A few years ago, Philippe Grümmer discovered a trunk of magazines, pictures and records relating to his father’s work as a coachbuilder, and he recognised their significance in the history of the automobile. After writing several articles on the subject and seeing the possibility of a major book he approached the automobile historian Laurent Friry to write it with him.
Descended from a long line of coach builders, Gaston Grümmer was the son of Antoine-Joseph whose company, J. Grümmer formerly V. Morel, produced first, from 1845, exceptional horse-drawn carriages and from the 1890s automotive bodies. Trained in the family business before World War I, Gaston Grümmer, spent the war as a soldier, first on horseback and in the trenches and then in the air as a pilot. At the end of hostilities, he brilliantly re-launched the family business transforming it into the Société Anonyme des Etablissements Grümmer. As the company moved towards the production of series bodywork for various manufacturers, Gaston decided that he wanted to break away to build custom cars and in 1924 he created his own company under the name of Carrosserie Gaston Grümmer. For the next ten years he achieved great success on both aesthetic and technical levels.
Thanks to recently discovered and previously unpublished archives, his son, Philippe Grümmer, in association with one of the best French automotive historians, Laurent Friry, takes us back to this glorious period during the “Roaring Twenties” recalling the major events of the Concours d’Elégance and Les Salons de l’Auto, and describes the bodies that Gaston Grümmer produced for the chassis of around 54 manufacturers and the hundred or so prizes which he won.
Illustrated with photographs, press articles and period documents, including the reproduction of a series of design drawings, this reference book on bodywork of the time is a must for any student of the period.
Page count: 736
Images: Total images: 1,023