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57-59 basic body shells
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firedome
Posted 2012-03-22 4:18 PM (#313338)
Subject: 57-59 basic body shells



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Supposedly different wheelbases were made by longer frame & front sheet metal, and obviously the fins and rooftops and front clips were all different, but were the basic body shells/floorpans shared among Plym, Dodge, DeS, and Chrysler? I know the wagons were and even had common 122" wb, but what about sedans and hardtops? Were they made at the former Briggs plant and sent to ass'y plants where the basic shell was augmented?
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Chrycoman
Posted 2012-03-22 8:26 PM (#313394 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: RE: 57-59 basic body shells



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firedome - 2012-03-22 4:18 PM

Supposedly different wheelbases were made by longer frame & front sheet metal, and obviously the fins and rooftops and front clips were all different, but were the basic body shells/floorpans shared among Plym, Dodge, DeS, and Chrysler? I know the wagons were and even had common 122" wb, but what about sedans and hardtops? Were they made at the former Briggs plant and sent to ass'y plants where the basic shell was augmented?



Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler all shared the same basic body, with longer wheelbases being accomplished by extending the floor or a longer front end. The Imperial body was completely different.

The Plymouth was on a 118" wheelbase while Dodge was on a 122"wheelbase. The extra 4" was in the rear seat area of the floor pan with Plymouth and Dodge sharing roof stampings. If you compare the side view of a Plymouth sedan and a Dodge sedan you can see the extra 4" between the bottom of the door and the rear wheel opening on the Dodge. Also, the rear axle is located farther to the rear in relation to the end of the roof line.

DeSoto and Chrysler used the same body as Dodge but with different roof stampings. The Firesweep and Windsor sedans used the same front doors as the Dodge but the rear doors were different. The larger DeSoto and Chrysler sedans and wagons used doors with removable aluminum upper door frames. The 126" models have the extra 4" in wheelbase ahead of the firewall and thus have a 4" longer front clip.

All wagon bodies are the same, with the 126" wheelbase models using different doors just as the sedans. All shared the same rear fenders but used trim as needed in the case of Dodge. The wagons used the same front clip as the sedans, thus Plymouth wagons were also 122" wheelbase as were the non-126" DeSoto and Chrysler models

Briggs supplied the bulk of the Plymouth bodies while Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler had their own body building facilities for Detroit production. Special models, such as the 1940`s DeSoto Suburban, were done by Briggs, though. Dodge bodies were built at Hamtramck. Chrysler at the Kerchal plant across from the East Jefferson plant and DeSoto at the former Graham-Paige plant on West Warren Avenue. Plymouth bodies came from the Mack Avenue Briggs plant.

Former Briggs plants at Evansville supplied Evansville, but I am not sure if LosAngeles and Newark had their own body facilties or not, although as Newark came on line in 1957 I suspect it would.

The body plants only supplied the finished body shell with the assemby plants adding the front clips, etc.

This method of body extension carried forward into the unibody era, with the 1960-62 New Yorkers using a longer front clip as did the 1967-73 Imperials. Chrysler actually started this body extension by floor pans and hoods back in 1934 with the Airflow.

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JT Vincent
Posted 2012-03-22 9:16 PM (#313402 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells



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While on this... We know the wb difference in 60-62's was reflected in the bolt-on sub frame and front clip. But do we think--say the basic 2 door hard top Chrysler body (122 in wb) would bolt onto a longer say New Yorker subframe?
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firedome
Posted 2012-03-23 11:17 AM (#313478 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells



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Great info as always Bill ...thanks!
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Chrycoman
Posted 2012-03-28 1:55 PM (#314196 - in reply to #313402)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells



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JT Vincent - 2012-03-22 9:16 PM

While on this... We know the wb difference in 60-62's was reflected in the bolt-on sub frame and front clip. But do we think--say the basic 2 door hard top Chrysler body (122 in wb) would bolt onto a longer say New Yorker subframe?


The only longer front stub for the 1960-62 models was the New Yorker. The 1960-61 300 and the 1960 Saratoga used the New Yorker front stub. The front floor pan on the 122"/118" wheelbase models is different from the one used on the 126" wheelbase models as the longer front stub attached differently. I suspect the longer nose needed more support with the main body.

A 1960-61 Plymouth or Dart front clip would attach to a 122" wheelbase Chrysler no problem. And the wheelbase would still be 122".

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JT Vincent
Posted 2012-04-23 8:06 PM (#318119 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells



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Thanks! I've wondered about that for ages.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2019-01-03 9:57 PM (#576227 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells


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Dodges have humps, Plymouths do not.

this is a 58 Plymouth floor pan 4 door but its the same as 2 door.



(58Plymouths.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 58Plymouths.jpg (474KB - 8 downloads)
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2019-01-04 3:04 PM (#576268 - in reply to #313394)
Subject: RE: 57-59 basic body shells



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Chrycoman - 2012-03-22 6:26 PM  Chrysler at the Kerchal plant across from the East Jefferson plant and DeSoto at the former Graham-Paige plant on West Warren Avenue.

 

Bill, was the De Soto plant on Warren Avenue or Wyoming Ave.?

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56D500boy
Posted 2019-01-04 4:38 PM (#576274 - in reply to #576268)
Subject: RE: 57-59 basic body shells



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Lancer Mike - 2019-01-04 3:04 PM

Chrycoman - 2012-03-22 6:26 PM  Chrysler at the Kerchal plant across from the East Jefferson plant and DeSoto at the former Graham-Paige plant on West Warren Avenue.

 

Bill, was the De Soto plant on Warren Avenue or Wyoming Ave.?



Not Bill but Mr. Google:

Warren Avenue:

https://www.allpar.com/corporate/factories/desoto-warren.html

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Lancer Mike
Posted 2019-01-04 5:40 PM (#576279 - in reply to #576274)
Subject: RE: 57-59 basic body shells



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Aha! Thanks, Dave.  It looks like De Soto moved out of the Wyoming Ave. plant in 1950?  Interestingly, Bill wrote a bunch of those artiles for AllPar!  He is a wealth of knowledge!



Edited by Lancer Mike 2019-01-04 5:41 PM
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Chrycoman
Posted 2019-01-04 5:59 PM (#576281 - in reply to #576268)
Subject: RE: 57-59 basic body shells



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Lancer Mike - 2019-01-04 3:04 PM

Chrycoman - 2012-03-22 6:26 PM  Chrysler at the Kercheval plant across from the East Jefferson plant and DeSoto at the former Graham-Paige plant on West Warren Avenue.

 

Bill, was the De Soto plant on Warren Avenue or Wyoming Ave.?



Both.

The final assembly plant was at 6000 Wyoming Avenue. The plant was built in 1917 and was used for war production. In the 1920's GM bought the plant and Buick used the plant for export production. Chrysler purchased the plant from GM in 1934. The plant was renovated and in the summer of 1936 became the home for DeSoto with the beginning of the 1937 model year. In 1938 the McGraw Avenue plant was built to the east of the Wyoming Avenue plant to build small parts for the main plant. An enclosed conveyor was built connecting the upper floors of the two plants.

The plant at 8505 West Warren Avenue was built in 1924 by the Paige Motor Co. In 1927 the Graham brothers (glass bottles, truck extension kits, GB trucks) left Dodge Brothers and purchased a controlling interest in Paige, becoming the Graham-Paige Motor Corp. The depression hit G-P hard, with sales falling through 1932. G-P built war related items during WW II and leased part of the plant to DeSoto. In 1943 G-P was taken over by Joseph Washington Frazer (the man who named the Plymoiuth and got Willys into building Jeeps) and associates and began working toward auto production after the war. Got G-P working with Henry J Kaiser with the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation using the West Warren plant to build parts. But G-P split with K-F in 1948 and sold the West Warren plant to Chrysler.

Chrysler renovated part of the plant and in 1950, with the plant now under DeSoto Division, began building bodies for the DeSoto assembly plant on Wyoming Avenue. Completed bodies were trucked from West Warren to Wyoming Ave. The next year another wing of the plant was renovated to build DeSoto hemi engines. From above the plant looked like the letter "E" with the lower extension shorter than the upper two.

With Chrysler's move toward unibody construction all assembly plants were to build their own bodies and end shipping bodies by truck or rail. Thus at the end of the 1958 model year production of DeSoto cars moved from Wyoming Avenue to East Jefferson. DeSoto engine production at West Warren had ended in the summer of 1957 and body production at the end of the 1958 model year. The McGraw plant also ended production of parts at the end of 1958.

The West Warren plant was converted for production of Imperial cars for the 1959 model year. The last Imperial built at West Warren was in May 1961 and production moved to East Jefferson. The plant was used for small parts production and sold a few years later (ca 1966).

McGraw Avenue was renovated and began production of auto glass for Chrysler Corporation in 1960. The plant was expanded in the 1990s for parts production and a few years later was closed. Parts of the McGraw plant still stand on the Wyoming Avenue property.

The Wyoming Avenue was used for export shipments from 1960 to 1980. The plant sat unused until 1992 when it was demolished.

Allpar used to have some photos I took of the DeSoto plants on Wyoming in 1980.

The West Warren plant has some parts still standing, including the Engineering Building G-P built in 1928 at the west end of the property.



Edited by Chrycoman 2019-01-04 6:03 PM
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57DODGECONV
Posted 2019-01-04 6:49 PM (#576282 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells


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Mike ,What Humps are you referring to on the Dodge verses Plymouth flood pans?
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Chrycoman
Posted 2019-01-04 7:36 PM (#576284 - in reply to #576282)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells



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Re West Warren plant -

A number of years ago Cars and Parts mentioned the West Warren plant in one of their articles and was not sure when the plant was sold. One of the readers wrote in enclosing a photo of the West Warren plant taken around 1966. The photo showed the smoke stack of the plant, complete with pentastar. The plant was not in use at that time, if memory serves.

Now, as the pentastar was not adopted until 1963, that smokestack pentastar could not have been painted on earlier than 1963.

So we know Chrysler still owned the West Warren plant in 1963.


The Allpar article on DeSoto and West Warren mentions Hupp going bankrupt after ending production of th Skylark car. Hupp did, indeed, go bankrupt after ending production, but not until 1991. After WW II Hupp got into stamping parts for the auto industry and then other manufacturers, such as washing machines. By the 1950's they were making freezers, A/C equipment and the like, as well as owning Hercules Engines.

In 1967 Hupp sold off Hercules Engines to White Motor Co. and a number of their washing machine, freezer, etc. subsidiaries to White Consolidated (originally White Sewing Machine). In 1991 Hupp was sold to another investment firm who put Hupp through bankruptcy - company had $1 million in losses with net book assets of -$1 million. And thus the Hupp name died..




Edited by Chrycoman 2019-01-04 7:57 PM
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57DODGECONV
Posted 2019-01-04 7:45 PM (#576285 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells


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I Drove past that plant a lot in those years ,I always knew that plant as McGraw glass .Owned By Chrysler.
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Chrycoman
Posted 2019-01-04 8:15 PM (#576286 - in reply to #576285)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells



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57DODGECONV - 2019-01-04 7:45 PM

I Drove past that plant a lot in those years ,I always knew that plant as McGraw glass .Owned By Chrysler.



Years ago McGraw Avenue came from the east and just south of the McGraw plant the road had a bend where it became Ford Road. Now the road right up to Wyoming Avenue is McGraw. The original McGraw Glass plant was almost right up to McGraw while the new McGraw was, and is, set back a ways from McGraw Avenue. Just south of McGraw is the Edsel Ford Freeway.

Is that is the plant you are thinking of? Was discussing three plants so want to make sure we're all going down the same road.



Edited by Chrycoman 2019-01-04 8:16 PM
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57DODGECONV
Posted 2019-01-04 8:28 PM (#576287 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells


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The plant I was talking about was on the corner of Wyoming and McGraw ,
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westwoodblue
Posted 2019-01-05 3:20 PM (#576311 - in reply to #313338)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells


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Was the beginning rocker panel/a pillar bottom/inner rocker the same on all the 57-59s? (the part of rocker hid behind the front fenders that always rots out)
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Chrycoman
Posted 2019-01-06 3:07 AM (#576333 - in reply to #576287)
Subject: Re: 57-59 basic body shells



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Found a few photos including the ones on Allpar.

The first is the assembly plant on Wyoming Avenue, taken at the north end of the plant looking south

Second is from the south end of the Wyoming plant looking north. The McGraw Avenue is on the right edge of the photo. You can see the covered overhead between the two plants.

Third is a shot of the McGraw Avenue plant just after its completion - from the south end of the plant looking north. The Wyoming Ave assembly plant is just to the left of the photographer

Fourth is an illustration of the DeSoto plants on Wyoming Avenue in the 1940's. The long building on the left is the DeSoto assembly plant - Wyoming Avenue. The McGraw building is just to the right.



(DeSoto - 6000 Wyoming - Look South - 1980.jpg)



(DeSoto - Wyoming- at McGraw - 1980.jpg)



(McGraw Avenue Plant - 1938 A.jpg)



(DeSoto Plant - 6000 Wyoming Ave - 1940s.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments DeSoto - 6000 Wyoming - Look South - 1980.jpg (36KB - 7 downloads)
Attachments DeSoto - Wyoming- at McGraw - 1980.jpg (57KB - 7 downloads)
Attachments McGraw Avenue Plant - 1938 A.jpg (220KB - 7 downloads)
Attachments DeSoto Plant - 6000 Wyoming Ave - 1940s.jpg (143KB - 7 downloads)
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