Detroit Body Products, longtime supplier of OEM fabrics and publisher of the popular Detroit Book, is officially out of business.
Founded in 1955, Detroit Body Products was the largest supplier of automotive textile closeouts in North America. They stocked nearly 4 million yards of original automotive fabric, vinyl, headlining and genuine leather.
Its annual sample book, simply called the Detroit Book, was a staple in auto upholstery shops for decades. The book was produced in limited quantity and sold to industry suppliers, who branded them with their logos and resold them to auto upholstery shops. Trimmers used the books to place orders through their suppliers for hard-to-find OEM fabrics.
The book was in such short supply that new trimmers often had to wait for older ones to close their shops or pass away in order to buy a complete set.
As for Detroit Body Products’ massive inventory of OEM fabrics, it all goes up for auction in Wixom, Michigan, on June 5 – 8, 2021. For details, visit RJM Auctioneers.
The closing of Detroit Body Products marks the end of an era for our industry. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
Albright’s Supply had the extraordinary foresight to launch a digital database of OEM fabrics in 2017: AutoOriginals.com.
The database works just like the Detroit Book, except it’s free and online.
Simply visit AutoOriginals.com and select the vehicle you’re looking for — including year, make and model. Hit “Search” and the database will show you a photo and product number for the exact fabric you need.
If Albright’s Supply has the fabric in stock, it will appear with a “Buy Now” link below the photo. Click it and you’ll be taken directly to their online store where you can place an order.
Albright’s Supply keeps thousands of OEM fabrics in stock, which means you won’t have to wait long to receive your order. Best of all, if they don’t carry the fabric you’re looking for, they’ll search other inventories across North America to find it.
Still, you might want to hold on to your Detroit Books for posterity.
Mark Zito says
Was such a saving grace for decades. Always the go to book in my shop . Sad to see them go, but so glad they were there. Thank you and god speed.
Robert Webb says
I just tried to use the search tool from Albrights. I dont see how its of any use. I need to know the pattern when entering the info. I dont know the pattern because I have no book. I think if I know the material this just tells me if they have it in stock.
T Hunt says
Go to AutoOriginals.com. Click search now. Just type in the year, make and model. And hit Search. It should list carpets and vinyls available for that vehicle. The Buy Now feature is having issues at the moment but you can call or text to see if they have it in stock.
Pim Westerwal says
As alternatieve think of is.
We ‘delier to 69 countries all over the world.
Zee our websit http://www.westtrading.nl
All hou zee is on stock. More than 6000 artikels for the trimmers.
Going to miss the books
I have all I could get from 1960 on.
All things come to an end.
But we will find a new course to take.
Michael Morris says
Things change, a lot of trimmers are stuck in the past, sure it’s great to have a book to physically look at but now that’s not an option, Online is the way to go, I’ve recently had materials that I could not find in the Detroit Books, I took a picture, sent it to Albrights and they found it for me right away.
There are ways around this, you just need to be well informed and do research.
Michael Morris says
I guess Deleo quit making sample books some years ago? I haven’t heard anything about them in a while.
JIM AMROMIN says
2009 was the last year Deleo made a book. We were one of the companies that collaborated with them in putting it together. Even though we did a small part, it’s a big undertaking. Shops complain about missing samples, but some materials are hard to get and at some point we have to tell the bookmaker to run them. If we waited for all the materials to come in, the 2009 book would come out in 2013.
Deleo mainly sells to overseas customers. I’m not sure how much automotive they actually have anymore. Whatever they do have, it’s probably in the containers going to Saudi(at least that’s where it used to go last time I talked to them a number of years ago).
Losing Detroit is a major shake up to our industry. Yes, things change and Detroit closed under unfortunate circumstances. We can help a customer with a material for 2020 and earlier, but for 2021 and above will be difficult without a book. Right now, the only way to know what material goes in what vehicle is to go to the dealerships and take notes. I don’t know if anyone will be doing that. Something will happen down the road, the ball will be picked up in some form or another. Until then, we all have to work together to gather information and share it among each other.
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Mitch Sulc says
I have been doing auto upholstery for over 50 years and I have a complete set from 1960 to 2020 and was wondering why my 2021 book never showed up! One of my pet peeves with Detroit Body was that I couldn’t order direct from them and had to go through one of my suppliers which marked up the price. The Detroit Books were getting very pricey and the time that I ordered them to the time I got them was getting longer and longer. I started using Albright and Miami more and more and received great service from them at a lower price. I am going to give AutoOriginals a try.
@ Total Automotive Interiors