Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag

Posted by packardsix1939 On 2023/1/10 16:47:53
There is information regarding Ray Dietrich's relationship with Packard in Robert Turnquist's book "The Packard Story". This was the first history of Packard ever written and was published in 1964. I once had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Turnquist, and he was a very fine gentleman with incredible knowledge of Packard cars and Packard Motor Car Company history.

According to Turnquist's book, Ray Dietrich started out in the custom car body business at Brewster & Company of New York, a long-established carriage maker of great renown and later, one of the preeminent custom body coachbuilders of the classic car era. In 1920, in partnership with Thomas Hibbard, another Brewster designer, he founded the custom body firm of Lebaron Carossiers (later LeBaron Incorporated). In 1925, Dietrich left LeBaron and started a new firm in Detroit under his own name as Dietrich, Inc. He had been encouraged in this by venture his close personal friend, Edsel Ford. With financial backing from the Murray Body Company, which had a 50% ownership stake in the new company, Dietrich set up shop in a plant located on Clay Street in Detroit and began producing custom bodies for Packard, Lincoln and other luxury makes. In 1927, Dietrich, with help from Edsel Ford, purchased a larger facility located at Hamilton and Holden Avenues that had formerly been a Lincoln assembly plant. At some point, he also began working directly for Packard as paid design consultant.

With sales falling and the Great Depression deepening, Ray Dietrich saw the end of the custom body business and in 1931, he requested that Murray buy out his share of the business. They agreed, and Dietrich went to work for Graham as a designer. There, he created the 1932 Graham Blue Streak, widely considered to be one of the most advanced streamlined designs of the era. Dietrich would go on to have a distinguished career in the field of automotive design, heading up Chrysler's styling unit for several years before launching his own consulting firm. Ray Dietrich passed away in 1980 and is remembered today as one of the leading designers of the classic car era.

After Dietrich left, his former firm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Murray. Murray continued to produce Dietrich designed bodies through 1936 and tagged them with the Dietrich label. Regarding your 1934 1107, Packard apparently ordered a number of custom bodies from Dietrich for use on the 1932 (9th series) Twelves (ok, Twin-six for 1932) featuring a shortened cowl and a distinctive steeply raked back veed windshield. Packard would send a chassis over to Murray who would then mount the body and do the final assembly work. Then the finished car would be shipped to the dealer. Due to rapidly shrinking demand, it took until 1934 (the 11th series) to exhaust the supply of these bodies. So, this would include your car.

Regardless of when the body was actually produced, a Dietrich bodied Twelve is still a Dietrich, and they are undoubtedly the most desirable of all Packards, especially an open model. Your car is one of the greatest motor cars of all time and is of inestimable value. Please post some pictures of this magnificent vehicle.

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