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Author Topic: Production Dating a vehicle by VIN  (Read 8197 times)
Flowjoe
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« on: June 20, 2007, 03:33:33 PM »

I have two Norwood built '69s.  I would like to figure out , as close as I can, what day of the week they would have been built.

The first is VIN N638606 and has 05A on the trim tag - it is a Z/28

The second is VIN N648737 and has 05C on the trim tag - it is a 307 coupe

I know from JohnZ's article that NOR was producing 912 cars per day.  I have read in Dobbins and Incremonia's Fact book that May VIN's start with 636000 and end with 654000 at Norwood.  I know that Firebirds were also built at NOR starting in April.  May 1st 1969 was a Thursday.

Heres what I don't know:
1) how many days per week did the NOR plant operate?
2) of the 912 cars produced per day what is the split between Firebirds and Camaros? 
3) is any of my data or assumptions above incorrect?
4) can I jsut start at 636000 on May first adn add 912 per operational day unitl I get to my VIN?
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Flowjoe
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2007, 05:51:19 PM »

No unput at all?  It's not like I'm trying to fake up a car...I just got curious about when my cars were built.  Since these two were close it seemd like a good palce to start.  If I can work out a methodology here I can apply it to my other '69s and then the '67s
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rich69rs
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2007, 06:47:05 PM »

http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=1556.0

See above link for similar discussion.

Richard
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Richard Thomas
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Flowjoe
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 07:24:22 PM »

Thanks for the link Richard.

OK, so no Saturday or Sunday Shifts - good to know.  We need only count the "regular" work days of the week.

I don't fully understand the necessity for the  formula of number of total units produced divided by units per day to show how many work days there were.  We can look up the beginning of a month in 66, 67, 68 or 69 and then count forward to accurately get the number of standard work days.  In May of 1969, to use my case, The month began on a Thursday and ended on a Saturday.  There are 22 possible work days...but Memorial day should have been ont he last Monday of the month (the 26th) leaving us with 21 working days.

 Since John has told us that 912 units were produced daily and we can start counting from the 1st day of the month adding 912 units per each day until we reach the range of our VIN.

using an excel spread sheet makes it easier. 

So my 05A car with VIN 638606 should have been built on  Monday the 5th toward the end of the day.

My 05C car with VIN 648737 should have been built on Tuesday the 20th a the very end of the day.

This is all well and good but did the addition of Firebird production at Norwood reduce the number of Camaros being built per day (912 total cars being built at Norwood divided in some fashion between Camaro and Firebird) or did Camaros continue to roll of the line at the rate of 912 per day and Firebirds were added to the total?

I have also assumed that Dobbins and Incremonia's data is accurate withe 638606 beinf the first VIN in May.  Am I in error here?

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Mark
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 05:57:06 AM »

637106 is the last VIN in April as reported by GM.  That would have been the last car out the door at the end of the second shift, on April 30th, 1969.  They made roughly 13,200 Camaros during the month of May, this is arrived at by subtracting the end of April numbers from the end of May numbers.  A car with a VIN of 638606 would have already been in production as of April 30th since it took about 2 days to go from a firewall with a trim tag, to a completed rear body half.  Probably started its assembly on the Fisher side of the plant on the April 29th, and came over to GMs side of the plant on May 1st and rolled out the back door of GM on Monday May 5th, maybe very late in the day on May 2nd.
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Mark C.
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jdv69z
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2007, 08:35:24 AM »

I have been looking into this topic for my car since viewing this post. (just for interest sake)  My month of interest is October 1968. Based on 912 cars per day produced, and 18,204 cars produced for the month, it works very closely to 20 days of production for the month. In checking a calendar for October 1968, it appears that there were 23 possible work days in the month, i.e. Mon. thru Fri. (October 1, 1968 was a Tuesday) Would there have been 3 holidays in the month where no production was run, or??

Jimmy V.
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Jimmy V.
Flowjoe
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2007, 09:12:56 AM »

I have been looking into this topic for my car since viewing this post. (just for interest sake)  My month of interest is October 1968. Based on 912 cars per day produced, and 18,204 cars produced for the month, it works very closely to 20 days of production for the month. In checking a calendar for October 1968, it appears that there were 23 possible work days in the month, i.e. Mon. thru Fri. (October 1, 1968 was a Tuesday) Would there have been 3 holidays in the month where no production was run, or??

Jimmy V.

So maybe JohnZ's number of 912 cars per day is based upon no interruptions on the line (no power failures, injuries, broken machines, etc - things that may stop or slow the line), an idealized production figured based upon optimum conditions.  I'm sure that number was hit but I guess the question is whether it was hit every day the line ran.  Only John would know.

To my knowledge the only observed holiday in October is columbus day but I don't know if regular businesses observed this Holiday back in 1968...they don't generally now.  The only other "holiday" is Haloween which is obviously not observed.

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KurtS
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2007, 09:29:47 AM »

912 is the line rate (57/ hr) multiplied by 2 shifts (16 hours). OT and line issues would affect the actual #.

And Firebirds would be included in that #.
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Kurt S
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Flowjoe
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2007, 09:40:30 AM »

637106 is the last VIN in April as reported by GM.  That would have been the last car out the door at the end of the second shift, on April 30th, 1969.  They made roughly 13,200 Camaros during the month of May, this is arrived at by subtracting the end of April numbers from the end of May numbers.  A car with a VIN of 638606 would have already been in production as of April 30th since it took about 2 days to go from a firewall with a trim tag, to a completed rear body half.  Probably started its assembly on the Fisher side of the plant on the April 29th, and came over to GMs side of the plant on May 1st and rolled out the back door of GM on Monday May 5th, maybe very late in the day on May 2nd.

OK Mark, What your saying would indicate that Dobbins and Icremona's numbers are inaccurate. 

So, if I use the CRG's numbers of end of April VIN 637106 and end of May VIN 650323 (which yields 13217 cars built in May) and 21 theoretical working days I should get 19,152 cars produced in May (based upon 912 cars per day).  Obviously GM did not produce 19,152 Camaros in May of 1969 at Norwood so unless they were failing to hit prodcution goals it would argue for the 912 cars per day to be split between Camaros and Firebirds.  Can we assume an estimate of about 629 Camaros per day (13,217 units produced/21 work days) with the balance, 283, being Firebirds?  I'll have to check witht eh firebird folks to see if I can round up May'69 production totals
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Flowjoe
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2007, 09:41:50 AM »

912 is the line rate (57/ hr) multiplied by 2 shifts (16 hours). OT and line issues would affect the actual #.

And Firebirds would be included in that #.

Thanks Kurt Smiley
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jdv69z
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2007, 10:37:34 AM »

Makes sense to me. Note that my VIN is 516355 and my Trim Tag  is 10B.

Jimmy V.
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Jimmy V.
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2007, 04:14:56 PM »

The 912 cars per day can not be right...at least for the month of April.  I have a 69 Camaro 04C with a VIN of 636285.  That is 1,721 cars from the last 69 built in April.  Even assuming my car was built on the last day of the third week, that would mean GM only built about 340 cars per day for the last week of April (04D) not to mention I believe that there are some 04E vehicles around for those last few days of an incomplete week in April, which would reduce that 340 number even more. 

Does this sound correct?

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Flowjoe
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2007, 05:08:38 PM »

The 912 cars per day can not be right...at least for the month of April.  I have a 69 Camaro 04C with a VIN of 636285.  That is 1,721 cars from the last 69 built in April.  Even assuming my car was built on the last day of the third week, that would mean GM only built about 340 cars per day for the last week of April (04D) not to mention I believe that there are some 04E vehicles around for those last few days of an incomplete week in April, which would reduce that 340 number even more. 

Does this sound correct?



If I recall correctly it is during the month of April when Firebird prodcution is shifted over to Norwood.  The line would still be capable of an optium 912 units over two shifts but not all 912 units would be Camaros.  I think that we have established that line volume can be impacted by less than perfect conditions and by OT.  Unless JohnZ can tell us otherwise all we can do is estimate an average of Camaros produced per day. 

Correct me if I am missing something.
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tom
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2007, 01:46:40 PM »

Memorial Day was not always the last Monday in the month. Not sure what year it changed, but I think it was after 69.

Tom
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Flowjoe
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2007, 06:27:24 PM »

I did a quick google search to see if I could find the exact day in '69 but came up wiht everything but Smiley...so then I worked on seeing what day it is "supposed" to be...it seemed (based upon waht my search turned up) that it should be the last Monday in May in '69...I could be inerror so please correct me if I am in error.  I was perplexed because I seem to recall Memorial day falling in June when I was a kid
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CNorton
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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2007, 07:43:47 PM »

The following quote was copied from the web site:  <http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html>.  According to this information, prior ot 1971 Memorial Day was observed on May 30, no matter what day of the week it happened to be.


"But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senate which proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of "the last Monday in May". On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform."


At least someone has tried to do something about restoring the day to its intended significance.
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Flowjoe
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« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2007, 10:21:13 PM »

OK, thanks.  If true then the 30th would have been a Friday...so the total number of work days would have been the same at 21 and that would not influence which week the final VIN of the month were produced.  But it would influence whihc day a given VIN could have been produced.

Memorial day has suffered a better fate than Armistice Day...it's now called Veterans Day, celebrates all veterans and no one knows why it is celebrated on Nov 11th. 
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CNorton
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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2007, 11:21:01 PM »

Let us never forget the sacrifices of those who have gone before.  Veteran's Day or Armistice Day, it makes little difference, the thoughts should be the same.  Although it will soon be ninety years, marking the end of WWI appropriately is simply the right thing to do.
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sdkar
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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2007, 04:15:21 PM »

There must have been something going on at Norwood during April as far as how many cars were built per day.  I just came across a 69 pace car with an 04C build and a VIN of 628591.  My pace car is a 04C with a VIN of 636285.  That means that at least 7,694 Camaros were built during 04C, the third week of April.  Also, I am sure that there are earlier and later VIN's with an 04C which would increase the third week of April's production. With a 5 day work week and two shifts totaling 16 hours per day, based on the VIN's I have, then GM made over 1,540 cars per day for 04C.  That's almost 100 cars per hour.  If you look at CRG's break down of production figures, they show the first VIN of April as 623588.  That means that GM built less than 5,000 cars for the first two weeks of April, 04A and 04B.  CRG shows an ending VIN for April of 637106.  That means, if you assume my car was the last one built in 04C, which I bet it was not, than GM made at most, only 821 cars for 04D and 04E.  April 30th was a Wednesday, so there were 8 weekdays during 04D and 04E, which would mean GM only made about 100 cars per day for the last two weeks of April yet for the third week of April, 04C, they built about 100 cars per hour.  Something doesn't make sense.         

Is there any mistake with my math or was GM really messed up?  Is it possible they could go from building 100 cars per hour in 04C and then drop to about 6 cars per hour the following week?
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william
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« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2007, 06:19:06 PM »

Having spent many years and much time studying Norwood Camaro production for 1969 it is time for my 2. There is not always a direct correlation between body tag date and production date.

The date on the body tag was fixed when Fisher released the production order for the body. I do not know how far ahead they released POs; I'm sure there was a bank of orders as the last thing you want to do is starve the line. Lets say there were always a couple days of body POs queued at Fisher. This means a PO printed on Wednesday with an 04C tag attached may not have been started until Friday. That car would not be on the Chevrolet side until 04D.

In comparing a lot of cars it is not unusual to see an earlier VIN with a later tag date. The first two ZL1s N569358 & N569359 have 12E tags but earlier VINs than many 12C and 12D Camaros. It is well known those cars were built Dec 30, 1968 and delivered to Gibb the next day. That means the 12C and 12D Camaros that followed with later VINs were actually built on or after January 2, 1969.

For whatever reason Fisher did not always release POs in a orderly manner. This was around the time Firebird production moved to Norwood and there may have been some co-ordination issues. There is no question Fisher banked POs; how else could 06A Z/28s have mid-June engine dates? Ergo an 04C car may have actually been built 04B.

Remember the body tag meant nothing to Chevrolet. Fisher was free to do as it pleased.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2007, 09:55:49 AM »

Is there any mistake with my math or was GM really messed up?  Is it possible they could go from building 100 cars per hour in 04C and then drop to about 6 cars per hour the following week?

The line rate didn't change - they ran 57 cars per hour all day, every day. Changing the line rate in an assembly plant requires re-assigning every work element, re-organizing every single line operation, rearranging tooling, equipment, and materials, and re-training every worker in the plant. You can't always extrapolate based on published numbers, or by trying to compare Fisher Body numbers and scheduling systems to Chevrolet off-the-line production numbers - Fisher and Chevrolet were two different GM divisions and two different worlds, in spite of their plants being on the same piece of property.
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« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2007, 10:46:24 AM »

I'm just curious. Did the line ever stop, or it ran basically continuously?? Unless there was some major snafu?

Jimmy V.
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Jimmy V.
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« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2007, 10:25:37 AM »

I'm just curious. Did the line ever stop, or it ran basically continuously?? Unless there was some major snafu?

Jimmy V.

It ran continuously, unless it was manually stopped momentarily or there was a conveyor drive breakdown; if more than 5 or 6 units were lost due to a breakdown, incremental overtime was usually scheduled (in tenths of an hour) at the end of the shift to make them up.
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