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1955 CALIFORNIAN SPORT SPECIAL ROADSTER

$0

Details

  • $0
  • Year Built: 1955
  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Ext color: Maroon
  • Int color: Black Seats with Contrasting Maroon Piping

Touted as the new miracle material, it’s no wonder that racing enthusiasts and custom car builders were eager to develop their own car designs using fiberglass.  It was light, moldable, and creating a one-off body did not require the machinery and manufacturing requirements of steel body production.  They were usually high-performance cars with a bit of hot rod attitude.

 

Somewhat reminiscent of the more common Kaiser Darrin or Glasspar roadsters, this fiberglass creation utilized desirable speed parts that were readily available, all wrapped in a curvaceous package.  Beginning with a Ford chassis from the ‘40s, it was natural to power this car with the reliable and potent 239 cubic inch Ford flathead V8 engine, built for speed with dual Stromberg carburetors using an Offenhauser aluminum intake manifold with Offenhauser aluminum heads, which was a well-known combination among hot rodders.

 

The transmission is the Ford three-speed unit, engaged using a floor mounted shift lever.  Everything under the hood is tidy and looks period-correct.  The interior is finished with two-tone bucket seats with tasteful piping accents, black carpet, and a fiberglass dash with a great looking wood grain panel that holds the instruments, including speedometer, tach, oil pressure and temperature gauges.

 

It’s all in very nice restored condition, except the steering wheel, which shows a few minor signs of a driver holding on very tightly!  The fit and finish of the car is exceptional for early glass-bodied cars, with few of the issues that factory-built fiberglass cars generally had.  The body was likely laid up by hand, and it features many compound curves and smooth transitions that would be impossible in steel.

 

The large hood scoop is a one-piece unit integrated into the hood, and the oval grille with stainless trim is a very attractive feature.   It’s hard to miss the very cool two-piece laid back wraparound windshield with chrome surround, which is the only chrome on the car except the bumpers and wheel caps.  Period painted wire wheels with blackwall tires complete the purposeful look of the car.

 

Built in Los Angeles circa 1955, the Californian was likely just a bit too late for major success, as the Chevrolet Corvette had the advantage of financial stability, a national dealer network, and an advertising budget. 

 

If owning a period correct, handcrafted sports car sounds like fun, just think how much fun you’ll have stumping your car-guy friends trying to identify this unique roadster.

 

Unique Flathead V-8 Powered Hot Rod / Sports Car

Maroon Exterior

Black Seats with Contrasting Maroon Piping Interior

All Fiberglass Body

Ford Flathead V-8 Engine

3-Speed on the Floor

Ford Chassis

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