In the early 1950s the US-Americans Glenn Hire and Vernon Antoine came up with the idea of transforming a customary vehicle into a futuristic car with visual features of an aeroplane. They christened their car, Manta Ray (name of a large ocean fish in the same category as a Sting Ray).
Inspired by similar prototypes namely the 1951 XP-8 Le Sabre from GM, both Californians made the decision to realize their own car design. It came as no surprise that the design had elements of an aeroplane, as both earned their livelihood as aircraft designers. In 1952 they started with the construction of the body and after altogether 4,000 working hours a newly bodied Studebaker rolled out of their backyard garage. The coachwork was carefully thought out. The substructure of the subsequent body shape was made of wooden parts, that divided the strung-out body into 14 subcomponents. Afterwards the substructure was coated with several layers of fibreglass, until the coachwork was solid.
Even though their dream of a series production seemed to become real for a short time, it turned out different. In 1953 during the presentation at the Los Angeles Auto Show the exhibited prototype won a price including trophy money for its extraordinary creativity. Due to this award Bob Yeakel, a Southern Californian businessman became aware of the golden extraordinary car. He was so enthusiastic that he bought it, but his enthusiasm did not last long. The project didn’t take off.