce-Smith Company and Victress Manufacturing

Merrill  Powell
Co-Founder of Victress Manufacturing (founded 1952)
Designer of Victress C2 and C3 Coupe
America’s First Fiberglass GT Coupe of Sports Car of Original Design

Bill Quirk
Foreman Victress Manufacturing

Mel Keys
Friend of Victress in the 1950s

Richard Russel
Victress Employee

Barry Tousley
Victress Employee

Guy  Dirkin
Saved a Famous Victress, Built a Byers Race Car, Owns A Sport Custom

Personality  Profiles
Review  All  Contributors  and  Supporters  of  Undiscovered  Classics

Victress  Communication:  Owners and Enthusiasts

Undiscovered  Classics  Facebook  Page
Visit  And  Review  Our  Day  To  Day  Activities  Here

Victress  Sports  Car  Facebook  Group
Must  Have  A  Facebook  Account  to  Join  This  Group

Victress  Registry
Coming  Soon…

Scale   Model   Victress  Cars

Click  Here  to  Learn  More

Parts  Available  For  Victress S1A

Hardtops, Doors, Hoods, Trunks, Hinges and More

E-mail For Availability

Learn  More

Welcome  To  Undiscovered  Classics
Celebrating  Postwar  Handcrafted  Automobiles

The  Emergence  Of  The  American  Postwar  Sports  Car
The Great American Car Story NEVER Told
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Program: March, 2015

Forgotten  Fiberglass
American Sports Car Specials
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Program: March, 2010