A Brief History about Coachbuilding

Coachbuilding is the art of constructing a vehicle, either horse-drawn or motorised, to convey goods or personnel.

Coachbuilding as a trade has been around, in one form or another, since the invention of the wheel. Ancient history documents the use of Chariots in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC.

Whilst having been used as a vital tool in transport and warfare, Chariots and later Carriages and Coaches have also been used as a symbol of stature, often demonstrating the wealth and power held by their owners.  Thus, many were highly decorated with ornate details and were dazzling displays.

So too, when the Motor Car arrived in the late 1800’s, cars once again demonstrated the character and status of those who owned and operated them.

Cars such as Bugatti, Bentley and Mercedes Benz quickly came to demonstrate and symbolize speed, exhilaration and excitement due to their racing prowess.   Others such as Rolls Royce, Daimler, Maybach, Caddilac, Packard, Deusenberg and others became synonymous with Style, Grace, Class and Opulence.

Either way, bespoke and stylish custom Coachbuilding flourished.

Cars built ‘for the people’ such as the Ford ‘T’, built on a budget so that any and every man could afford one, still had a body (all be it mass produced) built on the traditional Coachbuilding principles of a timber structure supporting a sheet metal (or fabric) covering, keeping the elements out (to some extent) and containing the user, and their goods, in an enclosed conveyance.

Coachbuilding, throughout history, is an art common to all historical vehicles.