- Written by webmin
In the late 1960s, Don Helmrich, his brother Ed and their father Henry took note of the rise of the fiberglass-bodied dune buggy and decided to try their own hand at building a fiberglass body to fit on a Volkswagen tub. But instead of designing yet another Meyers knockoff, they went in a different direction.
“My dad, he wanted to do either a boattail speedster or a Cord,” Don said. “And unfortunately, he chose the Cord.”
Thus began a project that dragged out for more than a decade. The three obtained a Volkswagen, readily available at the time, stripped it of its body and took molds of the inner body sections to gauge the size and proportions of the Cord body that Henry had in mind. But none of the three had any experience in designing and building a large fiberglass body, and the hood ribs alone took them six months to get right.
In the end, sometime in the early 1980s, a frustrated Don simply got it running, painted it and sold it so somebody else could finish it. Last he saw it, it was on its way to the Miami area. “I destroyed the molds, and I destroyed the second body we had built because I didn’t want to finish that either,” he said.
Nevertheless, he’d like to know whatever became of the car. “If it’s still around, great; if it’s not, no big deal,” he said.