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Hot Rods & Horsepower Introduce Fibreglass Version of Dearborn Roadster

  • Friday, 1st July 2005
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

Hot Rods & Horsepower, mass producers of the traditionally all-steel body roadsters, have introduced a fibreglass version of its Dearborn Deuce Convertible.

The introduction of fibreglass for Hot Rods represents something of a departure from its normal business practice, having built up a reputation in its homeland in Branford, CT (US) for being the “premiere manufacturer of steel bodies and components in the world”.

The new fibreglass edition of the Dearborn Deuce Convertible is scheduled to debut at this year’s Goodguys’ Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, July 8th -10th.

The Dearborn Deuce Convertible is a ’32 roadster body redesigned around a fully disappearing top assembly. The result of a manufacturing partnership between Downs Manufacturing, in Lawton, MI, and HR&HP, the fibreglass bodies will be built by Downs and sold by both companies. The new convertible body will be labelled the Dearborn-Downs Convertible.

The new fibreglass body will have all of the trimmings that the steel body comes with, except that it will be manufactured in fibreglass. It will be equipped with the same Haartz cloth folding top assembly that is used on the steel cars. The tops are manufactured by ASC (American Specialty Cars) in Detroit, which manufactures convertible tops for BMW, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and others.

The new bodies are outfitted with a glass rear window, hinged tonneau panel, power window motors and glass installed, and a polished stainless windshield assembly with the glass in it. The entire body comes fully assembled. The introductory price for the complete fibreglass convertible body is $13,500, and orders are now being accepted for the earliest possible deliver date.

Jim Inglese, managing partner for Hot Rods & Horsepower, stated, “We believe there will be an ongoing demand for the steel version of our ’32 street rod body; we realize that many people are only interested in steel cars. On the other side of that coin, however, there are many individuals out there who cannot afford a high-end steel body, and it’s that segment of the market we are addressing here. Many people who can’t afford the steel version of our car can now own it in fibreglass for only $13,500. Our fibreglass body-and-chassis package price is less than the price of the steel body by itself, which makes it a fantastic value for anybody on a tight budget. With a price level like that for a fully equipped, rolling ’32 convertible, we think it will be a home run.”

Inglese also added, “We debated for a long time whether to make a fibreglass body, but in the end, we couldn’t get a way from it. We knew it would only be a matter of time before somebody produced a “knockoff” of our car in fibreglass, so together with Jamie Downs, we made the decision to fill that void ourselves, and do it right”.

“The steel car has been an enormous hit for us. With that engineering in hand, along with the Detroit OE-built tops, the special windshields, and the curved door glass, bringing this technology to a lower-priced market was an easy transition.”

The new fibreglass bodies are scheduled to start shipping in August.

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