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Re: Dietrich Inc. Detroit - badge
#11
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Owen_Dyneto
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Seems inconceivable that Dietrich would mount their plate in such an untraditional location, much less in a position where it didn't read correctly from left to right.

Posted on: 2011/3/18 8:17
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Re: Dietrich Inc. Detroit - badge
#12
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Christopher Slater
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This looks similar to your body tag - I took this photo of a 1929 Packard with a Dietrich body. The tag was mounted to the reveal at the bottom of the cowl in front of the driver's door.

Attach file:



jpg  1929 Dietrich Phaeton.jpg (2,548.68 KB)
202020_61ea32c82de61.jpg 4032X3024 px

Posted on: 1/20 23:12
Christopher Slater
San Jose CA
NorCal Packards / Packard Automobile Classics / CCCA
1934 Packard 1100 Five Passenger Sedan
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Re: Dietrich Inc. Detroit - badge
#13
Home away from home
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Leeedy
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Quote:

Guscha wrote:
[quote]...If I hadn't found it in the Packard home I would be more intuned with the modifying it to fit something else though...

Just for entertaining:

"...Due to unforeseen problems with the UAW in regards to an untenable UAW craftsmen/apprentice ratio and a general lack of work, Dietrich closed the Grand Rapids shop in 1953 and returned to consulting for Checker. He also did some work for Ford Motor Co. and was involved in the design of Continental Mk II which debuted in October 1955. He was also involved with Preston Tucker's Carioca automobile, but Tucker's 1956 death ended the project. He retired from active automotive consultation in 1960, but soon embarked on another career, designing electric guitars for Kalamazoo's Gibson Guitars.

In the early 1960s, Ted McCarty - Gibson's president - asked Ray Dietrich to try his hand at designing a guitar. Dietrich reversed conventional design, putting the longest body horn on the treble side and all the tuners on the treble side, and he made the neck and body a single piece. His design was called the Firebird, and it debuted in 1963 but met with only moderate success before the body shape was revamped into a "non-reverse" style in 1965. Gibson periodically re-releases the Firebird, so I imagine that one of Dietrich's guitars can be purchased for substantially less money than one of his cars..."


source: www.coachbuilt.com


The info from Coachbuilt.com is not quite complete and is partially mistaken.

First, Ray Dietrich did not merely close down his Grand Rapids operation in 1953. And it was not directly as a result of issues related to unions. Instead, several years earlier Mr. Dietrich made a silent agreement with Creative Industries of Detroit (hopefully some of you know who this company was by now). For instance the Lincoln Cosmo Presidential Parade Limousine credited to Ray Dietrich was actually engineered and built at Creative Industries in Detroit. Photos are in the Creative Industries book. There was never enough work for an individual coachbuilder that did nothing else to stay alive by the early 1950s. Even Henney Motor Company proved that.

Dietrich did indeed close down his Grand Rapids operation but that business was largely merged into Creative Industries of Detroit. This is not publicized anywhere but I have the original evidence of what took place. This began in 1949.

Whatever involvement Ray Dietrich had with the Continental Mark II still (kinda-sorta) involved Creative Industries of Detroit. This was because Creative did body and chassis engineering for Mitchell-Bentley and Creative's employees worked for M-B on a contract per diem basis. Who did the bodies for Continental Mark II? Mitchell-Bentley... and thus Creative Industries... thus Ray Dietrich. Hush-hush.

Creative continued doing special projects and automobiles for Packard right up until the end of Packard. Creative Industries did the special cars for Ed Macauley, Packard Panthers, the Packard Request, some Caribbean hardtops and special work and new fittings on the Packard Predictor.

As for the statement about Ray Dietrich designing guitars. Yes, he did and I immediately bought one when they first came out. Mine was personalized for me and I still have it today. People made fun of the Gibson Firebird back then, but they sure love them now! A lot of famous musicians also used Gibson Firebirds. Some of the "chank-chank!" guitar riffs you hear on old Motown recordings were done on a Gibson Firebird. Very exotic construction (neck and raised section of body were all one piece of wood –unlike most guitars that have separate necks). Of course sound is unique as well as design.

By the way, it was not merely guitars that Mr. Dietrich designed but it was also electric basses. I also have an early prototype of his Gibson Thunderbird (reverse body) electric bass as well. My Thunderbird bass has no serial number and may have been the first one made.

Someone I know is presently working on a history of Ray Dietrich.

Attach file:



jpeg  FBirdINcase copy.jpeg (305.07 KB)
1249_61eaff9b1f825.jpeg 1185X765 px

jpeg  TBirdINcaseJPG copy.jpeg (298.82 KB)
1249_61eaffbe02d77.jpeg 1188X647 px

Posted on: 1/21 13:48
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Re: Dietrich Inc. Detroit - badge
#14
Home away from home
Home away from home

Tim Cole
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I don't think that tag was ever mounted on a car. It is probably a production sample that was left in a car and thrown in a drawer. We get that all the time in test cars.

What it is representative of seems likely 1929, in which as shown below, Dietrich badges were being mounted on the soon to be introduced lower belt moulding.

Below is a cropped example from 1929.

Attach file:



png  Tag.png (12.42 KB)
373_61eb30addf1db.png 92X83 px

Posted on: 1/21 17:16
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