1960 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover
THE 1960’s WAS A SPECIAL TIME FOR DESIGN AND INNOVATION throughout the entire transportation industry. In the auto industry, designers and engineers were developing higher horsepower engines to meet the ever increasing demands of buyers in the performance segment – which eventually led them to create cars that not only performed better, but also handled better and attracted buyers with new and innovative styling. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and American Motors were all busy developing their own individual brands. The results of that period are now legendary.
About this time of year, curious media and consumers would gather at the Detroit Auto Show for the unveiling of the new models, which usually changed dramatically from year to year. Not so much any more (although I’m sure the car guys would disagree).
During that same period – from 1960 to 1970 – the Glastron Boat Company was also busy developing their individual brand as one of the leaders in the relatively new fiberglass boat industry. But even though the designers and engineers all have an important role in the success of any company, the Marketing Department (and Ad Agency) is in charge of presenting the product to the consumer.
The 18′ Bayflite Cruisette from the 1960 Galstron sales brochure.
Glastron did a remarkable job not only with innovative design and engineering, but also with marketing. Today, with some help from Minnesota correspondent Dane Anderson, we are going to review a tiny piece of Glastron’s development from 1960 to 1970 through the covers of their annual sales brochures. The trends, the creative photography and artwork tells an interesting story, and gives us a certain appreciation for the folks in the Marketing Department. I just love the language they used in the brochures in order to keep pace with the times in the 1960’s. Don’t forget, you can always click on the photos to enlarge them. – Texx
For the 1960 sales brochure, all photos of Glastron Boats with Johnson Motors were photographed at Cypress Gardens, Florida in 1960 by Tram Pickett.
Dane Anderson notes: “It was really a fascinating time for Glastron. August thru April was the manufacturing run, then they’d retool and build prototypes and promo boats for the brochures. Shoot the brochures mid summer to get them printed in time for the winter boat shows.”
“I’ve seen some pictures from the Glastron winter sales conventions. They’d go to Acapulco for a lampshade on your head drunken convention, Ah the Sixties…”
“Glastron was quite remarkable. A leader in design, they moved to V-hulls before most manufacturers. The major changes in hull shapes every couple years in the late 50s and early 60s was to stay ahead of the copycats who were simply splashing Glastron hulls to call their own (Redfish and others). The fiberglass boat industry was extreamly competitive during the 1960’s.” – Dane
1961 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover.
The theme for 1961 was – For Fun in ’61 Go Glastron! For 1961 the Deep-Hulled 18′ Bayflite and all new 14′ Jetflite models were featured by Glastron.
1962 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover
For 1962 Outdrives were the hot ticket with the Seaflite Volvo-Penta 194, the Starflite OMC 156 and the Bayflite Volvo-Penta 164.
1963 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover
The theme was – The Boats to See in ’63. By 1963 Glastron offered 18 models in 4 colors, from the 13’5″ Jetflite to the 18’7″ Gulfstream.
1964 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover
For 1964 the theme was – Jet Smooth Ride, Space Age Styling. Stability, Comfort, Performance… All yours in a Glastron Aqua-Lift. Pick your power and pleasure in a Glastron 17-Footer.
1965 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover
The theme in 1965 was – First in Class, Finest Overall. With more focus on pleasure boats, the 1965 Glastron line-up featured models from 14′ up to 23′. The theme was – Glastron gives you more of everything… offering more options and equipment.
Space age styling, Jet-smooth ride – Yours in a Glastron ’65.
1966 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover
The theme for 1966 was – Measure more pleasure in a feature-packed Glastron… Enjoy the wonderful world of water sports in a Glastron. With even more available options and equipment to meet the demands of their growing market.
With the mid-1960’s came the “In Crowd” movement or culture in America. Anybody here remember being part of the “In Crowd” back then? The marketing department was quick to pick up on that term and make sure you HAD to have a Glastron boat to be part of the “In Crowd”…
1967 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover
The theme for 1967 was Fun! – Meet the Swingers, three great new Glastron designs for really Livin’ on the Water! The Swinger V-176, Swinger V-177 and Sportster V-156 – dubbed the Go-Go Boat. A Swingin’ party at the dock with Tim Lively and the Profits playing tunes in the background. (The Glastron dealers had to love it – Texx)
Nimble and Neat… The Glastron Fleet! – Note the small MG in the background, the marketing guys didn’t miss a beat.
1968 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover – Foreground: New GT-160, V-156 Sportster, V-177 Swinger. Houseboat courtesy of Nauta-Line.
The theme for 1968 was – The IN boats that turn you ON! Announcing the new Glastron GT-160 with Aqua Lift II Hull! The Surprise Design of the Year…
The Glastron brochures promoted performance of the brand, advanced engineering and superior production.
Turn You On! – Featuring the “trailerable” Glastron 23-foot V-234 Caribbean Sport Fisherman available with twin 120’s for power and performance.
1969 Glastron Sales Brochure Cover – (Not sure where they are for this photo shoot, but that doesn’t look like Florida to me – i.e. mountains)
The theme for 1969 was – The Shape of FUN to Come / Glastron the FUN Company! And the introduction of the IDEA boat of the year! – The V180 Fundeck at Lakeshore Marina. Also note that Mercury outboards are beginning to show up in the marketing brochures.
The Glastron V-204 Gulfstream Stern Drive – 20 feet of high performance Deep-V hull, available 120 to 225 HP. By 1969 (as noted in the brochure) Glastron now ships by truck or custom railcar to 30 warehouses and has more than 1,200 Dealerships in all 50 states and 38 foreign countries. The first Glastron boat ever built is now 12 years old and is still in running order.
1970 Glastron-Carlson Sales Brochure Cover
The theme for 1970 was – Glastron the FUN Revolution. Most FUN for the money… Offering 24 models ranging from the 14′ Fireflite to the 24′ Caribbean.
The V-143 Jetflite Deep Vee – For the young at heart!
For 1970 Stern-Drive Power For Your FUN On-The-Go!
Also for 1970 – The Glastron / Carlson Challenger and Defender performance boats.
Although this story ends with the 1970 Glastron / Carlson Sales Brochure, I just had to share this next shot from the 1971 brochure, of the very cool Glastron CV-21, which was Jet only and came standard with a big Oldsmobile 455 V-8 for power.
And for a glimpse into the future, for 1971 Glastron / Carlson introduced the sleek looking CV-21 with Jet-Power.
Well I hope that wasn’t too long today, but after all we just covered 10 years of fiberglass boat design, development and marketing. In 12 short years, by 1969 Glastron sold over 60,000 boats – an impressive number. And the Marketing Department had a big part in that success.
I am curious to know how many of our viewers remember these boats and if they have any connection to this period. Let us know with a comment of a photo.