Lines: 1955 McCormack Fiberglass Coupe


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