The unique design was the work of Glen Hire and Vernon Antoine of Whittier, California. Both worked in aircraft design, but were inspired by GM concepts of the time to build their own jet engine-inspired vehicle. They turned a backyard garage into a workshop and went to work turning a 1951 Studebaker Commander into the Manta Ray.
The stock body was replaced by a fiberglass construct that turned the car into a three-seater raodster. The nosecone was fabricated first from wood and then hand cast giviing it a one-of-a-kind front end. The car was featured in magazines of the day as something that would be built, but that wasn’t in the cards.
The pair never managed to get the Manta Ray into production and it eventually made its way into the hands of a collector. According to Hemmings, once that owner passed, his wife passed it on to their son, D.E. Lacer. He turned it into a resotoration project and it’s now ready for its close-up this March.