Canada’s Corvette: La Dawri Daytona

Known for making Canada’s first fiberglass car, La Dawri Coachcraft offered a surprising array of bodies that could be purchased as kits and mated to a variety of underpinnings. This LaDawri Daytona offered here on craigslist utilizes a 1970 Corvette chassis and power-train.

La Dawri moved to California in 1957 and produced a number of elegant, well-engineered kits through the mid-’60s. This car may have lived its entire life within striking distance of the Pacific Coast Highway or other delightful Golden State byways. The brilliantly written La Dawri brochure on ForgottenFiberglass.com says the Daytona uses a Chevrolet or GMC truck windshield and 1950 Pontiac taillights. While the ideal chassis and engine donor was a Henry J, the Corvette (albeit not a 1970 model) is listed as a suitable mate.

La Dawri encouraged each owner to tailor their car to suit their individual needs, so who’s to say whether this interior is appropriate or not? However the TH350 transmission and B&M shifter have got to go. No car with this pedigree should be burdened with an “auto-tragic” gearbox.

Considering the current mania for finding and preserving low-production fiberglass-bodied cars from the 1950s and ’60s, badging this Canadian-American classic as a Ferrari cannot be forgiven. Hopefully the new buyer will rectify this heinous faux pas within 24 hours of inking the title. Consider yourself warned. Heads will shake. Eyes will roll.

American V8 power was definitely in scope for the Daytona, and the brochure boldly states “Naturally the brute power available from stock big bore motors will appeal to many and the beautifully sculptured… Daytona will join beauty and the beast.” This might make an interesting project for someone with an early Corvette chassis hunting for a body, or it could just be stripped of the ridiculous Ferrari touches and put back on the road. What is your vision for this fascinating Canadian-American sports car? Is the asking price appropriate considering the original donor chassis and power-train is AWOL?

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Comments

  1. dan

    shifts all gears

    great selling point !
    hate when an auto trans don’t shift them all……..

    Like 1
  2. ulm210

    That car looks happy!

  3. LAB3

    “This might make an interesting project for someone with an early Corvette chassis hunting for a body”

    In what way? The ad doesn’t mention any issues with the current chassis and the 1970 Vette underpinnings give you more than enough to work with.

    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Sure, LAB3, it could be a fine driver and there’s nothing wrong with the ’70 Corvette running gear. My angle was, how many Dawri Daytonas are there? Ultimately someone will attempt to research the history of *this* car and re-unite it with the original drivetrain. Failing that a period-correct chassis would be appropriate and a Corvette from that (earlier) era would be a great choice. Until then it’s a neat-looking car that (if well-sorted out) is probably tons of fun.

      • Willbilly

        It’s pretty common for fiberglass bodies to sit for a long time waiting for a chassis. This may in fact be the first chassis it’s ever sat on.

      • JagManBill

        agree Willbilly – I am a real estate Appraiser by trade. I did an estate appraisal several years ago and hanging from the rafters in the garage was a brand new never installed Devin body. PR (the guy’s son) said his dad bought it new and was going to put it on a TR3 they had at the time. He just “never got ’round to it”…

  4. Jeffro

    When I look at this car…I see Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars. Or maybe I’ve had my daily allowance of bourbon. Doesn’t matter I guess.

    • ccrvtt

      “Daily allowance of bourbon”???

      Ain’t no such thing…

      • Jeffro

        Tell my wife that!

      • redwagon

        ccrvtt i like the way you think. have a thumb.

  5. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    cheap at 20k, if it drives as well as it looks……

    It will cost me a lot more than that to restore the ex-Holmes Daytona that I have owned for many years, and now doing some chassis mods and will freshen it…

    http://www.race-cardrivers.com/LaDawri.htm

  6. Dave Wright

    Not a terrible looking car but I am always insulted when stuff like this has Ferrari badging. We will of course know it isn’t……..but some neophyte won’t……..even a plastic 550 Mercedes with Mercedes badging bothers me. I hate phonies.

    • Jeffro

      I don’t know Dave…I personally don’t have a problem with fake boobs.

      • grant

        Fake boobs are gross.

      • PoPPaPork

        That stuff is better for sealing toilets then imitating flesh, it dont even move for christ sake! 5mph bumpers for shallow wonen…

      • MSG Bob

        Yeah… They just don’t look or feel right. Kinda like a fake Ferrari, come to think of it!

    • DKW

      One could always drive it while wearing a Folex watch and spray on tan.

  7. Dolphin Member

    There’s a line in a car mag or book from way back when that goes:

    “…..that body might produce just enough front end lift to be a bad airplane.”

    I don’t know whether that’s true of this car but it looks like it might.

    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

      Dolphin. not to worry. This body has plenty of frontal slope and downforce…and unlike most ‘glas bodies, these are solid ( and heavy) and the panels do not bend under air pressure

  8. Sam

    Good looking car. Dress up the motor, increase hp, add a manual, steel wheel Jag knockoffs, modified Jag e type rear bumperetts and license hoop.

    I would creat my own bading and crest…naming rights.

  9. Walter Joy

    Only Ferrari/Corvettes I like are the Scagaletti bodied ones (3 built. 1 is at Petersens Museum) and the black Daytona from Miami Vice

  10. Francisco

    I wonder if it has side curtains. It looks like there is a place on the doors to attach them.

  11. Milt

    I wonder what the owner was trying to prove with the Ferrari badging? Who’s he kidding? If he did this to secretly listen to unknowledgeable blowhards pontificate about this “Ferrari” to friends, then it’s an expensive way to get a chuckle.

  12. Big Mike

    The front of it reminds me of a catfish, well a comic book or cartoon catfish!!!

  13. Alfred

    Fake boobs are awesome

  14. Alan (Michigan)

    A more awkward looking raised convertible top would be difficult to imagine.
    The seller wisely chose not to get a more complete photo with the top up!

  15. Tom S.

    I glanced at the headline and for a moment thought it said Lawn Dart.

  16. Greg Howes

    Trivia – the gauges are from the one year only 1954 Studebaker commander coupes, the V-8 models. The 53 and 55 models are both different. Curious choice if you’re building this after the mid-70s.

  17. chrarles

    The audacity for someone to think this Omega looking kit car would be mistaken for a Ferrari. Enzo is probably turning in his grave knowing that someone had taken his racing history, and a tough one, to use his marque without permission.

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