Discuss Detroit Archives - July 2008 Graham-Paige Auto Factory History Inquiry Previous Next
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Roadmaster49
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Username: Roadmaster49

Post Number: 105
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 9:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am looking to purchase a 1947 Frazer. Kaiser-Frazer made cars in Michigan from 1946 to 1955. Most of them at Willow Run plant.

This one was a "very early" one built at the 'old Graham-Paige plant' in Detroit.

1. Is this plant still standing in some iteration?
2. If not, anybody have any history on it, when torn down.
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Lodgedodger
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Username: Lodgedodger

Post Number: 1345
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 11:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are you referring to the plant in Wayne?
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Lodgedodger
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Username: Lodgedodger

Post Number: 1346
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 11:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Graham-Page, formerly Harroun Motor Car Company Wayne, MI (body plant)
6250 Woodward (see link below)
8505 W Warren (later DeSoto)
Fort & McKinstry (export and service center)

https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/6790/40008.html?11109346 26

Look at Mikem's post number 1245.

Shameless plug here: When in Detroit, let me know. I'll take you on Preservation Wayne's Automotive Heritage tour.
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Pkbroch
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Username: Pkbroch

Post Number: 228
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 11:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a good site and a good picture of a Frazer.

http://www.classiccar.com/phot opost/showphoto.php/photo/232/ cat/525
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Roadmaster49
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Username: Roadmaster49

Post Number: 106
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 10:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lodgdodger, not sure, will have to double check my Frazer history book for a more specific location.

Thanks Pkbroch
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 1876
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 - 2:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Your Frazer was probably built at the Graham-Paige Warren Avenue plant near the Dearborn city limits. Frazer took control of Graham-Paige near the end of the war and later joined up with Kaiser to form the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation.

I'm no expert on any of this car history stuff, but if I have my history right, the plan was to build Kaisers in California (where Henry Kaiser lived) and Frazers (as well as Graham-Paiges) at the Graham factory on Warren.

In the meantime, K-F acquired the Willow Run plant from the government after Ford decided he no longer wanted it. Graham-Paige was operated as a seperate company until 1947? when it was sold to K-F after losing much money. That's probably when Frazer production was moved to Willow Run. K-F assembled at Willow Run until 1953 when they moved production to the Toledo Jeep factory. General Motors' Livonia transmission plant burned down shortly after it opened in 1953, and they made an emergency move into the vacated Willow Run plant.
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Roadmaster49
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Username: Roadmaster49

Post Number: 107
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 8:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mikem,
You are correct. Frazer was old timer auto guy who wanted to run his own company. He needed the money of Henry Kaiser. Kaiser wanted a "volkswagon" basically i.e. a peoples car. (Model T)

Kaiser in turn needed Frazers car guy skills. Production started at an old Graham Paige plant for FRAZER, then when it became clear Frazer couldn't make enough volume, after about 6100 units, production went to Willow Run.

I have located the 3,043rd car made, one of the original 6100 cars built at the old Graham-Paige factory. About 10 are known to exist from the original batch.
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Abracadabra
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Username: Abracadabra

Post Number: 183
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 1:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've got a pretty good book about K-F, "The Last Onslaught On Detroit" by Richard Langworth. My grandfather worked with Dutch Darrin on the design of the Kaiser, and the author interviewed him for the book.

Anyhow, I highly recommend the book if you can find it, it literally tells the entire story of Joe Frazer and Henry Kaiser. There is little information on the Warren plant, however, but a ton on Willow Run.
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Jgavrile
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Username: Jgavrile

Post Number: 221
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 2:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That plant on warren was Sarah-Lil for a while in the 90's .Use to sell used machinery there
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Catch22
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Username: Catch22

Post Number: 14
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 2:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In the early 70s, part of the Warren Ave. building (approx. western 1/3) was an Arlan's store. The unused portion was full of all sorts of junk (old tires, boxes, pallets, 55 gallon drums containing who knows what, etc.). If the place had caught on fire it would have gone up like a Roman candle.
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Roadmaster49
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Username: Roadmaster49

Post Number: 109
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2009 - 11:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Abracadabra

That's the book I have, signed by Langworth. My wife gave it to me as a Christmas present. I just wanted the book, bonus it was signed. And that's how I found about the numbering sequence so that I know the Frazer I am looking at was built at the olds Graham-Paige Plant.

If I owned an old Packard, despite the horrific condition of the Packard Plant - I would still like to walk through the Packarad plant to sort of commune with the ghosts of the owrkers that built my car.

Ditto on the Frazer, although I doubt it is still standing. I guess I need to dig further in the Langworth book for the actual address. I am sure it's in there, but the type set is pretty small.

Thanks everyone
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 1889
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2009 - 10:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Roadmaster, I don't think you understand; the factory is still there on the south side of W. Warren, just east of the Dearborn city limit. Part of it has been torn down, but some of the factory and the administration building are still there. Lodgedodger even posted a link to a posting of mine with several pictures of the plant I took in 2005.

(Message edited by MikeM on January 31, 2009)
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Reddog289
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Username: Reddog289

Post Number: 883
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 2:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This thread got me back into looking at old car factories. My question about this thread is "Did the Wayne plant only produce bodies? or whole automobiles?". The photo in the Wayne history book says "Graham-Paige Body Plant Wayne Mich". I have driven by the plant on Warren and just though It was the back end of McGraw glass or something.Good luck Roadmaster in your search.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 1890
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 11:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Wayne, Michigan plant probably produced only bodies.

quote:

Ditto on the Frazer, although I doubt it is still standing. I guess I need to dig further in the Langworth book for the actual address.

quote:

Good luck Roadmaster in your search.



Unless I'm mistaken in what you are searching for, the Graham-Paige assembly plant on W Warren is located here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f= d&source=s_d&saddr=&daddr=42.3 43598,-83.151999&hl=en&geocode =&mra=mi&mrsp=0&sz=17&sll=42.3 43622,-83.152074&sspn=0.004425 ,0.012338&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=17

I had it reversed in my mind that the plant was just inside the Detroit city limits, but it's just west of the city limit (the railroad tracks) in Dearborn.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2161
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 12:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is the Graham St. 3 blocks below Warren Ave. named for the plant? Or just a coincidence? (I'm not at all familiar with the Graham-Paige history and who the people behind the names and their backgrounds are.)
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 1736
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 12:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A Brief History of the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 1891
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 2:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Google Books has a limited preview of "The Graham Legacy" by Michael E. Keller:

http://books.google.com/books? id=AzEyTU_S8EUC&printsec=front cover

From a brief scan of the book it looks as though the Wayne body plant was built by the Harroun Motor Car Co in 1918, purchased by the Graham brothers in 1927, and used for production of Graham bodies from 1928-1936. The Warren Avenue factory was built in 1923.
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Tony_box_42
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Username: Tony_box_42

Post Number: 203
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 2:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hope you don't mind me injecting some D.F.D.
history.In Matt Lees' book D.F.D. Apparatus History he states in 1929 the largest single order
for automobiles was for 14 Graham Paige coupes
with hot water heaters. Cost was $ 1,675 each.
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Reddog289
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Username: Reddog289

Post Number: 885
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2009 - 1:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Had to find my Wayne history books. From what I gather the Wayne plant was built for a carriage maker{Pronty&Glass Co}. Harroun bought the buildings from them and in 1924 Gotfredson Truck bought the plant who then sold the plant to Graham-Paige in 1927. Then it has been many things since.
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Roadmaster49
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Username: Roadmaster49

Post Number: 110
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2009 - 7:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I kow that they built complete cars for Frazer (as part of Kaiser-Frazer) through mid 1948.

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