Dietrich

Raymond H. Dietrich founded the American coachbuilding firm, Dietrich Inc. The name would later be changed to Raymond H. Dietrich and finally Ray Dietrich Inc.

Ray's career began at Brewster in New York. While at Brewster, he honed his talents and continued to build his skill. He met Tom Hibbard, another Brewster employee, and together they began planning a business venture together. The planning was done in their free time; when the Brewster Company learned of this, the duo was fired. This accelerated their plans and left them short of cash.

They put the money they did have into a prominent location. They chose a spot in New York City, at 2 Columbus Circle, in which to start their design firm, which they called LeBaron Carrossiers, because the name sounded French and prestigious. The design studio was just that - a design studio. The construction of the vehicles was done at other places.

Soon after the Design Studio opened their doors for business, they were approached by Ralph Roberts from Brewster who was looking for work. Dietrich and Hibbard appreciated his talents and offered him a one-third partnership in the business. In the years to come, both Dietrich and Hibbard left the company they formed to for other opportunities. This left Roberts in charge of the company. A Detroit based firm named Briggs acquired the LeBaron Company in 1927. Briggs had a well established list of clientele that included marques such as Ford, Chrysler, Hudson and Overland. These connections allowed LeBaron's business to flourish and prosper. Soon, they had attracted work from Cadillac, Pierce Arrow, and Lincoln.

Eventually, Tom Hibbard went to Paris with the intent of establishing a European base of operations for LeBaron Inc. While in Europe, he formed a relationship with Howard 'Dutch' Darrin, and the two created Hibbard and Darrin. The business relationship between Hibbard and Dietrich ended.

At the New York Auto Salon, Dietrich had met Edsel Ford. The relationship would prosper into business opportunities for Dietrich. After a prosperous time between Edsel and Dietrich, Edsel wanted to bring the coachbuilding business in-house where it could be better supervised. he encouraged Murray, who was Ford's largest body building firm at the time, to approach Hibbard and Dietrich. Because of the relationship Dietrich had with Briggs, Dietrich decided to sever his business relationships with Briggs and form his own company, Dietrich Inc.

Dietrich Inc. became the design arm of Murray. The elegant designs attracted many prominent customers such as Packard. After 1933, all open Packard's were designed by Dietrich.

Vehicle information, history, and
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