1953 Glasspar G2: V8 Special

1953 Glasspar G2

From this strangely angled photo, it is hard to tell what exactly you are looking at. It is clearly a roadster with an American built V8 providing power, but that’s all you can really tell. The seller states that this car is a 1953 Glasspar G2 and looking just at the hindquarters it could be, but there is something off with the front of this car. Could it be that someone decided they wanted to give it a more Cobra-esque look with a custom built front end grafted on or could this be something specially built by Glasspar? I have heard of a few cars receiving different noses, but those cars still had some type of chrome grille. Overall this car looks really well put together, although it needs work from being parked, which leaves me questioning the seller’s asking price. They have listed it here on craigslist in Arroyo Grande, California with a $25k asking price. If it were running and driving with more history and explanation about the front end, I would say it could easily be worth that. Special thanks to Robert R for this tip! So what do you think the story is with this American special?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    I’d say it’s a Glasspar G2. I can remember seeing at least two different nose configurations, one of which appeared to be Nash-Healey style, and another more geometric.

    It doesn’t surprise me the nose has been altered at some point. A lot of guys who built fiberglass cars liked to “personalize” them.

    For that kind of money, though, I’d have to know what kind of chassis it was based on, and take a good long look at the build quality. I’ve never seen a totally original Glasspar body close-up, but do know many ‘glass shells were not terribly well done, and their builders often didn’t pay enough attention to details like body mounts, door hinges, and the like.

    All that aside, it’s possible this car has decent underpinnings, and is worth every penny.

    • Matthew Tritt

      Noppe. It’s not a G2 by any means. It was made by Snohomish Plastics in Washington state.

  2. Mark E

    Have to agree with Josh on this one. First I’d authenticate what it is. The front end is weird PLUS that engine looks more modern than the early 50s. Then to value it, the formula would be what one is worth in good original condition less the cost of work, parts and, perhaps in this case, recreation of a correct front end.

    Figuring out the restored value is the tough part. These don’t come up for sale very often. The two I could find were $31,900 at BJ auction in 2005 – this G2 was in the movie Johny Dark and also had a SCCA racing history. The only other one I could find in a quick search was on Ebay Nov 2013 with a buy-it-now of $35,000.

    If you restored this one with the front end that it has now, it would make it below (or possibly above) those prices, depending on the documentation of the modification.

    BTW, the engines of those I’ve been able to find on the net have generally been flathead V8s with various speed parts and multiple carbs. The picture shown is the engine of James Garner’s G2, possibly the one sold at BJ in 2005…

  3. Tirefriar

    The last pic in the ad gives a very good indication that this Glasspar was modified to resemble the Cobra. This usually happens to classic cars before they are considered classic. As cars get older, rarer and more desireable their value becomes invertly proportional to the amount of deviation from original, especially in the visual department.

    Oddly enough I cannot fault the mods on this one too much after seeing the original G2

  4. Cory

    Is that a bra on the front? Looks like vinyl of fame sort. Think it might be easier to identify with it off

  5. Dave at OldSchool

    This is not a Glasspar G2. …None of the lines of this body look like the G2 we have in the shop right now……the cowl and hood area is too pronounced and deep into the front fenders…then the side line does not flow into the rear fender, it takes an abrupt up-turn

  6. Dave at OldSchool

    .

  7. Cliff Member

    It looks more like a Victress than a Glaspar .

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      @ Cliff, I’m pretty sure you’re right. Look at the area on the side towards the rear of the cockpit opening…

  8. Harvey

    That’s a Studebaker V8 under the hood. Early Cadillac OHV V8s look very similar, but the valve covers are distinctive. The Cad’s valve covers bolt down on the edge flange; the Stude bolts down onto studs through the top of the valve covers.

  9. Blindmarc

    I love it when so much knowledge is posted. Glad to see all us old school mechanics that this site holds. I myself am strictly a shade tree taught by my father at a very young age.

    Like 1
  10. Gary

    Here is something not mentioned as yet, the center mounted speedometer assembly came out of a 1959 or 1960 Chevy, used in all models of car’s and el camino’s for those two years only. (Bowtie showing in picture)
    So was the dash board changed/ modified post 1953? So many questions, I would like to see this in person, bet many of us old car nuts could pick it apart…

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    with Harvey….that’s a Stude under that hood….so it’s a…..

  12. Matthew Tritt

    Old School Dave is the only one right. The only similarity with a G2 is that they are both roadsters made with fiberglass bodies.

    Matt Tritt (My dad was Bill tritt who designed and built the G2)

    Like 1
  13. tim rudy Member

    this is not a glasspar as we know it.probably made around the same time,in the same location. southern california. the motor is correct for the time period .1953 stude. the frame is tubular,with a stude front end and a stude rearend. two others known to exist, one a racer out of nevada and raced at laguna seca and elsewhere.

  14. Matt Tritt

    As I said way back in June, this body was made by Snohomish Plastics in Washington State. This can be verified by Geoff Hacker at Forgotten Fiberglass.

    Matt Tritt

    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

      Hi Matt…… I had to laugh too . Nowadays, you can call anything, whatever you want to call it. . ” glasspar as we know it ” .. Hahahahahhaahhaha .

      but I did notice ” two others known to exist ” Two other WHAT … Glasspars…???

      Anyway, here’s the other one I owned, sorry I sold it

      Like 1
      • Keith lowry

        Hey Matt this is Keith Lowry . Really like what you did to your car I have an old glaspar g2 Getting ready to work on it and love how yours looks that’s what we want ours to look like do you have anymore pics love to talk to you about its

  15. Matt Tritt

    Indeed. The farther away the world gets from about any time period, the more revisions there are. Just imagine comparing history book accounts of the revolutionary war to actual events! ( contemporary accounts written in England at the time contained a lot about the colonists use of slaves and how that shaped the English opinion of the colonies in general…. Off subject but you know what I mean).

    • Patrick

      Hello Matt or Dave ..I have in California what i believe to be a Glasspar G2 .. it has been in his family for 40 years plus sitting in the backyard under some grass and boxes lol.. If you are interested Email me please ..we are gonna clean it up ..will have pics soon…thanks

  16. Matt Tritt

    Hi Patrick. If you give me your email address I’d love to discuss the car. Mine is: windgooroo1@att.net

    Matt

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