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Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

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  • Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

    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
    Last edited by YellowRose; March 16th, 2014, 05:11 PM.

  • #2
    i am speachless....

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    • #3
      Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

      Hi Greg,

      I am soooo excited!!! 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!!! 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!

      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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      • #4
        I'm speechless and Ray's sentences are running together...
        no excitement here, huh?


        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?

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        • #5
          WOW!! This is pretty exciting.
          sigpic
          The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

          VTCI Member#6287.

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          • #6
            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.
            Last edited by chewrocks; May 13th, 2009, 01:47 PM.
            Victor
            59 HT, White on the outside, red and white in the middle.
            Registry# 33154

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            • #7
              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!?

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              • #8
                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.
                sigpic
                The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

                VTCI Member#6287.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Let me say it as well! WOW!

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                  • #10
                    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!!

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                    • #11
                      This would make a great documentary! If you could get him to do it. Either on TV or in a magazine.
                      sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
                      Registry #33436

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                      • #12
                        Fantastic!!!!
                        Victor
                        59 HT, White on the outside, red and white in the middle.
                        Registry# 33154

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Assembly worker contacted on last Thunderbird!!!

                          I am in shock!! 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!

                          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!

                          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


                          • #14
                            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

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                            • #15
                              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.
                              Last edited by Anders; May 13th, 2009, 05:15 PM.
                              sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
                              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

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