Author Topic: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures  (Read 18836 times)

Mark

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67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« on: December 13, 2014, 12:58:19 AM »
I started this thread over at Camaros.net, 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?
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 04:22:36 AM »
The June issue of Cars Magazine with Marty Shore as editor ran a story about the introduction and they were still referring to it as the Panther.
I am assuming the name had been chosen just not revealed at that point.

Since Marty is still active in the hobby it may be worth a shot to see if would remember any of the early press or manufacturing info, or even second hand info from press days? Sometimes trials and tribulations of design & manufacturing come out in informal settings especially when things are successful.

There is a film on youtube which shows a buildup from clays to pilot lines illustrating Fisher and their coach building, I can't remember if they were doing the pilots in the assembly plants or on a pilot line at design.  It was quite detailed showing how they made the steel dies from the full size models with plotters and milling machines.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 05:14:27 AM »

There is a film on youtube which shows a buildup from clays to pilot lines illustrating Fisher and their coach building, I can't remember if they were doing the pilots in the assembly plants or on a pilot line at design.  It was quite detailed showing how they made the steel dies from the full size models with plotters and milling machines.

Is this the youtube film?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSFcvOqoMb8
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Mike C.    NW - Illinois

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 05:35:15 AM »
That's a very interesting video.. :) .. especially for me as an old (now retired) engineer, depicting technologies that I haven't used in *decades*, and had totally forgotten about...    manual drawings using drawing boards, etc!  slide rules!  IBM tapes; paper tapes; analog computers; digital disk platters! etc... :)  ..  ps.  I still love analog computers!!  :)

It should also make it very clear the countless engineers in many fields who are involved in 'designing/building/testing' any new automobile for a major company. 

How many engineers do you think are involved in the design and fabrication of the typical reproduction part made for our cars?   one?  two? maybe?    and testing?   what testing?
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 12:33:47 PM »
This is the film they are digitizing the 2nd gen F body and milling dies at the tail end of this video.... these are worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_wLx3hF6oY


at 2.34 in the following video they say that pilot lines are at Fisher Body Design.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw9mB9Lf2X4
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 02:44:55 PM »
This is an EXTREMELY informative and quite detailed regarding the transferring by follower arms of design to dies then about the jigs and fixtures which are designed and built for the assembly of cars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACWMbeXd31s


I can understand why the Fisher Body plants and assembly plants were divided, it was very much an art to build and finish bodies.
James
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2014, 03:20:44 PM »
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?
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 04:00:21 PM »
Definition of 'Pilot Production': 
Production line set up usually during engineering or manufacturing development, to test new methods, processes, and systems.   

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/pilot-production.html#ixzz3LnHa3bAy

I would guess the 'parts used in the pilot process' came from the factories typically used for the respective parts.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 04:45:34 PM »
Did anyone notice in Mike C's video that the test track 67 had a raised hood on it ... could this be a super sport hood without the inserts?
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2014, 05:05:26 PM »
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?

I believe your assumption of the hand assembled steel "cars" is probably correct.
It's interesting to note that between 1959 and the Firebird clays approx 10 years the number of processes aided by computers jumped significantly.

Does GM still have all those tapes?
They stated any drawing could be produced from the tapes for any part in side top obliques etc.
James
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2014, 05:07:32 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?
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2014, 05:32:07 PM »
Good questions because if they were built up in a Fisher operated plant such as Norwood all the fixtures would need to be in place, and as you stated and I neglected to consider the massive presses used to stamp sheetmetal parts, there were GM stamping plants in Detroit they wouldn't have had to unnecessarily go outside of town.  
I would assume that Fisher Design did not have a pilot Sheet metal stamping line (although with the number of different models produced it may have been justified). So if they were not checked within a Fisher design facility where would the original dies be tested for stamping of production parts?


If you checked production records for Nor in May of 66 does the number of cars produced slack off by any significant amount?
If there was a 10% production drop would that indicate additional work or projects injected into "normal" production?
What about 5%   or    20%?
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2014, 06:46:13 PM »
I assume you guys (Mark and Kurt) have the Chevrolet 1967 pre production build schedule booklet that kind of kicked this whole thing off. Do you know where I can see it on the web? Is CRG going to make it available?



Quote
BEFORE Chevrolets went into production, there was a pilot car; a car built by hand for fitment, ease of use for production line tools and many other reasons. In separate areas, these cars would be built, taken apart, re-fitted and more. Please read the first few pages as to the contents. It covers 49 NORWOOD-BUILT  “F-Body” Camaros and 10 LOS ANGELES built cars; 3 Camaros and 7 full size Chevrolets’ including the 427 SS Impala. In this  37-page, 5.5 x 8.5 booklet, you’ll find the specific cars, the options they were built with, production dates, delivery date, where they went and who at the dealer was to receive them! There are even personal, hand-written notes from 47 years ago.

Is this the only booklet of it's type that is known? It would seem there would be one produced every new model year, or at least every time a major model change was introduced.

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2014, 07:13:32 PM »
I spent about half of my 21-year GM career in the pre-productiion and pilot end of the business, including almost four years as the Senior Passenger Car Process Engineer at the Chevrolet Pilot Line in Flint, which was the location for Chevrolet Final Assembly of major new model Pilot vehicles (carryover and minor change Pilot programs were handled in the Assembly Plants).

First, let's get the terminology correct - the Fisher Body assembly plants that built Chevrolet bodies delivered them to their adjacent Chevrolet assembly plant, not to "GM" (Fisher Body and Chevrolet were both Divisions of GM, although you'd never know it by watching them try to communicate). Fisher delivered to Chevrolet.

Fisher Body new major model Pilot programs were run in downtown Detroit, at Fisher Body Plant #21; this 8-story plant (the rotting ruins of which are shown in a video on YouTube) is where all of the Pilot bodies were welded, painted, and trimmed, to be delivered to their Chevrolet customers (and to Fisher Body Engineering). All of the new welding and body-in-white assembly tooling was set up at Plant #21, and later shipped to the primary assembly plant (Fisher-Norwood in this case) for installation and final tuning. The Chevrolet pre-production paperwork (handled by Frank Beaulieu's Pilot Specs Group at the Pilot Line) indicates Fisher Body Plant #21 as the source for all of the Camaro Pilot bodies. During the off-season, Plant #21 was also Fisher's production plant for Cadillac Fleetwood custom limousine bodies, supplied to the Cadillac Clark Street assembly plant.

Fisher-Norwood had no BODY Pilot facility to weld and build new bodies - they took the bodies from Plant #21, did whatever they needed to do with them, and sent them "through the wall" to Chevrolet-Norwood (based on Chevrolet's schedule) for final assembly and shipping to the ultimate Chevrolet customer (Engineering, Sales, Manufacturing, etc.).

The Chevrolet-Flint Pilot Line wasn't directly involved with Final Assembly of the Camaro Pilot cars - they were final-assembled at Chevrolet-Norwood in a secure off-line area dedicated to the Pilot program. Normally, in a large multi-plant Pilot program (like the "B"-body Impala/Caprice, which was built in eleven plants at 6,000 per day), nearly all of the Pilot cars were final-assembled at the Chevrolet Pilot Line (from bodies supplied by Fisher Body Plant #21) and shipped to their customers - see photo below of finished '68 "B"-bodies leaving the Pilot Line.

Without getting into a lot of gory detail, that's how the Fisher Body-Chevrolet Pilot programs worked in the 60's.

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2014, 09:15:35 PM »
The booklet shows Fisher #DD01D with Fisher Pilot Plant #21 - Detroit as the starting location.

Would that be a complete body delivered to Chev with front fenders and rolling chassis, or just the firewall back as they would be delivered during actual production?

« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 10:12:53 PM by 68 Ragtop »

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2014, 09:29:53 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.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2014, 09:57:40 PM »
John,
Can you clarify one thing?
Final assembly on the Chevrolet side was off-line? That I didn't realize. I assumed it was on the main line.

I almost didn't post, knowing that John would be the authoritative reply on this. :)
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2014, 04:54:22 AM »
In the photos of the car no 10 the 1/4 panel sticker says Grand Rapids No 2. I am guessing that is a stamping plant.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2014, 02:03:18 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 03:04:33 PM by Mark »
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2014, 03:27:42 PM »
The booklet shows Fisher #DD01D with Fisher Pilot Plant #21 - Detroit as the starting location.

Would that be a complete body delivered to Chev with front fenders and rolling chassis, or just the firewall back as they would be delivered during actual production?



Just the body from the firewall back, same as production - Fisher Body had nothing to do with front sheet metal, chassis, engine, or Car Division options - all of that came from Chevrolet after receiving the body from Fisher.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2014, 04:02:53 PM »
John,
Can you clarify one thing?
Final assembly on the Chevrolet side was off-line? That I didn't realize. I assumed it was on the main line.

I almost didn't post, knowing that John would be the authoritative reply on this. :)

I wasn't there, but the "Echoes of Norwood" book only makes one tiny reference to assembly of the Pilot cars, and refers to "Pilots were hand-built at first out in the rear area of the plant under extreme secrecy...". It also refers to "..later Pilots used to test the assembly line configuration and line setup...", but doesn't say how many or when. This, of course, refers only to Chevrolet, as nobody at Chevrolet-Norwood had any knowledge at all of what was going on at Fisher-Norwood (or at Plant #21). Fisher Body was a separate division of GM, and Chevrolet wasn't allowed to peek, even though there was only a wall between them. If it weren't for Frank Beaulieu's Pilot Schedule booklet (which was backed up by huge dedicated binders containing the complete Chevrolet Engineering Bill of Material required to build each car), we wouldn't know ANYTHING about the Fisher Body portion of the Camaro Pilot program. Fisher Body-Norwood knew all about it, but they never talked to anyone at Chevrolet, so there's nothing in the Norwood book about it.

Remember that the Chevrolet side of the Norwood plant underwent a major conversion and expansion as soon as the last '66 production cars and trucks came off the line, as the Truck Line was then torn out (and sent to Atlanta) and that space was used to expand and rearrange the passenger car conveyor system to increase hourly production capacity to match that of the adjacent Fisher Body plant.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2014, 03:21:23 AM »
If there are other known pilot cars and they have VIN's, has anyone, other than the owner of N100001, requested the shipping reports from NCRS?

If some you CRG fellows are connected to the NCRS fellows, perhaps you could request the first 49 or so Camaro shipping reports by VIN pro bono. That might shed some light on the pilot car project.

Of course the guy who spent $250,000 to restore the first coupe and plans on spending $200,00 to restore the first convertible may have already beat you to the punch!

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2014, 05:31:24 PM »
The booklet shows Fisher #DD01D with Fisher Pilot Plant #21 - Detroit as the starting location.

Would that be a complete body delivered to Chev with front fenders and rolling chassis, or just the firewall back as they would be delivered during actual production?

Nope. Fisher Body was only involved with the body shell from the firewall back - they had absolutely NOTHING to do with any Car Division front sheet metal, chassis, powertrain, or instrument panel parts. Every part you see in the Assembly Manual with a part number on it is a part designed, developed, released and manufactured or purchased by Chevrolet and installed by Chevrolet employees in the Chevrolet side of the assembly plant after receiving the painted and trimmed firewall-back body shell from the Fisher Body side of the plant. Although both Chevrolet and Fisher Body were divisions of GM, Fisher Body was a different world, and Fisher worked very hard to keep it that way.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2014, 05:56:14 PM »
Would it be likely that the "tubs" arrived at the Norwood (or LOS) plants with Fisher body tags (cowl tags) already on the firewall (ie made up at Fisher plant 21) or would any tag that presently exist on these car have to be attached at Norwood (or LOS) when they arrived?  

Since they were not scheduled by GM for assembly at Norwood (or LOS) and they were being essentially hand built in plant 21 in detroit, would they even have needed tags made up prior to assembly, and  if they did require a tag, would the pilot line at plant 21 attach a tag from Norwood (or LOS) to these tubs.  The 4 cars we know about all have cowl tags on them (with at least 2 different date codes on them - 05B, and 09B), how and when did these get placed on the cars?
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2014, 08:26:20 PM »
I've always believed the 'body tags' are installed onto the bodies by Fisher and are on the car bodys when delivered to the assembly plants...  that goes back to the 50's at least...  If that isn't true, I'd sure like to know the details.. :)
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2014, 08:35:07 PM »
Gary,
But this is different. These bodies are normally made at NOR, but instead were made at Plant 21.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2014, 12:20:12 AM »
In this case, plant 21 built the part of the car that Fisher Norwood would make during production and then trucked, or shipped them by rail to Norwood, where they ended up in the Pilot assembly area.  They never entered the actual Norwood assembly plant (near as I can tell) as they were still churning out 66 model year cars (and trucks?).  So why would they have NOR tags on them.  the 67/68 versions don't have all that certification mumbo jumbo that the 69's do so it probably wasn't a DOT requirement.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2014, 12:25:25 AM »
Mark,
 I would think that the 05B cars were the hand built "true" pilot cars, and the 09B cars were used to test run the assembly line, pre-production.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2014, 03:38:01 AM »
They are all hand built made between 5/21 and 6/17/66, if the production data is accurate Fisher delivered them in batches of 2 to as many as 5 on any one day to Norwood, where they would be finished off and then sent to their final destination.  Some remained at the plant, documentation says 12 were to be delivered to "manufacturing".  Maybe all 12 of those remained at Norwood for testing, maybe some of them went to some other manufacturing location, whatever locations that would be part of the manufacturing organization that wasn't either Norwood or LOS.  The last tubs were delivered on 6/16 from Plant no. 21, and the latest date that they were required at their final destination (proving ground, sales, tech centers, etc.) was noted as 8/1/66. giving the assembly plants about 4 or 5 weeks to work the bugs out and get them ready to go.

17 of them were sent to the proving grounds, only 1 (DD64) was noted as being sent to Chevrolet Norwood, 1 (DD63) was sent to Chevrolet Los Angeles, 3 DD29, DD54, and DD58, went to Janesville (figure that one out) all delivered to Janesville on 8/8.  A bunch (11) went to the Flint manufacturing, 2 went to Oshawa Canada, another couple went to Atlanta, and the rest seem to be distributed amongst the various tech centers and engineering groups.  So if any remained at Norwood for pre production testing after the intiail buildout was complete  it would seem like it was only DD64.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2014, 05:27:22 PM »
I have no idea whether the bodies were cowl-tagged at Plant 21 or later at Fisher-Norwood, or both (re-tagged later); the fact that nobody seems to know anything about the Camaro Pilot process at Plant 21 or Fisher-Norwood shows the virtually nonexistent communication between Chevrolet and Fisher Body at the working level. Our nuclear submarine program should have had security that good.  ;D

Here's a personal example of the working-level relationship between the two Divisions. When I was a Production Foreman at Chevrolet-Willow Run in 1964, my Towveyor line had at least one full line stop a day for baked sealer in a weld nut preventing installation of an engine mount bolt. After complaining about it many times to our Chevrolet Inspection Department with no results, I took it upon myself to go "through the wall" to the Fisher Paint Shop to find the source of the problem. I found my way to the Sealer Deck, and to the operator who was occasionally wiping off his sealer brush on my weld nut; I described to him the line-stop problem that caused, and asked if he could wipe off his brush elsewhere. He understood, and said he could do that, no problem. I thanked him, and headed back toward the Chevrolet side, pleased that I had solved this apparently unsolvable problem with ten minutes' work.

About the time I found the door back to the stairs to Chevrolet, I was accosted by the Fisher Body Paint Shop Superintendent, who was obviously madder than hell - he demanded to know what I was doing up there, and I told him I had just solved a line-stop problem. He said, "Don't you know you're not allowed on this side of the plant? You don't belong here, and you don't talk to any of my people - all you Chevrolet a**holes need to know is the body comes up here raw and goes back down shiny, and what happens inbetween is none of your damn business - now get the hell out of my Paint Shop, and don't come back."

As I walked back to my line, I wondered how ANY problems got solved between Chevrolet and Fisher Body. About an hour later, the Chevrolet Production Manager (essentially the Chevrolet assistant Plant Manager) showed up and tore me a new one over being caught on the Fisher side of the plant, and said he'd fire me if it happened again. That philosophy is why nobody at Chevrolet-Norwood knows anything about the Fisher Body-Norwood portion of the Camaro Pilot program.  :-[
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2014, 08:11:17 PM »
 John,
   But did you solve the problem?
    Victor
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2014, 10:42:52 PM »
Hate to say it, but from my experience solving the problem didn't matter much then and doesn't today either.  It's all about PROCESS and PROTOCOL at the General in many areas....

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2014, 04:26:51 AM »
and in the 'bigger companies', there's another P involved..  POWER.....   some folks like to show their power.....    ugh..  bah humbug.....  it's the biggest roadblock to people like JohnZ actually solving problems and improving efficiency..  Note that the line worker had no problem..  it was some little asshole 'manager' too big for his britches..  if you equate it to grade school and little league it's that one little asshole taking his ball home....
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2014, 01:38:43 PM »
Hate to say it, but from my experience solving the problem didn't matter much then and doesn't today either.  It's all about PROCESS and PROTOCOL at the General in many areas....
Try working for the Federal govt.... That's where the saying "Don't make it a federal process" comes from lol. Plenty of the "big fish in little pond syndrome." I can't tell you how many times I've gotten lit up for doing what John did. I still do it though... ;-)
Dave
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2014, 03:06:35 PM »
Hate to say it, but from my experience solving the problem didn't matter much then and doesn't today either.  It's all about PROCESS and PROTOCOL at the General in many areas....
Try working for the Federal govt.... That's where the saying "Don't make it a federal process" comes from lol. Plenty of the "big fish in little pond syndrome." I can't tell you how many times I've gotten lit up for doing what John did. I still do it though... ;-)

and I did it too, Sarge..  for over 40 years as an engineer ..  but it's not the best means to advance in today's sucking up corporate culture..   :)
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2014, 03:27:44 PM »

and I did it too, Sarge..  for over 40 years as an engineer ..  but it's not the best means to advance in today's sucking up corporate culture..   :)
[/quote]
That's why I'll never be rich I suppose lol. Oh well... ;-)
Dave
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2014, 10:50:06 PM »
If there are other known pilot cars and they have VIN's, has anyone, other than the owner of N100001, requested the shipping reports from NCRS?

If some you CRG fellows are connected to the NCRS fellows, perhaps you could request the first 49 or so Camaro shipping reports by VIN pro bono. That might shed some light on the pilot car project.

Of course the guy who spent $250,000 to restore the first coupe and plans on spending $200,00 to restore the first convertible may have already beat you to the punch!

All of the pilot car Shipping Data Reports are now available at:

http://pilotcarregistry.com/car-list-navigation.html


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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2014, 12:29:59 AM »
Notice how every single one of the NCRS official build dates for these cars is 8/10/66.  Wonder what's up with that, and the 05B, 09B cowl tag dates observed to date?  I'm also wondering how they are turning the Fisher DD body number into a corresponding VIN number, as there are only 4 of them known, and only 1 lines up DD number to VIN number so far, and that number N100001.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2014, 12:34:21 AM »
The 3 LA cars have the build dates a year late... unless they were actually built in the summer of 1967.
James
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2014, 12:50:07 AM »
Makes it easier to build pilot line cars at the close of the first production year.  All the kinks are worked out by then.
Mark C.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2014, 04:04:10 PM »
John,
   But did you solve the problem?
    Victor

Absolutely! See the end of the second paragraph in that post:

<<I described to him the line-stop problem that caused, and asked if he could wipe off his brush elsewhere. He understood, and said he could do that, no problem. I thanked him, and headed back toward the Chevrolet side, pleased that I had solved this apparently unsolvable problem with ten minutes' work.>>
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2014, 05:17:01 PM »
John Z as a young foreman working the line what was your first impression of this ( '67-'69 ) new pony car called Camaro? Did you owned one at the time or was it just another car? I know the bigger car were popular back then and did you know about the COPO 427 '69 camaro's then? I like the first person history.
" He who knows naught, knows not that he knows naught"  It's not you...  It's just the way my brain is wired.

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2014, 04:40:58 PM »
John Z as a young foreman working the line what was your first impression of this ( '67-'69 ) new pony car called Camaro? Did you owned one at the time or was it just another car? I know the bigger car were popular back then and did you know about the COPO 427 '69 camaro's then? I like the first person history.

Those of us at Willow Run were introduced to the new Camaro first-hand, as the first 1,100 Norwood Camaros were shipped to Willow Run to have the steering linkages changed; there had been a heat-treat process failure at Chevrolet-Buffalo (where the steering linkages were made), and it wasn't found and contained until 1,100 cars had been built.

We shut down production at Willow Run, cleaned out the Final Process Repair Department on a Friday, and converted the two light mechanical repair lines on Saturday to a disassembly line to remove the steering linkage, and an assembly line to install the new certified-OK linkages from Buffalo, re-roll-tested and re-set toe-in, re-shipped the Camaros to their original destinations, and resumed normal production on Monday. On Saturday we burned-up every pitman arm puller in the plant, bought every one we could find at every auto parts store in Ypsilanti, and got the President of Kent-Moore (GM's Service Tool supplier) out of bed Friday night to get every pitman arm puller they had in their warehouse to Willow Run.

That exercise gave us a first-hand look at the new Camaro; in those days they scheduled the plain-Jane low-option cars first and introduced complexity gradually as they ramped-up, so we saw mostly six-cylinder cars, bench seats, and manual transmissions (three on the tree).

At that time my personal cars were a '65 Tri-Power GTO and a '65 Corvette; I later sold the GTO and bought a new '67 Impala SS427 from the Engineering Fleet.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2014, 05:45:03 AM »
This may be of some interest to some concerning Fisher 21. Maybe this has been posted previously.

http://substreet.org/1967-fisher-21-employee-handbook/

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2014, 03:48:33 PM »
that little handbook should help to answer some of the questions that have occurred here..      Nice to have such info..  :)
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2015, 03:31:36 AM »
that little handbook should help to answer some of the questions that have occurred here..      Nice to have such info..  :)

Glad I could help. :)

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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2015, 03:54:20 PM »
I knew I had run across a photo of the Camaro early in clays in one of my books...
AH HA in a Corvette book I have had for 25 years titled "Corvette America's Sports Car" Published in 1989.

This is a crop of a photo of the 68 Vette in Clay credited to GM Archives and Zora June 1965 , I have never seen this shot of the Camaro singled out if published elsewhere.


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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2015, 04:54:24 PM »
Ill have to look in one of my old Camaro books but it has several early photos of the prototypes.  Ill post them tonight if I can remember.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #48 on: February 06, 2015, 05:31:01 PM »
The June 1981 CONSUMER GUIDE classic car series CAMARO (volume 310) has a dozen pages of clay mock ups to running prototypes, the XP-836, prototypes with 13" wheels and round tail lights (with a Panther emblems), clay station wagon, the Waikiki and Caribe show cars and many more. this issue also has many 1967 Chevrolet publicity photos.
    VT
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #49 on: February 06, 2015, 06:10:32 PM »
OK...I have to ask what may sound like a stupid question about the clay mockups.
I assume there was some sort of platform base under all that clay and not that the mockup was solid clay?

Mike
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2015, 01:38:17 AM »


















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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2015, 01:45:55 AM »












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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2015, 01:58:15 AM »
Very interesting pictures Darrell!
Tim in Australia.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2015, 02:33:30 AM »




















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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2015, 02:39:08 AM »


















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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2015, 03:24:23 AM »
All those photos show the great effort Chevy put into it during the '67 and '68 years to ensure they had the '69 *just right*....  :)
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2015, 07:33:37 PM »
OK...I have to ask what may sound like a stupid question about the clay mockups.
I assume there was some sort of platform base under all that clay and not that the mockup was solid clay?

Mike

Yes, there was - clays were built on what was called an "armature", which was a simple steel frame with adjustable wheelbase and track; on this frame, a segmented plywood model was built, with the edges of each "slice" cut about 2" smaller than the exterior dimensions of the proposed vehicle. That last 2" was covered with clay, and then the clay modelers went to work creating the full-size clay model from the full-size drawings on the walls. A typical armature weighed about 6,000 pounds.
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Re: 67 Camaro Pilot Line Assembly Process and Procedures
« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2015, 09:50:53 PM »
 Thank you, John, for the insight of these models. Even with a steel and plywood base, these came in almost the weight of 2 Camaros. That's some dense clay!  :o

Mike
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anything