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 Post subject: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Moderator edit: this discussion was split from the Nominate a missing Coachbuilder thread. Please join this discussion to get the definition of Special Coachbuilding more clear.

Mercedes-Benz Werkskarrosseriewerkstatt, Sindelfingen, Stuttgart, Germany


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 Post subject: Re: Nominate missing Coachbuilders here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:46 pm 
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robgeelen wrote:
Mercedes-Benz Werkskarrosseriewerkstatt, Sindelfingen, Stuttgart, Germany

Works body factory, dedicated to Mercedes only. Not an independant coachbuilder.

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 Post subject: Re: Nominate missing Coachbuilders here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:55 pm 
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I thought we were interested in the coaxchbuilding itself, not so much to whom they belong? After all, as long as it is coachbuilding, instead of just a standard car with a fancy nameplate on it, hiding the fact that to all intent there is nothing coachbuild about it? :o


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 Post subject: Re: Nominate missing Coachbuilders here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:06 pm 
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robgeelen wrote:
I thought we were interested in the coaxchbuilding itself, not so much to whom they belong?

But then we have to enlist almost all works manufacturing facilities of many many other brands. For the same reason we also rule out the 'standard' bodies by Jean Bugatti and for instance the various bodies by Talbot Lago's own coachbuilding department. We are especially interested in the companies who created coachworks on various chassis to their own or their client's vision and those who were not 'forced' to work with just one brand or owned by a single manufacturer.

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 Post subject: Re: Nominate missing Coachbuilders here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:18 pm 
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admin wrote:
robgeelen wrote:
I thought we were interested in the coaxchbuilding itself, not so much to whom they belong?

But then we have to enlist almost all works manufacturing facilities of many many other brands. For the same reason we also rule out the 'standard' bodies by Jean Bugatti and for instance the various bodies by Talbot Lago's own coachbuilding department. We are especially interested in the companies who created coachworks on various chassis to their own or their client's vision and those who were not 'forced' to work with just one brand or owned by a single manufacturer.

I guess the deciding factor should be if the works department would be willing to build entirely to the customer desire: Mercedes-Benz did, as did Bugatti. Fleetwood was less keen and so was Talbot-Lago. On the other hand: Walker La Grande was wholly own by the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg group, H.J.Mulliner, Park Ward by Rolls Royce, and Park Ward long before that, so what is the difference there. Perhaps we should stipulate that it needs to be custom coach work that needs to be shown here...having said that, many cars in the Italian section are serial jobs which could be bought through the factory, off the rack...


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 Post subject: Re: Nominate missing Coachbuilders here
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:38 pm 
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robgeelen wrote:
Perhaps we should stipulate that it needs to be custom coach work that needs to be shown here...having said that, many cars in the Italian section are serial jobs which could be bought through the factory, off the rack...

Difficult matter, indeed. And a lot of grey areas... I think we should not be too strict on those grey areas, but we have to draw a line somewhere. We can't cover them all.

The few British coachbuilders owned by Rolls-Royce started as independents. Personally I am not interested in the most recent 'custom' cars where the illustrious names like Mulliner are degraded for marketing purposes to give the client a feeling that he bought something really really special, while all he got was just an upgraded interior with some new materials and some personal logos, chrome trim, a different mesh in the radiator maybe and special wheels and such. Once the coachbuilder is fully owned and fully controlled by the car manufacturer, then I loose interest.

Is for instance the Lamborghini Reventon a custom job based on the Murcielago and therefore a coachbuilt car? Not to me... It is just a limited edition specialty by the factory.

Almost all makes did in-house custom jobs to various levels, but they also provided rolling chassis to independents. And those interest me the most. I think it is also very important that an independent designer/coachbuilder not only made a living by doing the bodywork for a single manufacturer, but the specific company should also have been able to work with the chassis of other manufacturers. Then again, there were a lot of companies who specialized in one make, but it was their own choice and they seemed not to be controlled by that specific make. Sindelfingen was Mercedes alone and nothing more, which doesn't sound very independent to me. No free minds there...

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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Food for discussion: http://www.coachbuild.com/index.php?opt ... &Itemid=69

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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:24 pm 
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Back to Sindelfingen:
They also build bodies on Wanderer, BMW, Hanomag, Maybach and Horch. After 1933, they concentrated on Mercedes-Benz, but took on special commissions for specials.


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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:32 pm 
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Perhaps now is the time to admit that I introduced Pressed Steel, who produced many series of bodies for many car factories, sometimes designed by famous designers. These were often in many variations, partly re-coachbuilt, often finished as coachbuilt. But basically pressed steel...Owned by many owners culminating in British Leyland, but also supplier of Rolls Royce and Bentle :evil: y.


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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:36 pm 
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I saw Pressed Steel was just added. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:40 pm 
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robgeelen wrote:
Back to Sindelfingen:
They also build bodies on Wanderer, BMW, Hanomag, Maybach and Horch. After 1933, they concentrated on Mercedes-Benz, but took on special commissions for specials.

Good to know! Thanks.
Sindelfingen will be added.
One forum knows more than a single Admin. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:47 pm 
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admin wrote:
Sindelfingen will be added.

We'll need the members' expertise to identify the real custom bodies. I am no Mercedes expert.

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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:28 am 
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and we maybe should discuss Darl'mat and the 203s which came off the Sochaux production line just like any other before their (mis)treatment, which went a little further than "badge-engineering"... and the 402 Andreau ( 5 made? ) - Pourtout or Peugeot?


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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:56 am 
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Isn't Darl'Mat to be considered more of what we call today a 'tuner' than a coachbuilder? Which 203s are you referring to exactly?
I believe Pourtout had nothing to with the Andreau.

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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:51 am 
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grill, bootlid, dashboard, spats, chrome even lowering all spanner work yes, but as i understand - and i dont have the french - a slight chop-top makes the sedan irreversibly darl'mat ...
Rabotage de la carrosserie

Extérieurement, une 203 Spécial Darl’mat,
c’est d’abord une ligne nettement plus effilée et une position
rabaissée sur la route. « Toute la section haute de la carrosserie,
capot et montants, était raccourcie d’environ 7 cm dans la partie
basse. » Opération réalisée dans les ateliers Darl’- Mat. Ce qui
imposait le retaillage des six vitres latérales, déflecteur compris, et
du pare-brise. « C’était fait chez Sagaie, qui existe toujours. »
Parallèlement, et toujours pour abaisser l’auto, les lames de ressorts
AV étaient démontées, retournées et deux autres petites lames étaient
rajoutées, une dessus le paquet, l’autre dessous pour durcir
l’ensemble. Une fois refixées, c’était sept nouveau centimètres de
gagnés. A l’AR, il fallait évidemment gagner sur la hauteur de caisse.
Cette fois, ce sont les ressorts hélicoïdaux qui passaient à la forge.
Coupés de sept centimètres, chauffés au rouge, puis retrempés dans de
l’huile pour leur redonner leur élasticité. Enfin, pour que tous ces
efforts ne soient pas réduits à néant par les amortisseurs à bras,
ceux-ci étaient remplis avec une huile très épaisse. Toutes ces
modifications concourrent à donner cette impression d’auto râblée,
courte sur pattes, style rase-bitume et aspirateur à gravillons.<br>
Impression accentuée par les ailes AR dont les passages de roues sont
fermés par un carénage démontable. Et le petit aileron qui jaillit du
capot AR. « Une pièce emboutie, la porte de malle étant entièrement
formée à la main dans nos ateliers. C’est sans doute Géo Ham qui a
dessiné cette dérive. » Petite surprise, la disparition de la trappe à
essence, sur l’aile AR droite. Et pour cause, l’orifice de remplissage
a émigré dans le coffre AR.
Modification qui n’a, semble-t-il, pas été réalisée
sur tous les modèles.
Esthétiquement, le travail extérieur ne s’arrêtait pas là. Outre les
magnifiques cimiers d’ailes réalisés chez Darl’mat, la calandre est
également un monument. Formée à la main, poncée, polie et nickelée,
elle donne à la 203 Spécial une évidente agressivité que la calandre
à barrettes fines de la berline ne possède pas. Les flèches latérales
de custode ont, quant à elles, disparues, remplacées par des clignotants
fixés quasiment à l’aplomb des phares AV. A l’AR, l’ensemble de
feux optiques est estampillé Labinal et a été installé dès
l’origine sur les Spécial Darl’mat, alors que Peugeot attendra le
millésime 1955 pour réaliser cette amélioration.
On notera, enfin, les enjoliveurs de bas d’aile AV et d’aile AR qui témoignent
plus d’un évident souci d’esthétisme que d’une recherche forcenée
de la performance. Car on ne nous fera pas croire que le chrome permet à
l’air de mieux glisser sur la carrosserie ! Ceci étant, le fait de
rabaisser ainsi la voiture et de caréner les passages de roues AR améliore
notablement le Cx de cette 203
Sur ce modèle, réalisé en 1953, d’autres
particularités ne sautent pas forcément aux yeux. Car, en dehors de la
grande lunette (commercialisée cette année-là sur la gamme), tout le
soubassement est emprunté non plus à une berline, mais à une découvrable.
Ce qui sera le lot de toutes les Spécial Darl’mat à compter de cette
date. Pour une raison très simple : « les caissons de la découvrable étaient
beaucoup plus larges et davantage renforcés. Ce qui, pour une auto dont
la vocation était tout de même sportive, présentait un avantage majeur
et nous évitait tout le travail de renfort que nous étions obligés de réaliser
sur les premiers modèles. » De fait, ces renforts apparaissent dans
toute leur splendeur lorsqu’on ouvre les portières AV, côté passage
de roue et la malle AR.
A l’intérieur, les modifications sont sans doute moins visibles.
D’autant que la planche de bord ressemble à s’y méprendre à celle
d’une 203 avec son compteur demi-lune gradué jusqu’à 150 km/h
(autrement dit, quand on pousse à fond la quatrième surmultipliée,
l’aiguille se jette avec avidité dans la boîte à gants !), son volant
deux branches décentrées et gros moyeu central, ses vitesses au volant,
son correcteur d’avance manuelle et le côté laque de Chine de la
planche. A une grosse exception près. Car, à gauche du volant, trône un
petit compte-tours Jaeger incrusté dans la tôle de la planche de bord et
gradué jusqu’à 6.000 tours.
Autre changement d’importance celui-là, la sellerie. Tout cuir. « C’était,
là encore, fait chez nous par Roger, un type bourru qui ne s’affolait
jamais, très adroit de ses mains, et amoureux de son métier. » Avec de
petits accoudoirs pour les passagers AR, histoire d’améliorer encore
leur confort. Et avec des assises suffisamment épaisses pour jouer le rôle...
d’amortisseurs.
Evidemment, la partie supérieure de la carrosserie ayant été rabaissée,
on est un peu emprunté aux entournures et c’est la tête dans les épaules
que les grands gabarits devaient s’apprêter à passer la première. Et
c’est encore plus net lorsqu’on se jette sur la banquette AR,
d’autant qu’il n’est alors pas question de passer le coude à
travers la portière, la vitre n’étant que demi-descendante, découpe
de porte pour passage de roue proéminent oblige


Attachments:
Peugeot 203_speciales a060_1 copy.JPG
Peugeot 203_speciales a060_1 copy.JPG [ 30.54 KiB | Viewed 2689 times ]
Peugeot 203_speciales19d copy.jpg
Peugeot 203_speciales19d copy.jpg [ 28.12 KiB | Viewed 2689 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:59 am 
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I guess I opened a tin of worms here.... ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:24 am 
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Well, where does (optical) tuning end and where does coachbuilding begin? The Alfas, Fiats and such only partly modified (grille, lights, bumpers, vents, etc) by the many small Italian firms, are they to be considered coachbuild? How much modifications does a car need to become a coachbuild?

Take Zagato's Mustang for instance: viewtopic.php?f=68&t=985
A modest nose job and a different rear window... Done by a famous coachbuilder... But what to think of it when it has been done by a much smaller company or even some unknown mechanic in a shed?

And what shall we say about this Corvette? http://jalopnik.com/photogallery/spectergtrunveil/
No body shell has been left unchanged, but it still clearly is a Corvette C6. A caricature some might say... Ordinary Tuning or Coachbuild?


Attachments:
Specter_90807291L2.jpg
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Specter_9080729Mini2L2.jpg
Specter_9080729Mini2L2.jpg [ 109.34 KiB | Viewed 2539 times ]
Spectre_f5d3ef.jpg
Spectre_f5d3ef.jpg [ 84.91 KiB | Viewed 2674 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:29 am 
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Michiel Mobiel wrote:
Well, where does (optical) tuning end and where does coachbuilding begin? The Alfas, Fiats and such only partly modified (grille, lights, bumpers, vents, etc) by the many small Italian firms, are they to be considered coachbuild? How much modifications does a car need to become a coachbuild?


These are what we call 'Elaborata'.
While I agree that they are not really coachbuilt, they are still very interesting IMO and are part of the (Italian) coachbuilder heritage.
I have only some knowledge about Italian cars so I wonder if Elaborata cars were only a typical Italian phenomenon or did it also exist in other countries?


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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:34 am 
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To me it is just body tuning in all of its wonderful and ghastly variations. But there are many grey areas. So perhaps a way to resolve this to taken a generous vue on this and to allow anything anyone can justify to some extent, and if the moderators or amny contributors feel that we are getting off-topic it can be dealt with then and there?


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 Post subject: Re: Special Coachbuild, YES or NO?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:48 am 
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Well, it is the same with Art. What is true Art and what's not? Who is to say?
In the end the audience and the market decide. Something that isn't really appreciated in its own time can become very valuable in the future. Or expensive projects by famed designers can be overrated at first and its true value will be determined in time.
We are part of the audience and maybe also a part of the market, so basically we can all together decide which company or specific car is te be considered a true coachbuilder or a special coachbuilt vehicle.

Other than in art, there are some technical limits which determines whether a car is a coachbuild or not.
One of those restrictions is that it has to be road legal! And it should be based on an existing platform or series produced car. There are some more in the 'about coachbuilding' article on the website: http://www.coachbuild.com/index.php?opt ... &Itemid=69

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