North American Aviation

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Built by Glen Hire and Vernon Antoine of North American Aviation, the Manta Ray was featured on the July 1953 cover of Motor Trend magazine. Powered by a Studebaker V8 (and not a turbine engine), it is a one-off creation! It took home third in class. Photo courtesy of Roy R. Sorenson.
In 1957, while working at the experimental department at North American Aviation, Jim Logue of Long Beach, California began installing hydraulic lifts on his 1954 Ford. Once completed, the build was featured in Custom Cars February 1959. According to Jim, the photo shoot for that story took place on September 30 of 1958, the day before his birthday. Jim’s Ford was mostly completed by October 1, 1958, and the lifts were on the car before Jim cut the roof off and fitted it with a 1957 Ford windshield. Jim can't remember exactly when he went over to Palley's to buy the hydraulics, but he believes that it was late in 1957 or early in 1958.
Arnie Boyle's Piranha was a Competition Street Roadster built by Arnie Boyle of Montebello, California. A joint venture between Boyle and designer Roy Lonberger, the Piranha embodied a fusion of drag racing spirit and street-legal flair. The build was started in 1963. Lonberger was on leave from Ford Styling to go into the Military in 1963/64 when he met Arnie at North American Aviation in Downey, working as a designer for the Apollo spacecraft crew capsule. Completed in 1964, and unfortunately sold for parts in 1965, when Arnie's life took a dramatic turn.
Howard Gribble was driving this 1961 Ford Starliner when he worked for North American Aviation in 1965. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble.[1]

North American Aviation in Downey, California.

People working at North American Aviation

Arnie Boyle
Bill Boren
Glen Hire
Howard Gribble
Jim Logue
Lynn Yakel
Roy Lonberger
Vernon Antoine



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