Historic Information - Loss of the Body Dies

There has been some controversy over the loss of the dies used in the manufacture of the stainless steel body panels after the closure of the DMCL production facilities. Contrary to some accounts, the British government did not confiscate the body dies and dump them in the middle of Galloway Bay. The dies were sold to a salmon fisherman as scrap metal by Thyssen GmbH & Co. of Germany who owned the dies. The dies and molds were made by three different companies in the Republic of Ireland and Germany and were the property of those companies and not of DMCL or the British government.

The stainless steel was supplied by BSC Stainless Steel in Sheffield England. BSC built a 250 million dollar plant to provide stainless steel to DMC and other markets. BSC only made the steel and not the panels themselves.

The inner hood and rear louvre molds, the fenders molds, and the dies for the assembly of the outer hood were made by Thyssen Maschinebau GmbH of Germany. The fenders, outer hood, louvre, and inner hood parts were stamped/fabricated at Thyssen GmbH and not at DMCL. DMCL only assembled the hood assemblies at the factory.

Molds for upper and lower body panels were made by August Lapple GmbH & Co. located in the Republic of Ireland. August Lapple is a German automobile tool and die company, and the VARI body molds they supplied were used in the body press building at DMCL. These molds are in the posession of DMC (Houston).

Dies for the inner and outer rear quarter panels were supplied by Allegiare Werke GmbH. These panels were also not stamped by DMCL.

These companies supply many of the leading automobile companies like GM, Ford, Chrysler, Mercedes Benz, BMW.

[Taken from DML posting by senatorpack@cs.com on May 6, 2000]