Classic Car Catalogue

CRV 1965





Marbon Chemical, a division of Borg-Warner, decided the best way to promote the use of plastic in automobiles would be to build an entire car out of plastic. They hired a young designer by the name of Dann Deaver to come up with the design for the car which was to be "thermoformed" out of the Marbon material called "Cycolac".
Deaver was also co-founder of Centaur Engineering, which was in the race car business. With the resources of Marbon, and the expertise of Centaur, the first plastic prototype was constructed in late 1964 and first displayed at the SAE convention in Detroit in January 1965. This prototype was called the CRV, short for "Cycolac Research Vehicle." It was a two-seater roadster with a wrap-around windscreen, and featured a rear-mounted, 4-cylinder water-cooled Sunbeam engine.
The CRV was a hit at the SAE show, so Marbon decided to take the next step and build a more powerful version and race the car in competition to test the durability of the material. The car was completed in June 1965. This second prototype, the CRV-II, was another roadster and was built over a fiberglass chassis tub with suspension pieces attached to metal framework in the front and rear. It was powered by an air-cooled Corvair engine mounted in the rear.