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In the early motoring days, when series production did not yet exist, the process of acquiring a new vehicle was more complex, as rolling chassis provided the basis for different coachbuilding scenarios. One approached a motoring brand, who used to deliver to the customer only the rolling chassis, comprising: chassis, drivetrain (engine, gearbox, differential, axles, wheels), suspension, steering system and radiator. Subsequently the customer approached a coachbuilder, requesting a personal body design to be fitted on the rolling chassis. Sometimes a coachbuilder himself ordered or got assigned a series of chassis, on which basis he designed and manufactured the new coachwork to his own creative ideas and inspiration. Sometimes the customer delivered a complete factory car to the coachbuilder with the request to change the entire coachwork or modify certain elements.

Ferrari Pininfarina P4/5 Sketch James Glickhaus


There is no strict definition of “Special Coachbuilding”. However, following generally accepted considerations and discerning manufacturing trajectories, a good set of rules and conditions can be extracted to define which cars can be considered “Special Coachbuilt” and which not.

A car can be considered a “special coachbuilt” if: .... >>

Rolling chassis
Rolls-Royce rolling chassis


In the early motoring days, when series production did not yet exist, the process of acquiring a new vehicle was more complex, as rolling chassis provided the basis for different coachbuilding scenarios.

Ferrari 250 GTO Scaglietti fitting frame

After WW II automotive mass production soon became mainstream, ending the era of separate manufacturing of chassis and tailored coachworks. Many coachbuilders went bankrupt, were bought by manufacturers or changed their core business to other activities.

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