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16  Orphans - documentation or VIN-stamped drivetrains - in search of the original cars / 1969 - Orphans / Re: 9Nxxx007, 69 DZ 302 shortblock on: December 15, 2014, 06:45:55 PM
How would someone prove they own a car that the vin ends in 007, must only be several thousand of them in that time frame, would have been better off with the front half  or front 4 of the vin.  
17  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures on: December 14, 2014, 09:03:18 AM
I think that's a tag on the back of a trim panel, maybe the panel below the 1/4 window above the seat.  Looks like a cardboard/fiberboard background.  There was 2 plants in Grand Rapids, one was a metal stamping plant at 300 36th street in the suburb or Wyoming MI, (plant 1) and a second Fisher plant (#2) at 6030 Vorheis Ave In Grand Rapids.  Plant 1 was something like 2 million sq ft in size, and the No. 2 plant was about 1/4 of that size.  Both had access to rail lines running across the property.  GM plant 1 is demolished, plant 2 is still there, but has several new tenants in it, not related to GM any longer.
18  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures on: December 13, 2014, 04:29:53 PM
Yes I have seen the entire document but between GMs possible copyright (if there is any in effect) I can't say if it will end up on the web somewhere in its entirety.  But heres an image of a single page of it. This is the car that was just dug out of a Garage in PA about 2 weeks ago, and now apparently belongs to the same guy that owns N100001.

And that is the question, what rolled out of Fisher Body #21, a partially built Tub from the firewall back like Fisher would provide to GM thru the "hole in the wall", or a completely trimmed out finished assembly.  From John's description it sounds like finished Tubs including paint and interior, to which GM would attach the running gear and whatever options were necessary.  Then they were sent off to their final destinations, and possibly a few remained at Norwood (and probably all of the LOS delivered ones) so they could be played with in their pilot building so the assembly processes, and the components themselves  could be fine tuned for when actual production began. 

Now, when did they get the NOR (orLOS) cowl tags attached, at the pilot plant, at Fisher Norwood before going to Chevy, or at some later point when they were sold.  I'm going to assume they got them at the assembly plant just before turn over to GM. but we don't know that all of them got tags, as only 4 of them have been found, and 2 have 05B dated tags, and 2 have 09B tags.
19  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures on: December 13, 2014, 12:07:32 PM
The individual panels had to be stamped in one of the sheetmetal plants, GM wasn't ferrari, beating fenders into shape on tree trunks (Seen the pictures).

Did the Flint pilot line actually build production level vehicles, or were they one off hand built assemblies that were used to create the stampings that were then used to build the later pilots that were run down the assembly line at NOR and LOS in May of 66?

I guess the question should be did the 49 pilots we are trying to discuss here ever go to the Flint pilot line and get partly assembled, then to NOR and/or LOS to be finished, essentially jumping into the line somewhere.  Or did they arrive in individual parts (floor pans, seat supports, fenders, inner fendwells etc) and get welded up just like they did during normal production when that started in late August/Early September.

Norwood was building Chevy IIs and passenger cars (I'm guessing Impalas, Chevrolets) in 66, so could they support a full build of 49 Camaro bodies from the floor pan up (mostly in body welding processes, I'm sure they could paint and install the trim), or did they get a head start in the assembly from somewhere else?
20  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures on: December 13, 2014, 10:20:44 AM
So what was the product out of the Flint Pilot line?  I'm guessing this is where the clay and wood mockups and models became one or more hand assembled steel "cars".

Where did the parts that the assembly plants got to run down the line come from, or did they get some kind of partial assembly from the flint pilot plant?
21  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures on: December 12, 2014, 07:58:19 PM
I started this thread over at, but though I would get a more even keeled discussion here.  I'm not interested in any one particular car, I'm only interested in the process.  How did pilot cars go from a pile of sheetmetal to a finished vehicle.  Any discussion even about how and where other lines of the same time period were built is helpfull to the discussion.

GM says that there were 49 "F" Cars built at or for the Norwood Plant, and 3 at or for the LOS plant in late May early June of 66 by Fisher for GM. GM documetation says that there were, 27 cars for sales, 17 for engineering, and 12 for manufacturing, and 3 misc (?)cars scheduled. (note that this adds up to 57 pilot cars - more than is accounted for in their build totals (the sheets with tag numbers and option lists).

33 of them had show paint applied, one (no. 6) was shipped in primer to engineering. Drivetrains varied from 6 cylinders, 283's, 327's and 350s and a mixture of power glides and manual transmissions, and there was a mixture of convertibles and coupes.

The following dates relate to the cars and their introduction to the public.

Fisher builds car bodies from 5/21/66 (earliest promised delivery) to 6/6/66 (latest promised delivery) at which time they were delivered to GM.

Pete Estes announces the Camaro name in a 14 city closed circuit televised conference on June 29 1966, cars had no name up to that point and thus no emblems or name plates.

Chevrolet holds a sales conference in Detroit 8/22-8/23/66. Where at least one Camaro and possibly others were presented to the Chevrolet Sales people.

Major advertising campaign occurs at the Proving grounds 9/28-9/29/66 with 25 Camaros present and 100 members of the press invited to drive the Camaros. Probably can assume that these are mostly the 27 cars noted in the assembly documents that say they were destined for the sales organization, probably most of them with show paint.

Camaro released to the public 9/29/66.

We know of at least 3 and possibly 4 Pilot cars that still exist, VIN N100001, with NOR body number 860. Body numbers NOR 10 NOR 13, and NOR 31. NOR 10 and 13 have 05B Norwood Build Dates, NOR 1 and 31 have 09B dated tags.

OK lets start with the where.

Where were these cars actually assembled for "delivery to GM", and what does delivery to GM mean. If the cars were practially hand built at the small pilot assembly line at the Norwood (and/or LOS) plants, wouldn't they already be in GMs hands? Norwood (and LOS) was in full spring production mode on the plant internal assembly lines, so its not even conceivable (at least to me) that they would assemble pilot bodies on the main interior line, with no tooling, parts or anything else needed to built these cars.

What was the capabilities of the pilot assembly line at Norwood? Could they weld a complete body tub together from loose stamped panels? I would assume they could paint the bodies, and assemble them onto chassis' and install drive trains.

Lets leave it at getting a Camaro body assembled painted, etc and delivered to GM, then we can move on to where the cars went from there. Comments, other questions, answers?
22  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Decoding/Numbers / Re: Help me with this cowl tag on: October 16, 2014, 02:54:35 PM
Thats a 68 Muncie assembly date so its not original to the car.  At best it was originally a small block RS/SS, but it could also have been an L14 307 or L65 350 equipped Camaro with style trim (chrome molding package essentally) or RS package.  Its not now and never was a Z28.
23  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Restoration / Re: AM Radio on: September 26, 2014, 03:02:50 PM
Only difference between a 71 and a 69 radio is that the radio dial lamp on the 71 is wired directly to the dash lamp circuit, so that the dial is lit (and can be dimmed) by the dash light switch and is only lit when the dash lights are on, while the 69's are wired off the 12V power supply and is lit when the radio is on, and not lit when the radio is off wheather the dash lights are on or not.  That and the different shape of the heat sink on the rear of the AM/FM radios, square in 71, angled in 69.  It will still fit.
24  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: Better remember this cowl tag Number on: September 22, 2014, 01:46:16 PM
So he's sellinga tag to  an 09D LOS built car with cowl air cleaner and heater delete, power glide transmission and a console.  Cowl air cleaner wasn't avialable in 09D (and was only available on the Z28 shipped in the trunk - wouldn't have shown up on a tag), and since this this certainly didn't come off of a Z28, since there were no Z28's till December of 66.  At best he's got an SS with a heater delete option, at worst he's got a fake tag.  I'm leaning towards the latter option.
25  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: FOUND: The Actual 1969 Camaro RS/SS Conv. NASCAR Pace Car for Bristol in 1969! on: September 19, 2014, 06:18:16 PM
convertibles took more time on the Fisher side of the plant.  Typical spacing for convertibles is in the 12 to 15 body range.  Vinyl top cars are in the 6 to 8 car range.  I had a buddy at work who working in a Pontiac assembly plant and he sai they could install a convertible top in about 15 minutes.  They worked in groups that travelled with the body for those 15 minutes and then went back to the beginning of the trim shop to pick up the next top.  There was usually 2 groups operating at one time.

If you placed an order for 10 identical Convertibles and the orders were all accepted and processed together they could have sequential body numbers, but the vins would be spaced out by a minimum of 12 numbers because Fisher would have spaced them out to even their work load and they would arrived at GMs side of the plant still spaced apart when the VINs were assigned.  People who say they've seen groups of convertibles going down the line one after the other on the Fisher side of the plant are smoking something funny.
26  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Originality / Re: Grille color on a X44? on: September 19, 2014, 06:01:13 PM
That would defeat the purpose of havine silver and black cast parts.  It all comes down to labor in an assembly line, if you have to paint the center of the grille silver wait for it to dry then mask and paint the surround, later theres a lot of wasted man hours, plus there would be no reason to have a silver and a black cast grille in your parts bins.  if you just had a mask that fit into the headlight bucket openings and covered the grille area all you have to do is put the mask on, spray the surround and move on to the next.  These guys on the line had just over a minute to mask and paint a grille at Norwood as that's the speed the cars were passing thru your station.  They needed 912 of these grilles painted every day of the week.
27  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Originality / Re: Grille color on a X44? on: September 19, 2014, 11:40:03 AM
Original grilles were cast in both silver and black plastic, the body color was applied to the proper base colored grille.  There were 4 different grilles, black and silver non RS grilles, and black and silver RS grilles.  The grill sections were never painted on grilles from the factory.  GM eventually dropped the silver cast grilles from their service parts and only retained the 2 black ones, so after that point all SS, and Z28 standard grilles and RS grilles going on Black cars had to have the center sections painted silver, along with the body color around the perimeter.

Don't know what kind of rack the grilles were on when they got painted, but there had to be a center mask that fit over the grille sections to keep overspray off the grilles.  No one masked each grill with tape.
28  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Restoration / Re: Hours of body part install on: September 17, 2014, 06:16:50 AM
Theres an old mitchell insurance estimate book that gives hours for repair or replacement of most parts on the Camaro.  I have the 67 version.  Full quarter replacement is 11.4  hours for a coupe, 9.1 for a convertible, a roof is 13.9 hrs less the drip rails, drip rails are an additional 1.7 hrs if both the roof and quarters are out, 1.4 with just the roof removed.  They didn't replace floors back in 67 so theres no time estimate for that, but its probably in the high 30 hr range.
29  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Restoration / Re: 1969 SS Grille correct Black gloss Level? on: September 16, 2014, 06:05:24 PM
Whatever they were molded in.  Grilles were molded in black (or silver) and the surrounds were painted body color, so there's no paint on the grill sections.
30  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Restoration / Re: Ebay gas cap on: September 16, 2014, 12:55:55 PM
Not in my world.
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