Squarebird Line Production Information
Phil Skinner has been in Detroit searching for more Edsel data for himself and 1960 Tbird line productions records for us, while he is there. This information does not give him unit VIN numbers, just totals produced. This is what he had to tell me today! This is interesting reading...
"I have just completed an exhaustive recording of daily production for the 1960 Thunderbird from start of production to the end.
I know that the current topic is the end of 1960 production. Here is what I found. The records indicate the number of cars scheduled to be built versus the number of cars actually built. It does not give unit or ID numbers, just the total produced of both hardtop and convertible models.
On August 30, 1960, Lincoln did their build out for the model year with 24,820 units produced. Towards the end of production Lincoln and Continental models averaged around 50-60 cars per day, while T-birds had been averaging about 450 units per day.
Here are the production totals at the end of production on August 31st, T-Bird prod. 10,416.
Next is the production for September 1960.
September totals T-Bird prod. 2,507
Export for September 71 units, total export for 1960 model year: 1,006
Thunderbird build out 9/9/60 , 92,843 units produced
So, the 13W on the data plates mean little or nothing in this case."
In a follow up email he said:
"The records indicated that September 9th was indeed the last day. As you can see by the abbreviated production on the 8th, the plant shut down early that day to clean up the plant and get the last vehicles in rotation to do the build out on September 9th.
It was a Friday, not only the end of the week, but the end of an era, the era of what would be known as the Square Birds.
Let me get this straight for you. These numbers we see on our Data Plates are Scheduled Build Out dates, and not necessarily, the actual birthday of our Tbird as we have taken them to be. There was NO scheduled build out for Sept. 3-5 because that was the Labor Day weekend. There WAS a schedule build out for 9/6 through 9/13 and, apparently, parts were set up for those build outs and marked for it. The line was puming out Tbirds at or above the schedule, UNTIL the 8th. Apparently, that build out for 9/12 and 9/13 was added into the last few days production because they wanted to close down the plant, with the Lincoln run having completed, and get ready for the start up of the 1961 Bulletbird. So Greg's car was completed on 9/9 or prior to it with the parts for the 9/13 build out. I think that explains the 9/13 last day last car statement. It appears there was going to be a 9/12, Monday and a 9/13 Tuesday build out, but they were cancelled because they had either ran through their available parts supply or the order was given to shut down the plant for cleanup and stocking for the '61 Bulletbird run.. But Greg's car WAS built with the parts set aside for it, apparently. Boy, we need to find that ROT sheet. It should have the actual build date on it!
So, it seems though they had scheduled a good number more to be built the last two days, 498 and 303, they only built 331 and 144. A total of 801 scheduled, but only 475 built. A total of 326 they decided not to build. Probably because they had ran through their available parts supply. I remember Phil saying or someone that they had built and ordered only so many parts each month based on the number of orders they had or expected to have. Or, as I said, the order came down to shut down the plant for the 1961 run set up.
So there is what additional information has come from Phil as he searches the records still. You may want to save this information for your records..
Last edited by YellowRose : 04-25-2009 at 10:11 PM.