The History of the Delco-Remy Divsion of General Motors
A.K.A. "The Remy Brothers" or "The Remy Electric Company"
1896-1994
Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944   World War Two Products and Product Applications    The Army-Navy "E" Award   Our War Job

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The History of the Delco-Remy Division (DR)
Keeping the Memory Alive!
Start it, Light it, Ignite it!  (SLI)

World War Two Products and Product Applications added 3-5-2016.
The Army-Navy "E" for Excellence Award with three stars added on 3-5-2016.
Post WWII Brochure added to the "Moments in Time" page on 3-27-2015.
Delco-Remy 50th Anniversary Open House Brochure, October 27-28, 1977 added to the "Moments in Time" page on 3-25-2015.
Panorama of Progress, Plant 11 Open House, November 1-2, 1952 added to the 'Moments in Time" page on 3-25-2015.
National Packard Museum Page added in "Museums" on 10-24-2014.
New Brunswick, NJ Demolition photo page added in "Plant Photos" Section on August 26, 2014.  Final update on 11-30-2015.
Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944 page added on June 6, 2014.

The End of the Remy name!

In 2015, Borg-Warner bought Remy International Corporation.  In late November, the sign changed along I-69 at the Pendleton, IN exit, in front of the building that housed the engineering and office headquarters of the former Remy International Corp.

It no longer had

on it.

 The name "Borg-Warner" now replaced it.  For 119 years, the name Remy was associated with a company started, and for most of its years, located in Anderson, IN.  The Remy Electric Company, Delco-Remy, Delco-Remy America and Remy International (Remy) have all carried the original Remy brothers' names who founded the company so many years ago.  That connection with the past is now gone!

May the Remy name rest in peace.

 David D Jackson 11-30-2015

This is a history of the former and great component Delco-Remy Division of General Motors.  It supplied electrical equipment for millions of GM vehicles until 1994.  For these cars and trucks, this process began with asuring the vehicle was in Park or Neutral.  If not, the DR Neutral Start Backup Switch (NSBU) would not let the vehicle start.  With that requirement met the Delco Battery activated by DR ignition switch, pulled in a DR solenoid that energized a DR starting motor to start the engine.  To supply high tension to the spark plugs, a distributor with condenser and coil or later a High Energy Ignition (HEI) would supply up to 20,000 volts.  Once the engine was running, the Delco-Remy alternator, known for a long time as a Delcotron, would charge the Delco Battery and supply electrical power different electrical components.  If someone got in your way, you honked your Delco-Remy horn which was activated by a DR horn relay.  When it was dark, you turned on your headlights and if necessary the upper beams with DR switches.  When it rained, a Delco-Remy wiper switch would activate the windshield wipers. If you needed to cool down or warm up and turned on the A/C or heat, a DR vacuum actuated controller would open and close the necessary vents to get the conditioned air to you.  These are just a few of the multitude of  electrical components made by the former Delco-Remy over its 98 year history.

John Spears now has a Delco-Remy High Performance Ignition Systems WebsiteJohn's website includes many of the high performance ignition systems from the 1960's and 1970's, and contains important historical information not found in this website. 
David D Jackson 10-9-2016

Ted Vinson, Delco-Remy Historian Emeritus, just published "The Delco-Remy Story 1896-1994".  This limited edition book is available at:  Madison County Historical Society, P. O. Box 696, Anderson, Indiana 46015-0696 for $40.00 plus $8.00 shipping.  Checks or money orders are accepted.

This book by Ted Vinson fills a void in the history of Delco-Remy.  Ted provided facts and inside information that he acquired during his 41year tenure at DR.  The book is written in a narrative fashion that includes an in-depth look at the Remy family, added information on the early products and plants, and various events over the 98 years of DR existence.  Ted also delves into the success and eventual downfall  of Delco-Remy, which in my estimation pretty much hits the nail on the head.  I totally recommend purchasing a copy of this limited edition history while they are still available.

David D Jackson 1-6-2012

 


This photo was taken 11-29-1918 during the construction of Building 45, or what would be the front east end of Plant One east of the middle stairway.  The four-story Building 30 was completed in 1917 and is the background.  Building 5 on the right housed Schoolrooms 1-4 in later years.   Photo courtesy of Bob Scharnowske.
 


The Plant One or Columbus Avenue Complex with Plants 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 15 and 16 circa 1973.  Today only Plant 15 and 16 survive.  Plant 15 is now owned by S&S Steel.  Plant 16 remains empty and like most of the former GM property in town, is owned by the city of Anderson.  The Plant 1, 2, and 4 areas are now soccer fields.  Note in this photo that the color of the brick shows up in two shades of red on the front of Plant One.  The more brownish toned brick is part of the original 1919 construction and the red tint is from the 1929 addition.


"The Acre" with Plants 3, 7, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20 and water treatment plant circa 1973.   Today only Plants 18, 19 and 20 still exist.  Plant 20 remains forlornly vacant behind a deteriorating fence, while the west end of Plant 19 burned in an arson fire several years ago after being purchased by AMACOR, a magnesium recycling facility.  Magnesium makes for one intense fire!  Plant 18, after being vacant since 2003, was purchased in 2008 by Hy-Tech Machining of Anderson for $425,000, which also included 22 acres of land.  Hy-Tech's original intent was to utilize the lab area for its operations and tear down the three story building.  However, in early 2010 Families Forever began operating in the front through the old Plant 18 lobby entrance.  It took considerable time for me to adjust to not seeing Plant 11 as I drove south on Scatterfield Road across the railroad tracks.  It always dominated the west side of the road across from Plant 18.

When these two photos were taken in 1973, 17,501 persons were employed by the by Delco-Remy in Anderson.  This corresponds with the Delco-Remy published number of 17,431 that were employed at DR Anderson in 1965.  It is hard to see in the photos but the parking lots are filled with mostly General Motors cars, trucks, and vans.  (The painted van craze was going on at the time.)  While it is our intent not to go into the reasons for the demise of DR and GM, I have always wondered if the powers that be at GM ever realized that it had a huge built-in market for its vehicles in the component divisions in Anderson, and Kokomo, IN; Dayton and Warren, OH; Flint and Saginaw, MI; Rochester and Lockport, NY along with several other locations.  Employees in many cases were buying new GM cars every year if not every couple of years, creating a large market for its vehicles.  When GM decided it no longer needed the component divisions throughout the Midwest, the former employees and potential future employees had no further GM loyalty, when making their vehicle purchases.  Just one of many reasons GM went bankrupt in 2009.

The Redevelopment of the former Delco-Remy Anderson Site


The former Plant 11 is now the location of Buick-GMC and Ford car dealerships.  Author's photo added 6-8-2016.


Community Hospital is constructing a new medical arts building in the south-east corner of The Acre.  This area to the south of the former Plant 11 was always vacant when DR owned it.  The for sale sign is for the former Plant 18 parking lot.  Author's photo added 6-8-2016.


 


The east end of the former Plant 3 is going to be the home of the Purdue Polytechnic Center in Anderson.  Author's photo added 6-8-2016.


The sign on the left says:  "Future Site of Plant 3."  Author's photo added 6-8-2016.


The next three photos were taken in September 2016. This photo was taken from the former Plant 10 parking lot looking east.  The white building on left is in the location of the former Delco-Remy Plant 7.  In the background is the " New" Plant 3.  Author's photo added 10-9-2016.


This photo of the new plant going in at the location of the former Plant 7 was taken from the northeast corner of the former Plant Ten.  Author's photo added 10-9-2016. 


The "New" Plant 3 photographed from the same location as above.  Author's photo added 10-9-2016. 

Website last  updated 10-9-2016.

 

 

Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944   World War Two Products and Product Applications   The Army-Navy "E" Award   Our War Job
Home  History   The Plants   Plant Photos   Moments in Time  The Products   Product Brochures   Service Manuals   Training Booklets   Video  Employment Numbers   Museums   Sources  Allied Divisions   Revisions   Reunions   Remy Electric Country Club   Vintage Literature about The Remy Electric Company   Links

This Website has no affiliation with General Motors, Delphi Holdings, Remy International, or Borg-Warner.  The content is to only present a historical perspective of the plants and products of the former Delco-Remy Division previous to 1994.  All content
presented on this website is for general information only.   Website designed and maintained by David D Jackson.  
Contact:  David D Jackson