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Fiberfab
Fiberfab Co. (1964-1965) 1870-1880 W. Bayshore Rd., East Palo Alto, California;

Fiberfab div. of Velocidad Inc., (1965-1967) 140 Commercial St, Sunnyvale, California; Fiberfab div. of Velocidad Inc., (1967-1971) 2365 Lafayette St., Santa Clara, California; EDP Enterprises, 603 Fayette Ave., Mamaroneck, New Jersey (East Coast distributor, 1967-1968);

Fiberfab Corp. division of Concept Design America Ltd., (1971-1974), 41060 High Street, Fremont, California & 703 East 152nd St., Cleveland, Ohio; Martin Enterprises Inc., 30200 Lakeland Blvd., Wickliffe, Ohio (East Coast distributor, 1969-1974);

Fiberfab div. of A.T.R. Inc., (1974-1979) 548 Baldwin Street, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania; 852 Carswell St., Holly Hill, Florida; 41060 High Street, Fremont, California; 737 Montague Expressway, Milpitas, California;

Fiberfab, Inc. (1979-1982), 8800 W. Highway 7, St Louis Park (Minneapolis), Minnesota; 1000 Turners Cross Road South, Minneapolis, Minnesota;

Fiberfab International div. of Classic Motor Carriages, Inc. (1982-1986) 8800 W. Highway 7, St Louis Park (Minneapolis), Minnesota; (1986-1988) 6807 Wayazata Blvd., Minneapolis, Minnesota;

Fiberfab US (2003-present?) 9601 Washougal River Rd, Washougal, Washington.

Fiberfab Canada Ltd. (1968-1969); Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 1970-1974 - Dauphin (aka Winnipeg), Manitoba, Canada; 1974-1979 - Fiberfab Canada Ltd. Div. of BSI Ltd., 1121 Invicta Dr., Oakville, Ontario, Canada; 1979-2019 - Fiberfab Canada Ltd., Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
 
Associated Firms
Sports Car Engineering, Classic Motor Carriages
     

Due to several unfortunate incidents, the Fiberfab story remains slightly more interesting than that of its 1960s contemporaries. 60 years later, their advertising is fondly remembered by aging males, not only for the cars, but for the normally scantily clad full-color ads that were featured in the *buff-books of that era. Fiberfab’s products were so popular that in 1970 Industro-Motive Corp. (IMC) created a 1:25 scale plastic model kit of the Avenger GT12 molded in Fiberfab green that could be built stock (VW donor) or as a Hemi-powered funny car.

(*buff books are a publishing term for magazines aimed at a particular target group, in this case hot rodders and sports car enthusiasts – readers of Hot Rod, Car Craft, Motor Trend, Car & Driver, Road & Track, etc.)

Fiberfab’s founder, Warren Harding “Bud” Goodwin (b. 1921-d. 1968), was born Sept. 6, 1921 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to George and Margaret (Doehr) Goodwin. The 1930 US Census lists him in Milwaukee at 389 45th St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His 42-yo British-born father being a production manager at a bakery, his 48-yo mother a German immigrant. The 1940 US Census lists him in Waukesha, Wisconsin as an “inmate” in the Wisconsin Industrial School for Boys. His 1942 draft card lists a Los Angeles address, his employer, Jay Lundy.

His hometown newspaper, the Kenosha News published a small article in its August 10, 1966 edition that coincided with the release of Fiberfab’s new Valkyrie kit car:

“Bud Goodwin, a native of Milwaukee and a Kenosha resident until 1939 when he moved to California.”

The 1952 election rolls for Los Angeles County, precinct 1683, lists Warren and his wife Gwendolyn D. Goodwin at 808 ¾ N. Detroit St., Los Angeles, California. The 1954 election rolls for Los Angeles County, precinct 1683, lists Warren and his wife Gwendolyn D. Goodwin at 808 ¼ N. Detroit St., Los Angeles, California. The 1956 election rolls for Los Angeles County, precinct 1844, lists Warren and his wife Gwendolyn D. Goodwin at 8555 Walnut Dr., Los Angeles, California.

Post War, Goodwin became involved with the burgeoning Southern California racing scene, which by the early 1950s was dominated by imported British, German and Italian automobiles. In 1955 Goodwin built a tube-frame racecar using a Mistral Fiberglas body constructed by British-based Microplas. The car was not only attractive but competitive and in 1956 he licensed it and began offering it through his Los Angeles-based Sports Car Engineering, which 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 domestically, 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 Spyder was priced at $345. Sports Car Engineering also offered their own 100 inch wheelbase tube-frame chassis, one of the street and one for the track, the 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”; a second, the Frank Arciero Special, won numerous races for Dan Gurney, Bob 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, which was 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 offered the sports car enthusiast is the Hurricane, a neat streamlined design developed and built by Sports Car Engineering, Inc., of Los Angeles.  Clean and distinctive in appearance, the Hurricane is the culmination of about 10 years of close association to racing and the sports car field by Bud Goodwin, the 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 has come up with a design that is unique in that reinforced struts in the form of tubing 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 model it is.  Detachable bodies can be easily made by fixing flat plates onto the 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 styling, a rugged box section chassis completely assembled for street use, and a tubular chassis for racing.

“They also build many fiberglass accessories, including bucket seats, headrests, air scoops, and the like. The firm also has a 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 kit, this rugged box section chassis is completely assembled, ready to be used with any of the body styles offered. Ideal for street use, it includes frame, all front suspension components, all steering components (from steering box out to the 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 fishing trip to Mexico, US Immigration & Naturalization Service recorded Goodwin’s 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 Corvette repair panels in partnership with John E. Hebler under the Fiberfab Co. moniker. Goodwin provided the hutzpah and ideas while Hebler handled the mold-making and production work. Sometime prior to 1965 Goodwin met his future wife, Jamaica Karen Ellwood, eventually making her an employee at the business which was relocated to 1870 W. Bayshore Rd., East Palo Alto, about 30 miles south of central San Francisco. A September 14, 1967 United Press International news release stating:

“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 small San Francisco shop which eventually was moved to Santa Clara as Fiberfab-Velocidad.”

Fiberfab’s listing in the 1964-65 Palo Alto directory follows:

“Fiberfab Co. (John E. Hebler, Warren Goodwin) Fibreglass Auto Parts Mfrs., 1870 W. Bayshore Rd (East Palo Alto)

“Warren Goodwin (Jamaica), Fiberfab Co., 1777 Woodland, Palo Alto

“John E. Hebler (Elvia) (Fiberfab Co) 2192 Lincoln Ave (East Palo Alto)”

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 repair panels for 1954 to current model Corvettes. They also offered the “Shark” custom front end, a Fiberglas shell which could be used to update older cars with the 3rd generation’s “Sting Ray” look, at a cost of $200. Display ads from that period advertised:

“Custom & standard repair parts for Corvette, T-Bird and E-Jag.”

Another early offering was the Fiberfab E/T, a slant-nosed fiberglass front end for the 1964-1966 Mustang that was reminiscent of the original Mustang concept. Two versions were offered, the Street E/T, a standard bolt-on type with a rear-hinged hood. Installation required cutting the inner fender supports and fabrication of a shorter radiator core support which required the use of a shorter radiator in order to handle the sloping nose. As with all fiberglass body panels, a great deal of massaging was required to get the fenders to mate with the front edge of the stock Mustang doors. The second model, the forward-tilting (gasser style) Competition E/T, had its hood and nose molded together, which required additional modifications such as removal of the stock inner fenders and mounting large hinges to the radiator core support. Options included hood scoops similar to those found on a 1968 Shelby and cowl-induction. Approximately 50 kits were built in 67-68 (Mustang forums report that 13 original E/Ts remain plus a few reproductions made by VFN Fiberglass, Inc. of Addison, IL).

In 1965 Goodwin and Hebler relocated the firm to larger quarters at 140 Commercial St, Sunnyvale, California, 8 miles southeast of their East Palo Alto plant. The Aztec, the first of what would become a long line of VW-based kits cars debuted that year.

Noel Johnson, an early Fiberfab employee and subsequent plant manager and part-owner, stated that the success of the Devin influenced Goodwin’s decision to introduce Fiberfab’s first kit car, the Aztec. Goodwin liked the Devin, (named for Bill Devin, its designer/builder) but was dissatisfied with the amount of work required to build it, and thought there 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 the Aztec was based upon the 1964 Ford GT prototype. In a roundabout way that’s true, however its original inspiration was the Lola Mk6 (aka 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 International in Huntingdon, England, the Lola Mk6 served as the basis for the Ford GT, which was also designed by Broadly, hence the similarity in the general appearance of 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 Aztec, a 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 on four wheels.

“The immediate reaction to Fiberfab’s Aztec 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. The 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 panels, headlight inserts, hinges for top, front inner panels and firewall, two fiberglass bucket seats, dashboard, rear bulkhead (to seal the cockpit from the engine room), rear body hangers and body floor panels.

“With complete candor Goodwin will tell the average buyer that the finished car will run about $1250, exclusive of what the builder puts into the VW chassis and running gear. The price of a wrecked VW chassis can vary widely, of course, and may be as a low as a couple of hundred dollars for one in rather poor condition. But Goodwin’s figure of $1250 isn’t a figure off the top pf his head. He has a complete breakdown on the car we reviewed (see 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 complete 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 to fiberglass experts and capable of laminating piece A to bulkhead B, absolutely no fiberglass experience is necessary. The number of modifications to the basic 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 held to a minimum. And to further illustrate his point, Goodwin claims the only tools 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 into place. As with any special, and the Aztec is no exception, the final detailing work is most important. This doesn’t call for cubic dollar, but time, patience and ingenuity. And these are the basic ingredients the customers must have if they are to come out with a first class job. Without this approach no amount of planning on the part of Fiberfab, or any other special component manufacturer, will raise a special above the level of a mistake on four wheels.

“Goodwin estimates that his Aztec weighs in the neighborhood of 1300 lb. wet. A standard VW sedan weighs 1631 dry. The wheelbase remains at the standard VW dimensions of 94.5 in. The over-all length is 153. From the platform to the top of the cockpit is a scant 36 in. The overall height of the 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 saw, it measured 41 in. Now that’s not really low enough to stumble over, but paint it white anyhow.”

A display ad in a 1966 issue of Car & Driver:

“FIBERFAB manufactures a complete line of fiberglass repair panels for Corvette. These one-piece panels are easy to use and are available in the most commonly used major and minor repair sections. Save time and money! In addition to the fiberglass auto bodies shown above, Fiberfab builds the Centurion body for Corvette and the Aztec I Convertible body for Volkswagen. For complete information on bodies, repair parts and accessories, SEND $1.00 FOR THE NEW 1966 BROCHURE. Division of Velocidad, Inc. 140 Commercial, Sunnyvale, California.”

Fiberfab assembled an Aztec at Los Angeles’ Winternational Motorama Auto Show – an event which was detailed in a one-page ad in Car & Driver:

“Instant Aztec (or how to make a 36 hp weakling into a tiger in five hours)

“At the Winternational Motorama Auto Show in Los Angeles, Fiberfab of Sunnyvale, California proved to thousands of people just how easy it is to build a car using their fiberglass sports car body, the Aztec.

“The car was built using what Fiberfab calls its Standard Aztec body, including seats, frame rails to stiffen the Volkswagen chassis and 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. The body used in the show is identical to one Fiberfab sells except that it was pre-painted because of fire regulations. Openings such as headlights and 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 Fiberfab-designed accessories which are available to the Aztec purchaser. This included items 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 wired with headlights and taillights in and instruments working. By the time Fiberfab was through, the car was completely upholstered.

“Fiberfab doesn’t say that everyone who buys one of their bodies can do it this quickly. But they do maintain that their Aztec-Volkswagen conversion is one of the quickest and easiest ways to jazz up a Volkswagen. At the Los Angeles Motorama, they proved it.

“FIBERFAB Division of Velocidad, 140 Commercial, Sunnyvale, California”

Soon after Fiberfab Co. was acquired by a new Goodwin-controlled shell corporation named Velocidad, Inc., after which it became known as the Fiberfab div. of Velocidad Inc., Los Angeles, California. Its officers were as follows: Jamaica K. Goodwin, president; Warren “Bud” Goodwin, vice-president; and John E. Hebler, Secretary-Treasurer/plant manager. A 1966 newspaper article 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 Ford GT 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 development the name was changed to “Caribee.” Larry Shinoda, who did several designs for Fiberfab after meeting Goodwin, relates why the name was changed:

“I was at GM Design at the time. I met him (Goodwin) as he had the name ‘Banshee’ registered and copywrited. GM wanted the name for a future Pontiac or show car. Bud wanted two ZL-1 engines. GM would not furnish the engines but did pay him for the name. They finally used it on a Pontiac show car (Firebird) but not in production.”

Like many of Fiberfab’s early cars, the Banshee/Caribee was designed and mocked-up by brothers Russell and Chris Beebe* who also were in charge of creating the engineering drawings and scale models required for building the master from which the molds were constructed. In a 2014 blog post on Bring A Trailer Chris Beebe recalled:

“My bro and I worked at F-Fab in the mid-to late 60’s, and Bro designed this Caribee (Banchee) for Bud Goodwin, but the mold-maker messed up the mold to suit his flavours (ruined it in our view) and was fired. The Jamaican was designed, model made and mold made by my bro and myself, so the 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 well-known wood sculptor in the Pacific Northwest and Chris, longtime owner of Foreign Car Specialists in Madison, Wisconsin, is often featured in articles written by 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 native Jamaica Karen Ellwood (b. July 3 1939 – d. Sept. 13, 1967), in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Goodwins received a US Trademark for the firm name “Velocidad, Inc., d.b.a. Fiberfab, Sunnyvale, Calif.” in 1966. An article on the firm and the couple appeared in the October, 1966 issue of Car & Driver (pp35-36):

“Breaking the Mold - do-it-yourself fiberglass doesn't have to be traumatic — by John Joss (pp35)

“Fiberfab's Bud Goodwin is an amiable Simon Legret. (caption)

“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 almost-finished flip-cab 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 dedicated 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 modernity. A 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. Back in the “good old days” (still not completely over), the heady dream used to take anything from minutes to hours before fading away. Save the money you've been spending on psychotherapy since that last traumatic experience. There is a way to get that suave body without transfusing massive sums into a hopeless automotive cause; without a lifetime of drudgery in a cold garage. The way is being 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 happening back there in the past. Otherwise they would have fallen into the same old traps. First, they picked for their initial project a chassis that is availability globally, with parts and service to match — the Volkswagen. 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 over in California, at least from the ’57 Chevy and ’51 Ford as THE set of wheels.

“Then Fiberfab arranged it so that just about all the non-VW parts necessary to complete a car would be available with the body shell — items like trim, seats, side windows, minor hardware — and if not, the parts could be obtained from the bin of any Chevrolet dealer. The first Fiberfab bodies, the Aztec I and II, take a Sting Ray windshield complete with rubber 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 “good old days,” Fiberfab bodies are fitted to their chassis by simple hand tools. No 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 no dreaming aesthete can afford to ignore the stern realities of mating his old chassis with a new body. That exotic fiberglass shape that seems so seductive in the advertisement is totally useless and impractical unless it can be mounted on a chassis; unless real live humans can enter, sit in and see out of it; unless it can be wired and trimmed, driven and serviced, licensed and insured. And if anything resembling broad public appeal is to be generated, those necessities must be available not merely to experienced mechanics with time, money and specialized tools.

“The key Fiberfab gimmick is inner paneling prebonded to the outer shell. This integral structure of outer shell and inner paneling drops 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 most standards. As a result, and in spite of its less-than-inspiring lines, more than 200 were molded and delivered for VW chassis, using VW, Porsche and Corvair engines, with bigger brakes (usually Porsche) fitted to those cars in which larger engines were used. The Aztec I showed the acres of disbelievers that you could actually un-bolt the VW sedan body, stiffen the chassis with tow longitudinal members, and then bolt on the body through the same holes that originally held Wolfsburg sheet metal.

“The Aztec II was introduced in the fall of 1965, complete with a very fashionable Kamm-type tail. A longer nose of much improved shape compliments the slightly raised and rounded roof line and curved flanks. Side 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 newly rounded and lengthened tail accommodates Corvair engines and mufflers without the necessity of paring away any of the shell, and the molded-in luggage compartment behind the seats improves the practicality of the car significantly. Some 300 of the new-series bodies were shipped in the first nine months of 1966.

“With the latest Caribee, Fiberfab followed the other basic premise adopted with the first Aztec. For the Caribee, not one but three well-known and widely available chassis were selected, sufficiently close in major dimensions that a single outer shell would fit. They are the MG-A, Triumph TR-series, and the Austin-Healey 6-cylinder series, which lie in goodly 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 not enough to provide a two-dimensional opening with a two-dimensional door to fit into it; the opening must have full re-entrant sections to permit weather-sealing and drain holes, not to mention space for service stickers! The doors themselves are useless without that essential third dimension to give strength and provide for the incorporation of glass, hinges and locks. In these important but often neglected aspects, in marked contrast to many of the earlier fiberglass-shell peddlers who tried to convince their customers that a frameless cutout and flimsy two-dimensional door molding that merely filled the 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 Hebler make an unlikely aggregation.

“Colin Chapman and Carroll Shelby at their ripest could learn a little from Bud Goodwin. A small, round man with a short, sharp fuse, Bud drives himself and Fiberfab along with the gusto of a genial Simon Legree. Bud’s approach to cars, based on years with sprint cars, specials and sound USAC indoctrination, is blasphemous and pragmatic. His tolerance for the naive or ingenuous (albeit paying) customer is nonexistent. His attitude toward real or imagined pomposity is almost refreshing in its deflationary zeal – at GM’s styling Center, Proving Ground, and Executive Dining Room, Bud made a point of wearing the same open-necked sports shirt, slacks and rubber-soled boating shoes that he wears in the shop. To hell with Detroit VPs.

“Jamaica Goodwin, wife, office manager, PR director, accountant, purchasing agent, advertising writer and artist presides imperiously in the “front office” - a smoky turmoil of photo- and art-decked bulletin boards, vendors, hip-deep paperwork, customers, a Dachshund puppy underfoot, and, on one wall, a Hogarthian rendering of Custer’s last stand with Indians in VW’s, shooting arrows through the sunroof.

“John Hebler – mold-maker and shop manager – appears content to fade away into the ‘glass-coated shop floor in self-effacement. But his 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 punch-out shells remains the productive strength on which the business entity of Fiberfab rests.

“The essential fact emphasized repeatedly in the literature and in the promotional and assembly brochures published by the reputable fiberglass body molder is that the ultimate car cannot exceed in quality and satisfaction the detailed attention of the builder and willingness to take pains with the job. This rule applies with absolute impartiality to every car builder in the world, whether he is putting together one car or a series of thousands. By minimizing the historical sources of frustration and failure inherent in the downright implausibility of many of the earlier bodies peddled to a gullible public, Fiberfab has done yeoman service. They have, in essence, made it possible for the enthusiast to concentrate his time and money where they count most – on detailed finishing, trimming, wheels/ tires, body color, instruments, steering wheel. The mechanical side can be ignored or indulged at will. Although there are still a few snake-oil merchants around, there are no real excuses for a ‘bad experience’ by the informed and aware buyer. For those who remember the ‘good old days’ of the fiberglass body shell, these are massive strides indeed.”

Originally located at 140 Commercial St, Sunnyvale, California, Fiberfab moved to much larger quarters located at 2365 Lafayette St., Santa Clara, California, in 1967 and shortly thereafter its sales volume topped $1,000,000 annually.

A circa 1966 brochure described Fiberfab’s Corvette 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 hesitate to repair Corvettes. However, fiberglass work can be even more simple than metal 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. To replace a complete Corvette front end from the door jambs forward, less chrome and hood, requires over twenty separate parts. All these pieces must be laminated together and each part must be adjusted to fit in the finished repair section. If one of these laminations is not correctly aligned the other pieces 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 filled, sanded and finished. Old parts which are patched from underneath may crack or 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 doors when stock repair sections are used.

“However:

“With Fiberfab parts you only need to buy one piece. The sections shown on the price list are designed to keep patching and laminating to a minimum. In most cases, the parts join where the body surface is narrow or hidden, thus reducing finishing time.

“Using Fiberfab’s one piece repair sections, it is possible to replace the damaged area with a new panel and still save money. The finished repair will be stronger, look better and last longer.

“Stop wasting valuable time and money. You can save with Fiberfab.

“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 ends instead of the standard repair parts on an already damaged Corvette.

“The Shark customer front end shells has the distinctive razor sharp lines and clean styling that is so popular today. It effectively gives a ‘Sting-Ray’ look to earlier Corvettes and it blends well with Corvette styling. The lines lend themselves to a variety of chrome, grill or paint treatments.

“1964-1968 Price List


Repair Panels for Corvette
List
Net

Front Sections for Corvette

1954-55 Models Complete front shell, less hood
$150

Front section, middle of wheelwells forward
$125

Quarter front section, middle of wheels to grill center, left or right
$ 70
1956-57 Models Complete front shell, less hood
$150

Front section, middle of wheelwells forward
$125

Half front, door to grill center, left or right
$ 80

Quarter section, middle of wheels to grill center, left or right
$ 70

Front inner panel, radiator to side, left or right
$ 10
1958-62 Models Complete front shell, less hood and headlight covers
$150

Front section, middle of wheels forward
$125

Half front, door to grill center, left or right
$ 80

Quarter section, middle of wheels to grill center, left or right
$ 70

Inner splash panel, left or right 
$ 25
1963-67 Models Complete front shell, less hood and headlight covers
$150

Front section, middle of wheels forward
$125

Half front, door to grill center, left or right
$ 80

Quarter section, wheel center to grill center, left or right
$ 75

Inner splash panel, left or right 
$ 25
Shark Complete Shark #1 custom front end shell
$200

Complete Shark #2 custom front end shell
$200

Rear Sections for Corvette

1958-60 Models Complete rear shell, less trunk and top cover
$135

Rear section, center wheels back
$115

Half rear section, door to center rear, left or right 
$ 85

Quarter section, wheel center to center rear, left or right
$ 70
1961-62 Models Complete rear shell, less trunk and top cover
$175

Rear section, center of wheels back 
$140

Half rear section, door to center rear, left or right
$ 90

Quarter section, wheel center to rear center, left or right
$ 80
1963 Convertible Complete rear shell, less trunk top cover and lower rear panel
$175

Rear section, middle of wheels back
$150

Half rear section, door to center rear, left or right
$ 90

Quarter section, wheel center to rear center, left or right
$ 80
1965 Corvette Hood with scoop
$ 75





Kits and Kit Accessories


Apache
Apache sports car body
$495


Floorpan
$150


Apache sports car body laminated with floor pan
$695


Chassis kit #1 w/used Vette frame/components
$295


Chassis kit #2 w/tube chassis/Vette components
$595


Chassis kit #3 w/tube chassis/VW components
$395

Avenger GT-12
Avenger GT-12 basic body kit
$795


Avenger GT-12 deluxe body kit
$995


Deluxe upholstery kit (red, black or blue)
$195


The following are included in the deluxe kit



Clear safety glass windshield
$ 70


Frame rails
$ 75


Rear hangers
$ 60


Tinted safety glass rear window
$105


GT fiberglass bucket seats (per pair)
$ 40


Classic fiberglass buckets seats (per pair)
$ 25


Lotus-type fiberglass buckets seats (per pair)
$ 30


Door inner panels (set of 2)
$ 30


Dashboard-console with formed instrument wells
$ 55

Avenger GT-15
Avenger GT-15 deluxe body kit (complete)Avenger GT-15 deluxe body kit (complete) $1395

Aztec
'Cheapie' one-piece shell
$595 $395

Standard Kit
$995 $795

Windshield
$ 90 $ 45

Windshield-tinted, blue or green
$100 $ 50

Plexiglass headlight covers, pair
$ 30 $ 15

Interior upholstery kit
$200 $110

Window kit, channels & Plexiglass
$ 90 $ 45

Rear hangers - no charge with standard kit
$120 $ 60

Frame rails - no charge with standard kit $100 $ 50
Centurion
Centurion body shell
$695 $495

Floorpan - please specify year
$250 $150
Clodhopper
Clodhopper kit (includes glass + windshield frame)
$395


Clodhopper roll-bar
$ 60


Two-tone solid color or metalflake
$ 50


Convertible vinyl top
$ 75


Hardtop
$ 90

E/T
E/T "Street" 2-piece
$395


E/T "Competition" 1-piece
$345


E/T Plexiglass headlight covers - pair
$ 35

Jamaican
Kit #1 Standard Jamaican kit
$795


Kit #2 Deluxe Jamaican kit (includes glass, seats)
$895


Deluxe upholstery kit (blk)
$195


Plexiglass headlight covers
$ 30


Safety glass windshield
$ 45


Safety glass rear window
$ 55

Jet-A-Bout
6 hp 4-cycle engine with recoil start
$695


6 hp 4-cycle engine with electric start $765


10 hp 2-cycle engine with recoil start
$785


14 hp 2-cycle engine with recoil start
$805

MiGi
MiGi deluxe body kit (1975 price)
$1895


MiGi basic body kit    (1975 price)
$1495

Vagabond
Vagabond kit (includes glass + windshield frame)
$595


Convertible vinyl top - includes frame - blk or wht
$125


Vagabond roll-bar
$ 60


Miscellaneous Fiberglass Automotive Sections



Classic fiberglass bucket seat shell
$ 24 $ 12

Lotus-type fiberglass bucket seat shell
$ 28 $ 14

Upholstered bucket seats, either style
$ 58 $ 38

E-Jaguar front end repair shell
$345 $245

Willys front end shell and hood
$195 $140

“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 95050”

In addition to the VW bodies and Corvette panels, Fiberfab also introduced a fiberglass front-end for the 1964-1966 Ford Mustang, which was marketed as the Mustang E/T Fiberglass frontend:

“…just unbolt your old frontend and simply bolt on Fiberfab's. New Stylish Modern looking frontend, and away you go, the envy of Friends and Onlookers alike!”

The E/T was designed by Larry Shinoda, and he discussed the project in the September, 1996 issue of Mustang Times:

“Here are the sketches I did for Fiberfab in 1965. I was at GM Design at the time. Sort of a moon light job for Bud Goodwin, founder of Fiberfab. I met him as he had the name ‘Banshee’ registered and copywrited. GM wanted the name for a future Pontiac or show car. Bud wanted two ZL-1 engines. GM would not furnish the engines but did pay him for the name. They finally used it on a Pontiac show car (Firebird) but not in production.

“I did the Mustang front clip, which was reminiscent to the GT-40 and Mustang Mach II (mid-engined Mustang) show model. To clear the shock towers the hood was a little too high, plus the front overhang got to be a little too long. There was one of these cars in some Mustang publication not too long ago.

“The dune Buggy ‘Vagabond’ was a fun project. It used the standard VW chassis without chopping, or you could use it on a chopped unit.”

“I have only these photos of the original work.”

It is believed that Fiberfab constructed no more than 50 E/T Mustang kits over a 9-month period. Apparently demand was insufficient to re-tool for the redesigned 1967-1968 Mustang and the E/T project died when the remainders were sold. The E/T molds survived the move to Milipitas, Ca. in the 1970s, but were destroyed when that factory was shuttered in the early '80s.

Shinoda also designed the Fiberfab Vagabond dune buggy which debuted sometime in 1966. It was one of 2 distinct VW Type 1-based buggies marketed by Fiberfab in the mid- to late-1970s. The other was a stubby Meyers-influenced design called the “Clodhopper”  which was designed by Russell Beebe.

An unrelated, yet identically-pronounced, British firm called Fibre Fab marketed a totally different VW Type 1-based buggy called the “Rat” which was totally unrelated to the buggies built by Fiberfab in the North America.

Another Shinoda-influenced design was Fiberfab’s sleek reinterpretation of the 1959 XP-87 Stingray Racer and 1961 Mako Shark showcar (both designed by Pete Brock, Bill Mitchell, and Shinoda) which was called the “Centurion.” Like the XP-87, the Centurion had a fiberglass body on a space frame chassis, and made use of C1 Corvette running gear.

Some sources state the Centurion was used in Elvis Presley’s 1967 film Clambake, however close examination of pcitures of that vehicle reveal it is the real XP-87, not the Centurion.

The Centurion was designed to mate to a V8-powered C-1 or C-2 Corvette donor chassis and although actual production remains 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, “shark gill” vents on either side of the engine bay, over-sized wheel arches, headrest “humps” for aerodynamic (and styling) purposes, with high sills to make way for the underlying frame.

Unlike most other ‘kit cars’ the fit and finish of the Centurion’s interior approaches production car quality, with centrally mounted gauges allowing the body to be used in either left or right hand drive configurations. The interior was upholstered in grey vinyl throughout, and the functional trunk was capable of holding a couple of small suitcases. Apparently General Motors was not fond of The Centurian, and an article in a 1967 issue of Car & Driver alludes to a visit by Goodwin to Warren, Michigan:

“… at GM’s styling Center, Proving Ground, and Executive Dining Room, Bud made a point of wearing the same open-necked sports shirt, 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 to have been built after 1967.

The only first-hand knowledge of a GM-Goodwin encounter comes from Larry Shinoda, who stated in a 1989 letter to Mustang Monthly magazine (cited above):

“I met him (Bud) as he had the name ‘Banshee’ registered and copywrited. GM wanted the name for a future Pontiac or show car. Bud wanted two ZL-1 engines. GM would not furnish the engines but did pay him for the name. They finally used it on a Pontiac show car (Firebird) but not in production.”

Of the five Centurions currently accounted for, most used C1 Corvette donors - and at least one used a C2. That Centurion is currently owned by Wes Abendroth, and was originally Goodwin’s personal car. It retains the original 1965 327 cu.in. Corvette’s components and was prominently featured on the cover of the 1966 Fiberfab Catalog. Back in the day it was club raced and appeared in a ‘Man from Glad’ television commercial. Only four other bodies are accounted for - two completed cars, and two bare fiberglass shells.

Following Goodwin’s “meeting” with General Motors officials, the Centurian project was abandoned, and its flagship status transferred to the Valkeryie GT.

Introduced in 1966, the Valkyrie GT was a mid-engine GT40 copy with a tubular space frame, independent suspension, Hurst-Airheart disc brakes, Corvair tranny/transaxle (or optional ZF 5-speed) and Ford or Chevy V8s. Depending on the engine, a top speed of 180 mph/290 kmh was claimed with a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds, requiring a parachute for additional braking power. Offered between 1967 and 1969 at $12,500 complete with drivetrain, or as a kit, the Valkyrie found few takers.

By a wide margin, Fiberfab’s most successful and well-known offering was the Avenger GT, which debuted shortly after the Valkyrie and was positioned as a popular-priced VW or Corvair-powered alternative. The Avenger GT-12 was for VW Type 1 donor chassis while the GT-15 was designed to use Corvair components, and included a purpose-built tube frame on which to hang them and an interior kit which included a high-bucket fiberglass shell to which an upholstery kit was affixed. The Avenger was also Fiberfab’s longest-lived offering, remaining in production from 1966 into 1978.

Avenger production can be divided into three periods, the so-called short door cars are the earliest, so-named because they had a rocker panel below the door. Next were the slightly wider long door Avengers, whose doors ran all the way to the bottom of the car body. The final period saw another slight revision, and a changed in nomenclature to the Avenger GT12X and GT15X. These cars were all long door cars with wheel arch flares and a chin 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 Chevy Corvair Monza/Corsa. There were several options for the side windows. Older cars offered the choice of Fiberfab-supplied one-piece glass side windows or combination window/wind-wings using 1966 full-sized Ford door glass and 1965 Mustang vent windows. Polycarbonate panes (Plexiglass or Lexan) were extra cost options. The choice of taillights were left up to the customer, the most popular being units sourced from early Mustangs, Mavericks and Camaros.

The August 1967 issue of Road & Track included a 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 suspicion of murder in the shooting death of his second wife, Jamaica. The police reported that Bud had found Jamaica with Forbus Thor Kiddoo, a house guest and purported Fiberfab factory engineer.

“Accused Of Killing Wife

“LOS GATOS (AP) An executive of a sports car manufacturing company, was booked on suspicion of murder today in the shooting of his wife in their luxurious mountain top home here.

“He is Warren Goodwin, 46 vice president and general manager of Fiberfab - Velocidad Inc., manufacturer of the Valkyrie sports car. He is accused of killing his 28-year-old wife, Jamaica Elwood Goodwin, president of the firm.

“Undersheriff C. D. Marron said the shooting occurred shortly after 1 a.m. when Goodwin found his wife and a male family friend together in the living room. Marron quoted Goodwin as saying he fired a warning shot over the heads of his wife and the man from a Spanish semi-automatic pistol, then accidentally fired again. The 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 in Los Angeles before moving the firm to Sunnyvale. The plant was transferred to larger facilities in Santa Clara last year. The firm has a factory branch in West Germany and did a million dollar business last year. The Goodwins lived in Palo Alto until moving to Los Gatos this summer.”

United Press International provided a few more details:

“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 the chest.

“Her friend, Forbus Thor Kkidoo, 30, disappeared from the scene but later turned himself in to the Sheriff's office.

“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 later.

“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 short fuse.'

“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 million.”

Although Jamaica was shot in the middle of her chest and Goodwin boasted of being an excellent marksman, he claimed the shooting was “accidental”, the AP reporting:

“Innocent Plea In Wife Killing

“SAN JOSE (AP) — Warren Harding Goodwin, 46, Los Gatos sports car body builder, pleaded innocent yesterday to charges of killing his 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 deadly 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 with 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 Jamaican (designed by brothers Russ and Chris Beebe) debuted before its namesakes’ death, however, like its namesake, the Jamaican was extremely attractive looking like a cross between a Lamborghini Miura, 1968 Corvette and the Ford Cougar II concept. The body was designed to fit over a donor Triumph TR3/4, Healey 3000, or MGA frame. A later version of the Jamaican body was offered with fender flares, and was available with a Fiberfab-built chassis for a V8 engine. Another Jamaican variant was offered for use with VW Type 1 drivetrains. The Jamaican used windshields from the 1965 Corvette, side windows from a Karmann Ghia and rear 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 and his brother, Russ, who also built the fiberglass molds and helped assemble the 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 of voluntary manslaughter. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge John T. Racanelli ordered Goodwin to pay a $1,375 fine and serve a year in 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 wife.

“Goodwin, who had pleaded no contest to a felony manslaughter charges, was also placed on five years probation and fined $1,375. The sentence was handed down Friday by Santa Clara County Superior Judge John Racanelli.

“Goodwin was convicted of killing his wife, Jamaica, 28, in the kitchen of their Los Gatos home last Sept. 13 after finding her embracing another man.

“Racanelli postponed execution of the sentence until Jan. 29 to see if Goodwin can qualify for the county work-furlough program. Those qualifying 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 was president of the firm.”

He didn't live long enough to complete the sentence, and passed away in jail on December 26, 1968 of a heart attack, the Associated Press reporting:

“Sports Car Builder Found Dead in His Jail Bunk

“SAN JOSE (AP) Warren Harding Goodwin, 46, a sports car body manufacturer serving a one-year county jail term for the voluntary manslaughter of his second wife, was found dead yesterday in his jail bunk.

“Santa Santa Clara County coroner's deputies reported the death apparently was due to natural causes. He suffered from heart disease.

“Goodwin was sentenced after pleading no contest to the shooting death of Jamaica Ellwood Goodwin, 28, in September, 1967, in their luxurious mountain top home in Los Gatos. Police said he had found his wife romantically involved with a house guest.

“Goodwin was co-owner of Fiberfab-Velocidad, Inc., in Santa Clara where the firm built the Valkyrie sports car. It cost $11,000 and won third place in the prototype division of the International Sports Car Show in 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 docked between Pier 39 and Pier 41 at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

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 lay-up dept., John Ubina, in the founding of Hebina Plastics (Hebler–Ubina) 858 Albo Street, Santa Clara, California and in 1969 introduced their own kit car, the Gazelle (later renamed the Amante).

Richard G. Figueroa, Fiberfab's special projects 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 a design perspective - was the Aztec 7, a blatant copy (or tribute) to the Alfa Romeo 33 Bertone Carabo, a one-off wedge-shaped concept car that debuted at the 1968 Paris Motor Show. Designed by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, the Carabo’s name was derived from the 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 majority of Fiberfab’s kit cars, it was designed to be assembled using a VW Type 1 donor chassis, with options for Porsche, Corvair and Buick V6 power. One interesting fact about the car was that it used a very pricey windscreen built by Guardian Glass Co. and shared with the Lamborghini Miura.

There was a Fiberfab-sponsored steam-powered Aztec-7 built for a land speed record attempt at Bonneville that 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 Fiberfab 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 competitors:

“Fiberfab takes to the water with the Jet-A-Bout. This attractive, fun, sport-boat is safe, easy to handle and available with several performance options. The Jet-A-Bout has jet-drive propulsion and is capable of skimming the water at speeds of 15 to 30 mph (using the optional high-performance engine). When we say “skimming” – we really mean it – this sturdy little craft can operated in as little as two inches of water.

“The Jet-A-Bout does not have a propeller, therefore the danger from whirling blades is eliminated. The Jet-A-Bout has a foam-filled hull providing built-flotation. Because of these safety features, the Jet-A-Bout is an ideal water craft for family play areas or resorts where swimmers and children abound.”

There were also Fiberfab Avenger clones, albeit short-lived ones. The most well-known being the “Shark” which was produced by small outfit 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, Burbank, CA.

“GT Productions, 1105 E. Fern Dr., Phoenix, AZ.

“Advanced Design Cars Inc., 3363 Bob Billa, San Antonio, TX

“Foreign Auto Parts, 2728 California, Topeka, KS

“Major Cars, Inc., 3626 Montorse, Chicago, IL.

“GT Company, 2600 N. Grant St., Little Rock, AR.

“Martin Enterprises Inc., 5473 Lake Ct., Cleveland, OH.

“Custom Car Crafters, 780 National Rd, Wheeling, WV.

“Fiberglass Products of Atlanta, 1595 White Way, East Point, GA.

“EDP Enterprises, 603 Fayette St., Mamaroneck, NY.

“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 to finish:

“New One-Piece Body Turns ‘Bug’ Into a Beauty

By Leonard E. Sabal

“It comes complete with roll-up windows, VDO instrumentation, hinged and adjusted doors, windshield wipers, fitted lights, and 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 you park — 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 questions. Actually, it’s all of these and more, for the GT-12 is a one-of-a-kind automobile that you build.

“All you need to get started is a VW sedan chassis and Fiberfab’s new one-piece body. Add a few extras for looks and performance, 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 — sorely needed in view of my unfamiliarity with air-cooled engines. Co-owner Ed Arnold and his chief mechanic, Bruce Sherman, are VW specialists. (Arnold once produced a 1961 1176-cc supercharged VW sedan that turned the quarter-mile at 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 and 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 printed. At the time, this was one of the two car bodies available in the country. It was trucked to New York by Ed Martincic, owner of Martin Enterprises (Fiberfab’s 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 suitable for a Boy Scout troop — 48 in. high, 81½ in. wide and 14 ft. long. The shipping 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 the gas tank. A ‘68 or ‘69 tank is required, but even this, we found, wouldn’t fit the available space between the hood rib supports without bending down the tank flanges as shown (center, right). Also, we did away with the gas tank support frame and simply used side supports fiberglassed to the firewall and bolted to 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 selector, slip the body over the chassis (the more hands, the better) and position it so it lies flush with all interior floor edges. You’ll now be aware of how much wider the body is than the regular floorpan. Drill up through the holes in the VW chassis, using the lag-type bolts provided, and secure the body to the chassis.

“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 the instructions) trying to decide if the wire tagged 25, for example, was ‘hot’, 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 the price for the one-piece body is the same: $2495. The body is also available ¡n rough unfinished sections which can be assembled for less money.”

While the Goodwin estate was being settled (1969-1971) Richard G. Figueroa, formerly Fiberfab's special projects manager, managed the plant while Roger Bryan served as president, but without its founder (and his muse) Fiberfab floundered, and by 1971 was on the verge of going under. The firm even raised the price of their mail-away Fiberfab full-color brochures from $1 to $2 to generate more income. Bill Voegele, an employee at the time relates in the following Facebook post that management was more interested in selling brochures than making bodies.

https://www.facebook.com/Amante-GT-A-Californian-Dream-980706145326679/

“In 1969, I graduated from Berkeley, with honors, in Mechanical Engineering. Although I could have written my ticket with several employers, I chose to take a job on the production line with a fiberglass kit car body manufacturer called Fiberfab. Coincidentally, they were located in Santa Clara, California. I took a job on the assembly line at $2.75/hour only with the agreement that I could do engineering work (at an engineer’s pay rate) as soon as it was available. Fiberfab was making several types of kit cars and dune buggies. They sold their brochures through magazine advertising at $2 each. When I was there, they were selling so many brochures that it took two girls to go to the post office to carry back all the envelopes containing $2. They hardly cared if they sold cars if they could just sell enough brochures.

“This was an era when companies like Fiberfab were flying high. However, I quickly became disenchanted with the quality level at Fiberfab and with their attitude about quality. I will never forget a quote by one of the managers when I told him that I wanted to add some spacers between the rear trunk panel and the body. He refused to let me do it. He said, 'We can’t build these cars so bad that they won’t sell.'

“Fiberfab turned me off to the point that I started looking elsewhere. I heard that there were two ex-Fiberfab employees who had started a business just a couple of miles down the road and who had designed a very European-looking GT coupe. Those two people were John Hebler and John Ubina; hence, their company name, Hebina Plastics. John & John were not getting 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 the forerunner for what was to become The Amante.

“Although my father was very unhappy that I had left the family roofing business (it had been four years by then), he agreed to advance enough money for me to buy the assets of Hebina Plastics and become my own General Motors. It didn’t take much money. We formed a new corporation called 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 was released in 1971. Fiberfab definitely appeared in the credits and most likely constructed the various scoops and appendages for SCCA Trans-Am racer John Ward, who was hired by Lucas to prep and modify two Lola T70s for the film. The first, a T70 Mark II spyder (provenance unknown), was converted into a coupe and subsequently smacked into a concrete pillar. The second, a T70 Mark III coupe, similarly modified, served as Robert Duvall’s “hero car” in the film and was purchased by Ward from actor/race-driver James Garner.

By that time Fiberfab was in serious financial trouble, evidenced by the reduced number of ads in the automotive buff books, and even those were printed on cheap standard paper in black & white ink - their 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 what was left of the firm, which at the time was little more than a few key molds, boxes of accessories, some designs and the trade name. They reorganized the firm as the Fiberfab division, Concept Design America Ltd., and relocated it to much 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 Fiberfab Clodhoppers) out of their 703 East 152nd St., Cleveland, Ohio, workshop. From 1972-1974 Fiberfab’s advertisements included both 41060 High Street, Fremont, California and 703 East 152nd St., Cleveland, Ohio.

With Figueroa as president, Fiberfab Corp. introduced its 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 easily-assembled body chassis kit… the Liberty SLR. The Liberty SLR, while reaching back to the traditional European sports racer styling of the mid-‘30’s, runs a deceptive V-8 engine”

Figueroa was also interested in non-automotive applications of Fiberglas, and in 1971 applied for a patent on a swimming pool:

Design Patent USD228891S; Swimming Pool, United States Patent 0ffice, Patented Oct. 30, 1973 228,891 SWIMMING POOL Richard G. Figueroa, Fremont, Calif., assignor to Concept Design America, Ltd., Fremont, Calif. Filed July 19, 1971, Ser. No. 164,160: The ornamental design for a 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 individual touches.

“But I can sympathize with the Government. Some of the stuff that's being marketed these days isn't safe; they're using Plexiglas for doors, and the roof and the windshield don't have much strength, and there's no roll‐over protection. The Feds will have to do something the way it's been growing.”

Figueroa and the Martincic brothers had no luck in turning the firm around and in November of 1974 a Pennsylvania corporation, A.T.R. Inc. acquired ownership and relocated Fiberfab into its Baldwin Street, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania plant. About 1975 Fiberfab introduced 3 new models including an unusual kit which turned a motor-cycle into a three-wheel car called the Scarab STM (Sports Transport Module). Two additional models were introduced, bringing the line to 9 models with approximately 30 different power plant options.

In November of 1974 Fiberfab, Inc., was purchased by A.T.R., Inc. and Aris V.C. Valli appointed president. Under Valli Fiberfab sales approached the $8 million mark, but he wasn’t able to enjoy if for long as he suffered a massive heart attack in August of 1976 and passed away, at which time Aris’ son, Robert F. Valli, took over as acting president. Under the second generation of Valli’s Fiberfab entered a cost-cutting mode, and by the fall of 1978 had reduced its offerings from seven to just three, the Avenger – 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 Co. in Newark, California to manufacture Ultimus-brand high-roof conversion vans and trailers. The Ultimus concept was unique in that it featured an enclosed articulated walkway between the van and the trailer, giving passengers a full run of the vehicle while traveling.)

At the time of the sale Fiberfab was developing other chassis applications as well as working with several organizations to develop battery powered, electric drive vehicles. They were also reworking some of the 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 $15,000,000 for 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 Program. They planned the speed record attempt for August at Bonneville. The car failed to exceed 100 mph and was sold to the Barber-Nichols Engineering Company. Barber-Nicholls rebuilt it. On its first attempt it reached 111 mph. Robert Barber at Bonneville on August 19, 1985 reached 145.607 mph but the car caught fire and was unable to complete its second run. The car is on display at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada.

In 1977 Fiberfab reintroduced the original rear-engine-only MiGi kit as the Migi II configured as either a front engine/RWD (very rare) or rear engine/RWD car, many of which were sold as completely finished, turn-key units for approximately $10,000.

In 1979 Fiberfab Inc. relocated to St Louis Park (Minneapolis), Minnesota. The firm operated two assembly centers in Michigan and about 50 across the continental U. S., according to Warren Orrick , Fiberfab's regional sales manager for Michigan.

“Fiberfab lnternational, of Minneapolis, Minn., markets an MG replica kit manufactured in Miami, Fla. lt is patterned after the 1952 MG-TD and uses Ford, Chevrolet or Volkswagen running gear.”

In 1982 Fiberfab’s largest competitor, Classic Motor Carriages, purchased the company and renamed it Fiberfab International. Classic Motor Carriages had little interest in the designs originated by Fiberfab and were primarily interest in obtaining the trade name and dealer network. Fiberfab produced and continued a handful of models under the Classic Motor Carriages 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 replica), Porsche 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 Miami manufacturing facility.

The most popular post-merger product was the Speedster, which was sold as a turn-key vehicle or an unassembled kit intended for the customer or, in many cases, third-party constructors. It was built using the existing CMC molds and merely re-badged as a Fiberfab – Fiberfab had nothing to do with the replica’s development.

Two versions were initally available, the stock-appearing “Speedster” and the club racing-style “Speedster Californian.” Some of these cars were finished to a very high standard, with actual Porsche interiors, emblems and hardware and I know of several replica Speedster owners who regularly pass them off as the real deal. Added several years later was the Fiberfab Speedster 359, a polarizing 911-style roadster which many Porsche enthusiasts consider to be an abomination.

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 same time as the case was proceeding a new company, Auto Resolutions, was set up by the owner George Levin to continue making Classic Motor Carriages vehicles trading under the name Street Beasts. Complaints about its products continued. Street Beasts closed its business in 2010 and auctioned off its plant, molds, and 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 Washougal River Rd, Washougal, Washington.

Fiberfab Canada Ltd.

In Canada, an entirely separate firm, Fiberfab Canada, Ltd., handled the firm’s products north of the border. Its history commenced in 1968 with the appointment of Don Entwistle as the sole Canadian Fiberfab distributor, using an office and service facility located in Toronto, Ontario.

Business was sufficient to create a separate manufacturing facility and in 1969 Fiberfab established Fiberfab Canada, Ltd. with Don Entwistle as president, and the search for a location for that plant led them to the small town of Dauphin, Manitoba. A skeletal crew was established there in as early as 1969, and in 1971 a $44,000 government grant created several more jobs, the February 24, 1971 issue of the Dauphin Herald announced the incentive:

“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 Ottawa that Fiberfab Canada Limited of Dauphin will receive an incentive of approximately $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 a 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 of the third man is completed, another employee will be hired.

“Don Entwistle, formerly of Regina, is the president of Fiberfab Canada Limited. On first coming to Dauphin a few months ago, he told 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 co-operation in Manitoba.’

“Through correspondence with the Manitoba department of industry and commerce, Dauphin came up as a possible site for locating the plant.

‘“Then it was a combination of the Manitoba government and Parkland Development Corporation,’ Mr. Entwistle said. He mentioned he had received ‘tremendous co-operation’ from Parkland. ‘Information we had looked for for a year, Parkland had at their fingertips.’

“Mrs. Entwistle has been very much involved 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 counted 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 Ronayne, who is at present on a cross-Canada trip setting up a dealer network. He is working out of Winnipeg. Because of training build-up of staff will be gradual.

“The plant will manufacture Avenger and Jamaican fiberglass bolt-on sports car bodies and these will fit Volkswagen, Austin-Healey, MGA, 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. He mentioned that the Western Canada drag strip champion has one of these auto bodies.

“Putting the body onto the car chassis is a ‘do it yourself’ exercise. However, it is made easy by instruction manuals and the Entwistle 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 Fiberfab of California.

“Mr. Entwistle lists some of the advantages of the fiberglass body: there is no corrosion; it is seven times stronger than steel and tends to accept force. It rebounds and there is no denting.

“The new production company expects it main markets will be Ontario – mainly because of the density of population – and in British Columbia because of the number of cars there.

“Fiberfab of Canada president Don Entwistle plans to market a ‘total car’ within a year to 18 months. He said he is working with two manufacturers – both European – ‘and we hope to get both rear-engine and front-engine models.’ These cars would be sold mainly on the Canadian market.”

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., Oakville, 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 commissioned sales representative back in 1971. After B.S.I. acquired ownership of Fiberfab Canada, Ltd. and moved it to Oakville, Stasiewicz inked an exclusive distribution deal with A.T.R., Inc. and its Fiberfab subsidiary. The move resulted in an increase in both production and sales which topped the $2 million mark in fiscal 1976.

Fiberfab Canada Ltd.’s product line mirrored that of the US firm, the Aztec-7, Avenger and Jamaican being most popular by a wide margin. Increased sales resulted in April, 1977 introduction of a new model, the MiGi-II, 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, including shipping. The MiGi II was offered in kit form, rolling chassis and turn-key versions, the latter priced at $10,000. That vehicle proved very popular, and over the next eighteen months over 180 units were sold. FCL was also the Canadian distributor for Bugpack VW parts and accessories, which were very popular back in the day.

Consumer tastes were changing rapidly and Fiberfab’s Canadian operations ended production of the Avenger and Jamaican to concentrate on the MiGi-II, its most popular model. The first Canadian Aztec-7 was manufactured in 1978 and featured a complete Urracco sub-frame mounted to a Fiberfab-constructed custom frame work. The cars had electric headlights, power assist doors and A/C. While many kits were sold, the main emphasis was to build turn-key Aztec-7s.

You can tell where a Fiberfab vehicle was manufactured by looking at the badge – US-built cars had a black ff (some were chrome, some red) with blue/black background while Canadian cars had a black ff with a green/black background.

In February of 1979 all business relations between Fiberfab, 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 and change of direction for Fiberfab, Inc.’s US operations which were now headed by Robert F. Valli.

In June of 1979 Barry Stasiewicz sold Fiberfab Canada Ltd.’s assets to a newly-organized shell company, Glastech Automotive Design Corp. He relocated Fiberfab Canada Limited’s operations several miles west to 2384 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 debuted 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 located at the same address as Fiberfab Canada; 2384 Queensway Drive, Burlington.

In November of 1979 a new contract was inked with the reorganized Fiberfab Inc. – now called Fiberfab International Inc. - that stipulated that the latter party would distribute Canadian-made MiGi IIs through the existing 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 Plastics Ltd., a firm recently organized by former FCL Vice-president Donald C. Bradshaw. In June of 1980 Lakeshore Plastics registered the trade name 'Burlington MiGi' and commenced manufacturing the vehicle for all of North America in its Burlington, Ontario facility.

The design of the Jamaican SKR was handled by an Italian firm located in Turin, and a prototype constructed in Milano. Upon its return to Canada a German-sourced V-6 was installed although exactly what happened to it is unknown.

Soon after production of a front-engine Migi II had commenced, Stasiewicz sold off rights to the entire MiGi II line to Auburn Cars Ltd. (now Prototype Research & Development Ltd.), of Campbellford, Ontario. Prototype R&D remains in business today and produces a full line of Fiberglas replicas which include; 1955/1957 BelAir Convertibles, 1952 MGTD (MiGi II), 1935 Auburn 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 Canadian vehicle 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 to Stasiewicz:

“It took us almost 7 years to get to the point to start building the 427 Cobra's. We weren't interested in ‘upgrading’ the vehicle like all the other manufacturers were doing... extended bodies, extended doors, 2010 interiors, etc. Our goal was to build an authentic 1966 427 Cobra. In the end we succeeded and were only out 1/2" in overall dimensions.”

The 427 Cobra was offered in kit form, as a rolling chassis or as a complete turn-key automobile with U.K.-sourced components and accessories.

Fiberfab Europa

In 1969 Fiberfab had established a German distributor, Fiberfab Europa, 7064 Geradstetten, Stuttgart, West Germany in order to market the firm’s kits in Europe, but the formal link to the US manufacturer was ended in 1973. In 1975 Fiberfab Europa introduced of its own Jeep-style vehicle called the Sherpa which was constructed using a Citroen 2CV donor. The also distributed the Fissore-built Scout 127, a similar-looking Fiat 127-based untility vehicle. Now known as Fiberfab GmbH, Fiberglas-Formteil, Eisenbahnstrasse 43, 74360 Ilsfeld-Auenstein, the firm continues to manufacture Fiberglas components for the transportation industry. Its website, http://www.fiberfab.de/, even offers downloads of the Aztec, Bonanza and Bonito assembly manuals:

“Jörgfrieder Kuhnle founded the company Fiberfab-Karosserie in the Remstal near Stuttgart. He started with the production of the sports car 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 inspired the 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 omnibus, tuning 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 (pressure injection), vacuum infusion method and prepreg processing have been introduced. Another milestone was the implementation of the quality management system ISO 9000: 2000. Brand new is the acquisition of a 5-axis CNC milling machine with CAD / CAM workstation.”

Fiberfab in Great Britain

A British firm called A.C.M. manufactured the Fiberfab Bonito coupe (GT40 inspired) and several others (‘FF’ and ‘RAT’ dune buggies) under license in Twyford, Warrington around 1981, but soon after another British firm, Seraph Cars Ltd, took over their manufacture. Their Bonito, which was dubbed the “Seraph 3000,” required a donor VW Type 1 chassis but Seraph soon created a new backbone chassis that enable them to offer a front-engines option. Typical powerplants included V6 engines from a Ford Capri or Granada, and several were equipped with Rover V8 power. Seraph Cars Ltd. Eventually withdrew from business and sold rights to the UK Fiberfab vehicles to Clive Clark's Excalibur and Crusader cars. As of 2010 WS Motors in England were still able to produce the bodies to order.

© 2019 Mark Theobald for Coachbuilt.com

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References

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark - Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1805-1942

Barry Stasiewicz

Iain Ayre – The Transformer, MG Enthusiast, July 1913 issue

John Darling & Andy Atkinson - 'Teaching pole' will rise above SOU, November 27, 2017 edition of the Mail Tribune (Medford, Oregon)

russellbeebe.com

Robert Lindsay - Next Best Thing to a Bugatti: A Bugatti Kit, October 13, 1974 edition of the New York Times

Harold Pace - The Big Guide To Kit and Specialty Cars, pub. 1999

Larry Shinoda - A Letter from the Boss, Mustang Times, Vol. 20, No. 9 - September 1996 issue

Harold Pace Mark R. Brinker - Vintage American Road Racing Cars 1950-1969

Will the 1906 Record Fall? - The Steam Automobile, Vol. 19, No. 1  Jan. 1977 issue

Hagerty.com

fiberfab.us

vfnfiberglass.com

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