So today we bring you…. a boat. I know, this is a car blog. But once in a while, we just have to show you another mode of transportation that is absolutely, 100% inspired by vintage auto beauty, as is the case with this 1956 Lone Star Meteor.
On display at the Petersen Automotive Museum as part of their FINS: Form without Function exhibit, this boat, masking as a mid-fifties automobile, enjoys quite a bit of attention from museum goers, as we’re sure it’s the only watercraft that has graced the show floors of the museum.
The Petersen provided excellent detail about the motivations of boat makers to look to autos for inspiration: “Seeking to make their products more car-like, a significant number of period boat manufacturers were inspired to employ fins in some of their designs, an adaptation made simpler by the fiberglass construction of many late-1950s watercraft.
In addition to large tailfins, the Lone Star Meteor embodied other car-like features such as headlights, chrome trim, and two-tone paint.
To complement the jet-age styling of both the boat and tow-vehicles of the day, the fenders on the period correct trailer are equipped with Cadillac-type fins that were available as aftermarket accessories at auto parts stores and mail order catalogs for do-it-yourselfers desiring to update their own otherwise outdated vehicles.”
A little research led us to discover that there is quite an enthusiastic community dedicated to these FiberGlassics. Thanks to the FiberGlassics Library, we were able to share these original advertisements with you. Note the fins on the models shown, and the names of the models, including Corvette, Continental, Skylark, and Sportster. Just by looking at the names alone, we’d never guess that these model names were describing boats!
So how did they sell these boats to car enthusiasts who appreciated their automotive styling? Here’s a little snippet from their promotional ads… “Runabout of the future? Yes and no. A fiberglass 15-footer by Lone Star, she’s only one of many streamlined, production-lined craft currently available. But – stylewise – where do we go from here? She and others of her type are tomorrow’s boats today!”
If you’re charmed by this auto-like boat, be sure to check out the restoration of this Lone Star, which looks like it was a match made in heaven for this classic Corvette (you know we couldn’t resist putting a car pic in this post)!