Stilletto Gene Baker Designed Concept Car 1966 Detroit Autorama Corvair Engine
Here is a radical new concept in custom car design which combines the talents of show producer Bob Larivee, model manufacturer George Toteff, designer Gene Baker, and builder Ron Gerstner. Credit for the concept goes to imaginative Detroit industrial designer Gene Baker, who terms the lines of the car as "organic styling", a marriage of multiple reverse radiuses and compound curves designed as a single unit.
The STILLETTO is owned by the Show Car Division of Promotions Inc. and was built for its President, Bob Larivee, to fulfill his need of a really top-flight feature cor for touring the International Championship Auto Shows.
In on initial application to custom cars, development stages were purposely paralleled to techniques of the auto industry and co-ordinated through the facilities of Model Products Corp. A 1/10th scale cloy buck was produced from Baker's original sketches. Then, a 1/10th scale cast was made and a fiberglass model pulled. Full size drawings of the car's exterior were laid out prior to actual work on the car, itself.
All decisions pertaining to construction of the body, chassis, and interior components remained the responsibility of Ron Gerstner, who had been chosen to build the STILLETTO in his Buffalo, N. Y., shop. Utilizing Corvair rear suspension and cross member, Ron fabricated frame rails of 3 1/ 2/1 x 2" rectangular tubing . Referring to full scale drawings, Ron formed a 20~gauge sheet metal body for the car over a lightweight tubular birdcage framework. Additional bulkheads insure proper body contour.
To conserve both weight and space, a rear-mounted Corvair engine and trans were picked as the most practical and the 100" Corvair wheelbase retained. Maximum height of the cor was set at 45" with a target weight of 2,500 Lbs. The entire center section of the car, including sculptured bubble, raise 3", then swing back hydroelectrically to allow entry. The unique front suspension is handmade and rides on 1011 Mini Minor rims which are controlled by a Buick steering box.
Rich interior theme incorporates black Naugahyde, walnut panel, and burnished aluminum. S-W instruments ore suspended. Gerstner's final touch includes vivid, multi-coat candy green paint.
Judging from its enthusiastic reception, the STILLETTO is destined to become one of the most famous of all feature cars. Model Products Corp. will produce it in model kit form.