American automobile enthusiasts associate the name Weymann with Stutz and Duesenberg, since most Weymann bodies built in this country were mounted on those chassis (a few were built on Cord L-29, Marmon, Peerless and Pierce-Arrow chassis). However, in Europe they were much more widely used and were mounted on virtually every luxury chassis built during themed-to-late 1920s, notably Bentley’s famous LeMans racecars and the legendary Bugatti Royale.
Weymann’s background in aviation led him to develop a flexible automobile body based on aircraft design principles and by 1921 he had built his first motor vehicle body prototype in his small Carrosserie Weymann at No. 20 Rue Troyon in Paris.
By 1925, a British factory was established when Weymann purchased the assets of the Cunard Co. in Putney, South-West London, renaming it, Weymann's Motor Bodies Ltd. Licensing offices were established in New York City and Cologne, Germany later the same year.
By 1926, Weymann had made a fortune on his patents - he boasted of 123 licensees worldwide - but the American market proved elusive, so when Fred Moskovics approached Weymann looking for a light-weight body for his new Stutz 8, Weymann was eager to please. Both Stutz and Weymann tried to interest a few production body builders in setting up a line to build the fabric bodies for Stutz, but nobody was interested. The former Rubay/National factory was leased in Indianapolis for the new venture and the first Weymann-equipped "Safety Stutz" rolled out of the Weymann American Body Co. factory in the Spring of 1927. Although the details are sketchy, rumor has it that a substantial portion of the capital used to outfit the new factory was furnished by Stutz.
Included in Stutz’s 1928-29 catalog were half-a-dozen models by Weymann, mostly two or four door sedans on both the standard 134½ -inch and longer 145-inch wheelbase that was used for seven-passenger models and custom bodies.
In 1928 Weymann American's management was reorganized. John Graham, formerly with the Holbrook Co of Hudson, NY became its president, A. H. (Bert) Walker, its chief designer and E. G. Izod its managing director.
In 1929 Weymann issued its own catalogue depicting a number of unidentified American-looking chassis adorned with Weymann bodies. Among them were a Stutz Monte Carlo, a Pierce-Arrow coach, an L-29 Cord Faux Cabriolet and a Duesenberg Model J sedan.
Unfortunately, 1928 proved to be Weymann’s best year and the firm experienced a steady decline in business – both in their own factories and in licensing fees - commencing early in 1929, long before the stock market crash that marked the beginning of the end for all of America’s custom body builders. One contributing factor was that Cellulose-based lacquer was now available on most any new vehicle – coachbuilt or not - and the public had tired of Weymann’s limited pallet of mat-finished fabric bodies.
Unfortunately Weymann American ceased operations at the end of in 1931 although a few 1932 Stutz’s were equipped with leftover bodies. Weymann’s last job for Stutz was a handful of DV-32 Bearcat and Super Bearcat bodies introduced in 1931.
(source: Coachbuilt) ©2004 Mark Theobald - All rights reserved.
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