Johnson/Bond/Horton Victress Le Mans Coupe

A number of individuals came together to build this beautiful late fifties one-off sportscar. John Bond, publisher of Road&Track begun the process, wanting to build an American car to compete in Le Mans. Marvin Horton, who worked for a ram-jet manufacturing corporation, and later Alton Johsnson of Victress Manufacturing (giving him extensive fiberglass experience), joined forces to complete the project. They tossed ideas around in the magazine through 1958, and then began working on the chassis and finishing the body design.

After the drawings were complete, a wood and plaster plug was built for the body, which they finished over about three months of grueling grinding, priming, and puttying. This is when Johnson joined them to complete the plug and make a mold, taking the first body in trade. By August they had it assembled, after which they fine-tuned the aerodynamics.

The sleek body which eschewed trim in favor of recessed features was low, about four feet to the roof, with gullwing doors to ease entry. The tube frame chassis included a ’57 Corvette V8 and a Merc 3.50 rear end, steering out of a 1950 Ford, brakes from a Lincoln, and Monroe shocks. The wheelbase was 90″ and the tread 50″. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge this car did not make it into production other than this one prototype, although Victress of course produced many other fiberglass bodies.

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