Part of the former Budd complex in Detroit, which is very close to Chrysler’s Mack Avenue and Jefferson North plants, is slated to be demolished on Saturday morning (June 24). (An earlier version of this story mistakenly claimed that “the plant” would be demolished.)
In preparation, portions of Conner Street and Mack Avenue will be closed for around an hour, early in the morning.
Budd worked with the Dodge brothers to create the first all-steel car bodies, with the first production taking place in 1916. The company created joint ventures which built bodies for Morris, Audi, BMW, and others. Budd later worked with Nash (which, with Hudson, became AMC) on North America’s first mass-produced unit-body car, the Nash 600.
Budd made train cars for railroads from the 1930s to their end; they sold the first commuter railroad cars with air conditioning and Amtrak’s Metroliners. Some of their licensed designs are still being built.
The company was a wheel supplier to Chrysler, and also designed and built front disc brakes for the 1966-68 cars. The Detroit complex was first used by Liberty Cars, and featured a replica of Independence Hall used for office space.
Budd merged with Thyssen in 1978. Its body and chassis business was sold to Martinrea International in 2006. Martinrea told Hemmings today that it did not plan to demolish the complex.