1956 Bangert Manta Ray

Wow! From our friends at Forgotten Fiberglass–this seriously cool looking 1956 Bangert Manta Ray is listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Tampa, Florida. I realize we don’t normally deal with restored vehicles here at Barn Finds, but this one is unusual enough we figured you might be interested.

According to the auction, this was Noel Bangert’s third car design. It was offered as a kit from 1954 or 1955 to 1957, with the kit really consisting of a body and some recommendations.

That sure is a distinctive look, isn’t it. According to the auction listing, Bangert was inspired by a 1954 Buick concept car called the Wildcat II. If you are interested, this is what the Wildcat II looked like. I like the Manta Ray better, to be honest.

Although quite simple, it’s obvious that the car has been refinished to a very high standard.  The really neat thing about this particular kit is that back in 1996 the owner at that point made contact with the original builder, Elwood Cauffman, and found out some terrific details about the build. The handwritten letters are in the eBay listing. Mr. Cauffman essentially constructed the chassis as well as completing the rest of the build.

It’s pretty much what you’d expect under here. A relatively mild small block Chevrolet. It is connected to the original Ford three speed manual transmission.

Pretty darned cool, don’t you think? There are only four Manta Rays known to exist now, and two of those are racing cars. Would you like it to be yours?

Fast Finds


  1. Windy Lawyer George

    Decimal point again misplaced one digit 2 the right

  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    There are always a half-dozen fiberglass cars out in front of this house, mostly under covers, occasionally on trailers. Some really interesting-looking stuff. I keep meaning to stop and talk to the guy, so maybe now I will.

    • Geoff Hacker

      Rex…you can stop by any time or call me at 813-888-8882. Lots of cool stuff and usually working on cars. So if you stop by, I’ll probably put you to work :-)


      Geoff Hacker
      Forgotten Fiberglass

  3. jwinters

    that car does not look street legal to me. no turn signals, bumpers, seatbelts?

    • Steve

      None of those are “required” to be street legal. Goo idea, yes, required, no.

    • JRATT1956

      Stop lights and headlights are all that is required to be legal. That is why we all learned arm signals when we learned to drive, years ago. .

      • JCW Jr.

        In pa add wiper to that list.

  4. Fred W.

    Very interesting letter from the original builder. Apparently in those days everyone and his neighbor were building fiberglas cars. He went to a buddy to have him weld the frame, who asked him if he had cut out the body for doors and trunk. When he said yes, the buddy asked him to cut his own out and offered to weld in return. Then he said, “Get busy!”.

  5. 86 Vette Convertible

    I agree it’s cute but I don’t think it’s street legal. For the age, I suspect hand signals would be legal. Issues are no license and no bumpers. I’d hate to try and drive that around here, someone would surely park by feel and you could kiss the body goodby after that.

  6. johnd

    I can’t imagine the uplift at speed!!!

    • Dolphin Member

      Right! This is one that fits the description:
      ‘Just enough lift at speed to be a very bad airplane’.

    • Dickie F

      My thoughts exactly, anything over 30 mph and that sbc will not keep it on the ground……lol.

  7. tje

    I’d love to drive it. I’d like to know if the performance matches the looks.

  8. Geoff Hacker

    @Jamie Palmer – Thanks for the kind words on our website and our cars. And just to make sure you get a “barn find” photo from us too, here’s a recent shot (attached) of just some of the cars we find and bring home to Fiberglass Farms.

    Most of these are showcars from years gone past, and our job is to get them up and running again and on the fields and roads to show and enjoy. Hope you enjoy the photo and thanks again for your support.

    Geoff Hacker
    Forgotten Fiberglass

  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    Thanks Geoff for your invitation. I’m just up the road off Sheldon near Waters.
    Currently I’m in Ireland, but when I return next week I’ll get in touch. Looking forward to meeting you. Cheers!

  10. Fran

    Yuk. That’s a bug period…

  11. Dan h

    Kinda reminds me of a Devin. Sure glad to see a sbc v8 sitting in it. Thought for sure it was going to have a VW 1600 sitting in the back!!

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