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:
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.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…
The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.