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The story of Jacques Saoutchik and his life spans eight decades, two world wars, a flight from Imperial Russia, incarceration, the birth of the automobile and its design, the Great Depression, the heyday of the Carrosserie D'Automobile Luxe in France and its subsequent annihilation - all set against a backdrop of glittering socialites, artists, demi-mondes and couturiers who populated the chic salons of Paris. It was an endless pursuit of elegance, a merry-go-round of the rich and famous - bl atantly ignoring the facts of life, which in the end found itself obliterated when the music stopped. It was a way of life that was trampled by the most fundamental political and social upheavals the worl d has ever seen. On top, Jacques Saoutchik lived a personal life which for decades involved maintaining two completely separate families, each knowing of the existence of the other. 

And then there are the cars. The fabulous, extraordinary, extravagant, spectacular works of art that Jacques Saoutchik designed and manufactured. He was the greatest artist the coach building industry has ever seen. 

This book is a three volume homage to his life and art, with 1164 pages and 1933 images, many of which have never been seen before:

Volume I: The Life of a Jeweler in SteelVolume I contains the story of the life of Jacques Saoutchik from 1880 to 1957. His flight from Russia, how he built and rebuilt his enterprise, as well as the vicissitudes of his life are described in detail, all set against a kaleidoscopic backdrop of the wars, anti-Semitism and strife of the 20th century. There are more than 800 images in this volume alone. These include many personal and private photographs from the two Saoutchik families which have never been published before.

Volume II: The Language of DesignThis volume deals with the rare design drawings of Saoutchik, more than 250 of which are reproduced in high quality, and includes detailed analyses of the designs from 1908 to 1954. Each description can be read on its own. However, taken as a whole, the design discussions form a progressive analysis of the entire body of work that was designed by the Carrosserie de Luxe, J. Saoutchik across five decades. Also included is an essay by the American restorer David Cooper concerning the restoration of a 1947 Saoutchik Delahaye 135M.

Volume III: Heavenly BodiesVolume III is a large photographic record of cars built by Saoutchik from 1907 to 1954. There are more than 800 old and new images, many of which have never been published before. In total, they provide a dazzling pictorial history of the varied work of Jacques Saoutchik and his son, Pierre. The images provide visual proof as to why so many hold Saoutchik as one of the greatest coachbuilders of all time. Also included is a spreadsheet of known cars with chassis numbers. 


An Addendum to the main three volume work has been published in January, 2015.
This Addendum covers:

  • The discovery of the Baillon Collection in France with three important Saoutchik-bodied cars and their consignment to the Artcurial auction at Rétromobile in 2015.
  • Further account of Gijsbert-Paul Berk’s time with Jacques and Pierre Saoutchik.
  • The remarkable discovery by Christoph Grohe of what must be the world’s oldest chassis fitted with a Saoutchik body.
  • Information on a Saoutchik Cadillac parade convertible used by His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan.
  • Further background on the man who presented himself as Sir John Gaul.
  • More Saoutchik cars and drawings that have been uncovered.
  • Corrections and errata.

Click here to view Addendum sample pages

See the Coachbuilders Encyclopedia for the continuously expanding overview of designers, coachbuilders and their numerous creations from past to present.


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I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them. Congratulations on an excellent website.
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