If Ferrari ever built a fiberglass-bodied Corvette it might have looked something like this.
LaDawri Coachcraft is responsible for building Canada’s first fiberglass car, the Cavalier. Founded in British Columbia, it moved to the US just a year later in 1957, and the move could not have come at a better time. It was during the 1950s and 60s when Americans got the fiberglass sports car fever and LaDawri took full advantage.
Unfortunately, it shut its doors permanently in 1965 just as the muscle car era was getting underway. But during its relatively short lifespan, LaDawri built some interesting fiberglass-bodied cars, one of them was the Daytona, which arrived in 1958.
We’ll get back to that in a moment, but first it’s important to know that LaDawri never actually built drivetrains, only bodies. Because of this it required donor drivetrains, platforms, and all other relevant parts. And that was part of the fun. Why? Because having the freedom to only design the body and some interior components allowed the company to seek out the ideal engines and platforms. Assuming the body could fit, just about any platform was possible.
Not too many of these cars still exist, but we managed to find one up for sale on Craigslist Los Angeles. What you’re looking at is a rare LaDawri Daytona, built on, interestingly, a 1981 Chevrolet Corvette frame.
By the time this car was built, the company has already been out of business for a number of years, meaning this was done privately. It’s also a barn find, which does help explain things. The fact that it resembles a Ferrari is no accident. The Italian carmaker was still a young company back in the late 1950s but its road cars were already making headlines. So it's no surprise that LaDawri designed a fiberglass body with some Ferrari inspiration. But whoever built this one put some serious money and time into it.
According to the Craigslist ad, the car still runs well and has a new intake manifold and carburetor, brake pads, and calipers. It has four-wheel disc brakes, as well as the classic Chevy 350/350 combo: a 350 cubic inch V8 and a 350 three-speed automatic transmission.
The seller claims the gearbox shifts well, but nothing else is mentioned regarding the car’s overall mechanical status. The exterior and interior look flawless, notably the latter. The odometer, again assuming it is correct, indicates just over 4,300 miles. The soft top also looks to be in great condition. Generally speaking, the car is a smorgasbord of Chevy and even a few Ford parts. Some examples include an ’81 Corvette radiator support, ’86 Camaro Z28 radiator, ’81 Corvette electric fan assembly, ’82 Corvette header pipe to muffler, and even a 1967 Mustang 17.2-gallon gas tank.
This fake Corvette-Ferrari-Mustang is definitely an interesting find, but we don’t think it’s worth the $17,000 asking price. For that kind of money you might as well just go out and buy a C3 Corvette to restore.