The 1953 Studebaker “Loewy coupe” was designed by Bob Bourke when he was working for Raymond Lowey in his design studio has been acclaimed by many to be one of the most attractive cars produced in the fifties.
The post-war years were a time when materials used in the fiberglass process, patented in 1936, by Carlton Ellis for DuPont became popular. Fast-forward to the late fifties when H. Donald Canazzi the president of Custom Craft, a builder of fiberglass boats in Buffalo, NY, had this Studebaker “modernized.” According to “Custom Cars 1960,” He designed the changes to test and prove the workability and durability of modern reinforced plastics when bonded to car metal.”
In addition to all of the added fiberglass updates, the front of the roof panel was removed and a removable transparent plastic roof panel was fitted. The windshield also appears to be of the same material and is a wraparound design that eliminates the vent windows.
The “Golden Ray” was re-powered in the Studillac fashion developed by ace mechanic Bill Frick, who transplanted a 1949 or later Cadillac V-8 and transmission into a 1953 Studebaker. In this instance, the engine was modified and fueled by butane.
The photos and information are courtesy of Forgotten Fiberglass. Tell us your thoughts about this automotive exercise.