Breadvan_update_041: Coachbuilt exterior

Breadvan_update_041: Coachbuilt exterior

The classic coachbuilder

A coachbuilder, or body-maker, manufactures bodies for passenger-carrying vehicles. Coachwork is the body of an automobile. The word “coach” was derived from the Hungarian town of Kocs. Custom or bespoke coachbuilt exterior bodies were made and fitted to another manufacturer’s rolling chassis. The work was done by the craftsmen who had previously built bodies for horse-drawn carriages. As well as true bespoke bodies the coachbuilders also made short runs of more-or-less identical cars. Separate coachbuilt exterior bodies became obsolete when vehicle manufacturers started with producing unibody or monocoque designs. These are combined chassis and body structures. Starting from the middle years of the 20th century these became standard. It is because they provide the rigidity required without incurring the heavy weight of separate chassis. With the change of production methods, the crafts of designing and coachbuilding one-off cars was nearly lost.


Coachbuilt exterior of the Breadvan Hommage

The crafts of designing one-off cars was nearly lost, but not completely. For our Breadvan Hommage we are obviously working on a modern, monocoque design. However, our work in-fact has not changed much from the old coachbuilders. And neither that of the coachbuilder craftsmen. The technical base of the Breadvan Hommage might be modern. The ideas, methodology and process is very much similar to the way the old coachbuilders used to work. We are still designing and producing exciting, one-off vehicles. We are still sitting down with the owner. And we’re still making something truly unique which will likely live on longer than any mass produced object. These photos, were made by photographer of the house Luuk van Kaathoven. They show the surfacing, or skin of the car, coming closer to the final product. Or perhaps closer to the last sketch.


Car design for coachbuilding

The subtle surface changes now really become apparent. Small shifts in direction of the material are tighter and more visible. Intricate elements like the facet around the airvents, for instance. Or the crisp details such as those surrounding the rear window. Whilst clean light catchers in between the taillights make the car look wider and divide the visual mass. Another example is the faux shutline we have designed. This will run from the top of the windscreen. It will follow the real shutline between the roof and the glass. From there is picks up. It will guide the eye not down towards the A-pillar, but over the corner towards the side. It will create the visor look we are seeking. One strong black graphic. The first piece can be seen on the photo. A testfit to judge its initial effect.

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