Plastyle Company, Inc. was a boat building firm located at 2809 South 11th Street Road, Niles, Berrien County, Michigan, in 1958. The company got its start in 1956 at 240 E. Tutt St., South Bend, Indiana building fiberglass burial vaults in a leased space. John W. Smiley was secretary-treasurer at the time of the article. A June 28 article in the Wall Street Journal stated Plastyle was started by a former Studebaker auto stylist with a payroll totaling $1,000.
The company appears to have moved to Niles, Michigan by mid-1957 though a Sept. 7 ad appeared in the Chicago Tribune listing the company in South Bend. This ad listed a 50% discount on their 15' custom runabouts used for demonstration purposes. A December 30, 1957 article announced Plastyle was in default to the Allen Foundary and Machine Company for materials. In May 1958, Charles Brainard became sales manager. The article at the time described an all-fiberglass transom as a special feature of their boats. A following June 1958 article, Kennedy Head, development engineer, described production capacity as up to 30 boats per day. (see newspaper articles below).
Their boats consisted of a series called the 400 Line, and in the line was a 12' Fisherman utility model and in 1958 or 1959 a runabout. Sources: Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record.
The Directory of Michigan Manufacturers, 1959 (Detroit, MI: Manufacturer Publishing Co., 1958.) p. 402--classified products section. The Boating Industry, Vol. 21, No. 6, August 10, 1958. p. 250.
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Note, this section began as Mystery #104 Below is the boat that sat unidentified for 4 years in our mystery section.
|1959||The 400 Lure||14'2"||FG||UT||280||35||$425.00|
|1959||The 400 Lark||14'6"||FG||WR||360||40||$745.00|
|1959||The 400 Crest||15'5"||FG||WR||400||100||$945.00|
|1959||The 400 Skate||15'5"||FG||OR||400||100||$945.00|
|1958||The 400 Sportsman||15'6"||FG||UT||450||100||$789.95|
|1958||The 400 Holiday||15'6"||FG||DR||475||100||$945.00|
|1957||The 400 Runabout||15'6"||FG||WR||550||100||$945.00|