By Martha Maglone:
This summer marks the 80th anniversary of the advent of the Eaton Detroit Spring company.
Founded during the Great Depression, the company is one of the most successful in the manufacture of leaf and coil springs and related attaching parts for the auto restoration and street rod markets.
“The firm was first started by my grandparents, Frank and Grace” says current President, Mike Eaton. An aftermarket division of Detroit Steel Products, the Eatons originally purchased the company for $11,000. It was a perilous time; the country’s economy was stalled and prospects uncertain.
Yet it thrived and a few years later, when the original lease expired, production was moved to the corner of Michigan and Trumbull—across from the former home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. The firm still operates from this location today, manufacturing springs and components for the classic vehicles it watched debut and mature over the decades.
Significantly, Eaton Detroit Spring possesses over 24,000 OEM spring blueprints for more than 166,000 vehicle applications, covering fitment for nearly every classic, muscle car or hot rod application that comes its way.
“Our blueprints give us a substantial edge in leaf spring design and manufacture over our rivals,” claims Eaton. “If you provide us accurate information and install the springs correctly, the likelihood of a problem arising is remote.”
Eaton’s passion is springs and, helpfully, they’ve combined it with access to an expert design staff. Dedicated to custom applications, they are willing to assist in all spring-related inquiries. Mike Eaton again, “Others may sell springs, we make them. That’s our specialty—just as it’s been for the past 80 years.