A massive building with broken windows. A large but empty piece of tarmac somewhere in Michigan. A hidden test track in the woods. There are so many abandoned car factories in the world that selecting the ten most unbelievable was a challenge, but here they are.
10.) The DeLorean Plant, Dunmurry, Ireland
If you want to see how things went at the factory where everyone's favorite movie car was born, check out this video. What you can still find there today though is DeLorean's own test track. It doesn't get more haunted than this tarmac covered in shattered dreams in the land of fairies.
You'll find it right here in case you want to climb fences.
9.) Buick City, Flint, MI, USA
Themanwithsauce has seen only a tiny part of this site's more than a century long history:
Once the literal engine that powered mid-Michigan, its absence is definitely a leading factor in the crime in the area. I would know, I used to go to school in the area and I would drive my old Monte Carlo out on those roads in winter. They started demolishing the place in the mid 2000s but some buildings remained in 2009. I remember driving by a building as some forklifts were moving around some crates. I stopped and looked inside and saw whole engine blocks on stands just waiting to be moved.
Just like troy.overton:
I'm from Flint as well. The loss of GM and the drastic culture change that ensued forced us to move away. I rarely visit but it's amazing to go and see fields of concrete as far as I can see. The last time I was up there was about 2005/6...
My childhood home is gone, just a vacant lot. It's just sad, man.
8.) Fisher Body plant, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Fisher Body was integrated entirely as an in-house coachbuilding division of General Motors in 1926, then was dissolved as a unique entity by being merged with other GM operations in 1984. This is what remains on the corner of St Antoine & Piquette.
Suggested By: Milky
7.) Studebaker Building, New York, USA
Columbia University is the current owner, and while you check out the photos manifold engines sent us, read this short summary of its history:
615 West 131st Street, between Broadway and 12th Avenue, and between 131st and 132nd Streets. A former Studebaker automobile finishing plant (hence the muscular freight elevator), constructed in 1923. Brick construction with white porcelain trim, 6 stories, plot size 175x200 feet, floorspace 210,000 square feet.
The blue Studebaker logo used between 1912 and 1934 is still visible on the southwest corner near the top. In 1937 Studebaker sold the building to the Borden Milk Company, which used it as a milk processing plant. Later it was home to various warehouses (e.g. for the American Museum of Natural History), offices, and small manufacturing facilities such as Madame Alexander Doll Company. Columbia began to rent office space there in the 1980s and bought the building recently.
6.) Alfa Romeo Portello plant, Milano, Italy
5.) Longbridge plant, Birmingham, England
Until the British car industry killed itself, everything was made here from Austins, Nash Metropolitans, Morris cars, British Leyland products and finally, MG Rover. Haze says it wasn't exactly cutting-edge:
The most amazing thing about Longbridge is how incredibly outdated it was when it was closed. The assembly line dated from the fifties, and it still used a drop in for the marriage of the body and the powertrain. Compare this to the flying chassis in the Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama, it is night and day. Then, modernization and investment into the plant was antithetical to the governmental ownership of Longbridge that was tasked with keeping up employment and not tasked with building a product that could be efficiently manufactured.
4.) Packard plant, Detroit, MI, USA
It's the poster child, wouldn't you say?
Suggested By: DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane, Photo Credit: Getty Images
3.) Highland Park Ford plant, MI, USA
You want history? How about the first assembly line and the introduction of the minimum wage?
And it is still there.
2.) Fordlândia, Santarém, Brazil
Fordlândia is the craziest ghost town you've ever seen deep in the Amazon rainforest.
1.) Bugatti Automobili, Campogalliano, Italy
Before Bugatti started building the Veyron in Moslheim, they had a plant in Italy. And now it's destitute. Yes, what you see here is a floor marking for a car that doesn't exist. All we have are these amazing images and the cruel reality of today:
Everything was auctioned off in sealed bid auctions. The factory has been emptied out, but it's still not in use, and the cars and parts went to someone else where 5 new EB110s were built from the remaining parts. Artioli kept the Bugatti name, which VW later purchased the rights to. The Veyrons are built at a new plant in Germany. The old plant was in Modena.
Some highlights are that there were 80 cars built, at 349000 each, and the company was 22 million in the hole.
Close, but to make things even more complicated, Veyrons are actually built in France.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Top Photo Credit: Emily Flores