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  #71  
Old 03-24-2017, 12:03 AM
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Jim sent me a copy of his 1956 Babybird's Factory Invoice or "Gate Release" to post.

There was staff at the end of the production line whose job was to take the vehicle off the line, check off that everything that was on the gate release, was actually on the car. If not, then the car was driven to the side, and taken to a make ready shop to have anything missing put on the car. At least, that is what I remember from talking with actual plant personnel back then who had worked on the production line in those years. That is also, as I recall, if I remember correctly, what Dave ~ simplyconnected told me.

If everything was in order, then it was driven to a point where it was uploaded onto a car carrier or on a train for distant shipping. Since this car was destined for a car dealership in Studio City, California, it was, according to the gate release, going by rail. Here is the copy of his Gate Release. He got this many years ago. He will also be ordering one for his '57 that he just got.

It is cool that anyone wanting an original Factory Invoice/Gate Release for their '55-'57 Tbird can still get them (except for some early 1955's) from the CTCI IF you are a member of their organization. If not a member, you can join and become one, and then order it from them for a $30 fee. The CTCI is the ONLY organization, that I am aware of, that has these forms available to buy. Here is the CTCI website and also the link to order the form.

http://www.ctci.org/

Membership Information
http://www.ctci.org/membership.php

CTCI Original Factory Invoice Order Form
http://www.ctci.org/docs/Original_Fa..._Jan_2017a.pdf

For other years of Tbirds and other Ford cars, contact Marti Auto Works in Arizona who specializes in providing replacement Data Plates, Original Ford Invoices Their contact information is on their website. Contact: 623-935-2558. sales@martiauto.com
http://www.martiauto.com/
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File Type: jpg JimElijah56GateReleaseForm-1.jpg (71.7 KB, 59 views)
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  #72  
Old 03-24-2017, 01:22 AM
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Your memory is pretty much on the money, Ray.

Visualize a Ford Security Guard. He is the very last 'Ford person' who will touch the car before it is handed over to the transportation company. Once 'transportation' drives the car out the back door, it no longer belongs to Ford Motor Co.

All cars are purchased BEFORE they are assembled. 'Dealer stock' units are leased (not owned) by banks who charge the dealership interest for every month the car sits on the lot.

So, what exactly does this guard do? He's VERY busy because he only gets 60 seconds per car. As the next car stops in front of him, all four wheels are weighed, and the 'total weight' is recorded and printed in several copies including the window sticker. He observes everything on the car and matches all the options, marking them off, then signing it. The window sticker is among the copies. The trunk is open and usually the hubcaps are in there with the spare tire.

If all is well, he rolls the window sticker on a wide 'glue roller' and slaps it inside the driver's window. Then the car advances to an awaiting driver who quickly whisks the car to the railhead or transportation trailer. Imagine moving 60 cars per hour, every hour; nearly 1,000 cars per two-shift day. The transportation company employs a crew of drivers and a bus to return them to the plant's back door.

If something is awry, the car is retained and it goes back to make the paperwork (which is a contract) correct. What could go wrong? Here's where the transportation company is very concerned. What if the spare tire is missing, or a number of hubcaps is missing, or the antenna, jack, etc? Once the transportation company accepts the car, THEY are responsible for lost and stolen parts and damages. The dealership commonly supplies and/or installs some parts. These items are noted on paperwork beforehand to eliminate any misunderstanding.

If you understand everyone's task, it's a rhapsody to watch these folks in action. They are responsible to literally move over $20Million every day. - Dave

EDIT: Looking at the rubber stamp, it reads:
DRIVE AWAY GARAGE <--This is the work area where the guard is, at the back door of the plant.
PLANT SECURITY SECTION
DEARBORN ASSEMBLY PLANT
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Last edited by simplyconnected : 03-24-2017 at 01:36 AM.
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  #73  
Old 03-24-2017, 02:01 AM
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Thanks, Dave, and for giving us a very detailed breakdown of what actually happens, step by step once the car reaches the end of the production line. Also for explaining that stamp. Very interesting stuff! Thanks!
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  #74  
Old 03-24-2017, 02:31 AM
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I hope I'm not too long winded but my whole life has revolved around the automotive industry. Dad engineered and sold screws, bolts and nuts to Fisher Body. I started working for Chrysler (yep, Ford was my second auto company) right out of high school. Cars and women are my passion! Both of their bodies are marvelously engineered and fun to play with. - Dave
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  #75  
Old 03-25-2017, 05:08 PM
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Both of their bodies are marvelously engineered and fun to play with. - Dave

Dave I would have thought you might have mentioned the comparison of women and cars might be complex as well
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  #76  
Old 03-25-2017, 07:25 PM
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Jim was checking the underside of his new to him '57 Babybird when he noticed that the shims in the frame had tape on them, holding them in place before the body was mounted onto the frame! Having been under his '56 before, and many other Babybirds, he has never seen tape on those locking shims before. He was thinking that he should take that tape off each of those shim positions but decided not to and started checking into it. What he found was interesting! If he had taken them off, a sharp judge who might have looked under the car could have taken off points in judging because that tape is factory correct and is intentionally put on those shims to make sure they do not move from their location when the body is lowered onto the frame! Here is what he found.

"While the car was on the hoist, I noticed there was some masking tape on the body mounts... I thought maybe someone just forgot to remove it.. But no, I looked in the Thunderbird Restoration Details and Specifications Manual by Gil Baumgartner, and found the 2nd photo that shows that the shims were taped to the frame before the body is lowered onto the frame, to keep the shims from falling off...so it is factory correct. I imagine after years of driving in rain and snow, the tape would just eventually deteriorate. Always something to learn about these cars..

Here is the description of that photo from the Manual.
"Original shims were taped in place with 3/8 inch masking tape". The attached photo I just took under the 57. I think you can see how the body would have been lowered onto the frame pretty quickly, and the tape kept the shims in place while that happened... Jim"

In the pix he sent me, you will see the shims taped into the frame to keep them in place, as shown in the Thunderbird Restoration Details and Specifications Manual by Gil Baumgartner. Then you will see the rear end of the frame show four locking shim sections along the frame, where the body is lowered onto the frame, a locking clip is put in place, locking the body to the frame. I gather that, unlike our unibody Tbirds, these locking pins are what allows a Babybird restorer to do a full frame off restoration of one! It is my understanding that on unibody cars, that body is solidly welded to the frame. In the last pic you will see one of the outboard locking shims. Jim has years of experience with Babybirds and said this is the first time he has ever seen these shims in place with the factory installed tape on them. Probably the only reason why they are still on this Babybird is because it has been a trailer queen after a full restoration to OEM factor specs...

His friend Mike has his red '57 for sale and you can see the tape on his frame also!

Jim sent me another pic of the layout of those locking shims that shows the actual page from the Tbird Restoration Details & Specs Manual, page 13.

Here are the pix.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20170325_072932-1.jpg (30.1 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg 20170325_171439-1.jpg (131.6 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg 20170325_165555.jpg (57.2 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg 156593-1.jpg (32.5 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg 156601-1.jpg (39.9 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg 20170325_185828-1.jpg (68.8 KB, 61 views)
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Last edited by YellowRose : 03-25-2017 at 08:31 PM. Reason: Additional Information
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  #77  
Old 03-25-2017, 07:39 PM
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Here is some additional OEM factory correct info from Jim on Babybird rims. According to the Thunderbird Restoration Details and Specifications Manual by Gil Baumgartner IF you own a '55 or '56, your rims should be completely painted the body color of the car. BUT, if you own a '57 they made a change and the outside is painted the color of the car, white, in this case, and the inside/backside of the rim is black. Here is a pic.
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File Type: jpg White57WheelRim.jpg (17.7 KB, 73 views)
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  #78  
Old 03-25-2017, 07:43 PM
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I tend to find cars are cheaper and easier to maintain
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  #79  
Old 04-09-2017, 06:44 PM
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Jim had his '57 out today because it was nice. Here is what he had to say and a pic he sent me.

"Decided to drop the top onto the rear deck. Think it's too early to put it all the way down, but it got up to 74 today, so had to try an "almost top down" ride. Just held the top down with bungee cords. Yesterday, I pulled out the points and installed the Petronix Ignition system. Had to disconnect the wire that supposedly regulates the radio volume depending on speed of car. Never noticed it did anything anyway.."
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File Type: jpg 20170409_153421-Small.jpg (144.2 KB, 63 views)
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  #80  
Old 04-27-2017, 05:16 PM
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Jim sent me an email to tell me that he received his Gate Release Invoice from the CTCI. It lists a tonneau cover and hardtop for it, which did not come with the car when he got it. But that was okay with him. Another hardtop would be something else to try and figure out where to store it. Also, he has that rear deck antenna on this Tbird. That would make it really interesting in trying to put that hardtop in place on the car! He also knows that for his license plates, he got BLUBRDY, but they have not arrived yet. Here is what he had to say.

"Ray, Just received the invoice for the 57 today from CTCI. The only thing I noticed was Tonneau Cover, which the car does not have now, and of course the hardtop. So, someone added the rear deck antenna at some point. At least the Dial-O-Matic seat was on the Invoice."

Here is a copy of the Gate Release.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg JimElijah57BabybirdGateRelease.jpg (55.4 KB, 53 views)
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