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Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

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  • #16
    Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

    roflmbo!!!


    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

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    • #17
      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???????)

      Comment


      • #18
        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
        Last edited by JohnG; May 13th, 2009, 06:39 PM.
        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

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        • #19
          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.

          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.

          Comment


          • #20
            Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

            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!

            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!
            Last edited by YellowRose; May 13th, 2009, 11:34 PM. 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


            • #21
              Ok !!! So that is WAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY !!!!!!!!!!!!!COOL!!!!!!

              The last one !!! WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!
              John Byers
              1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
              sigpic

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              • #22


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

                Comment


                • #23
                  Congrats Greg, you had a feeling and stuck at it. Also great work by the resident sleuth, Ray. Now for the movie...
                  sigpicBill
                  Thunderbird Registry 21903 & 33405

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    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...ighlight=wixom
                    Ken
                    1959 J Convertible
                    1960 J Hardtop

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by trim code 76 View Post
                      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!?


                      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



                      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...
                      Last edited by Coral; May 14th, 2009, 09:59 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

                        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!
                        Last edited by YellowRose; May 14th, 2009, 11:46 AM. Reason: Fixed spelling

                        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

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                        • #27
                          This whole story is awesome. Great work, guys.
                          sigpic
                          Mike Lemmon
                          '59 Raven Black Hardtop

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

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                          • #28
                            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

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                            • #29
                              oh man...some one pass me a tissue.....

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                              • #30
                                Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

                                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!

                                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

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