Attached images

Hibbard, Tom.jpg
Home | Hibbard, Thomas

Hibbard, Thomas

Carroll Gantz
Birth/Death Age: 
Hibbard, Tom.jpg

U. S. automotive designer, born in Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY, who before graduation from high school started a job in 1915 as apprentice designer with the Leon Rubay Company in Cleveland, Ohio. He designed White Automobile bodies for Rubay, but in about 1917 took a position with Chicago coachbuilder C. P. Kimball designing car bodies. In 1918 he joined the Army during World War I and was sent to France, shortly before the armistice was signed. He was offered a job by Parisian coachbuilder Kellner et Cie, but was unable to be released from the service, and returned to New York, where he found a job at Brewster & Company, working beside Raymond Dietrich. The two became friends and in 1921, decided to leave Brewster and establish their own design and contracting automotive business called ‘LeBaron Carrossiers.’ They designed custom car bodies and had then arranged to have them built. Their firm prospered and by 1923, were considering a branch office in Europe. Since Hibbard spoke French, he was sent to check out possibilities, and he traveled with a new friend, Howard ‘Dutch’ Darrin. Opportunities were enormous, and the two established their own firm, Carosserie Hibbard et Darrin, in Paris. They built a factory and by 1926 had 100 employees building bodies for Maybach, Renault, Mercedes, Packard, Stutz and Rolls Royce chassis. The Great Depression created financial problems, and by 1931, Hibbard & Darrin were out of business. Hibbard returned to the U.S. and took a position in General Motors Styling Department, In 1947, he left GM to briefly became head design director at Ford after Bob Gregorie left. He was involved with the postwar 1949 Ford, and as chief designer, designed 1950s Lincoln roll-top’ dashboard.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.
Copyright Information: 
I own or have obtained the rights to the image(s) included with this article and grant the right to post it(them) on its website and make use of it(them) in print media with proper attribution.