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Saoutchik

Saoutchik

Jacques Saoutchik, born Iakov Saoutchick in the Ukraine in 1880, had arrived in Paris in the early 1900s. A cabinet maker by trade, he quickly graduated into the coachbuilding craft. Jacques Saoutchik founded his own coachbuilding company in 1906 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, an up-and-coming industrial suburb of Paris. He built his first body on the chassis of an Isotta-Fraschini.

Saoutchik wanted to cater to the top class. Within a few years, Jacques Saoutchik established himself and his small company by attractive designs, meticulous work and high quality. Designwise Saoutchik took every possible risk. Nicknamed 'Viollet-le-Duc', he never hesitated to embellish with chrome or even gilt. Obsessed with form, visual magic is what he was after. That 'visual magic' was expressed in the brightwork appliqué that adorned so many of Saoutchik's bodies, highlighting the dominant lines of the coachwork.

Other coachbuilders appreciated the graceful flowing contours of Saoutchik's bodywork: "He was a real craftsman, that fellow," said Howard 'Dutch' Darrin of Hibbard & Darrin. "He was also one of the few coachbuilders in France then who wasn't copying us in some way. I particularly remember his beautifully finished interiors. Yes, he was definitely a man with his own ideas." Those 'own ideas' included many daring novelties like transformable bodies, cars with removable windshields, parallel opening doors on pantograph linkages, but it was that love of ornamentation for which he is particularly remembered.

The outstanding and elegant Transformables, Cabriolets, Coupes and Town Cars of Jacques Saoutchik for many years represented the essence of Parisian chic. They regularly were distinguished by collecting awards and prizes in the cherished Concours d'Elégances of Paris and the fashionable resorts at the Atlantic coast and the Côte d'Azur.

In 1952 Saoutchik's son Pierre took over the company. It was not long before fate brought an end to the company. Saoutchik closed down in 1955. 

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Links:
- https://crankhandleblog.com/articles/ambitious-art-deco-artist-jacques-saoutchik/

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