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View Full Version : Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!


trim code 76
05-13-2009, 12:53 PM
I can not believe it. I was just getting off duty when my wife called and said she had recieved a message from a guy who is believed to be the worker who worked on my car!!!!!!!!!! Is about 78 now. I will contact him later in the day and let you know what he remembers!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!! Ray, you are a magician!!!!!!!!!!!!, did I say WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! Like a kid at Christmas! WOW!!!!!!!!!
greg

Coral
05-13-2009, 01:28 PM
i am speachless....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/astikennels/thud.gif

YellowRose
05-13-2009, 01:45 PM
Hi Greg,

I am soooo excited!!!:D I hope this is the guy! I sent you an email just now. I know you will let me and all of us know what he has to say. Oh, how I hope he is the one who did that nearly 50 years ago!!!:p KEEP THAT PHONE NUMBER OF HIS! Even if he is not the guy who did it, ask him all kinds of questions about how they did things on the line back then. How did they process the cars through the line? How come they were not processed in serial number order? In batches of how many cars, 50-100? 2-Dr sedans? Then a group of convertibles? Or were they all mixed in with each other on the line? Were they processed as a group when they were putting 430 engines in the car? Or a different tranny? Or did they just come down the line and the guys grabbed the appropriate engine/tranny/interiors, etc.. from the parts bins according to what the ROT sheet told them? Ohhh, there are so many questions I would like to ask him! YOU have a chance to find out about the history of making our Squarebirds that I, honestly, thought might be lost to us forever!

Coral
05-13-2009, 02:17 PM
I'm speechless and Ray's sentences are running together...
no excitement here, huh?
:D

Greg, maybe writing down a short outline of questions with room for the answers will help you not to forget anything...

Wonder if has any co-workers around yet?
pictures? any paperwork?

tbird430
05-13-2009, 03:23 PM
WOW!! This is pretty exciting. :cool:

chewrocks
05-13-2009, 03:38 PM
This is exciting news. If this is the guy wouldnt it make a nice follow up article with pictures of him and the car.

Hmmm, anyone know any car show (TV type) producers that might think this would merit a taping as a special interest piece. Sorry, just thinking outloud.

It might also have the makings for a magazine article.

trim code 76
05-13-2009, 04:08 PM
Ok, First off....Ray needs a valium !!!! (so do I!)LOL. Ok, anyone who has a qustion they want me to ask. PLEASE POST IT NOW!!!!! Ray, sentences must be no longer than 5 lines!!!!LOL. I will be talking to him hopefully in a few hours. Coral, I will go with your advise and write down questions first so as not to miss out (Have been up more than 24 hrs now because of work, had two fires, this is now my adrenalin!!) I will post as soon as I get the answers SO STAY TUNED!!!!!! Did I say WOW!!!!
Greg
P.S. Cathie, where do you get those totally cool icons!?

tbird430
05-13-2009, 04:43 PM
Did they run the T-Birds and/or Lincolns in exterior color batches? EX: 25 white cars, then 25 red cars, etc.


-Thanks,
Jon R.

LuckyJay
05-13-2009, 05:17 PM
:pLet me say it as well! WOW!

trim code 76
05-13-2009, 05:22 PM
Ok sports fans, I just got done talking to the the line worker (Cathie, you will be more than speechless now!!) We have confirmation!!!!! My car was the last one!!!!!!!! They only did one silver car that day (mine is silver). They put a sign on it as it went down the line (an old Wixom tradition). The workers would get excited and put stuff in it, hence the paper shamrock, cartoon and people would write last car on it. HE WAS THE FIRST WORKER FOR WIXOM!!! He worked in 1960 in the "Pre delivery" section at the end of the assembly line. He inspected the cars as they were finished. He remembers going up the line and watching mine come down, (since there were no other ones after it). He remembers people placing stuff in it). He will write a statement stating it is the last one!
Here are some additional facts I fond out about how the line worked: There was not a determinng order to how they went down. As the orders came in, they were processed and the car would be scheduled for the assembly line. It is true that they did NOT go in order of the vin number. As far as paint batching, that was NOT done on the squarebirds. That was done a little later. So whatever the car was scheduled to be painted, then that is what it was painted. It did not matter what the car was (430, 352, hard top, convert, Lincoln.....) it was HOW the orders were recieved that day. Also, the stoppage of building on 9/13 came very very late notice, in fact he said that a lot of the parts were already placed for those days in the racks, and the orders were known as far as patteren down the line for those last couple of days due to orders being stopped for that year (1960)(since thunderbird was the only car going down the line those lst couple of days). So that would explain the writting of 9/13 on my door panel even though it was built on 9/9. He also stated that each day a "gold ball" would be placed on random cars 10-15 that would be given a "M10" code. these were the "excecuative cars" for that day. you see they would select these cars for their executives to take home and check to make sure that the lineman were doing their jobs well. The lineman on the other hand would make extra sure that those cars were done "REALLY WELL!!!".
He started when he was 19 and his is now almost 74. I will wait and see if he wants me to post his name (sorry but out of respect to him). If I get his ok I will post it. Will also see if he wants to be a member. He is sending me a picture of himself on the line, is trying to find pics of the squarebirds coming down the line and will send those, a letter confirming mine is the last car, and a book about thunderbirds (possibly from the plant). If you can think of other questions please let me know and I will pass them on. DID I SAW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! I am tired now!!

Richard D. Hord
05-13-2009, 05:58 PM
This would make a great documentary!:eek: If you could get him to do it. Either on TV or in a magazine.:)

chewrocks
05-13-2009, 06:01 PM
Fantastic!!!!

YellowRose
05-13-2009, 06:13 PM
I am in shock!!:eek: The chances of that line worker being alive still after nearly 50 years were slim I thought, when I wrote the Oakland Press regarding Greg's Last '60 Tbird off the line! I figured he would be in his 40's-50's or so, and now in his '80's-90's! Little did I know that the guy who would reply to that newspaper article would be the youngest lineman hired at Wixom and still be alive! What a stroke of great luck! :D

We have learned some things that debunk what has been written by some of the wonders of the Tbird world over the years! Black/dark cars were NOT painted early in the day with the lighter ones painted at the end... Cars were NOT batched together in groups of so many cars and then sent down the line as a group of 2-Dr hardtops, convertibles, or Golde Tops.. Or run seperately from the Lincolns. They were all mixed together. Cars that ran into problems were shunted off the line to be fixed quickly, if possible, and put back on the line for finishing. If not possible, they were then put in a staging area to have the problem fixed as soon as possible, and then put back on the line.

At the end of the 1960 production run, on the last days, they ran out of some parts to put on the 1960's. So he told Greg that they got parts that were the same for the 1960's and the 1961's, and put those parts on the 1960 cars to finish them off. This explains why Greg has some parts in the engine area with 1961 part numbers on them, he said.

I am sure that we will find out more things that we have been told as fact over all these years, that turns out to be fiction. Someone did not do their homework in some of their writings, it seems.

The Oakland Press has been contacted by another person who might be able to shed more light on the Wixom operation! We are working on contacting him!

vernz
05-13-2009, 06:51 PM
This is great. I am so happy for you. This is a great special interest story. I would think the Detroit auto industry would be interested in this given the problems they are having right now. Can you ask him if the actual day a car was completed appeared on the ROT sheet, either on the upper left corner block entitled "Date" or in the block entitled "Sched Date"?

Vern

Anders
05-13-2009, 07:12 PM
FBI? CIA? KGB?
No, beware of Sergeant Ray Clark!
He chase you up after half a century and want to know, exactly what you did september 13, 1960. Before lunch! And if you have any witness who can back up the story...
This site is in good hands.

I am truly amazed. :)

YellowRose
05-13-2009, 07:18 PM
roflmbo!!!
:D

Dutchbird
05-13-2009, 08:14 PM
Greg, congratulations!!!


What an amazing story you "drag" us in, and still more to come so it seems.........

This is currently re-writing history by all the efforts you and some members put in,
making this story and outcome a true milestone!

(Did I hear WOW???????)

JohnG
05-13-2009, 08:36 PM
Greg , this is nothing short of incredible!!! You and Ray have done great things , not only for your car, but for the history of Squarebirds and auto manufacturing!!! Go out and buy some Lottery tickets tonight!!!


A huge tip of the hat to both of you!!!

many thanks
john

bird 60
05-13-2009, 11:35 PM
Congratulations Greg & to all the people that made it possible to get to the stage that you're at.
If you believe in something you stick to it which you've done, & now the rewards are coming your way.:D

If the Gentleman that worked on your (LAST) car is almost 74 years old that means he was born in 1935 (same year as ELVIS). If he was 19 when he started working for FORD that would be in 1954 possibly when the FIRST T. BIRDS were manufactured. When he completed your (LAST BIRD) he would have been 25. I bet he's just excited as you & all of us are.
All you need now is the icing on the cake.

Chris....From the Land of OZ.

YellowRose
05-14-2009, 01:25 AM
Here is what Phil Skinner had to say...

"That is really neat, and to find someone to remember that last car. Finding those treasures hidden by line workers is interesting.

It is interesting to see what line workers would do. One of our Edsel people stripped the padded dash off his station wagon to find a very artful illustration of the comic character Dagwood had been drawn on the metal panel with a felt-tip pen.
Phil"

Now, before you all go off stripping your padded dash's off your Tbirds looking for a sketch of Dagwood, remember that Phil said this was an Edsel and not a Ford this was found on. I doubt that this Edsel lineman was working the Tbird line! Sooo, save yourself some headaches and DON'T DO IT! :D

This lineman is one year older than I am. While he started building Tbirds, I was stationed in Japan at 18. In 1958/59, I was sitting on top of a mountain in Alaska at a radar site reading a magazine about the new 1959 Tbirds, which, it turns out, he had helped build! That magazine got me interested in Tbirds and I tried to buy one in Dallas, when I got back from my Alaskan tour of duty in 1960. But my wife reminded me that my little 3 striper pay would not be enough to get us a Tbird, if I wanted to continue to eat in the fashion I had become accustomed to! So we settled for a red Ford Falcon. Nearly 50 years later, as he is retired, I finally made my lost dream come true with Yellow Rose, in my retirement....

I would also like to thank Cathie ~ Coral for her input, ideas, and help in this project. It is not over yet! We have a lot more to learn, especially if the other guy who contacted the newspaper is also a line employee. More to come, I hope! :p

byersmtrco
05-14-2009, 02:09 AM
Ok !!! So that is WAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY !!!!!!!!!!!!!COOL!!!!!!

The last one !!! WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coral
05-14-2009, 03:37 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/astikennels/watda.gif

I will have to answer tomorrow, I am verklempt at the moment

Penelope
05-14-2009, 07:37 AM
Congrats Greg, you had a feeling and stuck at it. Also great work by the resident sleuth, Ray. Now for the movie...

GTE427
05-14-2009, 08:16 AM
Greg,

I had an earlier post regarding a tag found on a 60TBird being parted out. Could you question the lineman about this tag "WIXON 2364".

http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4071&highlight=wixom

Coral
05-14-2009, 11:41 AM
Ok, First off....Ray needs a valium !!!! (so do I!)LOL. Ok, anyone who has a qustion they want me to ask. PLEASE POST IT NOW!!!!! Ray, sentences must be no longer than 5 lines!!!!LOL. I will be talking to him hopefully in a few hours. Coral, I will go with your advise and write down questions first so as not to miss out (Have been up more than 24 hrs now because of work, had two fires, this is now my adrenalin!!) I will post as soon as I get the answers SO STAY TUNED!!!!!! Did I say WOW!!!!
Greg
P.S. Cathie, where do you get those totally cool icons!?

http://www.postsmile.com/img/emotions/150.gif (http://www.postsmile.com/)

24 hours and two fires?
whats going on?

Previous to today, the emotes were copied, saved on photobucket and applied...now as of today I am using a nifty lil program that will post the smilies with a single click
however works with IE and FireFox...so I am a bit put out having to use IE - my usual browser is Chrome

http://www.postsmile.com/img/emotions/98.gif (http://www.postsmile.com/)

I'm thrilled to bits someone came forward on this and the resulting verification! I had tears of joy rolling down my cheeks...!
Since there's been an additional inquiry, I would suggest comparing the answers using the same questions ( to a fashion ) that Greg asked....
Not suggesting anything other than solid verification as to how things went...since this news shall upset most other information we've been running on...

YellowRose
05-14-2009, 01:24 PM
The story continues.... I just got off the phone talking with the lineman.. I was able to ask some more questions before he had to stop for lunch. He has several health issues, including heart problems like I had. So I have to be considerate of his health and don't want to over do it. He said I can call him back later on this late afternoon. Here is what he told me, as best I can remember and taken from my notes on the questions I was able to ask him.

As he said, he was the first one hired for the Wixom line before it ever opened for operation. He said it was not unusual for them to work 10-12 hour shifts, racking up 70-80 hours a week often. He retired at 68 with the last years traveling for the company visiting other Ford plants and inspecting/reviewing how they were doing things. He traveled extensively out of the country.

He said they had some great linemen working the Wixom line with many of them coming from other non-Ford plants, like Packard, and other companies, whose plants had shut down. Some of them were masters at taking out dings, and dents in cars that were caused while going down the line. The quality control position he worked was not right at the end of the line. The cars came off the line, and were driven, I assume, to his position to be checked.

I asked him about the ROT or Broadcast Sheet, as he says it was called by them. When asked about the Date in the upper left corner and the SCHED Date on the form, he said neither one of them was a true indication of when the car was actually "born". The SCHED Date was when they planned to schedule a car for production, but that did not mean it actually WAS produced on that day. Anything could delay it and often did. Running out of parts, problems with line equipment, a problem with the car itself.

As an example, he said that if they ran out of wiring harnesses, causing the line to stop, or slow down, a helocopter would fly in from one of their supply points with loads of wiring harnesses to be taken to the line. Or trucks would come in loaded with pre-staged racks to be off loaded with the parts they needed and taken to the line quickly to get it up and running again. He said the average number of days it took to complete one car, from start to finish, was seven days..

As for that elusive "birth" date, he said there were "tickets" that were kept, also a silhouette of defects that had to be fixed on each car as it came off the line, if any, were only kept for 90 days. Somewhere, at the Wixom plant there might be individual permanent records, that shows the actual "birth" date of each car, but the plant is locked up tight as a drum since it closed in 2007.

He was not able to give me any explanation of the 7 MISC boxes, what they meant, or what the other blocks we have questions about meant, or the codes that were used.

I asked him to tell me about the stages along the production line. Here is what he said. First was the Body section, that Budd Body ran and they are still in business. Once the body was shipped in from their plant, it went to the Wash stage, then to the Paint stage, then it went to the Trim stage. This is the stage, just as the Trim & Seal book shows, that the Data Plate was put on he said, and the trim put on. From there, it went to the Final or Chassis stage where the motor and transmission were installed. From there it went to the Dyno Line where it was checked to make sure the engine, transmission, axle, everything else, was working right. From there it went to the Shake, Rattle & Roll machine, where it was put through severe shaking testing to find any defects in the car that might need to be fixed. I gather, if it passed that, it went on to Quality Control, his position. If not, it got sidelined to have any defects fixed.

I asked him if he knew for sure at what point they serial number for each car was punched into the chassis. He said he thought it was before painting. He said it would not make sense to do it after painting because it could mess up the paint.

At this point, we had to stop so he could eat lunch and get out on the lawn and cut it. I have added that question about the oval WIXOM 2364 tag that was asked about. That is probably an inventory tag as Hawkrod thought, but I will see if he knows about it. I hope to continue with this later on. He seems to be very agreeable to talking about his life on the line and how they did things. He has a friend or two that might be able to shed more light on things he was not able to answer. I hope to make that contact also.

More to come, as I learn it!:D

fomoco59
05-14-2009, 04:14 PM
This whole story is awesome. Great work, guys.

trim code 76
05-14-2009, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the kind words from all. I am trying to contact the other person and will ask the same questions. Will post when I have made contact. My car will be finished being painted today!!!! I will check it out when I get off duty Friday morning. They will still have to buff it out and then we will start putting it back together!!! Hard to work today. Coral: Verklempt; had to look that one up and I am 1/2 German!! I had two fires in my 24 hrs but they did not last that amount of time, they average about 3-4 hrs for my crew. We run on a ladder truck and get called out on all the major incidents. Two in on day was unusual. I have a great crew so work is always fun. Been at it for 27 years so getting a little gray and tired but still like beating the young guys!! I do not know if you caught my last notation on the original post. I just found on the front bumper assembly, wrapped around the top center bracket a rusty wire that was tucked up against the front bumper! When I pulled it out I found it was holding an original set of car keys on a ring!!! The ends were wrapped in a white cloth tape. they were pretty tarnished so they have been there a very long time!!! This just keeps getting crazier and crazier!! It is like the Enigizer Bunny.....just keeps going and going and going.....LOL!!
Greg

Coral
05-14-2009, 05:14 PM
oh man...some one pass me a tissue.....

YellowRose
05-14-2009, 08:04 PM
This may be the final report on the conversation with Bob Oeschger, the Quality Control technician Greg and I have been talking with. He has given us permission to use his name. He has answered all the questions I had, to the best of his ability.

In answer to what he knew about the Budd Body Co. who built the shells, did the welding of the panels and shipped the completed bodies to Wixom for processing, he does not know much about them. He knows that they also made the Lincoln hoods and deck lids and shipped them to the plant for production use. He knows they were in the Detroit area and shipped completed bodies by truck many times a day. They usually had 30-40 bodies available at a time. Trucks from Budd were coming and going all day long and so were trains loaded with supplies. He said they averaged over 800 trucks a day delivering bodies, and parts to the plant. Day in and day out.

In answer to the question of how many sets of dies were on hand to make the Tbirds from, he does not know. That was all done at Budd Body Co., and he has no idea how many sets of dies they had. Nor does he know anything about this story about the dies being damaged when they made the panels for the stainless steel Tbirds and Lincolns. We have since been told that story is incorrect, that the dies were NOT damaged, as they thought they might be.

He does remember seeing these stainless steel Tbirds and Lincolns coming down the line, and he processed them through his Quality Control station. After that, they were taken to an Excecutive area for safeguarding and further processing.

He tells me that they had NO chrome parts for engine or external dress up kits for these cars at the plant. They did not stock them there. Therefore there were NO special part numbers for these things that he knows of, and they did NOT put these parts on at the factory. The Tbirds came down the line with these parts painted the same as the rest of the car, except for the bumpers, which were supplied to them already chromed. There was no chroming done in the factory that he knows of. He said those were dealer supplied items that you could have put on when the car came into the dealer. Where they were getting their chrome parts, he does not know.

Not being actually on the line or in management as such, he has NO idea how they determined which set of serial numbers they were going to process through the line each day or why. His position was after the line where the cars were brought to him for inspection and given a passing or failing grade.

I gave him the description of the brass looking tag that was posted. He said it sounds like, from my description, that was one of the inventory tags that was on their equipment, chairs, desks, etc.. Apparently, someone mounted one on that car as a joke. It should not have been there. Linemen used to do unusual things at times.. Like the Edsel guy who drew Dagwood on the dashboard frame...

He said they had a problem with people stealing brand new cars off the storage lots. Even with security, people were managing to steal cars. They even busted one sophisticated setup of stealing cars.

Finally, he said that Wixom was the largest assembly plant in North America and it breaks his heart to see it closed. I will not be calling him anytime again soon, as I think he has answered all the questions he can. He did invite me to call back in the future if I had more questions to ask though. If you have any, you can email them to or send them in a PM and I will compile them.

So there ya go, Folks! That is my story and I am sticking to it! :D

Ca58tbird
05-14-2009, 10:07 PM
So there ya go, Folks! That is my story and I am sticking to it! :D

Ray, WOW!, hats off to both you and Greg. You guys are like the best bird dogs ever! Somehow Ray, you really do need to digest all of this information, re-format it and write yourself a book on this story, co-author with Greg, publish it and offer it for sale on the merchandise link to this forum. I will be looking forward to your literary prowess.

trim code 76
05-14-2009, 11:59 PM
well folks, this has been the most I have learned about cars in a long , long time. I will send to Ray the pics of the car when it is done being painted. Unfortunately I am now VERY nervious to drive the car!! Only back roads for sure now and limited miles. I still have one more person to call from the plant so it may not be quite over yet. Again thanks all, how do we top this....... Ok who has the first one?????? Now that would be totally cool!!
Greg (actually have a break at work!!)

trim code 76
05-15-2009, 12:03 AM
Mike,
Your black 59 bird is beautiful!!!!!!!
Greg

Coral
05-15-2009, 12:12 AM
http://www.postsmile.com/img/emotions/235.gif (http://www.postsmile.com/)

Itz Mz. Watson if you please....or Batwoman, whichever will do, Ray happens to know me by both, LOL
http://www.postsmile.com/img/emotions/220.gif (http://www.postsmile.com/)
Since this thread started, and I had some pages copied out of library book (40yrs of thunder) and just happened to capture 2 of the 3 pages on Gene's article that was reproduced there-in, I went looking for peoples names and numbers, email info.
I gave the phone numbers of the people that I couldn't find e-addies on to Ray since he is a gentleman among the highest elite (also has a great calling plan) and if anyone has spoken with him knows he is a trustworthy, warm hearted soul....someone, anyone... a person could talk to out of the clear blue sky, for hours on end!
http://www.postsmile.com/img/emotions/238.gif (http://www.postsmile.com/)
I have suggested a book to Ray already, twice; the name:
Thunderbirds Greatest Hits
http://www.postsmile.com/img/emotions/217.gif (http://www.postsmile.com/)
Ray's BRILLIANT idea to contact the writer at the newspaper was indeed the straw that broke the camel's back on holding out on secrets for us...I know I am a recent member, however I do feel the great sense of open arms, and camaraderie that one doesn't find on just ANY forum, but when folks are handing out badges for detective work, just want my name added to the 'B' list of the dawgs....LOL
http://www.postsmile.com/img/emotions/107.gif (http://www.postsmile.com/)

Pity I can't get my spell check to work on IE while using the smilies program, so will have to edit this later in case the fingers were faster than the brain - http://www.postsmile.com/img/emotions/174.gif (http://www.postsmile.com/)

fomoco59
05-15-2009, 08:58 AM
Mike,
Your black 59 bird is beautiful!!!!!!!
Greg

Thanks! I think it was the LAST 59 built ! :eek:...(just kidding):D

YellowRose
05-15-2009, 12:59 PM
Please don't get me started on the last '59 or the last '58 built! :eek: Lol... I am still gathering information on how they did things on the line! I have another person to talk with shortly about that! I also hope to make contact with someone in the Budd Body Company who is still breathing and can shed some light on how they built the shells and panels for our Birds, and the SS ones!

Coral
05-15-2009, 01:10 PM
Oh come on Ray.... where's your sense of adventure?
:D

Rockin Kev
05-15-2009, 01:29 PM
Greg,
Some extra info on the Golde cars would be nice to know, but as i have DRIVEN the last Squarebird Built i feel very warm inside.

So just confirmation that the Golde cars had there own fitting line would be nice to know.

Did i say you lucky sod!! i will be reminding you on quite a regular basis now but the next time i drive your car mate make sure i am not driving to Vancouver BC for there export port, with a nice little steel container with my name on it bound for the UK.

Would i????...lol

Kev.

trim code 76
05-15-2009, 05:34 PM
First regarding Rockin Kev..............A word to the wise "NEVER TRUST THE BRITISH!!!!!!" LOL (so as nobody is affended, Kevin and myself are very good friends in case you could not tell!) Ok, I just went up to see the car after being painted. All I can say again is WOW! A fantastic job of recreating a factory paint job!! the attention to detail in recreating the factory look of correct type of "runs and folds" in the paint in the door jambs and under the trunk and hood. He recreated them where they were before and made them look just right. A VERY talented man. It still needs to be rubbed out. He said painting old school enamel without clear coat (single stage ) is VERY HARD IN METALIC. There is no room for errors! I sent the pics to Ray so hopefully they will be on the website soon, that is if we can get Ray to actually do something on this site!!!!!!LOL!!!!!!!!!! I just got done talking to the lady who did the imfamous newspaper article and she is going to do a taped interview of a conversation with the guy we talked about on the assembly line!!!!! It will be posted!!!!! Everybody get ready to copy that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! Excited today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Greg
Ray, I just recieved word that there are now ten car clubs that want you to investigate who has the last car made on 13 different makes. I will send you the list shortly. Hello? ......Ray.....are you there?.......Ray?................................. .......................................... somebody call 911!!!LOL

Coral
05-15-2009, 06:39 PM
Just the Last ones?

pish....LOL

YellowRose
05-16-2009, 08:55 AM
Just so ya'll know, I am traveling this weekend into next. Greg, I might not be able to post your pix until I get back, but I will.. Kev, in answer to your questions regarding Golde Tops, here is what Bob had to say about them.. I do not know at which stage the cars went through water testing. I gather after they had come off the line, and they went though road testing also..

Ray, As I remember all golde tops came down the line with the rest of the birds,as they were all run through the water test booth. The ones that leaked were set aside for water test repair in a separate area. Golde tops were invented in Germany and later became American Sunroof and owner was Heinz Prector. He later committed suicide. American Sunroof was in a separate factory across the street. Employees would drive the cars over to them. Later we did the sunroofs in our own plant. The unit was made by a company called Webasco near Flint mi. and sent to our plant for installation.--BOB

Rockin Kev
05-16-2009, 11:58 AM
First regarding Rockin Kev..............A word to the wise "NEVER TRUST THE BRITISH!!!!!!" LOL (so as nobody is affended, Kevin and myself are very good friends in case you could not tell!) Ok, I just went up to see the car after being painted. All I can say again is WOW! A fantastic job of recreating a factory paint job!! the attention to detail in recreating the factory look of correct type of "runs and folds" in the paint in the door jambs and under the trunk and hood. He recreated them where they were before and made them look just right. A VERY talented man. It still needs to be rubbed out. He said painting old school enamel without clear coat (single stage ) is VERY HARD IN METALIC. There is no room for errors! I sent the pics to Ray so hopefully they will be on the website soon, that is if we can get Ray to actually do something on this site!!!!!!LOL!!!!!!!!!! I just got done talking to the lady who did the imfamous newspaper article and she is going to do a taped interview of a conversation with the guy we talked about on the assembly line!!!!! It will be posted!!!!! Everybody get ready to copy that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! Excited today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Greg
Ray, I just recieved word that there are now ten car clubs that want you to investigate who has the last car made on 13 different makes. I will send you the list shortly. Hello? ......Ray.....are you there?.......Ray?................................. .......................................... somebody call 911!!!LOL

Never trust the British???.. i remember a certain gentleman taking Rachel and myself to a nice quite restaurant in up sate Washington a place called Port Townsend, a funky Fish Restaurant with a twist.
Word to the wise Never go to a place with someone with strange dress sense!!!!..so do i post pictures?...hmmm i think not!..lol 2010 Mr Prince cannot come quick enough for me and OUR road trip in the UK.
Kev

frank58
05-17-2009, 10:48 AM
I wish Alexander was here for this history making info...........
Great work guys.

Dan Leavens
05-17-2009, 11:24 AM
Frank58 yes Alexander would have been extremely proud about two (2) things. One (1) that this site has grown tremendously in size both daily / weekly usage and member count and two (2) the very talented and dedicated members that have kept this site and his legacy alive.I am sure he is smiling:o that Yellowrose and others have taken the lead.

trim code 76
05-18-2009, 01:57 AM
dan,
I could not have put it better myself! Well done!
Greg. T minus 4 days until the bird is back in her "cage"!!
Greg

Coral
05-18-2009, 02:40 AM
I never had the pleasure of meeting Alexander, but still feel I know a bit of his desires with these 'birds, and honestly I can't see a better tribute TO him, than the growth and popularity of this forum!

I would like to ask the Admin...just how to set up a poll...
I am curious just how many are regular members versus supporting members, and how long it took for them to GET to that point....I myself can't recall when I joined up, until I thought to myself I need to do something more...but I can't tell ya'll how happy skippy I was to get my Squarebirds decal in the mail!

Say Greg....curious, have you been in any contact with the party you purchased your bird from about the developments we've been going through?

Have you thought of a name?

trim code 76
05-19-2009, 09:20 PM
Coral,
I will be surprising the previous owner when I give her a ride in the car this summer on the way to the western regionals for VTCI in Spokane WA this July. As for a name...........??????? ideas????

I just got done giving John Rotella all the info, history and pics of the car. He is going to make a special place for it on the registery site. I have been told to approach some of the main magazines on the story. We will see what happens. Drive the car back on this Thursday morning!!!!!

Coral
05-20-2009, 02:41 AM
Name: Phattie
( cause it ain't over til the fat lady sings... )
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/astikennels/****2.gif

Sorry, the door was WIDE open on that one, had to... :p

Like I said to Penelope, sit in the car, give it a bath (in this case, well ya know...) start talking outloud to the car having a convo...the name will come to you

When I saw all that silver Zena popped into my head...assuming here that she's a SHE...LOL

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/astikennels/umm1.gif all of us car nuts goofy or what?

GTE427
05-20-2009, 08:12 AM
I noticed the TBird Registry has already been updated claiming the the last Squarebird has been located, also that Legendary Ford Mag will be running a story on it, see the right hand column on the Home page.

Coral
05-20-2009, 10:58 AM
yeah, I saw that last night when I went looking for the '63 bully I sent John...he emailed me and said he had it up...
but I can't find it....LOL

Guess we all need to clean up our PM boxes and tidy the place up a bit...pretty soon its gonna be standing room only here!
:D

trim code 76
05-21-2009, 04:19 AM
Ray,
Please excuse my lack of tech knowledge on the website you created on my car (VERY NICE!) How do I see the latest pics you put up. It only goes so far thenhits the end and I can not tell how to access the new pics? Thanks for helping out the kid with the 2 cans and a string!LOL
Greg

Coral
05-21-2009, 10:34 AM
Greg, if you are using the same access link, like a book mark or link off the forum here, you might let the page load normally, then click your refresh button on your browser...

dgs
05-21-2009, 09:19 PM
I have been told to approach some of the main magazines on the story.

I emailed Dan Strohl at Hemming with links to the appropriate threads. Hopefully they feature it on their blog at least.

YellowRose
05-21-2009, 11:51 PM
Greg, check your web page again. I spent several hours adding to it this afternoon, including the paint pix you sent. Some things I can do fairly quickly. Miracles take me a little longer!:D

http://squarebirds.fortunecity.com/GregPrince/GregPrince1960Tbird.htm

trim code 76
05-22-2009, 01:54 AM
GOT THE BIRD BACK TODAY !!! They did a fantastic job!!! Very pleased! I have to wait 4 months before I can do a second rub down then wax so it will look even better after that! Perfect amount of orange peel! I sent pics to Ray. Boy do I have a lot of detailing to do (again!) No problem though, will be happy to do it!!! Will be hard to sleep tonight!
Greg

Coral
05-22-2009, 02:46 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/astikennels/cancan.gif

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/astikennels/happydance2.gif

Although I noted you didn't call out a name, instead of just saying THE BIRD....

Hows LUANA hitcha?

It was brought to public attention by the movie 'Bird of Paradise' (1932), in which it was borne by the main character, a Polynesian girl.

trim code 76
05-22-2009, 05:32 PM
"The Bird".......now that could really fit sometim.....er.........never mind!
She is Lucille!! It just came to me the other day and I like it! Can hear Little Richard in the background!!
Greg

Coral
05-22-2009, 05:50 PM
well fine then... :p

still sticking with Zena Lucille....

so there...:D

JohnG
05-23-2009, 01:02 AM
Too bad you aren't from Indiana... you could call the car Larry. (anyone who doesn't get this , you're not a basketball fan).

trim code 76
05-23-2009, 03:35 AM
could have called it "Big"!LOL
Greg

YellowRose
05-23-2009, 03:46 AM
Greg and I have been trying to make contact with the other person who contacted the Oakland Press regarding the news article that was published by them. So far, we have not been able to get in contact with him to find out if he can add anything to what Bob has already told us. If we do, you will hear about it.

Also, I am trying to make contact with an employee of the Budd Body Company (that is no more, having recently been bought again, and then broken up). This person has about 30 years with Budd and runs a Budd blog. I hope he will answer my email so I can ask him questions regarding how Budd worked their production line, how many shells a day they provided Wixom, how they built the shells, how many sets of dies did they have, and any other question I can think of. One main question I want him to answer, if he can, is that confusing situation about the casting of the stainless steel parts for those two '60 Tbirds and the Lincolns destroying the dies.. For years, authors wrote that they did. Now recently, I was told personally, that the process of creating the panels out of stainless steel did not destroy those dies. I would like to nail that one down forever..

I have obtained a good history of the company that I will be putting up perhaps this weekend. More as I learn it. If you have particular questions you would like answers to regarding of the making, and processing of the shells to the Wixom line, send them to me.

trim code 76
05-27-2009, 11:18 PM
Latest news: The Wixom lineman I contacted who stated Lucille was the last squarebird just called me today, He had his taped interview today and has sent me a package. Included in it is a photo from the first day Wixom was open, a video on tbirds being made in the plant, a picture of himself on his last day and a copy of the newspaper article! He is also looking for a Wixom jacket that has Thunderbird writtten on it (thinks he can get me one!) Also Hemmings Classic Car will be doing a full spread on Lucille! I need to speed things up on putting her back together as they want the info and pics ASAP! I have to say it again...WOW! (maybe I should have named the car that, .....nope Lucille works just fine!, Sorry Cathie!!)
Greg

Coral
05-28-2009, 01:58 AM
Zena Lucille WOW
she's a complete name now, LOL

Congrats Greg...this is just WILD:D