Hibbard & Darrin

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Hibbard & Darrin was a French coach building company.

Rolls-Royce 1931 Phantom I by
Hibbard & Darrin

Two American designers, Thomas L Hibbard and Raymond H Dietrich had met while working for Brewster. Tiring of the corporate environment they started freelance work in their spare time and when William H Brewster discovered this he fired Dietrich and Hibbard left.[1]

They decided to set up on their own and formed a new company and called it LeBaron after a family friend. LeBaron did not build car bodies, they sold designs.

Fellow designer, Howard "Dutch" Darrin met Tom Hibbard in 1923. Hibbard by this time had left LeBaron and the two decided to go to Paris, initially to try to sell LeBaron designs but instead decided to set up their own company and founded Hibbard & Darrin.

Over the next few years they designed innovatively styled bodies for many of Europe's most prestigious car makers but the partnership ended in 1931 when Hibbard returned to the USA to take up a position in General Motors's design department.

Darrin however remained in France and formed a new company with a wealthy French banker named Fernandez calling it Fernandez and Darrin.

Darrin also returned to the United States in 1937 to set up his own coachworks on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.

Howard "Dutch" Darrin designed cars for Kaiser and Studebaker. With Bill Tritt he designed the Kaiser Darrin sports car. For Studebaker, renamed Studebaker Packard after their merger he designed cars that were never produced but can be seen at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana. With his sons he designed some replica cars that were sold in kit form.

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