Invented in the 1930s, fiberglass was first used as heat insulation before automobile enthusiasts came to recognize its potential as a material for car bodies and other components. Although early experimentation by major auto manufacturers revealed that fiberglass was poorly suited to high volume production, enterprising fabricators appreciated its strength and light weight and found it easy to mold by hand into shapes that would have been all but impossible to create in metal. From Corvettes to dune buggies, many of the most iconic fiberglass customs and production cars of the past half-century are on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum beginning in the spring of 2010. Together, they offer an interesting contrast to both the mainstream cars that populate our motoring landscape and those made of carbon fiber, the newest wonder material to be embraced by today’s innovators.
Fantasies in Fiberglass
February 1, 2010 - October 1, 2010
- Braving Baja: 1000 Miles to Glory
- Art Wall: Theodore W. Pietsch II
- Fins: Form Without Function
- Aerodynamics: From Art to Science
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