There’s so much good information to be had in vintage magazines – but the articles are just the tip of the iceberg. Crucial information is often found in the editorials – like the editorial we found in the November, 1951 issue of Motor Trend Magazine. In this issue, the editor, Walt Woron, recognized that styling ideas from Detroit were coming from California customs, sport customs and hot rods – and this was 1951 – and Detroit confirmed this. A quote from his article shares,
“It has been freely admitted by top Detroit automotive designers that many innovations on production cars are the result of watching the developments of these enthusiasts who build their own custom cars, sports cars and hot rods.”
This editorial is fascinating because it confirms that innovation, style and design ideas were coming from southern California and this was the very place that fiberglass sports cars debuted in late 1951.
Since then we have become friends with the new owner, Jiri Jirovec, and he has brought his Wildfire home to Pizen in the Czech Republic. I bet it’s the only Wildfire in that country!
I’ve Always Loved The Look of this Wildfire
Jiri has kept the car in its original Euroean barn-find condition. He bought it back in 2014 from someone who had brought it to Europe in the late 1980s, and it looks like a perfect barn-find from that era. To me, this Wildfire has some styling points that really made the car “pop” back when it was built and even now. These include:
1939 Lincoln Zephyr front and rear bumpers
1935 Ford Wire wheels (16 inch)
1953-1955 Corvette windscreen
Dashboard layout is perfect – large (not small) period gauges
Stylish Lincoln Zephyr outside door buttons (I’ve only seen this on one other Wildfire and all Allied sports cars of course)
Woodill appropriate rear seat (full back) with seat cushions as intended
The stance on the car is perfect – body is low and close to the wheels (maybe a bit too close) but it looks hot
Steering Wheel – large and flashy but I don’t recognize it. Any thoughts here gang