Thursday Twister: Coachbuilt Cars
In the early days of the horseless carriage, if you wanted a nice car, you picked your frame/running gear and then found a coachbuilder to make the body. This was the recipe for expensive cars until the auto manufacturers decided they wanted 100% of the pie and started putting fancy bodies on their frames. Oddly enough, there are still a few firms around that specialize in coachbuilding (Zagato, Pininfarina, Bertone, to name a few). The question for our Thursday Twister is: what can you find for sale around the web that was coachbuilt?
The Volvo 780 Bertone Coupe is an interesting example of modern coachbuilding — from 1986 through 1990 you could get an Italian (Bertone) built body on top of sturdy Swedish mechanical parts. Like this 1989 Volvo 780 Bertone here on eBay offered for $6,000 buy-it-now or make-offer.
What other examples of coachbuilding from the 70s/80s/90s can you find? Comments below.
Closest I can find is this VW by Karmann Giha
VW Karmann Ghia Convertible
Amazing how the only thing close to coach built anymore are conversion vans. I sense the decline of the empire can not be far behind.
[image src=" images.craigslist.org/00202_1vBn6NU887M_600x450.jpg" width="400px"/]
Of course there is the earlier sibling, the 262C Bertone…
[image src=" manonthemove.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/DSC_0025_2.jpg" width="400px"/]
Not likely the car pictured above.
Another top extraction –
American Custom Coachworks, Ltd
1978-81 Celica Convertible
[image src=" usercontent2.hubstatic.com/4565405_f520.jpg" width="400px"/]
And wow, I think I just fell into some sort of alternate universe with Clenet neoclassics and this guy – dimoramotorcar.com/
Second time in a week I've posted the Triumph Italia 2000 Coupe. Platform by Triumph, coach and body work by Vignale/ Giovanni Michelotti. Available for a mere $137,000 .
[image src=" carbuildindex.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/95.png" width="400px"/]
~ Volvo 262C Solaire.a Canadian coach firm.
[imagesrc= scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13895076_1324348707594613_9052636014119456794_n.jpg?oh=22bd89ec6d9668567a1f5fef800394f4&oe=5826450C width="400px"/]
Just to be a crank I'll throw the Volkswagen Routan into the mix. Terrorizing your local little league baseball field is optional:
[image src=" images.hgmsites.net/lrg/2009-volkswagen-routan_100145255_l.jpg" width="400px"/]
V-dub built the Routan over the guts of a Dodge Caravan as a cheapo way to get a minivan to the US market. It was . . . not a success.
Fun story: I considered purchasing a Routan a few years back and in researching the car I called my local foreign car repair shop to ask about their experience wrenching on these fine automobiles. Upon my asking how they liked the Routan, the mechanic proceeded to throw up for three minutes and then calmly explained that I'd have to take the Routan to a domestic auto mechanic as there was nothing foreign about the Routan except the badge on the grille.
A friend of mine in MI, who used to work for VW had one as his company car for awhile. I asked him about the name Routan. He said, look again, 'they're so cheap the European version is the Touran and by naming it Routan they already had the letters in stock!".
Bertone is not around anymore…
Great idea for a post Vince!!!