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1955 McCormack coupe

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:23

Our friend Geoff Hacker is on the road again, his nose to the wind to sniff out the fine aroma of half-century-old fiberglass cars that few people even know exist, and he’s struck gold with a McCormack coupe, located in a junkyard in northeast Pennsylvania.

Built in 1955 by Henry McCormack of Orange, California; he debuted his car at the 1955 International Motor Revue Show in Los Angeles. According to an article on the car in the February 1956 issue of Motor Life, McCormack initially wanted it to be a four-place, rear-engine coupe that used “a DeDion rear axle and a reverse drive unit to get the engine as far back as possible, but space limitations and the expense of such an operation changed his mind to a more conventional design.” McCormack set the car atop a box-section tube frame with a wheelbase of 106 inches and adapted a Ford Thunderbird windshield and contemporary Buick taillamps. What exactly he used for a drivetrain, the article didn’t say, but in McCormack’s own cutaway drawing of the car, it appears to be a Cadillac 331-cu.in. V-8. While not an exact copy, it certainly looks like McCormack took inspiration from Jay Everett’s 1952 Astra coupe, the latter aluminum-bodied and Olds Rocket-powered.
Of the McCormack, Geoff wrote:

It took two years to track down all the info on this car, but the time and effort was worth the wait – and what a way to celebrate the holiday! With the help of new friend Marc Reed, we tracked down and made plans to save a McCormack fiberglass sports car, and December 2011 was the season to do the saving.

The McCormack owner, Bob, had kindly pulled the car out of its resting place and had it ready to go for my trailer and winch. As with any fiberglass car from the era, you can’t just put it on the trailer and get ready-set-go. Instead, you have to do quite a bit more – partly because of the age of the car and partly because of the construction methods used at the time. When transporting one of these cars, you have to anchor the chassis to the trailer; the body to the chassis; and the top to the body. It’s kind of like playing the game “pick up sticks” in reverse, but where you add various ratchet straps and bungee cords to the game, too.
1955 McCormack coupe 20197_10
We were lucky today – it didn’t snow. It was about 40 degrees and didn’t rain either – until we pulled the McCormack on the trailer. Two hours later and soaking wet, we finished securing the McCormack, and went out to celebrate at a local tavern with food and drink for all.
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Geoff, of course, did all his homework before setting out, including tracking down the above-mentioned article as well as a brochure from McCormack Plastics, showing that McCormack intended to sell bodies. No word on how many, if any, he did sell, though. According to Geoff, McCormack built 10-15 cars, of which Geoff has located three or four. This particular McCormack appears to have the engine mounts for a small-block Chevrolet V-8 and was allegedly drag raced at Atco in New Jersey.
- See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2011/12/27/junkyard-find-mccormack-coupe/

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:26

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:27

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:39


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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:43

The 1955 McCormack: A Personal Recollection of Hank’s “Sporty” Car – by Rich McCormack
1955 McCormack coupe Thumb210
Hi Gang…

When I first started researching the McCormack sports / custom car, I found a website maintained by Rich McCormack – Hank’s younger brother.  Rich had put together a short history on his brother’s car with family photos. It was great to see these images and even more exciting to know that Hank’s family was still with us and had some important items and memories to share about his fiberglass sports / custom car.

However, the website is no longer available.

I’ve started to work with the McCormack family to more fully document the history of both the car and the man – Henry “Hank” McCormack.  In the meantime, I offered to repost the family’s original website here on Forgotten Fiberglass.  They agreed and I’m honored to share with you Rich McCormack’s original story about his brother’s car – posted on the internet until just a few years ago.

Take it away Rich :-)
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A Personal Recollection: Hank’s “Sporty” Car

Hank was drafted into the army at age 18 years old. He went through bootcamp at Fort Ord in Northern California and spent the rest of his two year hitch as a tank mechanic in Texas.  I’m not sure, but I think the 2 dimensional drafting part of the development of his custom car took place while he was in the army.

From Scale Model to Finished Fiberglass Body

After his two years were up, he moved into a house on Pepper street in Orange, CA, a couple houses down from where I lived with my parents. I’m not positive, but I think he built the scale model, shown in the photo, in the garage behind his house on Pepper street.
1955 McCormack coupe Hanks_10
The full size plaster mold from which the female fiberglass mold was taken was definetly built at the house on Pepper street. The brick building in the background of the photo of Hank and the plaster mold in the driveway is West Orange School, the elementary school I attended while living on Pepper street.
1955 McCormack coupe Hanks_11


Dernière édition par Predicta le Sam 9 Mai - 5:47, édité 1 fois

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:45

Motor Life Article: February 1956
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I think the photos featured in Motor Life (February, 1956) magazine were taken in front of the Anaconda Wire Company office building in Orange. As I recall, the car wasn’t finished at the time and had to be trailered to the site for the photo shoot. I scanned the photos from a borrowed (from my mom) copy of the magazine several years ago. I don’t know what happened to the magazine, it wasn’t with her personal belongings I found in her mobile home after she passed away.
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When I scanned the photos, the magazine was missing the cover. I found the photos of the magazine cover with Hank’s car on a website dealing in old magazines, and in an Ebay auction. Not knowing if I’d ever find the copy my mom had, I bid on an Ebay auction and now have a somewhat tattered issue of the Motor Life magazine featuring my brother’s “sporty car” on the cover with accompanying descriptive article inside.
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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:49

Finished and Fully Functional

I believe the last set of photos showing the finished car Hank made for himself were taken in front of the building where Hank was on the team that made the fiberglass body(s) for Andy Granatellis’ 1967 turbine Indy race car. That’s Patti’s and my old Opel station wagon parked next to it and that would be about the right time.
1955 McCormack coupe Hanks_12

1955 McCormack coupe Hanks_13
Hank sold the mold after making the body for the car shown in the photos. I know at least two “McCormack Coupes” were made but don’t know if any more were made or what happened to the molds. I also don’t know what happened to the original car he made for himself. I assume when he passed away, his wife at that time inherited the car. As I’ve had no contact with her or know where she is, the current condition and whereabouts of the car is unknown to me.

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:51

Additional Info and Photos

Sports Cars Illustrated Directory, 1958

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:53

This photo appears to have been taken at a Los Angeles auto show:
1955 McCormack coupe Image510

I can’t remember seeing this car before, it looks like a metalic blue, soft top version of Hank’s Car. The photo appears to have been taken in front of Hank’s home in Dana Point. CA., probably some time during the 1970s.

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This photo appears to have been taken in the driveway of Hank’s home in San Clemente, CA., probably sometime in the 1980s.
1955 McCormack coupe Image610

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:55

Copyright © 2008, by Rich McCormack

Summary:

Thanks again to Rich McCormack and the McCormack family for their support in further documenting the achievements of Henry “Hank” McCormack. What a great car he designed, and I’m looking forward to sharing more about his history here on Forgotten Fiberglass.

Here are a couple of more pieces of information I’ve found concerning the sale of Hank’s car and the his molds.

The molds were for sale in the July ’61 issue of Hot Rod:
1955 McCormack coupe Hot-ro10

The car was for sale in the July ’69 issue of Hot Rod.

This may have been the original car – the rear wheel opening is more shallow on the original car than any others we’ve found in recent years and any pictures of vintage ones we’ve seen being built back in the ’50s and ’60s:
1955 McCormack coupe 1969_j10

And of course….like many of the fantastic fiber-cars we write about here on Forgotten Fiberglass, the car and the molds are still “missing.”

Will you be the one to find the molds and/or the original car and bring them back to showroom shape? How fun that would be…..and a great story here, too, at Forgotten Fiberglass.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

http://www.forgottenfiberglass.com/category/fiberglass-car-marques/mccormack/

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 5:57

1955 McCormack coupe Image810
This car also caught the eye of Alex Tremulis back in the day. Here's one in 1958(?) at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg "Reunion" in Auburn, Indiana. It may very possibly be the same car, with the sidepipes removed and replaced with its current air inlet vents. Maybe the same? Time may tell...
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1955-mccormack-coupe-found.662081/

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 6:02

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 6:05

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Message  Predicta Sam 9 Mai - 6:07


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Message  Metalshop16 Sam 9 Mai - 7:19

Bien cool comme auto !! :super: et l'histoire est sympa.....


Y avait même une soucoupe volante dans ce junkyard ! lol!

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Message  gotthenoise Sam 9 Mai - 8:34

drunken Super!
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Message  Zed Jeu 9 Juin - 21:04

Je trouve la partie arrière vraiment inspirante :love:
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Message  Predicta Ven 23 Nov - 18:22

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Message  Predicta Ven 23 Nov - 18:23

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Message  Predicta Ven 23 Nov - 18:34

https://www.petersen.org/blog/2018/10/12/9dfry5uehpgl3jmp8uhxm8bsicgt1f

These photographs of the McCormack Coupe were shot by Bob D’Olivo for the January 1956 issue of Car Craft Magazine at the 10 day Petersen Motorama Car Show at the Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles where the car debuted. Henry McCormack, owner of McCormack’s Plastics in Orange, California manufactured and sold the TK-103, a polyester resin glass fiber reinforced shell that weighed 125 lbs. The starting price was $495 for the basic shell, which was intended for the custom car builder to use in conjunction with American passenger car components.

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According to the McCormack Plastics 1955 brochure (see the excellent Forgotten Fiberglass website): “Every effort has been made to produce a body shell that is pleasing in appearance, yet practical.” Mechanically inclined GI’s returning home wanted to own the stylish sports cars they saw in Europe and these inexpensive fiberglass shells that could be fitted onto a mid-priced American frame made the dream a possibility. All the rage in the custom car world in the fifties, the manufacturing and molds for these once high-tech super space-agey looking vehicles had completely died out by the 1980s.

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Photographer Bob D’Olivo’s framing of the car reveals the many horizontal, vertical and angled lines and shapes nearly everywhere. The shot of the car in front of the building is like one of those “eye-spy” or “hidden pictures” that challenges the viewer to see how many lines they can discover. Note the lines of the tire grooves, the stripes on the chairs in the buildings, the reflections of the awning on the car, and even the pavement and power lines in the sky.

By: James Hahn


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