Sports Car Engineering's founder, Warren
Goodwin (b. 1921-d.
1968), was born Sept. 6, 1921 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to George and
Goodwin. The 1930 US Census lists him in Milwaukee at 389 45th St.,
Wisconsin. His 42-yo British-born father being a production manager at
bakery, his 48-yo mother a German immigrant. The 1940 US Census lists
Waukesha, Wisconsin as an “inmate” in the Wisconsin Industrial School
His 1942 draft card lists a Los Angeles address, his employer, Jay
His hometown newspaper, the Kenosha News
published a small
article in its August 10, 1966 edition that coincided with the release
new Valkyrie kit car:
“Bud Goodwin, a native of Milwaukee and a
until 1939 when he moved to California.”
The 1952 election rolls for Los Angeles
1683, lists Warren and his wife Gwendolyn D. Goodwin at 808 ¾ N.
Los Angeles, California. The 1954 election rolls for Los Angeles
precinct 1683, lists Warren and his wife Gwendolyn D. Goodwin at 808 ¼
Detroit St., Los Angeles, California. The 1956 election rolls for Los
County, precinct 1844, lists Warren and his wife Gwendolyn D. Goodwin
Walnut Dr., Los Angeles, California.
Post War, Goodwin became involved with the
Southern California racing scene, which by the early 1950s was
imported British, German and Italian automobiles. In 1955 Goodwin built
racecar using a Mistral Fiberglas body constructed by British-based
The car was not only attractive but competitive and in 1956 he licensed
began offering it through his Los Angeles-based Sports Car Engineering,
was incorporated with the California Secretary of State on September
11, 1957. It’s unclear whether the company simply
acted as a sales agent for
Microplas or actually had a set of molds from which it produced bodies
however he renamed it the ‘Spyder’.
The Spyder was available in
two sizes; for wheelbases
of 84-94 inches the cost was $295, the wheelbases of 94 to 102, the
priced at $345. Sports Car Engineering also offered their own
wheelbase tube-frame chassis, one of the street and one for the track,
latter priced at $495.
Several road racing specials of the time
bore SCE bodies, one
Austin Healey-based “Spyder” was featured in Elvis Presley’s “Spinout”;
second, the Frank Arciero Special, won numerous races for Dan Gurney,
Bondurant, Bob Drake and Skip Hudson.
By 1958 Goodwin introduced two new models,
the “Tornado” and
the “Hurricane” the latter closely resembled the Bangert Manta Ray,
used, according to Noel Bangert, without his knowledge.
The April, 1958 issue of Motor Life included
a brief review
of SCE’s new Hurricane and older Spyder “bolt-on” sports car bodies:
“A New Bolt On Sports Car Body
“One of the newest bolt-on body kits to be
sports car enthusiast is the Hurricane, a neat streamlined design
built by Sports Car Engineering, Inc., of Los Angeles. Clean and
distinctive in appearance, the Hurricane is the culmination of about 10
of close association to racing and the sports car field by Bud Goodwin,
enthusiastic president of the above firm.
“Knowing that backyard car builders often
have a difficult
time assembling their kits, Goodwin with his molded fiberglass bodies
up with a design that is unique in that reinforced struts in the form
is laminated into the body and is an integral part of the shell.
“With this tubing left longer than
necessary, it can be cut
and then welded to the customer’s chassis, regardless of what make or
is. Detachable bodies can be easily made by fixing flat plates
ends of the body tubing; these plates can then be bolted to the chassis.
“This simplifies the formerly complicated
process of body
mounting. Besides the new Hurricane, which is available in both
two and four
passenger sizes, this firm offers a Spyder with slightly different
rugged box section chassis completely assembled for street use, and a
chassis for racing.
“They also built many fiberglass
bucket seats, headrests, air scoops, and the like. The firm also
new plant in Mexico. The address: Florencia 57, Mexico City DF.
“Caption: Tubular struts are used
effectively to reinforce
this highly adaptable fiberglass sports car body. Not a knocked-down
rugged box section chassis is completely assembled, ready to be used
of the body styles offered. Ideal for street use, it includes frame,
suspension components, all steering components (from steering box out
wheels), rear axle, springs and wheels. Low price is attractive.”
In 1958 Goodwin sold Sports Car Engineering,
and the rights
to their line of Fiberglas bodies to Du Crest Fiberglass, a large Los
Angeles-based manufacturer of glass fiber products. On an April 1958
trip to Mexico, US Immigration & Naturalization Service recorded
home address as Hollywood, California.
Goodwin’s business activities during the
next several years
are currently unknown, however, it is assumed he moved to San Francisco
sometime around 1960 after which he began manufacturing Fiberglas
repair panels in partnership with John E. Hebler under the Fiberfab Co.
moniker. Goodwin provided the hutzpah and ideas while Hebler handled
mold-making and production work. Sometime prior to 1965 Goodwin met his
wife, Jamaica Karen Ellwood, eventually making her an employee at the
which was relocated to 1870 W. Bayshore Rd., East Palo Alto, about 30
south of central San Francisco. A September 14, 1967 United Press
news release stating:
“Goodwin is a former racing driver who
sports car bodies in Los Angeles. About seven years ago he joined the
Ellwood in a small San Francisco shop which eventually was moved to
Fiberfab’s listing in the 1964-65 Palo Alto
“Fiberfab Co. (John E. Hebler, Warren
Auto Parts Mfrs., 1870 W. Bayshore Rd (East Palo Alto)
“Warren Goodwin (Jamaica), Fiberfab Co.,
1777 Woodland, Palo
“John E. Hebler (Elvia) (Fiberfab Co) 2192
Lincoln Ave (East
The firm and its officers were not included
in the 1963 nor the
1966 Palo Alto directories.
The firm’s main line was fiberglass Corvette
for 1954 to current model Corvettes. They also offered the “Shark”
end, a Fiberglas shell which could be used to update older cars with
generation’s “Sting Ray” look, at a cost of $200. Display ads from that
“Custom & standard repair parts for
Corvette, T-Bird and
Another early offering was the Fiberfab E/T,
a slant-nosed fiberglass
front end for the 1964-1966 Mustang that was reminiscent of the
Mustang concept. Two versions were offered, the Street E/T, a standard
type with a rear-hinged hood. Installation required cutting the inner
supports and fabrication of a shorter radiator core support which
use of a shorter radiator in order to handle the sloping nose. As with
fiberglass body panels, a great deal of massaging was required to get
fenders to mate with the front edge of the stock Mustang doors. The
model, the forward-tilting (gasser style) Competition E/T, had its hood
nose molded together, which required additional modifications such as
of the stock inner fenders and mounting large hinges to the radiator
support. Options included hood scoops similar to those found on a 1968
and cowl-induction. Approximately 50 kits were built in 67-68 (Mustang
report that 13 original E/Ts remain plus a few reproductions made by
Inc. of Addison, IL).
In 1965 Goodwin and Hebler relocated the
firm to larger
quarters at 140 Commercial St, Sunnyvale, California, 8 miles southeast
their East Palo Alto plant. The Aztec, the first of what would become a
line of VW-based kits cars debuted that year.
Noel Johnson, an early Fiberfab employee and
plant manager and part-owner, stated that the success of the Devin
Goodwin’s decision to introduce Fiberfab’s first kit car, the Aztec.
liked the Devin, (named for Bill Devin, its designer/builder) but was
dissatisfied with the amount of work required to build it, and thought
was a better way.
All of his ideas culminated in the Aztec,
the first Fiberfab
kit car to be produced in quantity. Introduced in 1964, it’s oft-stated
Aztec was based upon the 1964 Ford GT prototype. In a roundabout way
true, however its original inspiration was the Lola
Lola GT), a very limited production (3 examples) mid-engined
V8-powered experimental grand touring car which
debuted at Silverstone in May of
1963. Designed by Eric Broadly and constructed by Lola Cars
Huntingdon, England, the Lola Mk6 served as the basis for the Ford GT,
was also designed by Broadly, hence the similarity in the general
all three vehicles.
In the April, 1965 issue of Road &
Track, Charles W.
Hamilton wrote a small article detailing the firm’s first car, the
coupe notable for its cheapness and ease of construction:
“Aztec: A Volkswagen with a bolt-on body.
And, like most
do-it-yourself projects, it can be a distinctive special or a mistake
“The immediate reaction to Fiberfab’s
is disbelief. ‘You
start with a Volkswagen?’
“Bud Goodwin, of Fiberfab in Sunnyvale,
Calif., started with
VW components and came out with a low, lean, hungry-looking special.
styling is distinctive, but not far-out. It should wear well.
“Basically, what Fiberfab has for sale is
the Standard Aztec
kit for $795. This includes the Aztec body, frame rails, wheel well
headlight inserts, hinges for top, front inner panels and firewall, two
fiberglass bucket seats, dashboard, rear bulkhead (to seal the cockpit
engine room), rear body hangers and body floor panels.
“With complete candor Goodwin will tell
that the finished car will run about $1250, exclusive of what the
into the VW chassis and running gear. The price of a wrecked VW chassis
vary widely, of course, and may be as a low as a couple of hundred
one in rather poor condition. But Goodwin’s figure of $1250 isn’t a
the top pf his head. He has a complete breakdown on the car we reviewed
chart) showing that he has less than $1500 in the completed vehicle.
“Naturally this figure can be shaved by
those with ready
access to parts and a little ingenuity. For those who desire, a
upholstery kit is sold by Fiberfab for $100.
“Goodwin doesn’t seem to be happy to just
sell a body and
let the customer swim by himself. Rather than to expect his customers
fiberglass experts and capable of laminating piece A to bulkhead B,
no fiberglass experience is necessary. The number of modifications to
VW platform are zero. No shopping, hacking or welding. Most of the work
involves drilling holes and bolting. In fact, even the hole drilling is
a minimum. And to further illustrate his point, Goodwin claims the only
required for assembly are a screwdriver, drill and hand wrenches.
“The approach is simplicity itself. After
the standard VW
body has been removed, the platform is stiffened and the Aztec bolted
place. As with any special, and the Aztec is no exception, the final
work is most important. This doesn’t call for cubic dollar, but time,
and ingenuity. And these are the basic ingredients the customers must
they are to come out with a first class job. Without this approach no
planning on the part of Fiberfab, or any other special component
will raise a special above the level of a mistake on four wheels.
“Goodwin estimates that his Aztec weighs
of 1300 lb. wet. A standard VW sedan weighs 1631 dry. The wheelbase
the standard VW dimensions of 94.5 in. The over-all length is 153. From
platform to the top of the cockpit is a scant 36 in. The overall height
Aztec is variable, depending on the amount of decambering done in the
rear end and
what adjustments are made to the front torsion bars. On the Aztec we
measured 41 in. Now that’s not really low enough to stumble over, but
A display ad in a 1966 issue of Car &
“FIBERFAB manufactures a complete line of
panels for Corvette. These one-piece panels are easy to use and are
in the most commonly used major and minor repair sections. Save time
In addition to the fiberglass auto bodies shown above, Fiberfab builds
Centurion body for Corvette and the Aztec I Convertible body for
For complete information on bodies, repair parts and accessories, SEND
FOR THE NEW 1966 BROCHURE. Division of Velocidad, Inc. 140 Commercial,
Fiberfab assembled an Aztec at Los Angeles’
Motorama Auto Show – an event which was detailed in a one-page ad in
“Instant Aztec (or how to make a 36 hp
weakling into a tiger
in five hours)
“At the Winternational Motorama Auto Show
Fiberfab of Sunnyvale, California proved to thousands of people just
it is to build a car using their fiberglass sports car body, the Aztec.
“The car was built using what Fiberfab
Aztec body, including seats, frame rails to stiffen the Volkswagen
rear hangers to allow the tail to tilt back for engine access.
“The Aztec body itself is a sleek GT body
with a spoiler and
comes with a variety of door treatments such as gull-wing or tilt-cab.
used in the show is identical to one Fiberfab sells except that it was
pre-painted because of fire regulations. Openings such as headlights
tail-lights were also precut because of possible dust.
“The process of “drive the Volkswagen in,
drive the Aztec
out” took five hours and fourteen minutes – including coffee breaks.
“Four men worked on the car and only in
lifting the heavy
Volkswagen body off was additional muscle power used.
“Used in the conversion were a number of
accessories which are available to the Aztec purchaser. This included
like fiberglass luggage compartment and ready-to-put-in upholstery kit.
“During the five hours, the old body was
removed and the
Aztec body was bolted in place. The gas tank was mounted. The car was
with headlights and taillights in and instruments working. By the time
was through, the car was completely upholstered.
“Fiberfab doesn’t say that everyone who
one of their
bodies can do it this quickly. But they do maintain that their
conversion is one of the quickest and easiest ways to jazz up a
the Los Angeles Motorama, they proved it.
“FIBERFAB Division of Velocidad, 140
Soon after Fiberfab Co. was acquired by a
shell corporation named Velocidad, Inc., after which it became known as
Fiberfab div. of Velocidad Inc., Los Angeles, California. Its officers
follows: Jamaica K. Goodwin, president; Warren “Bud” Goodwin,
and John E. Hebler, Secretary-Treasurer/plant manager. A 1966 newspaper
stated the Goodwins owned 60% of the firm.
Although the Aztec was a success, Goodwin
wasn’t content to
rest on his laurels and in late 1965 introduced the Aztec II (aka
Azteca), an upgraded
Aztec I that was clearly borrowing some styling clues directly from the
such as its longer nose, Kamm tail and integrated rear spoiler.
A front-engined Fiberfab offering debuted
around the same
time which was initially called the “Banshee”, but during its early
the name was changed to “Caribee.” Several reasons have been offered as
– one claims that Goodwin sold the Banshee trademark to General Motors
planning on using it on the car that became the Firebird, the original
being shelved when Pontiac brass discovered that in Scottish folklore a
“Banshee” announced an impending death. However evidence is currently
for the GM story, and its equally possible that Goodwin just liked the
better. Like many of Fiberfab’s early cars, the Banshee/Caribee was
and mocked-up by brothers Russell and Chris Beebe* who also were in
creating the engineering drawings and scale models required for
master from which the molds were constructed. In a 2014 blog post on
Trailer Chris Beebe recalled:
“My bro and I worked at F-Fab in the
late 60’s, and
Bro designed this Caribee (Banchee) for Bud Goodwin, but the mold-maker
up the mold to suit his flavours (ruined it in our view) and was fired.
Jamaican was designed, model made and mold made by my bro and myself,
design was maintained, turned out the way we wanted.”
(*The Beebes were associated with
Brooks Stevens at
one time and are still active in their related fields. Russell is a
wood sculptor in the Pacific Northwest and Chris, longtime owner of
Specialists in Madison, Wisconsin, is often featured in articles
Cycle World/Road & Track’s Peter Egan.)
Goodwin had divorced his first wife
Gwendolyn (the mother of
his two sons, David and Daniel Brian Goodwin) sometime in the early
’60s and on
July 3, 1965 married his longtime girlfriend and co-worker, 26-yo Iowan
Jamaica Karen Ellwood (b. July 3 1939 – d. Sept. 13, 1967), in Las
Nevada. The Goodwins received a US Trademark for the firm name
Inc., d.b.a. Fiberfab, Sunnyvale, Calif.” in 1966. An article on the
the couple appeared in the October, 1966 issue of Car & Driver
“Breaking the Mold - do-it-yourself
fiberglass doesn't have
to be traumatic — by John Joss (pp35)
“Fiberfab's Bud Goodwin is an amiable
“Bud Goodwin and wife Jamaica (above)
discuss a design with
artist Russ Beebe. (caption)
“Making a mold (upper right) and pulling
master shells is a
time-consuming, tricky process. (caption)
“Customer drops by (right) with
Aztec. Underneath are VW chassis and Corvair engine. (caption)
“One fiberglass-body manufacturer seems to
be avoiding the
pitfalls that swallowed up its fly-by-night competitors, Fiberfab is
to doing it right the first time, and the results are impressive.
“The promise was always the same. All you
had to do was
strip off that rusted body and bedeck your old chassis with svelte
few hours’ works, and voila! - a new car
as wildly distinctive as a Scaglietti or
a Saoutchik … the American Dream of adulation from friends and females.
the “good old days” (still not completely over), the heady dream used
anything from minutes to hours before fading away. Save the money
spending on psychotherapy since that last traumatic experience. There
is a way
to get that suave body without transfusing massive sums into a hopeless
cause; without a lifetime of drudgery in a cold garage. The way is
charted by a group of small companies around the nation, probably the
best-known of which is Fiberfab, in Sunnyvale, California.
“The Fiberfab people don't talk too much
about it, but one
gets the strong impression that there must have been a cataclysmic
back there in the past. Otherwise they would have fallen into the same
traps. First, they picked for their initial project a chassis that is
availability globally, with parts and service to match — the
Fortuitously, the VW sedan – debumpered and decambered to within an
inch of its
pan, with over-tired, reversed rims and open pipes – seems to be taking
California, at least from the ’57 Chevy and ’51 Ford as THE set of
“Then Fiberfab arranged it so that just
about all the non-VW
parts necessary to complete a car would be available with the body
items like trim, seats, side windows, minor hardware — and if not, the
could be obtained from the bin of any Chevrolet dealer. The first
bodies, the Aztec I and II, take a Sting Ray windshield complete with
sealing strip and chrome trim, Sting Ray tail lights, and the recessed
license-plate holder from the same car. And in complete contrast to the
old days,” Fiberfab bodies are fitted to their chassis by simple hand
knowledge of fiberglass is necessary.
“The concept established by Fiberfab with
the Aztec I and
later extended to the Aztec II and Caribee (nee Banshee) is simply that
dreaming aesthete can afford to ignore the stern realities of mating
chassis with a new body. That exotic fiberglass shape that seems so
in the advertisement is totally useless and impractical unless it can
on a chassis; unless real live humans can enter, sit in and see out of
unless it can be wired and trimmed, driven and serviced, licensed and
And if anything resembling broad public appeal is to be generated,
necessities must be available not merely to experienced mechanics with
money and specialized tools.
“The key Fiberfab gimmick is inner
prebonded to the
outer shell. This integral structure of outer shell and inner paneling
into place and bolts to the chassis before anything else is done.
“The flip-cab Aztec I which made its debut
in late 1964,
displayed these advantages, even though it was an ugly little dear by
standards. As a result, and in spite of its less-than-inspiring lines,
than 200 were molded and delivered for VW chassis, using VW, Porsche
Corvair engines, with bigger brakes (usually Porsche) fitted to those
which larger engines were used. The Aztec I showed the acres of
that you could actually un-bolt the VW sedan body, stiffen the chassis
longitudinal members, and then bolt on the body through the same holes
originally held Wolfsburg sheet metal.
“The Aztec II was introduced in the fall
with a very fashionable Kamm-type tail. A longer nose of much improved
compliments the slightly raised and rounded roof line and curved
windows that raise and lower replaced the earlier fore-and-aft sliders
reminiscent of the more backward British sports cars. The flip-cab
Aztec I and
earlier Aztec IIs has now given way exclusively to gull-wing doors. The
rounded and lengthened tail accommodates Corvair engines and mufflers
the necessity of paring away any of the shell, and the molded-in
compartment behind the seats improves the practicality of the car
significantly. Some 300 of the new-series bodies were shipped in the
months of 1966.
“With the latest Caribee, Fiberfab
the other basic
premise adopted with the first Aztec. For the Caribee, not one but
well-known and widely available chassis were selected, sufficiently
major dimensions that a single outer shell would fit. They are the
Triumph TR-series, and the Austin-Healey 6-cylinder series, which lie
numbers in wrecking yards across the country.
“A notable factor that separates the silk
purses from the
sow's ears in the fiberglass body business has to do with the width and
precision of the door, hood and trunk reentrant sections. It is simply
enough to provide a two-dimensional opening with a two-dimensional door
into it; the opening must have full re-entrant sections to permit
weather-sealing and drain holes, not to mention space for service
doors themselves are useless without that essential third dimension to
strength and provide for the incorporation of glass, hinges and locks.
important but often neglected aspects, in marked contrast to many of
earlier fiberglass-shell peddlers who tried to convince their customers
frameless cutout and flimsy two-dimensional door molding that merely
hole could be hung and made to do an effective job.
“Who are the people at Fiberfab who have
made all this
happen? As co-founders, the trio of Bud and Jamaica Goodwin and John
make an unlikely aggregation.
“Colin Chapman and Carroll Shelby at their
learn a little from Bud Goodwin. A small, round man with a short, sharp
Bud drives himself and Fiberfab along with the gusto of a genial Simon
Bud’s approach to cars, based on years with sprint cars, specials and
USAC indoctrination, is blasphemous and pragmatic. His tolerance for
or ingenuous (albeit paying) customer is nonexistent. His attitude
or imagined pomposity is almost refreshing in its deflationary zeal –
styling Center, Proving Ground, and Executive Dining Room, Bud made a
wearing the same open-necked sports shirt, slacks and rubber-soled
shoes that he wears in the shop. To hell with Detroit VPs.
“Jamaica Goodwin, wife, office manager, PR
accountant, purchasing agent, advertising writer and artist presides
imperiously in the “front office” - a smoky turmoil of photo- and
bulletin boards, vendors, hip-deep paperwork, customers, a Dachshund
underfoot, and, on one wall, a Hogarthian rendering of Custer’s last
Indians in VW’s, shooting arrows through the sunroof.
“John Hebler – mold-maker and shop manager
to fade away into the ‘glass-coated shop floor in self-effacement. But
experience and knowledge of what can and cannot be done with ‘glass is
profound. And his no nonsense drive to create and build molds and
shells remains the productive strength on which the business entity of
“The essential fact emphasized repeatedly
and in the promotional and assembly brochures published by the
fiberglass body molder is that the ultimate car cannot exceed in
satisfaction the detailed attention of the builder and willingness to
pains with the job. This rule applies with absolute impartiality to
builder in the world, whether he is putting together one car or a
thousands. By minimizing the historical sources of frustration and
inherent in the downright implausibility of many of the earlier bodies
to a gullible public, Fiberfab has done yeoman service. They have, in
made it possible for the enthusiast to concentrate his time and money
they count most – on detailed finishing, trimming, wheels/ tires, body
instruments, steering wheel. The mechanical side can be ignored or
will. Although there are still a few snake-oil merchants around, there
real excuses for a ‘bad experience’ by the informed and aware buyer.
who remember the ‘good old days’ of the fiberglass body shell, these
massive strides indeed.”
Originally located at 140 Commercial St,
California, Fiberfab moved to much larger quarters located at 2365
St., Santa Clara, California, in 1967 and shortly thereafter its sales
topped $1,000,000 annually.
A circa 1966 brochure described Fiberfab’s
offerings in great detail:
“The problems encountered in Corvette body
repair are quite
different from those found in metal work. For this reason many people
to repair Corvettes. However, fiberglass work can be even more simple
repair if it is done properly.
“Most of the stock Corvette parts are
delivered in a number
of small sections plus miscellaneous connecting and reinforcing pieces.
replace a complete Corvette front end from the door jambs forward, less
and hood, requires over twenty separate parts. All these pieces must be
laminated together and each part must be adjusted to fit in the
section. If one of these laminations is not correctly aligned the other
will not fit and the final shape is warped or distorted. Where the se
sub-sections have been joined together there is a crack which must be
sanded and finished. Old parts which are patched from underneath may
warp, even without additional impact.
“Conversely, if only the front end of a
panel is damaged, it
may be necessary to order the whole side or top section back to the
stock repair sections are used.
“With Fiberfab parts you only need to buy
one piece. The
sections shown on the price list are designed to keep patching and
to a minimum. In most cases, the parts join where the body surface is
hidden, thus reducing finishing time.
“Using Fiberfab’s one piece repair
it is possible
to replace the damaged area with a new panel and still save money. The
repair will be stronger, look better and last longer.
“Stop wasting valuable time and money. You
can save with
“Corvette Custom Front End
“Custom fiberglass front-end shells for
Corvette can be used
to update older cars. It is also possible to use these custom front
instead of the standard repair parts on an already damaged Corvette.
“The Shark customer front end shells has
razor sharp lines and clean styling that is so popular today. It
gives a ‘Sting-Ray’ look to earlier Corvettes and it blends well with
styling. The lines lend themselves to a variety of chrome, grill or
“1966 Price List
|Repair Panels for Corvette
|Front Sections for
front shell, less hood
section, middle of wheelwells forward
front section, middle of wheels to grill center, left or right
front shell, less hood
section, middle of wheelwells forward
front, door to grill center, left or right
section, middle of wheels to grill center, left or right
inner panel, radiator to side, left or right
front shell, less hood and headlight covers
section, middle of wheels forward
front, door to grill center, left or right
section, middle of wheels to grill center, left or right
splash panel, left or right
front shell, less hood and headlight covers
section, middle of wheels forward
front, door to grill center, left or right
section, wheel center to grill center, left or right
| $ 75
splash panel, left or right
Shark #1 custom front end shell
Shark #2 custom front end shell
|Rear Sections for
rear shell, less trunk and top cover
section, center wheels back
rear section, door to center rear, left or right
section, wheel center to center rear, left or right
rear shell, less trunk and top cover
section, center of wheels back
rear section, door to center rear, left or right
section, wheel center to rear center, left or right
rear shell, less trunk top cover and lower rear panel
section, middle of wheels back
rear section, door to center rear, left or right
section, wheel center to rear center, left or right
|Kits and Kit Accessories
|Apache sports car body
|Apache sports car body
laminated with floor pan
|Chassis kit #1 w/used
|Chassis kit #2 w/tube
|Chassis kit #3 w/tube
|'Cheapie' one-piece shell
|Interior upholstery kit
|Window kit, channels
|Rear hangers - no charge
with standard kit
|Frame rails - no charge
with standard kit
|Centurion body shell
|Floorpan - please
|E/T "Street" 2-piece
|E/T "Competition" 1-piece
|E/T Plexiglas headlight
covers - pair
|Miscellaneous Fiberglass Automotive Sections
bucket seat shell
bucket seat shell
seats, either style
|E-Jaguar front end
|Willys front end shell
“If you need a part not described above,
please ask for a
quotation on the exact section you need.
“Fiberfab Division of Velocidad, Inc.
“2365 Lafayette, Santa Clara, California
In addition to the VW bodies and Corvette
panels, Fiberfab also
produced a fiberglass front-end for the 1964-1966 Ford Mustang, which
marketed as the Mustang ET Fiberglass Frontend:
“…just unbolt your old frontend and simply
Fiberfab's. New Stylish Modern looking frontend, and away you go, the
Friends and Onlookers alike!”
Fiberfab also offered four
different bolt-on Fiberglas
body kits for Triumph and Austin-Healey chassis as well as several VW
dune buggies one was called the “Clodhopper,” another the “Rat,” and a
utility wagon called the “Vagabond”.
Not odd-looking was Fiberfab’s sleek
reinterpretation of the
1959 XP-87 Stingray Racer and 1961 Mako Shark showcar (both designed by
Brock, Bill Mitchell, and Larry Shinoda) which was called the
XP-87 Stingray Racer had a fiberglass body on a space frame chassis,
use of C1 Corvette running gear and the actual car appeared as Elvis
personal car in the 1967 film Clambake, which commenced filming in
March of 1967. Painted red for that role, it
nearly identical to the Centurion, but several details rule out it
The Fiberfab Centurion was designed to mate
to a V8-powered
C-1 or C-2 Corvette donor chassis and although actual production
unknown, it’s believed that no more than a half-dozen were built
between late 1965
and 1967, of which 5 remain. Each car was designed to have side pipes,
gill” vents on either side of the engine bay, over-sized wheel arches,
“humps” for aerodynamic (and styling) purposes, with high sills to make
the underlying frame.
Unlike most other ‘kit cars’ the fit and
finish of the
Centurion’s interior approaches production car quality, with centrally
gauges allowing the body to be used in either left or right hand drive
configurations. The interior was upholstered in grey vinyl throughout,
functional trunk was capable of holding a couple of small suitcases.
General Motors was not fond of The Centurian, and an article in a 1967
Car & Driver alludes to a visit by Goodwin to Warren, Michigan:
“… at GM’s styling Center, Proving Ground,
Dining Room, Bud made a point of wearing the same open-necked sports
slacks and rubber-soled boating shoes that he wears in the shop.”
During that visit GM tried to influence
Goodwin to stop building
the Centurion, which apparently was successful, as no cars are thought
been built after 1967. Of the five Centurions currently accounted for,
one used C1 Corvette donors - the final car used a C2. The most
the three completed Centurions is currently owned by Wes Abendroth, and
Goodwin’s personal car. It retains the original 1965 327 cu.in.
and was prominently featured on the cover of the 1966 Fiberfab Catalog.
the day it was club raced and appeared in a ‘Man from Glad’
Only four other bodies are accounted for - two completed cars, and two
Following Goodwin’s “meeting” with General
the Centurian project was abandoned, and its flagship status
transferred to the
Introduced in 1966, the Valkyrie GT was a
mid-engine GT40 copy
with a tubular space frame, independent suspension, Hurst-Airheart disc
Corvair tranny/transaxle (or optional ZF 5-speed) and Ford or Chevy
on the engine, a top speed of 180 mph/290 kmh was claimed with a 0-60
3.9 seconds, requiring a parachute for additional braking power.
between 1967 and 1969 at $12,500 complete with drivetrain, or as a kit,
Valkyrie found few takers.
By a wide margin, Fiberfab’s most successful
offering was the Avenger GT, which debuted shortly after the Valkyrie
positioned as a popular-priced VW or Corvair-powered alternative. The
GT-12 was for VW Type 1 donor chassis while the GT-15 was designed to
Corvair components, and included a purpose-built tube frame on which to
them and an interior kit which included a
fiberglass shell to which an upholstery kit was affixed. The
also Fiberfab’s longest-lived offering, remaining in production from
Avenger production can be divided into three
so-called short door cars are the earliest, so-named because they had a
panel below the door. Next were the slightly wider long door Avengers,
doors ran all the way to the bottom of the car body. The final period
another slight revision, and a changed in nomenclature to the Avenger
GT15X. These cars were all long door cars with wheel arch flares and a
spoiler as standard.
All three periods shared many third-party
parts; rear glass was
from a 1965-66 Mustang 2+2 and windscreens shared with the 1965-69
Corvair Monza/Corsa. There were several options for the side windows.
cars offered the choice of Fiberfab-supplied one-piece glass side
combination window/wind-wings using 1966 full-sized Ford door glass and
Mustang vent windows. Polycarbonate panes (Plexiglass or Lexan) were
options. The choice of taillights were left up to the customer, the
popular being units sourced from early Mustangs, Mavericks and Camaros.
The August 1967 issue of Road & Track
photo-feature on “Building a Fiberfab Avenger GT, and an
Avenger body kit was purchased by NASA engineers
for use as a test mule for development of advanced electric battery
technology. The car featured a massive battery pack that resided in the
central tunnel and most of the engine compartment.
On Sept. 13, 1967 Goodwin was arrested on
murder in the shooting death of his second wife, Jamaica. The police
found Jamaica with Forbus Thor Kiddoo, a house guest and purported
“Accused Of Killing Wife
“LOS GATOS (AP) An executive of a sports
company, was booked on suspicion of murder today in the shooting of his
their luxurious mountain top home here.
“He is Warren Goodwin, 46 vice president
of Fiberfab - Velocidad Inc., manufacturer of the Valkyrie sports car.
accused of killing his 28-year-old wife, Jamaica Elwood Goodwin,
“Undersheriff C. D. Marron said the
shortly after 1 a.m. when Goodwin found
his wife and a male family friend together in the living room. Marron
Goodwin as saying he fired a warning shot over the heads of his wife
man from a Spanish semi-automatic pistol, then accidentally fired
second shot, Marron said, struck Mrs. Goodwin in the chest.
“Goodwin telephoned for an ambulance.
Friends said Goodwin
is a former sports car racer who began manufacturing sports car bodies
Angeles before moving the firm to Sunnyvale. The plant was transferred
larger facilities in Santa Clara last year. The firm has a factory
West Germany and did a million dollar business last year. The Goodwins
Palo Alto until moving to Los Gatos this summer.”
United Press International provided a few
“Love Triangle Motive Seen
"Los Gatos (UPI) - Homicide detectives
said today that the woman president of a million-dollar sports car
company was shot dead by her husband when he found her in an embrace
with another man.
“Mrs. Jamaica Goodwin, 28, was killed
early Wednesday in the front room of her luxurioys mountain-top home.
Her husband, Warren Goodwin, 46, was later booked at the Santa Clara
County Sheriff's office in San Jose on suspicion of murder.
“Goodwin said he fired a warning shot over
the copuple's heads with a .380 Spanish-made automatic and a second
round then discharged accidentally.
“Mrs. Goodwin died from a bullet wound in
“Her friend, Forbus Thor Kkidoo, 30,
disappeared from the scene but later turned himself in to the Sheriff's
“According to Chief Detective C.D. Marron,
he said the trip had had a pleasant dinner and then played pool.
“Goodwin, Skiddoo said, went into the
bedroom and fired one shot high in the wall when he returned.
Skiddoo the left, and did not learn of Mrs. Goodwin's death until hours
“Skiddoo was released after questioning.
“Goodwin, known worldwide among sports car
enthusiasts, kept an extensive collection of guns, all fully loaded. HE
once was described in an autommagazine as 'a small round man with a
“Mrs. Goodin was president of
Fiberfab-Velocidad, Inc., manufacturer of an $11,000 rear-engine custom
sports car recently placed on the market as the Valkyrie. Her husband
was vice president.
“Goodwin is a former racing driver who
began manufacturing sports car bodies in Los Angeles. About seven years
ago he joined the then Miss Ellwood in a smal San Francisco shop which
eventually was moved to Santa Clara as Fiberfab-Velodcidad.
“The company aquired production facilities
in Stuttgart, West Germany, and last year did a gross of more than $1
Although Jamaica was shot in the middle of
her chest and Goodwin boasted of being an excellent
claimed the shooting was “accidental”, the AP reporting:
“Innocent Plea In Wife Killing
“SAN JOSE (AP) — Warren Harding Goodwin,
sports car body builder, pleaded innocent yesterday to charges of
wife and shooting at her boyfriend.
“Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Kelley set
Jan. 8 for a jury
trial. Goodwin was indicted on charges of manslaughter, assault with a
weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“He was accused of killing his wife,
Jamaica, 28, in their
Los Gatos hilltop home Sept. 13 after he allegedly found her in a tryst
Thor Kiddoo, 30, a guest in their home.
“Goodwin is vice president of
Fiberfab-Velocidad Motor Body
Co., of Santa Clara. His wife was president.”
It is unknown if the front-engined Fiberfab
by brothers Russ and Chris Beebe)
before its namesakes’ death, however, like its namesake, the Jamaican
extremely attractive looking like a cross between a Lamborghini Miura,
Corvette and the Ford Cougar II concept. The body was designed to fit
donor Triumph TR3/4, Healey 3000, or MGA frame. A later version of the
body was offered with fender flares, and was available with a
chassis for a V8 engine. Another
Jamaican variant was offered for use with VW Type 1 drivetrains. The
windshields from the 1965 Corvette, side windows from a Karmann Ghia
windows from a Porsche 911.
According to R&T columnist Peter Egan:
“This body was
designed by my old friend — and now next-door neighbor — Chris Beebe
brother, Russ, who also built the fiberglass molds and helped assemble
bodies in Sunnyvale, California.”
Jamaica's obituary was carried in the
September 14, 1967 edition of the Estherville Daily News:
“Former Resident Fatally Shot in California
“Mrs. Warren Goodwin, 28, the former
Jamaica Ellwood of Estherville, was fatally shot at the couple's
luxurious mountain top home in California.
“Goodwin, 46, was held at Gatos, Calif.,
on suspicion of murdering his wife, whom Undersheriff C.D. Marron said
was found by her husband with another man in the living room.
“According to the officer Goodwin fired a
second shot accidentally, wounding his wife in the chest, after first
shooting as a warning over the heads of his wife and the man with her.
“Mrs. Goodwin was president and her
husband vice president of Fiberfab-Velocidad, Inc., which manufactures
the Valkyrie sports car.
“Predeceased by her parents, Mr. and Mrs.
Lewis Ellwood, Mrs. Goodwin is survivied by a brother, Joe, who lives
at Denver. As a student of Estherville High School she participated in
forensics, editing the Pepper, and displayed unusual artistic ability.
“She became interested in design, sports
cars, and racing.
“Her grandfather, Walter Ellwood, lives in
Branson, Mo., she is survived also by an uncle, Howard Heidke, and an
aunt, Mrs. Erwin Story, of Estherville.”
Goodwin pled no contest, and was convicted
manslaughter. Santa Clara County Superior Court
T. Racanelli ordered Goodwin to pay a $1,375 fine and serve a
the County Jail for the murder. The sentencing was carried by United
Press International on January 23, 1968:
“Jail Sentence For Fatal Shooting
“SAN JOSE (UPI) – Warren Goodwin, a
wealthy sports car manufacturer,
has been sentenced to one year in jail for the fatal shooting of his
“Goodwin, who had pleaded no contest to a
manslaughter charges, was also placed on five years probation and fined
The sentence was handed down Friday by Santa Clara County Superior
“Goodwin was convicted of killing his
wife, Jamaica, 28, in
the kitchen of their Los Gatos home last Sept. 13 after finding her
“Racanelli postponed execution of the
sentence until Jan. 29
to see if Goodwin can qualify for the county work-furlough program.
for the program work during the day and spend their nights in jail.
“Goodwin was vice president and general
manager of Fiberfab-Velocidad
of Santa Clara which manufactures sports car bodies and parts. His wife
president of the firm.”
He didn't live long enough to complete
the sentence, and passed away in jail on December 26,
a heart attack, the Associated Press reporting:
“Sports Car Builder Found Dead in His Jail
“SAN JOSE (AP) Warren Harding Goodwin, 46,
sports car body
manufacturer serving a one-year county jail term for the voluntary
of his second wife, was found dead yesterday in his jail bunk.
“Santa Santa Clara County coroner's
death apparently was due to natural causes. He suffered from heart
“Goodwin was sentenced after pleading no
contest to the
shooting death of Jamaica Ellwood Goodwin, 28, in September, 1967, in
luxurious mountain top home in Los Gatos. Police said he had found his
romantically involved with a house guest.
“Goodwin was co-owner of
Inc., in Santa
Clara where the firm built the Valkyrie sports car. It cost $11,000 and
third place in the prototype division of the International Sports Car
New York in 1967.”
The only party to emerge unscathed from the
sordid affair was Forbes Thor Kiddo, a well-known Sausalito
houseboat builder and owner of the popular Forbes
Island floating restaurant and lighthouse, which was most recently
Pier 39 and Pier 41 at San Francisco's Fisherman's
With an uncertain future and no competent
managers remaining, John
Hebler, the Goodwin’s
partner, saw the handwriting on the wall and joined forces with the
head of Fiberfab’s mat and
dept., John Ubina, in the founding of Hebina Plastics (Hebler–Ubina) 858 Albo
Santa Clara, California and in 1969 introduced their own kit car, the
(later renamed the Amante).
Richard G. Figueroa, Fiberfab's special
manager, assumed day-to-day
management and slowly brought the once-doomed firm back from the brink,
helped in no small part due to the dramatic designs and excellent
reputation the Goodwin's had developed over the years.
Fiberfab’s most stylish offering ever - from
- was the Aztec 7, a blatant copy (or tribute) to the Alfa Romeo 33
a one-off wedge-shaped concept car that debuted at the 1968 Paris Motor
Designed by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, the Carabo’s name was derived
Carabidae beetle, as evoked by the car's iridescent green and orange
paintwork. Fiberfab took
the design and revamped it for rear engine use.
The Aztec 7 debuted in 1969 and like the
Fiberfab’s kit cars, it was designed to be assembled using a VW Type 1
chassis, with options for Porsche,
and Buick V6 power. One interesting fact about the car was that it used
a very pricey windscreen built by Guardian
and shared with the Lamborghini Miura.
There was a
steam-powered Aztec-7 built for a land speed record attempt at
was built using a Lear Jet turbine engine. The team experienced
problems with the
drive system’s fail-safe mechanisms and on the third day got rained out.
During those busy years Fiberfab leased a
warehous in Bridgeville, Pennsulvania that supplied
distributors/customers on the east coast.
Fiberfab also offered an early jet-ski, the
Jet-A-Bout which was introduced in 1969 (trademarked Sept.9, 1969) – in
response to the Bradley GT/Bradley VIP, a
diminutive watercraft offered by one of their main
“Fiberfab takes to the water with the
attractive, fun, sport-boat is safe, easy to handle and available with
performance options. The Jet-A-Bout has jet-drive propulsion and is
skimming the water at speeds of 15 to 30 mph (using the optional
high-performance engine). When we say “skimming” – we really mean it –
sturdy little craft can operated in as little as two inches of water.
“The Jet-A-Bout does not have a propeller,
danger from whirling blades is eliminated. The Jet-A-Bout has a
hull providing built-flotation. Because of these safety features, the
Jet-A-Bout is an ideal water craft for family play areas or resorts
swimmers and children abound.”
There were also Fiberfab Avenger clones,
ones. The most well-known being the “Shark” which was produced by small
by the name of Trivelatto, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A list of Fiberfab-approved distributors and
constructors, circa 1969, follows:
“Fiberfab Northwest, 28872 Pacific Hwy S.,
Federal Way, WA.
“Torelli's Import Service, 1215 Fell St.,
San Francisco, CA.
“Fiberfab West, 435 S. San Fernando St,
“GT Productions, 1105 E. Fern Dr.,
“Advanced Design Cars Inc., 3363 Bob
Billa, San Antonio, TX
“Foreign Auto Parts, 2728 California,
“Major Cars, Inc., 3626 Montorse, Chicago,
“GT Company, 2600 N. Grant St., Little
“Martin Enterprises Inc., 5473 Lake Ct.,
“Custom Car Crafters, 780 National Rd,
“Fiberglass Products of Atlanta, 1595
White Way, East Point, GA.
“EDP Enterprises, 603 Fayette St.,
“Sports Car International, 16215 S. Dixie
Hwy., Miami, FL.”
The July 1969 issue of Popular Mechanics
presented a 5-page
step-by-step photo feature on how to build an Avenger GT-12 from start
“New One-Piece Body Turns ‘Bug’ Into a
By Leonard E. Sabal
“It comes complete with roll-up windows,
instrumentation, hinged and adjusted doors, windshield wipers, fitted
all locks and switches. All that’s missing is a VW chassis.
“Pedestrians stop dead in their tracks —
cars zoom up behind
you, then suddenly brake to take a better look; crowds gather whenever
— and the first question is always the same:
“‘What is it?’
“The reply ‘It’s a hybrid’ is not
understood. ‘It’s a
Volkswagen’ seems unfair, and ‘It’s a Fiberfab’ just brings more
Actually, it’s all of these and more, for the GT-12 is a one-of-a-kind
that you build.
“All you need to get started is a VW sedan
Fiberfab’s new one-piece body. Add a few extras for looks and
blend with some VW tuning knowledge and — presto — you’ve transformed
your old ‘bug’
into a real GT beauty.
“For both the chassis preparation and
necessary knowledge, I
turned to Arlo Automotive in Westbury, N.Y., for assistance and advice
needed in view of my unfamiliarity with air-cooled engines. Co-owner Ed
and his chief mechanic, Bruce Sherman, are VW specialists. (Arnold once
produced a 1961 1176-cc supercharged VW sedan that turned the
Westhampton in 13.08 seconds at a terminal speed of 117 mph!)
“With Sherman’s chassis and body know-how,
it took only 14
hours to complete the conversion. Six hours went into chassis cleaning
preparation and eight hours were required for the actual fitting of the
body — without
the benefit of Fiberfab’s instruction book which hadn’t yet been
the time, this was one of the two car bodies available in the country.
trucked to New York by Ed Martincic, owner of Martin Enterprises
Cleveland distributor) in order to meet our deadline.
“The photo at top left of the facing page
shows the body as
it arrived on a heavy pallet. Normally, the body is crated in a box
for a Boy Scout troop — 48 in. high, 81½ in. wide and 14 ft. long. The
weight is 1000 lbs., although the body itself weighs just under 500 lbs.
“Following the installation of the
side-rail stiffeners, we
encountered the only real problem in the entire project — installing
tank. A ‘68 or ‘69 tank is required, but even this, we found, wouldn’t
available space between the hood rib supports without bending down the
flanges as shown (center, right). Also, we did away with the gas tank
frame and simply used side supports fiberglassed to the firewall and
the hood rib supports (right).
“Once the tank is installed, the rest of
the assembly — or
fitting, actually — is quite uncomplicated.
“Temporarily remove the transmission shift
the body over the chassis (the more hands, the better) and position it
lies flush with all interior floor edges. You’ll now be aware of how
the body is than the regular floorpan. Drill up through the holes in
chassis, using the lag-type bolts provided, and secure the body to the
“Add the seats (provided in the kit), a
steering column, a
12-volt battery and complete the wiring — you’re ready to drive it.
“Insofar as wiring is concerned, the
built-in wiring harness
makes quick work of the hookup, although it proved worrisome (without
instructions) trying to decide if the wire tagged 25, for example, was
or whether it was No. 26 I wanted.
“You’re wondering now, of course, ‘How
much?’ Cost of the
chassis and the running gear you decide to use will naturally vary, but
price for the one-piece body is the same: $2495. The body is also
rough unfinished sections which can be assembled for less money.”
While the Goodwin estate was being settled
G. Figueroa, formerly Fiberfab's special projects manager, managed the
while Roger Bryan served as president, but without its founder (and his
floundered, and by 1971 was on the verge of going under. The firm even
the price of their mail-away Fiberfab full-color brochures from $1 to
generate more income. Bill Voegele, an employee at the time relates in
following Facebook post that management was more interested in selling
brochures than making bodies.
“In 1969, I graduated from Berkeley, with
Mechanical Engineering. Although I could have written my ticket with
employers, I chose to take a job on the production line with a
car body manufacturer called Fiberfab. Coincidentally, they were
Santa Clara, California. I took a job on the assembly line at
with the agreement that I could do engineering work (at an engineer’s
as soon as it was available. Fiberfab was making several types of kit
dune buggies. They sold their brochures through magazine advertising at
each. When I was there, they were selling so many brochures that it
girls to go to the post office to carry back all the envelopes
They hardly cared if they sold cars if they could just sell enough
“This was an era when companies like
Fiberfab were flying
high. However, I quickly became disenchanted with the quality level at
and with their attitude about quality. I will never forget a quote by
the managers when I told him that I wanted to add some spacers between
trunk panel and the body. He refused to let me do it. He said, 'We
these cars so bad that they won’t sell.'
“Fiberfab turned me off to the point that
elsewhere. I heard that there were two ex-Fiberfab employees who had
business just a couple of miles down the road and who had designed a
European-looking GT coupe. Those two people were John Hebler and John
hence, their company name, Hebina Plastics. John & John were not
along well. That is so often the case with partners when their company
is in a
start-up mode and they are short of money.. They were a typical
undercapitalized enterprise. They called their car the Gazelle. It was
forerunner for what was to become The Amante.
“Although my father was very unhappy that
had left the
family roofing business (it had been four years by then), he agreed to
enough money for me to buy the assets of Hebina Plastics and become my
General Motors. It didn’t take much money. We formed a new corporation
Voegele Industries, Inc.”
Fiberfab is credited with modifying the Lola
T70 MK II and MK
III used in George Lucas’ seminal science fiction drama THX 1138, which
released in 1971. Fiberfab definitely appeared in the credits and most
likely constructed the various scoops and appendages for SCCA Trans-Am
John Ward, who was hired by Lucas to prep and modify two Lola T70s for
film. The first, a T70 Mark II spyder (provenance unknown), was
a coupe and subsequently smacked into a concrete pillar. The second, a
III coupe, similarly modified, served as Robert Duvall’s “hero car” in
and was purchased by Ward from actor/race-driver James Garner.
By that time Fiberfab was in serious
evidenced by the reduced number of ads in the automotive buff books,
those were printed on cheap standard paper in black & white ink -
earlier colors ads were printed on bright clay-coated paper.
In 1971 Richard G. Figueroa, Fiberfab’s
plant manager, and Martin
Enterprises, Fiberfab’s Eastern distributor, joined forces to salvage
left of the firm, which at the time was little more than a few key
of accessories, some designs and the trade name. They reorganized the
the Fiberfab division, Concept Design America Ltd., and relocated it to
smaller quarters located at 41060 High Street, in Fremont, California.
For several years the two Martincic brothers
had some success
selling Martin Enterprises-badged buggies (which were in reality
Clodhoppers) out of their 703 East 152nd St., Cleveland, Ohio,
1972-1974 Fiberfab’s advertisements included both 41060 High Street,
California and 703 East 152nd St.,
Figueroa as president, Fiberfab Corp.
first neo-classic design, the Liberty SLR roadster, which was similar
in appearance to the cycle-fendered Bugatti Type 35 and the
Mercedes-Benz SSK, and was a lower-priced alternative to Brooks Stevens
Excaliber, which was also based upon the Mercedes SSK:
“If you enjoyed the classic automotive
stylings of the
1930’s you’ll want to know more about Fiberfab’s newest
chassis kit… the Liberty SLR. The Liberty SLR, while reaching back to
traditional European sports racer styling of the mid-‘30’s, runs a
Figueroa was also interested in
of Fiberglas, and in 1971 applied for a patent on a swimming pool:
Design Patent USD228891S; Swimming Pool,
Patent 0ffice, Patented Oct. 30, 1973 228,891 SWIMMING POOL Richard G.
Figueroa, Fremont, Calif., assignor to Concept Design America, Ltd.,
Calif. Filed July 19, 1971, Ser. No. 164,160: The ornamental design for
swimming pool, as shown.
In a 1974 interview with the NY Times
detailing the kit car
industry, Figueroa stated:
“At this point, this is one of the last
frontiers where a
guy can express himself by building his own car, giving it his own
“But I can sympathize with the Government.
Some of the stuff
that's being marketed these days isn't safe; they're using Plexiglas
and the roof and the windshield don't have much strength, and there's
roll‐over protection. The Feds will have to do something the way it's
Figueroa and the Martincic brothers had no
in turning the
firm around and in November of 1974 a Pennsylvania corporation, A.T.R.
acquired ownership and relocated Fiberfab into its Baldwin Street,
Pennsylvania plant. About 1975 Fiberfab introduced 3 new models
unusual kit which turned a motor-cycle into a three-wheel car called
STM (Sports Transport Module). Two additional models were introduced,
the line to 9 models with approximately 30 different power plant
In November of 1974 Fiberfab, Inc., was
purchased by A.T.R.,
Inc. and Aris V.C. Valli appointed president. Under Valli Fiberfab
approached the $8 million mark, but he wasn’t able to enjoy if for long
suffered a massive heart attack in August of 1976 and passed away, at
time Aris’ son, Robert F. Valli, took over as acting president. Under
second generation of Valli’s Fiberfab entered a cost-cutting mode, and
fall of 1978 had reduced its offerings from seven to just three, the
once its most popular vehicle - getting the axe.
(After selling Fiberfab, Richard Figueroa
went on to more
Fiberglas-related ventures, and in 1977 formed the California Touring
Newark, California to manufacture Ultimus-brand high-roof conversion
trailers. The Ultimus concept was unique in that it featured an
walkway between the van and the trailer, giving passengers a full run
vehicle while traveling.)
At the time of the sale Fiberfab was
chassis applications as well as working with several organizations to
battery powered, electric drive vehicles. They were also reworking some
older models to simplify the assembly process. The combined sales
volume of A.T.R.
and its Fiberfab subsidiary was expected to be $12,000,000 to
the 1976-1977 year.
In 1977 Fiberfab and James Crank's JDEX
Company combined to
make a steam-powered record attempt car using the Aztec 7 body-kit
powered by a
LMC Corporation steam engine developed as part the Lear Steam Bus
planned the speed record attempt for August at Bonneville. The car
exceed 100 mph and was sold to the Barber-Nichols Engineering
Barber-Nicholls rebuilt it. On its first attempt it reached
Robert Barber at Bonneville on August 19, 1985 reached 145.607 mph
car caught fire and was unable to complete its second run. The car is
display at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada.
In 1977 Fiberfab reintroduced the original
MiGi kit as the Migi II configured as either a front engine/RWD (very
rear engine/RWD car, many of which were sold as completely finished,
units for approximately $10,000.
In 1979 Fiberfab Inc. relocated to St Louis
Minnesota. The firm operated two assembly centers in Michigan and about
the continental U. S., according to Warren Orrick , Fiberfab's regional
manager for Michigan.
“Fiberfab lnternational, of Minneapolis,
Minn., markets an
MG replica kit manufactured in Miami, Fla. lt is patterned after the
and uses Ford, Chevrolet or Volkswagen running gear.”
In 1982 Fiberfab’s largest competitor,
Carriages, purchased the company and renamed it Fiberfab International.
Motor Carriages had little interest in the designs originated by
were primarily interest in obtaining the trade name and dealer network.
produced and continued a handful of models under the Classic Motor
brand name, but most where discontinued and eventually
By the mid-1980s Fiberfab’s focus was
marketing CMC products
such as the Gazelle (1929 Mercedes-Benz SSK), 427 Cobra (Shelby
356A Speedster, etc., and all original Fiberfab designs, save for the
MiGi II, were
abandoned and the original Fiberfab molds left to rot behind CMC’s
The most popular post-merger product was the
which was sold as a turn-key vehicle or an unassembled kit intended for
customer or, in many cases, third-party constructors. It was built
existing CMC molds and merely re-badged as a Fiberfab – Fiberfab had
do with the replica’s development.
Two versions were available, the
and the club racing-style “Speedster California.” Some of these cars
finished to a very high standard, with actual Porsche interiors,
hardware and I know of several replica Speedster owners who regularly
off as the real deal. Also introduced was the Fiberfab Speedster 359, a
polarizing 911-style roadster which many Porsche enthusiasts consider
to be an
Classic Motor Carriages was forced to close
in 1994 after
the Florida Attorney General's Office filed suit against it on behalf
of 900 of
its customers. It agreed to pay $2.5 million in compensation. At the
as the case was proceeding a new company, Auto Resolutions, was set up
owner George Levin to continue making Classic Motor Carriages vehicles
under the name Street Beasts. Complaints about its products continued.
Beasts closed its business in 2010 and auctioned off its plant, molds,
machinery. In 2011 the molds for the Speedster were for sale on eBay.
In 2003 Daniel Richer commenced the
producion of Fiberfab Valkyrie
kitcars in La Pine, Oregon. Last known address for his firm was 9601
In Canada, an entirely separate firm,
Fiberfab Canada, Ltd.,
handled the firm’s products north of the border. Its history commenced
with the appointment of Don Entwistle as the sole Canadian Fiberfab
distributor, using an office and service facility located in Toronto,
Business was sufficient to create a separate
facility and in 1969 Fiberfab established Fiberfab Canada, Ltd. with
Entwistle as president, and the search for a location for that plant
to the small town of Dauphin, Manitoba. A skeletal crew was established
in as early as 1969, and in 1971 a $44,000 government grant created
more jobs, the February 24, 1971 issue of the Dauphin Herald announced
“New Plant In Production By March 31
“An important new industry will be in
production by the end
of March, it was learned this week following an announcement from
Fiberfab Canada Limited of Dauphin will receive an incentive of
$44,000 for the manufacture of Fiberglas automobile bodies.
“The announcement came from Hon. Jean
Marchand, minister of
regional economic development.
“A second incentive in the amount of about
$73,000 will go
to W.J. Gage Limited of Scarborough, Ont., to assist in construction of
commercial printing plant in Winnipeg.
“A total of 22 new jobs will be created in
Manitoba over a
period of time due to incentives which were granted under the Regional
Development Incentives Act.
“Ten of the new jobs will be in Dauphin.
Three men are no
employed in the Fiberfab plant in Southwest Dauphon, and when training
third man is completed, another employee will be hired.
“Don Entwistle, formerly of Regina, is the
Fiberfab Canada Limited. On first coming to Dauphin a few months ago,
the Herald he had been planning to open a plant for the manufacture of
fiberglass car bodies in Regina, ‘but we found we could get better
“Through correspondence with the Manitoba
industry and commerce, Dauphin came up as a possible site for locating
‘“Then it was a combination of the
government and Parkland
Development Corporation,’ Mr. Entwistle said. He mentioned he had
‘tremendous co-operation’ from Parkland. ‘Information we had looked for
year, Parkland had at their fingertips.’
“Mrs. Entwistle has been very much
in the preliminary
work of getting the plant started and is office manager of the company.
“Shirley Entwistle said Tuesday that while
staff stands at
six persons and will increase to more than ten, only the shop staff are
as far as the incentive is concerned.
“Staff at present includes Arnold Banerd,
shop foreman, from
Melville, who is being trained; Mr. and Mrs. Entwistle, and Gerald
is at present on a cross-Canada trip setting up a dealer network. He is
out of Winnipeg. Because of training build-up of staff will be gradual.
“The plant will manufacture Avenger and
bolt-on sports car bodies and these will fit Volkswagen, Austin-Healey,
and a Triumph II, II, IV and IVA chassis. IF a person wants to put the
body on a
500hp chassis ‘We will make up a heavy frame,’ Mr. Entwistle explained.
mentioned that the Western Canada drag strip champion has one of these
“Putting the body onto the car chassis is
‘do it yourself’
exercise. However, it is made easy by instruction manuals and the
staff has been rewriting the instruction manuals to Canadian standards.
“They have modified the design to accept
heaters and weather-stripping
essential for the Canadian climate. Originator of the concept is
“Mr. Entwistle lists some of the
fiberglass body: there is no corrosion; it is seven times stronger than
and tends to accept force. It rebounds and there is no denting.
“The new production company expects it
markets will be
Ontario – mainly because of the density of population – and in British
because of the number of cars there.
“Fiberfab of Canada president Don
plans to market
a ‘total car’ within a year to 18 months. He said he is working with
manufacturers – both European – ‘and we hope to get both rear-engine
front-engine models.’ These cars would be sold mainly on the Canadian
In September of 1974 Fiberfab Canada, Ltd.,
was acquired by
B.S.I., Ltd., who relocated operations from Manitoba to a 6,000 sq. ft.
facility located southwest of Mississauga, Ontario at 1121 Invicta Dr.,
to be nearer to its primary customer base.
B.S.I.’s owner and Fiberfab
President/General Manager Barry
Stasiewicz had started his career as an independent Fiberfab
representative back in 1971. After B.S.I. acquired ownership of
Ltd. and moved it to Oakville, Stasiewicz inked an exclusive
with A.T.R., Inc. and its Fiberfab subsidiary. The move resulted in an
in both production and sales which topped the $2 million mark in fiscal
Fiberfab Canada Ltd.’s product line mirrored
that of the US
firm, the Aztec-7, Avenger and Jamaican being most popular by a wide
Increased sales resulted in April, 1977 introduction of a new model,
a Volkswagen Type 1-based MG TD replicar.
VW pans were imported
from Mexico for the
MiGi-II production line at a cost of $250 for every stack of ten,
shipping. The MiGi II was offered in kit form, rolling chassis
versions, the latter priced at $10,000. That vehicle proved very
over the next eighteen months over 180 units were sold. FCL was also
distributor for Bugpack VW parts and accessories, which were very
in the day.
Consumer tastes were changing rapidly and
Canadian operations ended production of the Avenger and Jamaican to
on the MiGi-II, its most popular model. The
Canadian Aztec-7 was manufactured in 1978 and featured a complete
sub-frame mounted to a Fiberfab-constructed custom frame work. The cars
electric headlights, power assist doors and A/C. While many kits were
main emphasis was to build turn-key Aztec-7s.
You can tell where a Fiberfab vehicle was
looking at the badge – US-built cars had a black ff
chrome, some red) with blue/black background while Canadian cars had a
with a green/black background.
In February of 1979 all business relations
Inc. and Fiberfab Canada, Ltd. and its parent, B.S.I., Ltd., were
severed over Canadian
licensing rights, an issue precipitated by an internal reorganization
change of direction for Fiberfab, Inc.’s US operations which were now
Robert F. Valli.
In June of 1979 Barry Stasiewicz sold
Fiberfab Canada Ltd.’s
assets to a newly-organized shell company, Glastech Automotive Design
relocated Fiberfab Canada Limited’s operations several miles west to
Queensway Dr., Burlington, Ontario. Stasiewicz retained the rights to
manufacture the MiGi II as well as the distribution rights for Bugpack
accessories. Work also commenced on developing a revised Jamaican which
as the Jamaican SKR.
In September of 1979 FCL reached an
agreement to take over
MiGi II production with P.F. Fiber Design, an apparent shell company
the same address as Fiberfab Canada; 2384 Queensway Drive, Burlington.
In November of 1979 a new contract was inked
reorganized Fiberfab Inc. – now called Fiberfab International Inc. -
that the latter party would distribute Canadian-made MiGi IIs through
Fiberfab dealer network in the United States.
The contract with P.F. Fiber Design was
terminated in March of
1980 and all rights to the MiGi-II were transferred to Lakeshore
a firm recently organized by former FCL Vice-president Donald C.
June of 1980 Lakeshore Plastics registered the trade name 'Burlington
commenced manufacturing the vehicle for all of North America in its
The design of the Jamaican SKR was handled
by an Italian
firm located in Turin, and a prototype constructed in Milano. Upon its
Canada a German-sourced V-6 was installed although exactly what
happened to it is
Soon after production
of a front-engine
Migi II had commenced, Stasiewicz sold off rights to the entire MiGi II
Auburn Cars Ltd. (now Prototype Research & Development Ltd.), of
Campbellford, Ontario. Prototype
remains in business today and produces a full line of Fiberglas
include; 1955/1957 BelAir Convertibles, 1952 MGTD (MiGi II), 1935
Speedster and 4-passenger Phaeton and a 1934 Mercedes 500K Roadster.
From that point on Fiberfab Canada Ltd. went
in a new
direction providing trade show displays, staffing and logistics for
manufacturers. Clients included Mack Truck Canada, Ltd.; Paccar,
Navistar and Volvo
GM heavy trucks. In 1992 FCL added R&D model design for clients.
In 2004 Fiberfab Canada returned to the
kitcar business with
a limited run
of Cobra replicas which were sold as the 427 Cobra. According
“It took us almost 7
years to get to the
point to start building the 427 Cobra's. We weren't interested in
the vehicle like all the other manufacturers were doing... extended
extended doors, 2010 interiors, etc. Our goal was to build an authentic
427 Cobra. In the end we succeeded and were only out 1/2" in overall
The 427 Cobra was offered in kit form, as a
or as a complete turn-key automobile with U.K.-sourced components and
In 1969 Fiberfab had established a German
Fiberfab Europa, 7064 Geradstetten, Stuttgart, West Germany in order to
the firm’s kits in Europe, but the formal link to the US manufacturer
in 1973. In 1975 Fiberfab Europa introduced of its own Jeep-style
the Sherpa which was constructed using a Citroen 2CV donor. Now known
Fiberfab GmbH, Fiberglas-Formteil, Eisenbahnstrasse 43, 74360
Ilsfeld-Auenstein, the firm continues to manufacture Fiberglas
the transportation industry. Its website, http://www.fiberfab.de/,
even offers downloads of the Aztec, Bonanza and Bonito assembly
“Jörgfrieder Kuhnle founded the company
in the Remstal near Stuttgart. He started with the production of the
kit "Aztec" and was one of the first in 1966 with a plastic body at
the Geneva Motor Show.
“The 70s and 80s: The success of the Aztec
young inventor to develop further plastic bodies. This is how the
"Bonanza" and the extremely shapely "Bonito" based on
beetles originated. At the beginning of the 80s J. Kuhnle developed the
"Sherpa", an open fun car based on the 2CV.
“In addition, Fiberfab began manufacturing
and racing parts. Since most parts have since been made of glass-fiber
reinforced polyester resin, the racing parts made of glass- and
carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy resin were mainly made.
“90s to today: In the mid-nineties the
‘Senior’ handed over
the company Fiberfab to his son Christian. New methods such as RTM
injection), vacuum infusion method and prepreg processing have been
Another milestone was the implementation of the quality management
9000: 2000. Brand new is the acquisition of a 5-axis CNC milling
CAD / CAM workstation.”
A British firm called A.C.M. manufactured
Bonito coupe (GT40 inspired) and several others (‘FF’ and ‘RAT’ dune
license in Twyford, Warrington around 1981, but soon after another
firm, Seraph Cars Ltd, took over their manufacture. Their Bonito, which
dubbed the “Seraph 3000,” required a donor VW Type 1 chassis but Seraph
a new backbone chassis that enable them to offer a front-engines
Typical powerplants included V6 engines from a Ford Capri or Granada,
several were equipped with Rover V8 power. Seraph Cars Ltd. Eventually
from business and sold rights to the UK Fiberfab vehicles to Clive
Excalibur and Crusader cars. As of 2010 WS Motors in England were still
produce the bodies to order.
© 2019 Mark
Theobald for Coachbuilt.com