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Murray Body Corp.; Murrray Corp. of America
J.W. Murray Mfg. Coompany, 1913-1924; Murray Body Corporation, 1924-1926; Murray Corp. of America, 1926-1965; Detroit, Michigan
Associated Builders
C.R. Wilson Body Co., Towson Body Co., J.C. Widman & Co., Wallace-Murray, Household International Inc.

John William Murray, the founder of the J.W. Murray Mfg. Co., was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1862. By 1903, he was a director and factory manager of the Michigan Stamping Co. of Chesterfield, Michigan, an early sheet metal products manufacturer.

Michigan Stamping became an early supplier to the Ford Motor Co. and along with a competitor, Parish & Bingham, produced all of the Model T’s chassis. Michigan Stamping frames have a M.S.B. pennant on the frame while Parish & Bingham frames feature a P&B inside a circle.

Business was sufficient that a new plant was built closer to their main customer on Mack Avenue in 1916. The Michigan Stamping Co. was eventually purchased by Briggs and became a Chrysler Corp. body plant before it was closed down in 1979.

However, John William Murray had resigned from Michigan Stamping in 1913 and along with his son, John R. Murray, formed the J.W. Murray Mfg. Co. to manufacture stamped sheet metal parts for the automobile industry. Their first plant was located at the corner of Fordyce St and Morrow St., across from the Grand Trunk Western Railroad line. Their initial 12,000 sq. ft. plant was replaced in 1916 by a much larger one that bordered on Fordyce, Morrow, Marston and Clay Sts.

Coincidentally, both C.D. Widman & Co. and the Anderson Electric Car Co./Towson Body Co. were located in the same neighborhood as the Murray factory. Today that neighborhood adjoins the present-day Cadillac Hamtramck assembly plant. 

Amongst J.W. Murray’s first customers were Ford, Hudson, Hupmobile, King and Studebaker for whom they manufactured stamped fenders and other large sheet metal stampings such as hoods, cowls and frames. Demand was so high that a second plant was established 15 miles to the south in the Detroit suburb of Ecorse, Michigan. Murray also made tools and dies for various other automakers and competing body fabricators and was known as the "dean of stamping manufacturers." 

Charles R. Wilson, the head of the C.R. Wilson Co. one of Ford’s primary production body builders, died suddenly in 1924. Wilson’s board of directors were faced with an uncertain future as no strong leadership existed within the firm, so they approached another well-known Wilson for help. 

Although Detroit banker William Robert Wilson shared the same last name as C.R. Wilson’s recently departed founder and president, they were not related. However, Wilson, who also happened to be the president of Detroit’s Guardian Trust Co., had once been president of the Maxell Motor Corp. and was keenly interested in getting back into the automobile business.

He brokered a deal whereby the C.R. Wilson Body Co., J.W. Murray Mfg. Co., Towson Body Co., and J.C. Widman & Co. would merge, forming the Murray Body Corporation under the leadership of Murray’s John W. Murray. The two larger firms, Wilson and Murray, had longstanding contracts with the Ford Motor Co. and other two were in good financial shape and employed craftsmen with specialized skills that would be beneficial to the new firm. Murray Body’s new combined operations included over a million square feet of floor space, employed 1,000 men and women, and had a capacity of 60,000 to 70,000 bodies per year. With the trend towards greater streamlining, automobile body building had become a highly specialized business and it looked as if Murray was well-situated to give its investors a fair return on their investment.

The Murray Body Corporation’s new corporate office was located down the street from the former J.W. Murray factory at 1600 Clay St.  

John W. Murray was originally slated to take charge of the Murray Body Corp., but he apparently decided to retire instead and a longtime William R. Wilson associate, Allan Sheldon, was elected president at the first board meeting. Sheldon was a successful Detroit banker and businessman whose Allan Sheldon & Co. was once Detroit’s largest wholesale dry goods distributor. Unfortunately, Sheldon had little manufacturing experience and made a series of costly mistakes that would soon prove fatal to the new firm.

John W. Murray’s son, James R. Murray, didn’t stick around either, and formed his own firm, the Murray Forging and Casting Co. which was located in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, Michigan. Murray was one of nearly twenty factories to open in Ferndale during the twenties, and the firm supplied precision-made steel and bronze products for the automobile industry.

The first was the purchase of the H&M Body Corp., Hupmobile’s in-house body supplier which was located in Racine, Wisconsin. In 1919 a mid-summer strike at C.R. Wilson & Co., their largest body supplier, left the Hupp Motor Car Corp. with a backlog of orders. Wilson had been supplying Hupp with approximately 1,000 bodies per month, and a sudden loss of that many bodies caused a corresponding drop in Hupmobile production and sales.

To ensure that it wouldn’t happen again, Hupmobile and the Mitchell Motor Co. of Racine, Wisconsin joined forces, establishing the H&M Body Corp. on September 14, 1919. A plant was acquired on Sixth Street in downtown Racine and bodies were forthcoming within a few short months. While Hupp continued to purchase special bodies as needed from outside coach builders, most of their production bodies would be built at H&M Body who would ship them “in the white” to their Detroit plant where a staff of 300-400 would paint, trim and mount them to waiting Hubmobile chassis.

The arrangement suited Hupp so well that on August 1, 1921, they bought out Mitchell’s interest in the H&M Body Corp. and devoted the entire Racine factory to the production of Hupmobile bodies. 1922 production was slated at 10,000, but increased sales of Hupmobiles caused the order to be increased to 20,000. Unfortunately, that was more than the H&M plant could handle, so additional production bodies were sourced from the Auto Metal Body Corp., a subsidiary of the Springfield Coach Works of Springfield, Massachusetts.

As their body plant was located almost 400 miles away in Racine, Wisconsin, the Detroit-based Hupp became interested in establishing a satellite assembly plant in Racine. They tried to purchase the factory of the Mitchell Motor Company at their 1924 bankruptcy auction, but were outbid by Charles Nash, so another plan was devised. Their former body supplier, C.R. Wilson had just been re-organized into Murray, so they approached Murray’s new president, Allan Sheldon, with a proposal. Hupp would sell the H&M Body Corp. to Murray at a great discount, providing that Murray would guarantee to supply Hupp with all of the production bodies they required over the next five years.

It seemed to be a good idea at the time, but Murray soon discovered that the H&M body plant was located too far away to be managed effectively, and when combined with the added costs of transporting the bodies 400 miles to Detroit, the plant never turned a profit and never produced bodies for anyone other than Hupmobile.

The second was the formation of Dietrich Inc.

Dietrich Inc. was formed as a favor to Edsel Ford, who wanted LeBaron’s Raymond H. Dietrich to design bodies - exclusively - for Lincoln. In December of 1923 Edsel had met Dietrich at the New York Auto Salon, and within a year was designing bodies for Lincoln. Dietrich got along with Edsel and managed to find the time to help build a baby carriage for his young son Henry Ford II.

Edsel Ford would typically order five to ten examples of a particular design, and if it proved popular back in Detroit, it would be slated for mass production by Murray. Murray supplied Lincoln with LeBaron-designed two and three-window sedans and Victoria coupes.

In December, 1924, Edsel Ford instructed Allan Sheldon, Murray Body Corp.’s new president, to travel to New York to discuss bringing LeBaron to the Detroit area to build custom and semi-custom work for Lincoln. A follow-up meeting was held in Detroit during January 1925 where Sheldon and his attorney submitted a proposal to purchase a controlling interest in LeBaron, and to move the entire operation to Detroit.

Dietrich returned to New York and submitted the proposal to the rest of LeBaron’s board of directors. Although Dietrich was eager to move to Detroit, his other partners refused the initial offer, and made a counter offer of $250,000. Dietrich objected to the price, stating that the firm was barely worth $50,000.

A February meeting was set up between Sheldon and Dietrich in Detroit to discuss the matter, and it came as no surprise to anyone when he returned to New York with the news that the $250,000 offer had been declined. Dietrich recalled, “Neither did it set well when I revealed Murray Body was chiefly interested in my services, and that Mr. Sheldon had made an offer to me which was identical with that which would have been offered LeBaron.”

Sheldon had made Dietrich an offer he couldn’t refuse, namely Dietrich Inc. Ray would own 50% of the firm, and would have his own factory, plus his own staff of designers and draftsmen plus a fat contract from Lincoln. Edsel Ford even arranged for Dietrich to rent an apartment nearby his own Jefferson Avenue mansion. Dietrich resigned from LeBaron, and sold his shares to his longtime partner Ralph Roberts. Dietrich Inc. was given $150,000 in seed money, but it lost close to that in its first year of operation, none of which helped Murray’s economic situation.

The third mistake was due to Sheldon’s inexperience with suppliers and automakers. He failed to realize that there was a lengthy delay between the time a completed body or stamping was delivered and when that customer would pay for it. Consequently he made arrangements with Murray’s suppliers that they would get paid within the customary 30, 60 or 90 day period. Unfortunately that didn’t correspond with when Murray would get paid, and problems soon developed.   

The fourth mistake was that he erroneously thought that Murray’s plants were operating at capacity and unknowingly turned away a number of large orders from two new customers, one supposedly for 5,000 bodies, the other for 10,000.

His fifth mistake had more to do with his inexperience, than to any single event. 

Part of the Murray takeover deal with Towson, Widman and Wilson involved wage increases for all of their employees. Unfortunately the wage increase had not been taken into account when new contracts were negotiated with their customers. Additionally, a successful management scheme had yet to be sorted out and Murray’s capacity/profits suffered as a result.   

One final factor, which he wasn’t responsible for, was the economic recession of 1924-25. The anticipated spring upsurge in sales did not materialize in 1924 leaving dealers with large inventories of unsold cars that fall. Consequently 1925 production was significantly reduced forcing many auto workers to be laid off.

If just one or two of his errors had not been made, Murray Body Corp. would likely have survived. But it didn’t, and the firm went into receivership on Dec. 4, 1925, a short 8 months after it started.

Luckily for Murray, and its investors and employees, the federal bankruptcy judge appointed Detroit's Guardian Trust Bank as its receiver. Its president, William Robert Wilson, had gotten the firm’s investors into trouble and was now given the responsibility to get them out of trouble.

Luckily sales rebounded during 1925 and Wilson was able to satisfy the firm’s creditors with small cash payments. By March of 1926 the firm was shipping 14,000 bodies per month, and plans were laid for a reorganization of the firm. Profits for 1926 had been $1.5 million and the firm acquired the Jenks & Muir Co., a Detroit upholsterer as well as negotiating a deal with Marmon to supply them with all of their production bodies. No new investment was necessary as Murray simply took over Marmon’s Indianapolis, Indiana body plant. Apparently Murray had learned a lot since their previous takeover of Hupmobile’s H&M Body Co.

The receivership lasted only a short 13 months, and in January, 1927, a new firm, the Murray Corporation of America was capitalized at $8 million dollars and absorbed the assets of the Murray Body Corp. The new firm’s principal customers were now Hupmobile, King, Marmon, Moon and Willys-Knight. However, a giant contract was looming in the near future. Ford Motor Co. was in the midst of re-tooling for the Model A, and within the year would become Murray’s largest customer.

Understandably, Allan Sheldon was not part of the new organization, and the position of president was filled by William R. Wilson. He brought in C. David Widman, the son of John Charles Widman, and former secretary of J.C. Widman & Co. to assist him with the reorganization of the Murray’s finances. Future Automotive Hall of Famer, Clarence W. Avery, was recruited from the Ford Motor Co. to be Wilson’s assistant and within the year became Murray’s president. Avery was Ford’s chief development engineer, and had been responsible for many of the Ford Motor Co.’s mass production concepts including the moving assembly line.

Just before Murray acquired the services of Ray Dietrich, they had hired Wills Ste. Claire’s chief designer, Amos Northup. Northup handled the design and body engineering for Murray’s core production body business while Dietrich handled the firm’s custom work. Northup brought along his young assistant, Julio (Jules) Andrade, who later became known for his design of the 1934 LaSalle as a member of Harley Earl's General Motors staff.  

In January of 1927, Dietrich Inc. moved out of Murray’s Clay St. studios which he had shared with Northup, to the former Leland Lincoln facility at 1331 Holden Ave. Through the kindness of Edsel Ford, Dietrich was able to buy the $400,000 building for the same monthly payment as they were making on the Clay Avenue plant’s lease. So in addition to its booming design business - Chrysler, Dodge, Franklin, Lincoln, Packard and Studebaker - Dietrich Inc.’s semi-custom production body business expanded to become the largest in the country, producing from 18-25 bodies per week, or in excess of 1000 bodies per year. Their customers included Chrysler, Lincoln, Packard, and Pierce-Arrow.

An interesting item can be found in the February 26, 1927 issue of Automotive News. Apparently Walter O. Briggs wanted to buy out his prime rival, Murray, and the paper ran a story that stated a Briggs/Murray merger was "being considered."  Henry Ford reasoned the merger of his two largest body suppliers would not be in his best interests, so a week later, a large Automotive News headline proclaimed  "Briggs Mfg. Co. Not To Merge With Murray Corp. of America."

Prior to 1929, all of Ford’s station wagons were produced by custom body shops such as Cantrell, York-Hoover, Waterloo and others utilizing chassis purchased from independent Ford dealers. Ford decided to provide a factory station wagon for the new Model A, marking the first time a manufacturer mass-produced a station wagon on their own assembly line. Murray produced 4,954 examples of Ford's new $695 Model 150-A Station Wagon in 1929. The following year, A new body style, the 150-B, was introduced and the contract was split between Murray and Baker-Raulang in Cleveland, Ohio. Murray was swamped with other Ford projects so Baker-Raulang built the lion's share of the 6,363 Model 150-B bodies built in 1930-1931. 1932 Ford Model B station wagon bodies were all built by Baker-Raulang, as Murray was still overwhelmed with bodywork destined for the new 1932 Ford.

As Ford's Iron Mountain facility was ill-equipped to manufacture the complicated wooden framework for the Model 150 bodies, the millwork was subcontracted to the Mengel Body Company of Louisville, Kentucky, a medium-sized production body builder who had previously supplied Model T coachwork for Ford's Louisville branch. Iron Mountain shipped kiln-dried lumber to Mengel who milled and assembled the various subcomponents which were then shipped to either Murray or Baker-Raulang for final assembly. Rather than shipping the bare Model A chassis to Raulang, Ford opted to have Murray and Raulang assemble and finish the bodies, then ship them to a Ford assembly plant where they were mated to a waiting chassis. The bodies produced by Raulang were assembled without cowls as Raulang lacked the deep-draw presses needed to produce them and special bracing was installed to prevent damage during shipping to Ford.

Ford built most of their own production bodies for the Model A, however both Briggs and Murray were their largest outside suppliers of complete bodies, producing all of Ford’s Model 155 Town Sedans and Model 165 Fordor Sedans. Four Door Model A body style suffix's indicate who made the body. An A  indicates a 1928-1929 Murray body, B indicates a 1928-1929 Briggs body, C indicates 1930-1931 (early) Murray body, and D indicates 1930-1931 (early). Budd Mfg., Hayes Body Co. and Midland Steel Corp. all supplied Model A stampings and steel sub-assemblies and later on Budd also built complete truck cabs and van bodies as well.

During 1929 Murray supplied bodies for Ford as well as Chrysler, Hupmobile, and Reo as well as body framing and stampings for Ford, Dodge, Peerless, and Chryslers. They were using so much wood, that they purchased their own mill in Memphis, Tennessee to ensure a constant supply was available to meet their heavy production schedules. They acquired contracts to build Hudson and Essex bodies the following year. 

Starting in 1931, Murray began to build some of Ford’s more limited production bodies, including the highly treasured Model 190 convertible coupe and Model 400 con­vertible Victoria. Budd had traditionally handled all of Ford’s commercial bodies, but Murray was given the job of building a few low-volume specials.

Unfortunately Dietrich Inc.’s business took a turn for the worse at the beginning of 1929. Instead of a normal replacement order of say, 25 examples of a certain body, only 10 or 15 might be re-ordered. As the year went on, the orders decreased further, and when Black Friday rolled around on October, 28th, Dietrich Inc. was in trouble. 

Always optimistic, Dietrich felt that they should try to weather the current financial crisis, but he was overruled by Murray’s president, Clarence W. Avery, and was forced to resign the presidency of his own firm in September of 1930. L. Clayton Hill, Murray's assistant sales manager, was put in charge of Dietrich Inc. and most of the firm’s skilled craftsmen were let go.  

Dietrich Inc.’s Holden Ave. facility was returned to Ford, and its manufacturing was transferred to surplus space in one of the Murray plants where identical bodies – some bearing the Dietrich badge, and some not – were built for Packard and Chrysler. The Dietrich badge was reserved for Murray’s upscale convertible sedans and Victorias - those equipped with pricier trim and materials. 

A former C.R. Wilson employee, James Vehko, became Murray’s chief manufacturing engineer in 1931. Vehko is credited with the engineering of the first all-steel body made using a deep-draw die. By that time, Murray’s principle customers were Cleveland, Essex, Ford, Hudson, Hupmobile, Graham, Jordan, Marmon, Reo, Studebaker and Willys-Knight. Vehko later became successful in his own right as an independent consulting engineer for Ford and Studebaker. 

The Depression finally caught up with Murray in 1931. Automobile production had dropped appreciably, and contracts for new bodies were few and far between. However, the Depression had not yet impacted the luxury car business and during 1932 new orders were received from Lincoln for some Dietrich-badged series customs as well as some standard catalog phaetons and convertible sedans. Likewise Packard ordered some Dietrich-badged series-customs, including the popular convertible Victoria, as well as some standard coupes and sedans. Ford also needed bodies for their new V-8, and between 1932 and 1933 Murray furnished them with coupes, convertibles, roadsters and phaetons as well as a panel delivery.

Murray had become a specialist in building complex production bodies, which might have put them in a good financial position if they were building expensive custom bodies, unfortunately they were building inexpensive production bodies. And when your largest customer was the Ford Motor Co., large profits just weren’t possible. In better times cost overruns might be passed on to their customers, however when you dealt with Ford’s purchasing director, A.M. Wibel, that just wasn’t possible. Murray’s Ecorse, Michigan frame plant contributed to what few profits were made during the Depression.

Murray built the standard Ford AA Delivery van bodies as well as those for the smaller Model A commercial delivery van. Cargo area was a long 100" and the body could be ordered with a roof rack, providing extraordinary amounts of cargo carrying capacity.

While Galion and Wood built all of the the dump, coal and garbage bodies offered by Ford on their heavy-duty AA and BB chassis during the 1930s.  Murray built Ford's Heavy-Duty Express Body, which was similar to the others, but did not offer the telescopic and dumping versatility of the Galion and Wood units.

Ford introduced a new line of commercial chassis in 1932. Now available with the new flathead V-8 and designated Model B or BB the new double drop chassis featured better springs, a new low-slung appearance and the possibility of substantially more power. Budd was selected to build the new 1932 Ford closed cabs, while Murray supplied the convertible cab, which was sold in very limited numbers.

1932-34 Ford station wagon bodies were different, with millwork supplied by the Mingel Company of Louisville, Kentucky rather than Ford’s own Iron Mountain facility. Murray continued to assemble the bodies as before, but Raulang was dropped in favor of Ford favorite Briggs. Bodies for the 1935-36 woodies were re-designed and Ford’s Iron Mountain lumber yard returned to supplying the millwork and Mingel was dropped. Briggs was dropped as well and only Murray assembled and finished the station wagon’s body which was then shipped to one of Ford’s assembly lines.

At that time independent body builders were folding left and right and Murray knew full well if they raised prices on their work for Ford, it would just be turned over to Briggs or Budd. Consequently, many of Murray’s complicated bodies were built at a loss, which by 1934 had begun to threaten the firm’s very existence. Between 1931 and 1934 Murray Corp. of America lost $4.3 million dollars.

To help Murray out of their precarious financial situation, Ford allowed them to use some Ford body dies to produce a series of bodies for Hupmobile during 1934. They were sufficiently disguised by Murray’s Amos Northup that Ford had no objections. In the following year Murray was awarded a huge contract to build popular Ford’s 3- and 5-window coupes. For the first time they had a large and profitable run of an easy-to-produce body, and they posted a profit of $1.4 million in 1935. Lincoln also ordered some profitable runs of coupe and sedan bodies although Murray was still building mostly unprofitable body styles for Packard - convertible sedans, phaetons and Victorias.

By 1935 the bodies originally designed by Ray Dietrich before his departure in 1930 had become severely outdated, and Murray introduced a new series of semi-custom bodies for Packard and Lincoln that featured Dietrich Inc. badging. However, Ray Dietrich had nothing to do with them, they were merely re-badged Murray production bodies with increased levels of trim and upholstery. These “faux-Dietrich” bodies were produced through 1937.

Briggs build most of the Chrysler Corporations bodies, but between 1937 and 1939 Murray furnished them with a convertible sedan body - Dodge, DeSoto, and Chrysler in 1937-38 and Plymouth in 1939. The 1939 Plymouth shared the same body as the discontinued '37-38 Chrysler and DeSoto convertible sedans and very few were built.  

Following the long and costly 1933 strike at Briggs, Ford began taking steps to phase out their outside body builders, and Briggs was slowly cut out of the picture. As a result, Briggs strengthened their ties with Chrysler and Packard as the thirties wore on. 

Murray experienced three profitable years, but suffered another devastating loss in 1938, when sales of new cars lagged far behind industry expectations.  In 1936 Ford had purchased only 36% of their outside bodies from Murray, but by 1939 that percentage jumped to 49%. Unfortunately, 1939 was the last year that complete bodies would be built for Ford by Murray.  

In 1939 Murray supplied bodies to some of the largest and smallest new automakers. Ford Motor Co.’s new mid-priced Mercury appeared that year with Murray-built bodies as did Powell Crosley Jr’s new Crosley automobile, which entered into production in June of that year.

Ford continued to build more and more of its own bodies, and was only purchasing sheet-metal stampings from Briggs, Budd and Murray.  The new process saved Ford millions in transportation costs as a stack of identical metal stampings could now be transported in the same space formerly occupied by a single automobile body. Murray now became a supplier of knocked-down bodies and stampings and could no longer be classified as a coachbuilder.  

Murray was in a very favorable position at the start of World War II. As early as 1940 military contracts began to be fulfilled, and by 1944, the plant employed 13,500 workers, most of them women. Aluminum was substituted for steel and Murray’s huge presses operated around the clock producing wings and other components for the Boeing B-17 “Fortress” and B-29 “Super Fortress” heavy bomber, Douglas A-20 "Havoc" light bomber and Republic P-47 “Thunderbolt” fighter/bomber. 

Towards the end of the War, Clarence W. Avery instituted a program to get some new post-war business from Ford and Kaiser-Frazer. William J. Flajole was Murray’s designer at the time:

"Toward the first of 1945, we mounted quite a forward projection of automobile design for young Henry II, who was about to assume leadership of the Ford Motor Co. In an attempt to show him what might be expected in the industry, four walls of drawings indicated the changes which really did take place later-notchbacks, panoramic vision, wraparound bumpers, etc. And a quarter-scale plaster model of a 100-inch wheelbase sedan that was very much like the later Mustang. HF-II didn't like any of them. In fact, he was quite explicit in saying these things would never be. Clarence Avery was hurt by his definitive attitude."

Avery, Murray’s driving force for over 20 years, passed away a couple years later, in 1949. Forty-one years later, in 1990, his pioneering work for the auto industry was honored when he was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Avery is credited not only with introducing time-study and the moving assembly line to the auto industry, but with treat autoworker’s grievances seriously and working with the United Auto Workers union to rectify them.  

Following the war, Murray resumed to their pre-war activities supplying Ford with sheet metal stampings and an occasional partially completed auto body. Mercury (1946) and Ford’s (1946-47) limited production Sportsman were assembled at Murray as were the compact unit-bodied Willys Aero (1952-54) and Hudson Jet (1953-54). Murray even toyed with manufacturing their own V-6 powered compact in the early fifties, and even produced a couple of prototypes, but cooler heads prevailed and the project was shelved. 

Murray’s Ecorse, Michigan frame plant was the last Murray plant turning out any automotive products and was sold to the Dana Corp. in September, 1955.  

Many years earlier, it had became clear to Clarence W. Avery that more profitable avenues of revenue should be explored, and as early as 1935, Murray started producing non-automotive stamped steel products such as beer barrels and steel kitchen cabinets. In the forties they also purchased the Easy Laundry Appliance Co. from the Hupp Corp., reorganizing it as the Easy Washing Machine Corp. The “Easy” brand had been manufactured in Syracuse, New York since the twenties when they were called the Syracuse Washing Machine Co. For many years Murray-built appliance cabinets, kitchen cabinets and stainless steel sinks were sold through the Montgomery-Ward catalog.

Following the death of Raymond Crane in 1953, his family sold Eljer, a plumbing and bathroom fixtures company, to Murray. The Murray Corp. of America now had plants in Detroit, Michigan, Ford City, Pennsylvania (Eljer) and St. Petersburg, Florida (Lawton div. of Murray Corp). The Simonds Cutting Tools Corp. of Newcomerstown, Ohio, and Fitchburg, Massachusetts, was purchased by Murray in 1965, a few months after they had been reorganized as the Wallace-Murray Corp. Wallace-Murray, specialized in truck engine parts, metal-cutting tools and plumbing fixtures and soon became a Fortune 500 company.

They were purchased by the investment firm of Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp. in the 1970s and in 1981 DKM sold it to Household International of Prospect Heights, Illinois. Household International, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HBC), one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world. Household's businesses are leading providers of consumer loans, credit cards, auto finance and credit insurance products in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. In the United States, Household companies operate under the two oldest and most recognized names in consumer finance - HFC and Beneficial.

© 2004 Mark Theobald -


Car Bodies by Murray Corp. of America, 1925-54 (compiled from Murray Corp. of America engineering records)

1925: Jewett, Hupmobile, Rollin, Willys-Knight, Chandler, Jordan.
1926: Hupmobile, Marmon, Willys-Knight, Cleveland, Durant, Jewett, Paige-Detroit, Chandler.
1927: Hupmobile, Marmon, Cleveland, Jordan, Studebaker, Erskine, Chrysler, Dodge, Reo, Wolverine.
1928: Hupmobile, Marmon, Jordan, Reo, Ford, Dodge, Peerless.
1929: Hupmobile, Reo, Chrysler, Ford, Peerless, Dodge.
1930: Ford, Reo, Hudson, Hupmobile.
1931: Ford, Reo, Hudson, Hupmobile, DeVaux.
1932: Ford, Lincoln, Packard, Hupmobile, DeVaux.
1933: Ford, Lincoln, Packard, Continental.
1934: Ford, Lincoln, Hupmobile, Pierce-Arrow, Auburn, Graham.
1935: Ford, Packard.
1936: Ford, Packard.
1937: Ford, Packard, Chrysler, International-Harvester.
1938: Ford, Chrysler, International-Harvester.
1939: Ford, Mercury, Plymouth, Crosley.
1940: Ford, Mercury, Crosley.
1941: Ford, Mercury.
1942: Ford, Mercury.
1945: Ford, Mercury.
1946: Ford, Mercury.
1947: Ford, Mercury.
1948: Ford, Mercury, Lincoln.
1949: Ford, Mercury, Lincoln.
1950: Ford, Mercury.
1952-54: Hudson Jet, Aero Willys.






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Michael Lamm - Body by Murray – Special Interest Autos #20 Jan-Feb 1974

George DeAngelis, Edward P. Francis & Leslie R. Henry  - The Ford Model A "As Henry Built It"

Ray Miller - Henry's Lady: An Illustrated History of the Model A Ford

Lorin Sorenson - Famous Ford Woodies

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Ron Kowalke - Station Wagon: A Tribute to America's Workaholic on Wheels

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Peter Winnewisse - Legendary Model A Ford: The Complete History of America's Favorite Car

Allan Nevins - Ford: Decline and Rebirth, 1933-1962

Allan Nevins - Ford: The Times, the Man the Company

Allan Nevins, Frank Ernest Hill - Ford: Expansion and Challenge 1915-1933

Douglas Brinkley - Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress, 1903-2003

Henry L. Dominguez - Edsel: The Story of Henry Ford's Forgotten Son

Richard Bak - Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire

Bill Cuthbert - The Hupmobile Story: From Beginning to End

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