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History Curious....When were fiberglass frontends first used?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by RoadFarmer, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. IMG_2242.JPG Had someone say fiberglass frontends are not period correct. Made me wonder...anyone know when they were first used?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  2. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,675

    Larry T

    1963 - Look at the door.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    mad mikey, LOU WELLS and RoadFarmer like this.
  3. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,046


    My dad was making glass front ends for 55 Chevies in the early 60's. We had the mold when I was a kid.
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  4. I'd guess 63 or 64, that's when I remember 'glass featured in magazines.
    The flip top front end? Later, 66 or so I'm guessing.
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  5. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,299


    As a complete front end, or just parts?
    Studebaker/Packard had fiberglass hoods for sure in 1958. I think they might have started that in 57.
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,372


    Now that your question has been answered, the smartasses can chime in.

  7. but Jimbo - isn't that a fiberglass - body ?
    squirrel likes this.
  8. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,675

    Larry T

    Not really smartass when you're pointing out that the technology was there in 1953, or before.
  9. Had a one piece glass front on a Henry J I helped build during the winter of 64/65.

  10. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,855

    Atwater Mike

    Liked the post from Jim. ('Squirrel')
    'Glass has been available for longer than some are aware of: We on the west coast remember Cal Automotive, (the 'first'...) but there were a few others that were producing fenders, hoods, doors and complete one piece front ends, prior to the popular ads.
    There was more early entrepreneurism happening in the mid-to-late 'fifties that didn't get mainstream than got 'noticed'!
    The speed secrets at the drags were the 'closely guarded' ones...
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  11. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,405


    I ran a fiberglass hood on my '55 gasser in '64. It was a Cal Auto part. Lots of fiberglass on the west coast starting in the early '60s. Definitely period correct for a '60 style gasser.
    RoadFarmer likes this.
  12. Charlie Hill was making fiberglass ,55 chevy front ends in 62-63 right here in central PA. And of course , Willys pieces and noses too!
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  13. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here...Did the guy that told you this have these wheels on his "gasser"?
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  14. Latigo
    Joined: Mar 24, 2014
    Posts: 610


    My 55 about 1967. One piece front hinged.

    Attached Files:

  15. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    from Chino, Ca

    It has a fiberglass front end:p:D
    LOST ANGEL and kidcampbell71 like this.
  16. Well . . . since it looks like you have a '327' in that car - guess the glass front end is pretty close to being correct for your period - early 60's for sure. Screw that guy . . .
  17. Even Ford had a fiberglass front end on the Thunderbolts. HRP
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,869


    I always forget the name (big name in 'glass) of the guy who was doing Ford fenders and such in 57-8. He grew big really fast, and there was a recent TRJ retrospective on them. The real question is when did it get popular, no? Was it Gibbons? Somebody here will toss it right out. I also believe that Ford had 'glass parts on the 63 lightweight Galaxies too.

    Quick edit: Wescott, 1954.
  19. 392Roadster
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 117

    from Long Beach

    "Plaza Glass" did the Ford lightweight fiberglass. Fiberglass was a product of WWII and was available about 1949ish..... gives you a start date.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,924

    from oregon

  21. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,747

    from Berry, AL

    Don't forget Henry's soybean car from about 1941. Not really fiberglass, but not steel, either....

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