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Help with ID of fibreglass body/car


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#1 jiga

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:18

Hello. Been enjoying the stories and pictures of cars, drivers and venues - particularly from the 50's - in the short time since I joined. Thanks to all.

I'm hoping to get some help identifying this fiberglass body, and perhaps even this particular car. I was supposed to be seeing a Devin, but I'm pretty sure it's something other than that. (Rear wheel arches don't flow all the way to the back, hood area looks taller as it goes back towards firewall, other)

The story goes that it was built and raced on the West coast by a guy in the Air Force, perhaps in the '60's. He passed sometime in the late '70's, and his brother inherited the car pretty much in the condition it sits today (minus seats that a seller threw in later.) He sold to someone in the mid-to-late '80's, who quickly sold to current owner who just stored it ever since. Current owner really doesn't know much at all, just repeating the story that was passed down. ("Devin race car that built by Air Force...")

I'd love to know what it is and, with any luck, its history. I know a story, but seeing as I don't think it's even a Devin, not really sure about much at all - other than the fact that it looks pretty sweet to me.

Thanks kindly for any help

Jim

Posted Image
Posted Image
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http://www.flickr.co...57626157997913/

Edited by jiga, 17 March 2011 - 02:29.


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#2 ronmac

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:09

:cat: :cat: HI..Perhaps it may assist if you tell us in what part of the world this is ??
The west coast of New Zealand or Australia..or am I being pickey.!! As the vehicle is a left hand drive
do we presume that we are talking the U.S.A. ??

#3 Rob G

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:07

:cat: :cat: HI..Perhaps it may assist if you tell us in what part of the world this is ??
The west coast of New Zealand or Australia..or am I being pickey.!! As the vehicle is a left hand drive
do we presume that we are talking the U.S.A. ??

I'm assuming it's the US judging by the Chevy van and the Cleveland Indians T-shirt.

#4 TooTall

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:13

It looks a bit like a Victress S1, but the back looks different. Here is a good source of info on fiberglass specials.

Forgotten Fiberglass


Cheers,
Kurt O.

#5 Wirra

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:30

Perhaps a Jormar?

Edited by Wirra, 17 March 2011 - 05:54.


#6 RTH

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:26

Didn't Falcon Shells sell a body very similar to this in the early /middle 60s to special builders.

#7 Sharman

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:37

Perhaps a Jormar?

Never in this world...

#8 Roy C

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:48

Perhaps a Jormar?

I don't think it's a Jomar.


#9 RJE

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:07

Devin?

#10 jiga

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:59

apologies ronmac - car is in U.S.A. (thanks Rob G)

Too Tall - thanks for mention of Forgotten Fiberglass. Before posting I actually reached out to Geoff Hacker at the site, who agrees it's not a Devin.


Forgot to mention wheelbase is 99 inches. So far it appears to be Backyard Special. Thanks for the responses thus far and help.

Jim

#11 Stephen W

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:01

It looks more like an after-market shell to be fitted to specific chassis rather than a one-off.

:wave:

#12 Wirra

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:43

I was taking a punt based on this photo.
Posted Image

Just make sure you other half is not around when you Google "American Climax"!
http://www.vintagera...o...0&magiid=57

Edited by Wirra, 17 March 2011 - 10:41.


#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 10:52

Originally posted by Stephen W
It looks more like an after-market shell to be fitted to specific chassis rather than a one-off.


I would have to agree with this view...

The body seems very well-finished, unlike you'd find in a one-off, nicely proportioned etc.

Where is CRX Lee?

#14 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:10

It looks very much like a a Swedish "Ockelbo". In 1957 racing drivers Erik Lundgren and Lennart Gustavsson borrowed Ulf Norinder's Ferrari Mondial and made a mould from wich they started to produce glass-fibre bodies. They became popular and would fit a lot of different cars with small modifications. But I have never heard of an Ockelbo being exported to the US.
... well maybe not after all. The Ockelbo had a smoother body around the rear wheels.

Edited by Tomas Karlsson, 17 March 2011 - 11:17.


#15 Mistron

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 13:44

It is very similar to the Devin body my pal has, except the wings on his car are much more 'flowing' (more 'costin' to this cars 'Knobbly' if you see what I mean)
the boot and scuttle are similar, though the car I've seen before has twin cowls on the front scuttle rather than the single one on this car.

Whatever it is, it''s quite pretty.

Good find

#16 David McKinney

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 14:25

If you put "Devin" in google images you'll find several examples of cars very similar to the one requiring ID

#17 D-Type

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 14:35

Does the chassis offer any clues?

#18 rbm

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 17:44

I'm with RTH looks very like a Falcon mk2

Posted Image


Richard

#19 RJE

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 07:16

Please correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the Falcon shells always have doors, and were they ever done specifically with LHD. Devins were done with both these criteria.

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#20 jiga

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:01

Great thanks to all for helping figure out what this is. Looks like Devin can be ruled out. Byers CR-90 and Falcon MK2 were both suggested, and look similar in some ways to this car. But with its 99-inch wheelbase and rear-end treatment, it still seems to defy ID.

I've posted a few more pictures in hopes they provide more clues. One in particular shows distinctive hood. Some show frame - 60's GM? Seats (Jaguar?) were said to be added by seller last time it changed hands in the late 1980's. Odd that in some ways it looks pretty nicely done. Yet things like hood and trunk are just cutouts with no original structure there to support them. Perhaps it was a project that was never actually finished? (Imagine that.)

Thanks again,
Jim

link to pictures:
http://www.flickr.co...57626157997913/




#21 Wirra

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:15

I love the body language of 'the wife'... Women, they just don't get it, do they.

The rise around the steering wheel and the nose have a Monza influence and I thought it might be a Kougar Monza but the wheelbase and rear are all wrong.

Edited by Wirra, 18 March 2011 - 21:07.


#22 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:59

Posted Image

I know this won't be of any help, but shows that the Scaglietti-design was (and is) popular. This is an Ockelbo from 1957, moulded from a Ferrari Mondial and in the background a more modern kit-car, Pagano, moulded from... the Ockelbo.

#23 TooTall

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 15:30

Great thanks to all for helping figure out what this is. Looks like Devin can be ruled out. Byers CR-90 and Falcon MK2 were both suggested, and look similar in some ways to this car. But with its 99-inch wheelbase and rear-end treatment, it still seems to defy ID.

I've posted a few more pictures in hopes they provide more clues. One in particular shows distinctive hood. Some show frame - 60's GM? Seats (Jaguar?) were said to be added by seller last time it changed hands in the late 1980's. Odd that in some ways it looks pretty nicely done. Yet things like hood and trunk are just cutouts with no original structure there to support them. Perhaps it was a project that was never actually finished? (Imagine that.)

Thanks again,
Jim

link to pictures:
http://www.flickr.co...57626157997913/



I think you can rule out the Byers CR90 as that one is essentially a copy of the Devin. I know, I bought what I thought was a Devin over 20 years ago and only recently determined it was in fact a Byers.

Posted Image

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And here is what a nicely done Byers looks like. (Not mine BTW!)

Posted Image

Cheers,
Kurt O.

#24 jiga

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 20:51

I think you can rule out the Byers CR90 as that one is essentially a copy of the Devin. I know, I bought what I thought was a Devin over 20 years ago and only recently determined it was in fact a Byers.

Posted Image

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And here is what a nicely done Byers looks like. (Not mine BTW!)

Posted Image

Cheers,
Kurt O.


Thanks Kurt - looks like a cool project none the less. Curious as to what the differences are between Byers (CR90) and Devin as I've heard of a few now that had been thought to be Devins.

Take care,
Jim

#25 ronmac

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 10:34

:clap: HI..Perhaps it could be a T.N.F. Project...Maybe our T.N.F. members could make an annual contribution.and help the owner
get this racer up and running..Does the owner intend to rebuild and compete in races or hillclimbs or sprints..I wonder ?
Might go well with a Toyota or Nissen O.H.V. engine and box..
I.ve got my $50..p.a.ready..........(The Moss..2 and a half litre..sponsored by World Wide T.N.F. ) ??

#26 thunder427

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 11:03

Thanks Kurt - looks like a cool project none the less. Curious as to what the differences are between Byers (CR90) and Devin as I've heard of a few now that had been thought to be Devins.

Take care,
Jim


..and thats a pretty li'l Doretti Swallow in 'White',in the back ground, if I'm not mistaken!!!!!!!!!!!!?..................regards427/MJ :)

#27 TooTall

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 04:42

Thanks Kurt - looks like a cool project none the less. Curious as to what the differences are between Byers (CR90) and Devin as I've heard of a few now that had been thought to be Devins.

Take care,
Jim


Jim,

The Byers and Devin are very similar. I have heard that Byesr basically took a Devin body, slightly modified it and used that as a buck for his mold. The main differences seem to be in the grill opening and headlight buckets. Also, the Devins usually have one or two humps in the cowl for the dashboard whereas the Byers doesn't. Below is a photo of a Byers and a Devin from similar angles.


Posted Image
Devin-Triumph


Posted Image
Byers-MG


..and thats a pretty li'l Doretti Swallow in 'White',in the back ground, if I'm not mistaken!


Sharp eyes there mate! It is a Swallow Doretti. Unfortunately that is the good side. The car belonged to my father-in-law who used it as a daily driver in the 1970s. It was hit heavily while parked in front of their house one night. The left rear corner was essentially run over and the whole car shoved into the back of their other car, flattening the nose. My father-in-law bought the Byers body (advertised as a Devin) thinking he would mount that body to the Doretti. My wife and I inherited both pieces when he retired. I had the Byers body for 25 years stashed in a garden shed thinking all along it was a Devin. It was only about a year ago when i finished my new garage that I pulled it out and had a good look at it. It was then I noticed that it looked a bit different than a Devin. I posted some photos on Forgotten Fiberglass and the consensus seemed to be that it was a Byers. Interestingly enough, the Byers shop was in El Segundo, less than 4 miles from my house. I keep meaning to go over there and knock on the door. You never know what may be stashed in the rafters.

Cheers,

Kurt O.

#28 RCampbell

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 19:00

I found this advert in the September 1961 issue of Car and Driver. It looks to be the car -- or a twin of the car.

And a quick Google of the address in the ad indicates that a fiberglass boat manufacturing company (Fiberglass Unlimited) used to operate from the same address. Could it be that Ben Shoemaker was a boatbuilder who had ideas of producing a car?
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#29 RCampbell

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 16:31

I posted some photos of the frame on the H.A.M.B. message board, figuring that Hot Rodders would be able to identify the Ford frame on this Special. And sure enough, they narrowed the frame down to a Ford -- between 1949 and 1953. That takes the Thunderbird frame story off the table, since the T'bird was introduced in 1955.

Edited by RCampbell, 29 April 2011 - 18:11.


#30 RCampbell

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 13:33

I was able to speak with the sons of the car's builder - Ben Shoemaker - over the past week, and they provided an interesting article (from the July 1967 issue of Speed & Custom Dealer) that shows that Mr. Shoemaker's company, Fiberglass Unlimited, was a supplier of body shells for the Bobsy formula V and the SR-3 Sports Racer.

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Posted Image

#31 CRX Lee

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 05:52

Where is CRX Lee?

Hello Ray :wave: I haven't checked in much of late and posted even less.

I did see this thread in March and it sent me diving quickly for my assorted old publications on Specials. I swear it looks more than vaguely familiar from photos in old books that I have seen but I could not find it the day I went looking. It is unquestionably not a Devin, no doubt about it. I think the ID of the mystery car being the same as the Shoemaker car is spot on, those humped rear fender tops and raised nose lock it for me. I will look to see if I have any sales literature from Fiberglass Unlimited as I inherited a large file of sales brochures and letters from a number of kit car companies from my father who had great interest but sadly no money in those days. So Mr. Campbell, did you buy the car? Did the Shoemaker's sons have any idea how many bodies were made? Can't be many at all I'd think.

I completely agree with those who said that the Byers looks like a Devin. I saw that same #112 Byers MG at the Monterey Historics a few years ago and at first thought that someone had misidentified a Devin however it is indeed it's own animal.

My own Devin still sits wrapped up in a family barn 150 miles away now for 14 years awaiting restoration. Does it count as a "barn find" after all these years if I put it there?

#32 cheapracer

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:49

It's a Pit Special isn't it?

(read moneypit! :drunk: )

#33 richie

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:54

Hello. Been enjoying the stories and pictures of cars, drivers and venues - particularly from the 50's - in the short time since I joined. Thanks to all.

I'm hoping to get some help identifying this fiberglass body, and perhaps even this particular car. I was supposed to be seeing a Devin, but I'm pretty sure it's something other than that. (Rear wheel arches don't flow all the way to the back, hood area looks taller as it goes back towards firewall, other)

The story goes that it was built and raced on the West coast by a guy in the Air Force, perhaps in the '60's. He passed sometime in the late '70's, and his brother inherited the car pretty much in the condition it sits today (minus seats that a seller threw in later.) He sold to someone in the mid-to-late '80's, who quickly sold to current owner who just stored it ever since. Current owner really doesn't know much at all, just repeating the story that was passed down. ("Devin race car that built by Air Force...")

I'd love to know what it is and, with any luck, its history. I know a story, but seeing as I don't think it's even a Devin, not really sure about much at all - other than the fact that it looks pretty sweet to me.

Thanks kindly for any help

Jim

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
http://www.flickr.co...57626157997913/




All you need to know is here:
http://www.forgottenfiberglass.com/

#34 RCampbell

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 17:31

It is unquestionably not a Devin, no doubt about it. I think the ID of the mystery car being the same as the Shoemaker car is spot on, those humped rear fender tops and raised nose lock it for me. I will look to see if I have any sales literature from Fiberglass Unlimited as I inherited a large file of sales brochures and letters from a number of kit car companies from my father who had great interest but sadly no money in those days. Did the Shoemaker's sons have any idea how many bodies were made? Can't be many at all I'd think.


Keeping in mind that Ben Shoemaker's kids were ages 5 and under when the car was built and then sold -- they believe that only one car of this style was ever made. Their father, however, made a number of modifications between the time he built it (about 1958) and sold it (1961 or 1962). Some pictures have headlights, others don't -- the hood is slightly different in some of the photos -- the car had louvers (or "gills") in the old pictures. As a fiberglass guy, these would have been simple projects.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#35 biz5300

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 19:48

Posted Image

I know this won't be of any help, but shows that the Scaglietti-design was (and is) popular. This is an Ockelbo from 1957, moulded from a Ferrari Mondial and in the background a more modern kit-car, Pagano, moulded from... the Ockelbo.

This is a Ockelbo Austin Haeley 100, Mr Lundgren in Falun owns it..
N

#36 GMACKIE

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 20:38

Posted Image

Cheers,
Kurt O.

Just as a matter of interest, Kurt..........is that a Swallow Doretti, hiding behind the vacuum cleaner? :wave:

Edit; Sorry, thunder427 beat me to it.....stole my thunder, so to speak! :blush:

Edited by GMACKIE, 06 November 2011 - 20:49.


#37 Kaha

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 00:10

I love the body language of 'the wife'... Women, they just don't get it, do they.

The rise around the steering wheel and the nose have a Monza influence and I thought it might be a Kougar Monza but the wheelbase and rear are all wrong.


The original Ockelbo body was casted directly from the Norinder Ferrari Mondial.

AFAIK the current Pagano is made from the original Ocklebo moulds. Jan Warg was an Ocklebo enthusiast who eventually got his hands on the original moulds.
See Pagano homepage

#38 carlt

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 13:37

This is a really nice site - full of wonderful 50"s kit cars
http://www.1950sspecials.com/home.htm

#39 Gary Jarlson

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 17:02

Perhaps this will shed a great deal of light on the car in question:

http://www.tamsoldra...MysteryCar.html