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1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#1
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Jmac54
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Hello,

I am working with a 1934 Packard 1107 Twelve Convertible Sedan. Trying to get info and context on the "Dietrich Inc" body tag located on the lower cowl right above the running board that appears to be brass or copper.

Research results are a little fuzzy. Some search results say it adds value with the body tag and other search results say even when Ray Dietrich left the company Packard was still using the tags to affix to the cars. It's my understanding that if it had that tag it was considered "custom" and increased the value.

I found a little info but it is still not clear. Here is what I found.

Approximately thirty 1107 Convertible Sedans (base price $5,180) were made by Packard in 1934. Three of the thirty underwent modifications by the Dietrich-Murray factory in Detroit. As referenced by Ed Blend’s book, “The Magnificent Packard of 1934”, the factory custom bodies by Dietrich are remarkable for custom interiors and custom accessories as ordered by the customer. This adds “considerable value” to these vehicles. Two of the three custom bodies are known today, and approximately six of the thirty convertible sedans survived (one being owned by PNR-CCCA members Ron and Margie Danz).


Also I understand there may be a separate body tag plate aside from the Patent plate that may be located under the passenger side carpet. It's a Dietrich body tag indicating the specific number of the body. Going to see if I can locate it today.

Any help with identifying or clarifying what we have would be great.

Posted on: 1/10 8:54
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#2
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packardsix1939
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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.

Posted on: 1/10 16:47
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#3
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Packardbarry
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Posted on: 1/10 17:05
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#4
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packardsix1939
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This tag was used on factory bodied Packards for a brief period in the early 1930's. Packard was trying to lure buyers away from the custom coachbuilders and tout the luxury and quality of its own factory produced bodies. So, it was sort of a marketing ploy. These would not have been used on one of the Dietrich bodies.

Posted on: 1/10 17:24
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#5
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West Peterson
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As mentioned, by 1934, the Dietrich tag really had nothing to do with Dietrich building the car. It mainly meant specific-ordered trim (upholstery).

In my professional opinion, with only six of the 1107 convertible sedans extant, and with the probability that the original special order "trim" probably having already been replaced during previous restorations, there probably isn't much difference in value from the other six cars. The quality of restoration will be the determining factor in value (not to mention if it's got good provenance verifying that it's not a Super Eight or Eight body that has been transferred over to the Twelve chassis.

The tag under the carpet on the right side of the car, (either in the back or the front) will NOT be a Dietrich tag. It will be a body number tag.

Posted on: 1/11 8:48
West Peterson
1930 Packard Speedster Eight Runabout (boattail)
1940 Packard 1808 w/Factory Air
1910 Ford Model T open-front delivery
1940 Lincoln Zephyr sedan
1947 Chrysler Town and Country sedan

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=4307&forum=10

http://aaca.org/
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#6
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packardsix1939
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West Peterson: I know that Ray Dietrich turned out a number of designs for Packard during his career, but I always thought that the 1932-1934 Twelves were special because of the radical styling of the body. Here is a picture of a 1934 Twelve Convertible Sedan by Dietrich that I found on the internet. These cars are literally priceless. Well, maybe not totally priceless, but this is coming from a guy who drives a 1939 Six!

I also had a question on the 1936 Dietrich Convertible Sedan that was produced on the 120 chassis. I always thought that Dietrich had done the design work under contract and that Packard had built the car in house. Or was the body actually built by Murray and then supplied to Packard? Wondering if you had knowledge of this particular model.

Attach file:



jpg  1934_Dietrich_ConvSedan.jpg (75.80 KB)
225503_63bed6f17abc6.jpg 970X395 px

Posted on: 1/11 10:34
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#7
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West Peterson
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It's a convoluted story, but in short, Packard was just using his name.

This photo you posted is a car that was considered "Individual Custom." Still, it was built by Packard. Earlier Packards Customs from 1930-31 had a body builder tag that said "Custom by Packard" as opposed to LeBaron or Dietrich (Yes, the LeBaron cars were also built by Packard).

Posted on: 1/11 10:48
West Peterson
1930 Packard Speedster Eight Runabout (boattail)
1940 Packard 1808 w/Factory Air
1910 Ford Model T open-front delivery
1940 Lincoln Zephyr sedan
1947 Chrysler Town and Country sedan

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=4307&forum=10

http://aaca.org/
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#8
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packardsix1939
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Ok, so the car I posted the picture of is an 1108 Individual Custom as opposed to an 1107. I reread Turnquist's book and on Page 105, there is a picture of a 1934 1107 Twelve Convertible Sedan. The caption indicates that it is Dietrich designed, but Packard built. It does not have the radical veed windshield of the 1108 cars. So, Dietrich did the design work (he was on their payroll as a design consultant), but Packard built this model in house. According to Turnquist, it was the 1108's that were built by the Murray owned Dietrich plant and supplied to Packard. These are the Packards at the top of the food chain, so to speak.

I've been reading this stuff for years, but I still get confused by all of Packard's model designations. It is really complicated!

Posted on: 1/11 11:51
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#9
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West Peterson
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The Packard Dietrich / LeBaron story is a very confusing story, and even Hugo Pfau failed to make it understandable, and he lived it. The Dietrichs were built in the Murray shop, the LeBarons were built in the Briggs shop. Were they one and the same? Who owned the shops? You'll find that many of the fully custom Packards have "cousins" on Lincoln, and other luxury chassis.

Posted on: 1/11 14:54
West Peterson
1930 Packard Speedster Eight Runabout (boattail)
1940 Packard 1808 w/Factory Air
1910 Ford Model T open-front delivery
1940 Lincoln Zephyr sedan
1947 Chrysler Town and Country sedan

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=4307&forum=10

http://aaca.org/
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Re: 1934 Dietrich Inc body tag
#10
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BigKev
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I knew the name Hugo Pfau sounded familiar. It was staring at me from my bookshelf! I forget where I inherited this book from.

Attach file:



jpg  Screenshot_20230112_135722_Gallery.jpg (918.17 KB)
1_63c066bd75a89.jpg 1055X1438 px

Posted on: 1/12 15:00
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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