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  • Data Plate versus actual build dates

    I decided not to hijack the thread on the last car to delve into build dates further.

    The data plate versus production date information in that string and in the new sticky above is really interesting. I took a look at my ROT sheet versus data plate. There are two dates on the ROT sheet, a block entitled "date" and a block entitled "Sched date". To me, the date block was the actual build date and if "11 10" means November 10th not 11th of October, this matches the data plate date of 10L (a 59 built in November 1958). The discussion on build dates versus data plate dates has me wondering now if the sched date block that shows 13L (November 13th) is the actual build date. Did I celebrated her 50th birthday on the correct day last year or was I three days early? There is another reason that this is critically important - November 10th is a Tuesday, while 13L is Friday the 13th!!

    While we're talking ROT sheets, does anyone know what the codes are in the Misc. #1 through 7 blocks? My car has entries in the Misc #1,3,4,5 and 6 blocks.

    BTW, my ROT sheet was threaded in the springs on the rear seat back.

    Vern
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Vern, thanks for the photos and posting them!! That's really interesting! (I am glad for you that you got the version that had a battery... )

    I wonder what a "3" radio meant... to the best of my knowledge, Squarebirds only had one type (except for white or black trim). Air suspension was apparently in the works for other cars at that point.

    thanks again
    John
    1958 Hardtop
    #8452 TBird Registry
    http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


    photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
    history:
    http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      John G - If you assume that the same sheet was used for all cars at the Wixom MEL plant, there may have been other radios for other cars. I have the standard AM push button radio (and it works). I've never seen a decoder for tho misc. codes, although I can guess what some of them are by the options that are installed.

      Vern

      Comment


      • #4
        10L (10 NOV) is the actual asm. date. 13L was the scheduled asm. date.

        Serial No. 106527 may not be the correct assembly sequence of all cars. Some may have been built before and after with near nos. depending on how the line was setup regarding access. or paint color for example.

        BIRD did not also use a SIGNAL SEEK or TOWN and COUNTRY radio chassis like FORD (option)?

        Comment


        • #5
          Data Plate versus actual build dates

          Hi Gary,

          Something is not right on those dates. The date 11 10 on the ROT sheet you said represents the date the unit was actually built, with L 13 (which we see reversed on our Data Plates as 13L, for example) is the Scheduled Build Date.

          Verns Data Plate shows a date of 10L, which according to what you have said, is the actual assembly date, NOT the Scheduled Build Date. That would be all well and good to know that the 10L represents the actual date the Bird was built.

          But here is what confuses me.. We know that Greg Prince's Data Plate has 13W on it. Supposedly, the last day of production for the 1960 Tbird. In the email I received from Phil Skinner yesterday the records he recovered shows that the last day of production was the 9th of September. After which the plant closed for Labor Day weekend into Monday, for converting the plant to the 1961 Bulletbird run. IF the date on the Data Plate represents the actual assembly date, then it should say 09W or 08W or some other previous date it was actually built on and NOT 13W because Fords records show NO Tbird was built after the 9th of September. However... According to Automotive Mile Posts, the production of the 1961 Tbird did not start until October 3rd!

          The first 1961 Tbird that I can find in the Tbird Registry with a Scheduled Build Date on it is this with a 31K date on it or October 31st. This was 13,855 numbers into the series:
          2-door Hardtop
          1Y71Z113855

          I am thoroughly confused about this now, just when I thought I had it figured out! We really need to find someone who has a 13W ROT sheet in their possession to see what it actually says!
          Last edited by YellowRose; April 26th, 2009, 01:29 AM. Reason: Additional comments

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
          "It's Hip To Be Square"
          Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            Data Plate versus actual build dates

            Here are some comments made to Phil by me. We were talking about at what point the Data Plate was installed on the car. He said he thought it was in the Trim and Sealer section of the line.

            I am still trying to nail down which of the two dates on a ROT sheet is the ACTUAL date a car was built. The date on the top left in the form, or the Scheduled Date. Here is what I have learned so far from reading the 1959 Shop Manual and the William Wonder Thunderbird Restoration Guide. The shop manual says "The production date code (speaking of the date on the data plate) designates the day, month and year the Thunderbird was COMPLETED". Not SCHEDULED, but completed. The Restoration Guide says "Date codes are represented by letter designations indicating the month in which the car was produced, followed by a number or group of numbers that represent the particular day of the month when the Thunderbird
            was ASSEMBLED and COMPLETED on-line". Again, not SCHEDULED, but assembled and completed.

            Now that is all well and good, and would indicate to me that if your data plate has a 13W on it then it was assembled and completed on the line on September, 13th. Until you find out that the last day of production was not the 13th, but the 9th! From this I assume that it was SCHEDULED to be completed on the 13th but due to the speed up of the line after the Lincolns were done, they ran some of the 12th and 13th scheduled cars through the line and stopped on orders from management. We know they did because there are cars out there with those dates on their data plate! But they did not change the data plates that might have already been manufactured and stamped... Phil says the plates were printed out at or before the start of the production run for that day. He also says he has seen many cases where cars scheduled for a certain date build out, say 13W were completed well before that date, for one reason or another...

            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
            '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
            "It's Hip To Be Square"
            Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm told my build was planned for June 19, but was actually built June 23.
              Many of the options were obviously for Lincolns and not available on TBirds. I'll ask John Rotella what he knows about the MISC boxes.
              I only have an entry in MISC #1
              Attached Files
              sigpic
              Mike Lemmon
              '59 Raven Black Hardtop

              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=2461

              Comment


              • #8
                Mike, your data plate also says 06 19 (19 F), as in the block toward the upper left hand corner of your ROT sheet. Do we assume that these two items always match, or did they just happen to in your case?

                Vern: this helps in your case as your 11 10 must mean Nov 10 (not Oct 11). Your data plate has 10L and with L being November ( I may have forgotten why November is L but I think it is relative to whatever the first month of production was)

                So in both cases, is this evidence that the date on the data plate and the date on the upper left box on the ROT always agree? or did we just get lucky twice?

                In other words if I had access to other ROT sheets and other people's data plates, would I always find those two dates in agreement?

                john
                Last edited by JohnG; April 27th, 2009, 09:45 AM.
                1958 Hardtop
                #8452 TBird Registry
                http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                history:
                http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, the date in the upper left is the same as what's on the data plate.
                  sigpic
                  Mike Lemmon
                  '59 Raven Black Hardtop

                  http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=2461

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JohnG View Post
                    Mike, your data plate also says 06 19 (19 F), as in the block toward the upper left hand corner of your ROT sheet. Do we assume that these two items always match, or did they just happen to in your case?

                    Vern: this helps in your case as your 11 10 must mean Nov 10 (not Oct 11). Your data plate has 10L and with L being November ( I may have forgotten why November is L but I think it is relative to whatever the first month of production was)

                    So in both cases, is this evidence that the date on the data plate and the date on the upper left box on the ROT always agree? or did we just get lucky twice?

                    In other words if I had access to other ROT sheets and other people's data plates, would I always find those two dates in agreement?

                    john
                    It is definitely possible that the build sheets were printed on the day the car was to be built and that they knew how many days it would take to complete (under normal cuircumstances) but we know for sure that build sheets are printed before a car was built so that date may vary from the final actual build date. Any delay at all would cause the date to be wrong and unfortunately stuff does go wrong. Upholstery tears, paint runs, engines actually fail etc... The data plates are supposedly also stamped when a car is started (I only know this from hearsay from line workers, I have never seen any documentation of this) so the dates would also match the paperwork but again, the paperwork can't always match the reality. Hawkrod

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So you're saying that the scheduled date might differ from what actually happened ?? That seems most reasonable and possible (I am aware of the saga of Greg's car and information)

                      But you're agreeing with me that the date on the data plate and the date on the upper left hand corner of the ROT sheet will always agree, regardless of when the car eventually got built?

                      John
                      1958 Hardtop
                      #8452 TBird Registry
                      http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                      photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                      history:
                      http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnG View Post
                        So you're saying that the scheduled date might differ from what actually happened ?? That seems most reasonable and possible (I am aware of the saga of Greg's car and information)

                        But you're agreeing with me that the date on the data plate and the date on the upper left hand corner of the ROT sheet will always agree, regardless of when the car eventually got built?

                        John
                        It has always been my understanding that the build sheets and data plates are generated at the same time so the date should match on the data plate and the build sheet but the actual build date will often be different. I will also add that the scheduled date versus actual date thing is something new to me as later build sheets are not listed that way so it may be that the earlier cars door tags may be closer to the actual build date than they tend to be on the mid 60's cars where we have already verified that they can be off by months. Hawkrod

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          thanks...that helps.

                          Do you have a sense of when a data plate got created in the process and when it got attached?? I have never seen a TBird with original paint but I assume it got rivetted on over the paint (as opposed to being masked off).

                          I would be guessing that the "Scheduled Date" was someone (Plant Manager or assistant's) estimate of when he hoped things would happen. We know reality sets in and can change that. Mistakes in assembly, parts shortages, and so on. In the 60s and 70s, when quality was on the decline, I have read that a car would be found defective and hauled off the assembly line to some area and left until a later shift could deal with whatever its problem was and eventually get it out the door. The area was said to get to the size of a football field and the silent costs high. Reasons might be anything from paint runs to body parts not fitting. (source: David Halberstam's book The Reckoning, which developed the histories of Ford and Nissan in parallel).

                          Conversely, if one line were slow due to problems, people and equipment might become available for another line to speed up (thinking of how Greg's car might have been days ahead of its scheduled date of Sept 13). If I am a plant manager, the last thing I want is idle time.

                          John
                          Last edited by JohnG; April 27th, 2009, 10:47 AM.
                          1958 Hardtop
                          #8452 TBird Registry
                          http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                          photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                          history:
                          http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JohnG View Post
                            thanks...that helps.

                            Do you have a sense of when a data plate got created in the process and when it got attached?? I have never seen a TBird with original paint but I assume it got rivetted on over the paint (as opposed to being masked off).

                            I would be guessing that the "Scheduled Date" was someone (Plant Manager or assistant's) estimate of when he hoped things would happen. We know reality sets in and can change that. Mistakes in assembly, parts shortages, and so on. In the 60s and 70s, when quality was on the decline, I have read that a car would be found defective and hauled off the assembly line to some area and left until a later shift could deal with whatever its problem was and eventually get it out the door. The area was said to get to the size of a football field and the silent costs high. Reasons might be anything from paint runs to body parts not fitting. (source: David Halberstam's book The Reckoning, which developed the histories of Ford and Nissan in parallel).

                            Conversely, if one line were slow due to problems, people and equipment might become available for another line to speed up (thinking of how Greg's car might have been days ahead of its scheduled date of Sept 13). If I am a plant manager, the last thing I want is idle time.

                            John
                            The scheduled assembly date is generated when order is processed and accepted. This has nothing to do with the assembly plant and is done at the order department at Ford headquarters not at the assembly plant. The scheduled date is based on a lot of factors such as anticipated line volume, when parts are expected to be available for delivery to the assembly plant, and also batch building volume. The data plate is attached at serial number stamping which is down the line after paint but before very much assembly has really begun. What you are describing about cars pulled from the line is called sidelining and is a normal part of the process even today. As the cars are assembled there are inspections done at quite a few points on the line. Any vehicle that does not pass an inspection gets pulled and sidelined. The side line is basically a repair shop within the assembly plant where specially trained personel work to fix mistakes. After the car is repaired it is reinserted in the assembly line. Depending on how long the sideline took a new set of build sheets may be generated as the cars ROT number may have to be changed (anything more than a few days can cause this). There are documented cases of cars with multiple build sheets reflecting different ROT numbers. Also, because paint is done at a seperate line, the bodies have a different ROT number for paint than the one used on the assembly line (paint ROT numbers are often found during restoration as a three digit grease pencil number written on the sub structure). Hawkrod

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hawkrod, That's interesting.. I happened to find this section of another ROT sheet in my car. Same date, same AC and Radio options, but a different ROT number. I wish I had the rest of it... Could've even been from a nearby car...
                              Attached Files
                              sigpic
                              Mike Lemmon
                              '59 Raven Black Hardtop

                              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=2461

                              Comment

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