Last August many show-goers were mesmerised by a bottle-green two-seater swept out of and rolled majestically onto the lawn at the pebble beach concours d’elegeance. A low rumble was heard from its big V-8 and twin plumes of smoke from the bubbling exhausts emphasized its existence. Many were shocked and were asking what that stunning beauty was. Most of them had never seen anything like it.
The Maverick Sportster was created by engineer H. Sterling Gladwin. This fiberglass boat-tail speedster body weighed in at 210 pounds, and all but the first car were affixed to a massive 128-inch wheelbase modified Cadillac Eldorado frame, housing a 331 cubic-inch Cadillac motor. The ‘turned copper’ dash held Studebaker and Mercury instruments as well as a tach.
Gladwin’s personal car, the first of seven cars produced, came without doors, hood or deck. Louvered, removable access panels were mounted on the fenders. They were used for normal maintenance and to add fluids.
Before he built the second car, however, Gladwin modified #1 and gave it a hood and permanent body mounts. It was not an ‘all weather’ car since it never had a top or windshield wipers although plans called for such items as a top, doors and a rumble seat. Seven complete cars were sold during the company’s tenure from 1952 to 1968, as well as an unspecified number of shells.
This example was the #1 car. It was attached to the 1940 LaSalle frame and originally had a flathead Cadillac motor. It was later updated with a hood and the same Eldorado motor as the rest of the cars. To date, it is the only example of the car that has surfaced.
As said earlier, the first roadster made by Gladwin was initially built without any doors, hood or even a deck lid. Gladwin does not really concern himself about practicality. There were two unbootable louvered panels that were used to access the engine. The highlight for the promotion was promising that a body could completely remove in just 6 minutes. When it was first built, like the front of a funny car the body was reportedly had a hinge in the back so it could be lifted up for access to the engine.
Maverick Sportster Specifications
Engine 331.1-cu-in/5425cc OHV Cadillac V-8, 2×4-bbl Carter WCFB carburetors
Power and torque (SAE gross) 210 hp (est) @ 4150 rpm; 330 lb-ft @ 2700 rpm
Drivetrain 4-speed automatic, RWD Brakes front: drum,
Performance (est) 0-60 mph: 10.0 seconds, Top speed 125 mph
Price when new $3850