Rick D’Louhy and I collect all types of vintage literature in the hopes of finding “gems” which can yield history on cars and or match cars we’ve found with history they are missing. All of this keeps us in “research mode” nearly all the time.
Today’s story is on a sport custom that appears in an early show – the International Motor Show at the D.C. National Guard Armory in Washington D.C. – held in late November, 1951.
The first postwar car show that focused on customs and sports cars in a big way was out west in 1948, and it was called the “Hot Rod Exposition.” Interestingly, it too was held at a National Guard Armory. So to see a show of this caliber “back east” as early as 1951 is quite significant to highlighting early east coast customs and sports cars.
So let’s take a look at an interesting sport custom car highlighted in the program. A car built by Glenn Stauffer of Scranton, Pennslyvania.
Glenn Stauffer’s Sport Custom
Front view shows a strange radiator design with an engine of 235 inches built around a 3/4 racing camshaft, dual manifolds, and distributors. Body by Ray Stauffer of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
With lines showing radical departure from the original, this custom car by Glenn Stauffer of Scranton, Pennsylvania, is one of the prize winning cars of the show. Built on a Chevrolet Power Glide chassis, it shows a decided likeness to the $250,000 General Motor’s sports car of the future, Le Sabre.
Additional Information Found on Kustomrama:
A quick survey on the internet finds another reference to Glenn’s car on good friend Sondre Kvipt website – Kustomrama. On this website they feature several more photos and reference the similarity of some of the features to the 1951 GM LeSabre show car. Here’s what is shared on Kustomrama:
1949 Chevrolet Convertible Sport Custom owned by Glenn Stauffer of West Pittson, Pennsylvania. Glenn’s Chevrolet had a rear end restyling very similar to the 1951 GM LeSabre Concept Car. The rear fenders were stretched and featured fins with backup lights, turn signal lights and stop lights integrated into them. A LeSabre type vent was also formed in the rear deck. The split-windshield was replaced by a one-piece glass.
The grille and doors were redesigned. The redesigned front looks very much like am early 1950s Kaiser. Once the bodywork was done the car was painted red and upholstered in a matching button-tufted white-trimmed terra cotta leather interior (Trend Book 105: Restyle Your Car).
Click here to visit this page on Kustomrama.
It’s interesting when you consider the year of the show and the year of the car. The donor car is a 1949 Chevrolet. And for the car to be exhibited in a show in late 1951 they had to get started building it when it was barely a year old. Not something we would think, typically, today.
Part of the story we don’t know at this time is if the car was a donor car because it was damaged or simply…just a year old. Back then, it wasn’t unusual to have a fairly new car customized and….there were several cars that were known to have been driven brand new off the dealer lot and right into the customizing body shop during this era. It was truly a different time in America.
So where is this car today? I could find no other mention of this on the internet but perhaps someone up in the north-central area of Pennsylvania might be able to locate the Stauffer family. And who knows….perhaps uncover another great sport custom built in the GM LeSabre style. How cool would that be???
Yours For Longer Hoods…
* Click on the following link to view all stories on: Glenn Stauffer’s Sport Custom