Rare and Gorgeous 1954 Victress S4 Emerges From Fiberglass Junkyard

1954 Victress S4 9 photos
Photo: Undiscovered Classics/YouTube
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When it comes to classic fiberglass sports cars, we naturally think about the first-generation Chevrolet Corvette. But even though the 'Vette was the first mass-produced fiberglass sports car, the material had been used by other companies since the late 1940s.
The jury is still out on who actually pioneered the use of fiberglass in automotive manufacturing, but Bill Tritt was definitely among the pioneers. He established Glasspar in 1947 and unveiled its first automobile, the G2, in 1949. It's widely known as the first low-volume production fiberglass vehicle in the world.

Tritt also supplied complete bodies for the Woodill Wildfire. The Willys-based sports car also arrived before the Corvette. The Kaiser-Darrin, which debuted in 1954, also used shells molded by Glasspar.

But Tritt wasn't the only guy dressing traditional chassis in fiberglass bodies at the time. In 1952. Ed "Big Daddy" Roth set up Victress Manufacturing and introduced its first vehicle that year. Two years later, Roth launched the S4. Unlike the S1, the S4 was larger and featured a more elegant body.

Unlike the Woodill Wildfire and the Kaiser-Darrin, though, the Victress S4 was more of a kit car. Roth designed the body "to fit Ford, Chevrolet, Plymouth, etc., chassis with no frame modifications." The finalized vehicles also came out of the shop with stock lights, bumpers, windshields, and seats.

Needless to say, the venture was short-lived, and only a few S4s left the Victress shop. The actual number is a mystery, but fewer than a handful are known to exist. And apparently, only one is being restored so far. All told, the Victress S4 is incredibly rare. If you haven't seen one yet, the folks at "Undiscovered Classics" recently pulled one out of a fiberglass car junkyard.

There's no info on how long this S4 has been sitting, but it's been long enough for the wheels to sink into the ground. Unfortunately, the chassis ended up sitting on the ground, too, which means it will have to be replaced entirely. But other than that, the car is pretty much in one piece. It's a good thing fiberglass doesn't rust, right?

As you'll see in the video below, dragging the S4 out of its grave was a difficult task. And sadly enough, the Victress got damaged in the process. That's not necessarily an issue since the drop-top will be restored, but seeing its front end getting mangled by an excavator is painful to watch.

So, what exactly is hiding underneath the fiberglass body of this car? Well, our host doesn't say, but many Victress shells were dropped onto Ford chassis and drivetrains. But this S4 also sports a few Studebaker parts, including the rear bumper and possibly the headlamps too.

But the really big news is that this Victress S4 is getting a complete restoration. And even though it's not a famous rig, it should get a lot of love once it's done because it's a rare piece of early fiberglass history. And I'm pretty sure it's unique as far as specs go, too. Hit the play button below to check it out.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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