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DM Nacional – Ruiz Galindo Junior’s Mexican Coachbuilding Firm

Mexico, our neighbor to the south bought all of its automobiles from the US, the UK, and Europe, but Ruiz Galindo Jr. offered something to those who could afford it – coachbuilt bodies on American made chassis’ between the years of 1950 and 1955.

The attractive red convertible in the lead photo with styling similar to that used by some of that best European coachbuilders of the period was built at DM Nacional, Galindo’s shop where he offered his own designs and those constructed with an eye for what the client had in mind. In an interview for an article in the October 1952 issue of “Speed Age” magazine, he referred to himself as an “amateur who is in love with fine automotive styling” he started this new enterprise after a trip to Europe allowed him to observe the offerings of the best French and Italian design and coachbuilding houses.

The automobiles that DM constructed were available for only “$3000 to $6000 exclusive of motor and chassis” at a time when a new Cadillac sold there for $7,000.

The photos are courtesy of the AACA Library and Mark Wallach.  At Sport Customs published by Geoffrey Hacker, you can read the entire “Speed Age” article about DM Nacional and view more images.

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  • Ruiz Galindo in front of the DM Nacional shop with a custom built sportscar.

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  • A pair of cars with custom coachwork – the design below was constructed on a Chrysler chassis.

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7 responses to “DM Nacional – Ruiz Galindo Junior’s Mexican Coachbuilding Firm

  1. Wow, what an interesting article! That Chrysler ‘sedanca de ville’ is particularly amazing.

    In the 50’s Mexico had, among other things, a thriving domestic film industry & many talented architects working so why not custom cars?

  2. The hubcaps on the first few photos of the sportscar are one year only optional Studebaker wheel covers from 1954. They may have sold them into 55 too. It’s the standard wheelcovers from 53 and 54 with additional wing caps on the centers.

  3. Fascinating.
    But the chrome trim on the car in the first picture doesn’t look quite right for some reason. Like its made of tin foil.

  4. David Greenlees and The Old Motor Gang…

    Yes….at least one survived and we’ve brought it to Tampa, Florida to plan it’s restoration. It’s going to be one heck of a project but the car is growing on me. We acquired the custom-built Limousine when was built on a new Chrysler 1950 New Yorker chassis with body panels in 1950-1951. It appears to be the 4th car finished by DM Nacional and I’ll let David tell the story if he’s interested in sharing more of it with readers of The Old Motor. Fun stuff gang…

    Geoff Hacker
    Undiscovered Classics / Forgotten Fiberglass

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