Register now to get rid of these ads!

History vintage fiberglass...drag style

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by brandon, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,187


    who all were the major players in the glass body parts back in the day...? after posting on the awb thread , it got me thinking....who all made parts and where have all the old glass parts gone? a few years back , i was looking for a long nose 66/67 nova front (jungle jim style) ...surely, some of this stuff survived. post up some manufacturers and what nots.
  2. Most of the glass companies from the 60's are long gone. The few that are still in business include VFN in Addison, IL. Hairy Glass and US Body Source in Florida and my old company Rod 'n Race which is the old Anderson Industries (Ai Fiberglass) now located in Hagerstown, MD.
    Many of the old companies seemed to have problems with fire! Several in Ohio and Michigan burned to the ground and were never reopened.
    Items like the extended Nova front end were done with very lightweight splash molds, and were not ment for more than a few parts. Many of those were cut up and sent to the land fill. We did one off parts for customers who paid for the mold and took it with them when they picked up their stuff.
    The ones that I can recall that are gone include Cal Auto, Fiberglass Trends, Contemporary Fiberglass, A&A Fiberglass, Byrd Industries, East Coast Fiberglass, Kellison Industries.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  3. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,966

    Shifty Shifterton

    Old thin raceweight fiberglass is not the most durable thing and even if you could find it, getting it back to useable condition is probably comparable labor to making a brand new piece.

    Anybody with a few buckets of chemicals, some textile rolls, and basic knowledge of glass can open a fiberglass shop. It's not an industry that requires huge infrastructure so the shops tend to be fly-by-night.

    Plus there's the whole aspect of becoming allergic. Many shops have been closed because the owner was the primary labor/expertise and became allergic to his product.
  4. Don Kirby was pretty well known out here in so cal back in the day. He was a boat guy first, but had his little funny car shop on Clark Street in Bellflower, in the same complex as the old California Custom Roadster shop, in the 70's and maybe into the early 80's.
    I got a call one night to meet at his shop the next evening for some glass work. There were a handful of us glass guys there from various boat shops, some I knew other I didn't, but Kirby had a client that wanted a Mercedes flopper body so he rented one from avis and we popped a quickie mold off the car over night. He removed all the clay, replaced the emblems and returned the car a day or two later.

    I caught up with him in the 90's at Warlock boats where he ran the glass dept and I was a rigger. He died of diabetes. If I remember right he was on the cover of Hot Rod, or one of the Drag magazines back then too. He had that issue cover framed on his office wall.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,937

    Larry T

    Harwood still makes a glass nose for Chevy II. Not stretched though.
    Larry T
  6. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,187


    one of his vettes...:D after receiving a new owner...:rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

  7. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,986


  8. I just remembered another old company that was mostly in the Funny Car body business. Ron Pellegrini ran Fiberglass LTD for many years, in Oaklawn, IL. Ron also was connected with Tommy Ivo's Showboat and the Ford Super Mustang.
  9. [​IMG]
    This was an Anderson Ind. bought in the 60s by me. It has been crashed but apparently is fixable athough a new body has been installed. The new owner offered it to me but wanted one of my secret cams in return. Since i dont have any left and cant justify having another group made. (I have to get 3 made to make it econmical) I let it pass. Pistonbroke would know who has it.
    As for "Lightweight early fiberglass" This was early but not what we would call light weight. It was quite thick especially at corners and such and cowl area. That is probably why it more or less survived the crash at Cayuga a couple of years ago just after it was purchased. I paid $237 for it at Belleville Hi Performance in the late sixties. It cost almost the same for trucking.
  10. gregshemi
    Joined: Sep 30, 2009
    Posts: 3

    from PA

    This was an old Cal Auto body that was originally built around 1969 that we semi restored and put back on the track a few years ago.
    I think Cal Auto has been gone for 35 years though.

    Attached Files:

  11. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,217

    Da Tinman


    The alturd we run has a vintage glass body of unknown origin. Based on the number of paintjobs its had I figure its 200 years old or better. I counted 8 colors when I made the last repairs.

    More pics here>>

    For the record,,, working with vintage glass sucks ass. Countless repairs, paint build up and being soaked in any number of fluids for 20-30 years takes a big toll on them.

    Most if not all the repairs are improperly done, then when it cracks they improperly repair right over it agian.

    One vintage funny car body I worked with had 2x4s screwed to the body from wheel opening to wheel opening, then glassed over. The t body had places around the wheel opening that were over 1" thick.

    Cutting one of these old bodies is sometimes a new form of itch the likes you have never felt. After years of doing glass repair I'm used to the itch and doesnt bother me much, but cutting through a smorgasboard of bad repairs and kitty hair will yeild a hybrid of sorts that will make you itch to your soul. (This is a good time to take off all your clothes and roll around on the wifes side of the bed. (Not that I would do sucha thing)):D
  12. 0ldracer
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 450



    Hill-Zartman Enterprises in Hanover, Pa. was another of the early fiberglass manufacturers. Charlie Hill and Pork Zartman were the principals and also the owner and driver of the Filthy Forty Willys.

    The business was started in 1961 and existed until about 1966 or 1967 when in order to stay in the business, expansion into complete bodies for Funny cars was required. They made small body parts for Willys, Anglia, Chevys, Studebakers, Austins and other gasser style cars until they closed. Some of the molds are rumored to still be around in somebodys attic in Hanover, Pa.?? Light weight flimsy stuff.

    The hood, grille section, front fenders, doors, and seats on this car are all the original Hill-Zartman pieces from 1962.

  13. FunnyCar65
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,040

    from Colorado

    Plaza Fiberglass was another company.
  14. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,187


    bttt....anyone else

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.