Corvette Story

MFG’s Role in America’s Most Beautiful Automobile

1954 Corvette Introduced at Motorama NYCIn 1954, the Chevrolet Corvette became the first production automobile with a molded fiber glass reinforced plastic body after Robert Morrison, founder of MFG, convinced General Motors that reinforced plastic had a use in the automotive industry.

Morrison had come to Detroit to discuss what MFG could do to support GM, but the purchasing folks he was to meet with were too engaged in discussions about steel body components. to see him. As he departed, the elevator opened to reveal Purchasing Director Elmer Gormesen, who reported to Morrison that the decision was alredy made to make the car of steel.  He explained that GM was hesitant about fiberglass because it anticipated demand of 10,000 units, and no sufficient fiberglass capacity existed. Morrison assured Gormesen that MFG and Owens Corning could come through on the production.

The following day Morrison returned home to Ashtabula, OH to learn the news that GM had made a turnabout decision to go with fiberglass!

First Fiberglass Corvette Body Parts from MFGWhen Chevrolet gave the project the green light, Morrison initiated all of the financing, production facilities, engineering support, tooling and production personnel to make it happen. He partnered with automotive engineers and material suppliers to resolve concerns about a production site, equipment and scheduling.

As the cooperative process developed, the basement of Morrison's home became an impromptu design center for the 1953 Corvette fiberglass parts. MFG employees and GM's engineers worked side by side on a ping-pong table.

MFG has  produced fiberglass composite parts for the Corvette since 1954. In 2003, Robert S. Morrison was posthumously inducted into the prestigious Corvette Hall of Fame.

Stingray Test Fleet Swings by MFG Headquarters (link to article)

 

Resource Type Description
The Mastermind of the Corvette's Fiberglass Body Video Richard Morrison, CEO of Molded Fiber Glass Companies, recounts the story of how the late Robert S. Morrison changed the future of the Corvette. In 1953 Morrison convinced Chevrolet to use his newly created molded fiberglass body for the Corvette Concept Car displayed at the 1953 GM Motorama. The acceptance was overwhelming and from that point on the Corvette body was made out of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP), otherwise known as fiberglass. MFG has continuously produced fiberglass composite parts for the Corvette since 1954. In 2003, Robert Morrison was posthumously inducted into the prestigious Corvette Hall of Fame.
Corvette History by the Generations PDF A profile of each generation of America's Sports Car - the Chevrolet Corvette