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Pierpontbeach

Coachraft Cars.....CLASSIC status???

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Should the cars built by Coachcraft in Hollywood be considered for CLASSIC status? They are one off cars built to the owner's specifications pre-1948 by craftsmen who left Dutch Darrin to start Coachcraft in 1939... What do you think?

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This thread would get more juice in the CCCA forum. My personal opinion is that if a custom body was built by a professional entity on a then new pre-1948 chassis and that body was of a very high quality and expensive then I would be o.k. with it. I imagine that if each owner petitioned for inclusion of their car then they would probably be accepted. This is how it would work with a Darrin bodied ford chassis.

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Don't you know that any car advertised in a classified ad as a classic, or if the owner insists repeatedly that it is are the only requirements for a car to be a classic? Really, I get so tired of those views.

I would say that if it is built on a chassis, then maybe it would be considered. If they take an already completed car and modify it, then it would just be a custom, and probably not considered.

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Tough call and interesting question. Remember Darrin used completed Packards, mostly 120s for his base on the Darrins. These are Fords, although very attractive. One other thought although I know nothing about the build quality of the Coachcraft products - Darrin's designs were fantastic but his shop was not known for fit, finish or super build integrity. Same crew I assume that built these. Last, if they were built to the owner's specifications were there options from a set design - in otherwords did a known designer do these cars, or were each one a kind of unique collaboration. Would be really cool if documentation on these cars existed, and I would think that would only help the owner if they wanted to apply to the CCCA for consideration.

(Re build quality - that said I would still LOVE a Darrin - second only to a Deitrich Victoria!)

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)

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I'm not sure about the requirement for starting with a bare chassis. There are many classics that were rebodied in period. The key is the "in period" piece. Some of the truly great ones like the round door rolls for example started off with a different body.

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I thought that I would add the following information for reference:

Coachcraft Ltd. of Hollywood California had a very stellar list of names

attached to it. With customers like Preston Foster, Henry Ford II, Bill

Holden, Liberace, Hunington Hartford III & Mickey Cohen the gangster

all commisioning work over a twentysix year period.

Rudy Stoessel, one of the principals in the company started out working

with Pierce Arrow Motor Cars, and was later involved with Howard (Dutch)

Darrin & his work on Packard -Darrins. Darrin was responsible for bringing

together Stoessel, Paul Erdos , who formed most of the metal at Coach-

craft & Burt Chalmers, to form Coachcraft Ltd.

Some of the design work was handled by Phill Wright of Pierce Arrow

design fame, Strother MacMinn & Peter Stengel.

Also reference the following website for more information: Coachcraft Ltd., Coach Craft, Coachcraft Limited, Station Wagon Harbor, Burt Chalmers, Rudy Stoessel, Paul Erdos, Hollywood - Coachbuilt.com

Several of the restored cars have been entered into prestigious Concours events around the country like at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, etc. over the last several years.

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