I think I heard that DELCO is an abbreviation for Dayton Engineering Laboratory Corporation. Dayton Ohio used to be sort of the hi-tech capitol of the USA, where the Wright Brothers took hold, National Cash Register, etc. So it makes sense that DELCO would be based there. But what about DANA? My truck has several DANA parts. Is DANA an abbreviation for something? Is the D in DANA for Dayton also?

Charles Dana

Dana Incorporated - Wikipedia

same link as weekend-warrior

Check out Charles Kettering, major technical contributor to NCR and DELCO.

Dayton was my hometown and Delco was where I started at GM.

Kettering graduated from Ohio State and went to work for National Cash Register. Worked there 5 years, got 23 patents. Worked evenings on automotive ignitions. Started Delco with an order for 3000 ignition systems from Cadillac. Shortly after started working on the electric starter-generator-ignition system first installed on a Caddy in 1912. Alfred Sloan bought Delco for GM and hired Kettering to run the research labs for GM.

Delco was a huge employer in the Dayton area with 3 Delco divisions plus Inland and Frigidaire with over 22K employees. Now they are all gone and Delco no longer exisits nor does its spinoff, Delphi.

The Kettering name is all over the area including an adjacent city to Dayton.

Dayton also used to be the home to several car companies. Dayton Stoddard to name one. The first car to pace the Indy 500.

Most got wiped out by the 1913 flood or moved to Detroit or just faded away.

Thanks for the history lesson! It’s interesting about the Spicer connection. I believe Spicer U-joints remain available for my truck.

DELCO no longer exists at all? Or do you mean it no longer exists in Dayton? I hope someday to visit Dayton, see the Wright Brother stuff.

Although Delco Electronics no longer exists as an operating company, GM still retains rights to the Delco name and uses it for some of its subsidiaries including the ACDelco parts division.

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Delco no longer exists AT ALL. Period done. Its spin-off Delphi sold off half its business to Borg Warner and renamed the rest Aptiv. Heck, after Delphi exited bankruptcy, it wasn’t even a US company anymore. It was re-incorporated in Ireland!

ACDelco is the replacement parts brand name that was always owned by GM and still is. The parts come from every and anywhere.

If you want to see the Wright Brothers stuff, you actually need to go to Dearborn Michigan. The Wright Cycle shop was moved to the Henry Ford Museum.

Just outside Dayton is the Air Force Museum, though. Well worth a visit.


Some of my best childhood memories include trips to Wright Pat and the museum. Once in our antique car (1911 Regal), at the same time as the Air Force base open house.

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What is the Delphi branded stuff they’re selling now? Old stock Delphi or Borg Warner made, Delphi branded?

I compared AC Delco oil filters to Supertech filters at Wal Mart. They look eerily similar. I wondered if whoever got the Supertech bid also got the AC bid…then I just bought the Supertech :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Likely the same productmade by whichever company, B-W or Aptiv that still owns the tools and plant that makes it.


It’s a super exhibit in several huge Quonset huts. There is also an exhibit on the runway near the museum. Go during the day so that you can see those planes too. I was at a dinner there and it was after dark. But that gives me a good reason to go back to the museum if I return to Dayton.

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