As you inspect the vintage automobiles at the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance on September 30, give a thought to the artists who added opulent coachwork to the chassis and engines made by other manufacturers. California Coachwork is one of the Featured “Marques” included in our 2018 event this Fall.
Many of these craftsmen located their plants in Southern California and you can read a comprehensive article on our website that spotlights four local coach builders.
|First is Pasadena’s Walter H. Murphy who built 125 Duesenberg bodies on chassis made by Bentley, Bugatti, Buick, Cadillac, Cord, Crane-Simplex, Dobie, Dorris, Essex, Ford, Hispano-Suiza, Hudson, Isotte-Fraschini, Lincoln, Locomobile, Marmon, Mercedes-Benz, Mercer, Minerva, Packard, Peerless, Pierce-Arrow, Rolls-Royce and Simplex between 1920 and 1932.|
|When Murphy closed, two of his employees, Christian Bohman and Maurice Schwartz, opened their shop in Pasadena. They bought some of Murphy’s equipment, hired some of his employees and completed cars that were unfinished when Murphy closed. Their partnership lasted until 1961.|
|Our third coach builder was Howard “Dutch” Darrin who opened his shop on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood in 1937 and named his shop “Darrin of Paris” due to his first job being in the City of Lights. Howard built 16 Packard Darrins between 1937 and 1939 and his customers included movie stars Dick Powell, Errol Flynn, Preston Foster and Clark Gable. He shut his business in 1939 to join Packard as Chief Aesthetic Designer.|
|Our fourth coach builder is Coachcraft of Hollywood which was born in 1940 and endures to today. It was formed by three former Darrin employees who focused on less expensive chassis like Ford, Mercury, Studebaker and Packard. Coachcraft is still in business in Fillmore, north of Los Angeles.|
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