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Alin-Liautard Coach Builders


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I came across this interesting picture a couple days ago while researching some unrelated information.   I captured the image with the plan of seeking out more info at a later date. 

Like many here, I find great interest in some of the early limousines but this one completely predates anything I've studied before.  For me this car truly captures the essence of the "carriage trade".   If one could step back in time for just a single evening....


While I've been able to find more images of A&L built cars, there does not seem to be too much in-depth information about the company itself.  I believe they were in business, in Paris, from approximately the late 1890's to the late 1920's.  They built many specialty bodies including a unique ambulance that was used for the war effort in 1914/15 as well as a Double Berline styled body built on a Hispano-Suiza chassis for the King of Spain.   

From what I've been able to glean, this particular limousine is built on a French Gregoire chassis with coach work by Alin & Liautard and is supposedly regarded as the first commercial limousine built.   The influence of the horse drawn coach era is still undeniably present in the body design and the interior shows more like an elegant boudoir than an automobile.   With the beveled glass windows and the ornate (kerosene?) lamps, this car must have made quite a statement traveling on the Champs-Elysees in the early days of the 20th century.

 Information suggests that Messrs Alin & Liautard built more than one of this very same design but the exact number is lost to the sands of time.  Perhaps just a few?

Today there remains an existing A&L Double Berline but I don't know if any examples of this fine triple compartment car on the Gregoire chassis still exist, but I'd really love to see one in person if it did.  I have to wonder, would they call this body style a Triple Berline?

If anyone here can share more info on the Alin-Liautard Company I would be grateful.

Cheers, Greg










Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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There is a possibility that they are mentioned in OMNIA magazine. That was a French ( and French language) monthly car magazine that was quite thorough about car reports, photos etc. It was in existence from 1920 thru the early 1930s. I have nearly a complete run but not the time to look at every issue/page for any mention - there was no index for it as far as I know so to look something up takes many days and hours. Just wanted to give you a heads up if you can locate some issues , but again not easy to do here in the USA. As far as I am aware there is no full run in any of the automotive libraries with access to the public.

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I have to say, the "Boat Body" and the 2 seater turret topped cars are both supremely hideous.... almost to the point of fascination. 

Sort of like that dead cow you see in a field on a hot summer day, bloated to 3 times it's normal size.  You just can't stop staring at it.





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