LaDawri / Victress Instruction Manual Now Available

Hi Gang…

Undiscovered Classics is not an individual effort.  It’s a collaborative, team effort that started before we got involved as folks like Fred Roth, Jean Poirier, Frank Cornell, Bill Hoover, John Gulow, Jon Greuel and others gathered information and saved it for future generations.  All of us have to thank these individuals for their forethought and dedication that has allowed us to share such rare pieces of information from years gone by. 

Today we’re sharing work completed by John Gulow in his research and preservation of the LaDawri Coachcraft marque.  John Gulow’s story is one of the highest dedication.  He started working on researching LaDawri in the late 1970s and didn’t stop thru about 2010 working with Jon Greuel and myself – 30+ years in total.  Impressive!  And John found, preserved and made available an amazing amount of information in his archives – information that we will be able to share for years to come and that starts with today’s story.

LaDawri / Victress Instruction Manual (1961)

In assembling the history and documentation of LaDawri Coachcraft, John Gulow did more than just gather and preserve.  He reworked some of the manuals to include additional information for those wanting to study and use the manuals.  And that’s what he did in creating today’s LaDawri / Victress Instruction Manual from 1961.  In the opening of the manual, John shared the history of the documents and the background on what was included in the manual by opening the document with the following page.  To make it easier to read, I’ve re-typed the text from the image of the page – below the image.

Background on the Source and Configuration of the Manual
By John Edw. Gulow (LaDawri Coachcraft Historian Emeritus)

This instruction manual was transcribed from an original factory instruction manual which was obtained from the factory about 1964.  It was published as a “ditto” spirit duplication in two colors, the main color being the familiar purple ditto color and a magenta color used to highlight paragraph headings and specific statements occasionally throughout the manual.

The manual was published as a 8 and 1/2″ by 14″ ditto booklet, printed on both sides and consisting of 32 pages.  In this transcription, sketches 1 through 23 (referenced as “figures”) were part of a “D” sized drawing entitled “La Dawri Coachcraft Assembly Details.”  The copy of the drawing provided by the factory with the manual was an “ozalid” process purple line print on white paper.

Sketches (figures) 24 thru 41 were part of the instruction manual reproduction and were located on the last pages of the manual.  Neither the manual nor the drawing was identified in any way as to the date it was prepared, nor is there any identification as to who the author or who prepared it.

The “D” size drawing (large size blueprint) has however initials in the “drawn” part of the title block which could be “LAD” which would then be Les A. Dawes the designer and owner of La Dawri.  Sketches 42 through 45 were part of a separate drawing print which consisted of four “A” size drawings dated 5/7/1961, 7/17/1961 and 7/26/1961.  All of these were signed as “J. Wolf” or “J.W.” in the prepared part of the title block.

Let’s Check Out The LaDawri-Victress Instruction Manual

Click on the following link to view the Instruction and Assembly Manuals for LaDawri:

Click  Here  To  View  LaDawri  Coachcraft  Instruction  and  Assembly  Manuals


Our great thanks to the research efforts of John Gulow and his dedication to preservation of these special cars.  John is 89 years old this year and he and his wife Melody are doing quite well.  We wish them great health and times as they continue in their lives.  For those of you wanting to learn more about John and the work he did with LaDawri, click on the link below.

Click  Here  To  Learn  More  About  John  Gulow – LaDawri  Coachcraft  Historian  Emeritus

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…

The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.



LaDawri / Victress Instruction Manual Now Available — 3 Comments

  1. John; I also have one of the original assembly and instruction manuals, wire diagrams, plywood templates, order forms and receipts. A few years back I sent laminated copies of material to Geoff and Mrs. Dawri. I started this project in late 60s. Over the years by my self I completed this car and still drive it weekly to gatherings around Ocala, Fl. If you want to contact me my Geoff has my email.

  2. Geoff…
    The Assembly Manual was a composite of several manuals and perhaps a dozen LaDawri factory release sheets. In particular was the manual I obtained on loan at the time from Charles Moss of Baltimore, MD….complete with factory drawings. The format was retyped to standard 8-1/2 x 11 page size as that was readily available in the XEROX machine I had access to for duplication. Victress manuals were incomplete and again a composite of several versions, all incomplete. Some of the missing Victress manual information was reproduced from LaDawri picture catalogs, especially from the early Black-White catalog issue I had. I also reproduced the LaDawri manual in the original 8-1/2 x 14 size to be consistent with the original. Back in that era, I sold a complete package of LaDawri information for $50.00…it was not a best seller.
    I have to compliment Geoff for reproducing that documentation…the scans are excellent and the file is down-loadable as an Adobe PDF allowing interested individuals to reproduce it locally. Those who have later issues of the La Dawri Assembly Manual will note differences as their manuals were a sort of living document with revisions and suppliments added as needed without reference to date of issue.

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