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Old 04-06-2009, 08:58 AM
 
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been to a car factory to see how the cars get made? I went to the GM plant in Tarrytown, NY (ironically just under the bridge where my dad overheated on in 71) when I was 11 in December 1973 (during the heart of the gas shortage) with a group of kids on a tour and saw 74 Impalas being made. Very impressive. I still have the plant's brochure with the pic of a complated Impala. 15 years later i worked in a psychiatric hospital in that area and we got a patient in who was just laid off from the plant. Very sad. I think that plant has since closed.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:00 AM
 
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ahw any other car plants in the area
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:44 AM
 
Location: MI
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That would be interesting. I live not to far from a huge GM truck plant in Ft. Wayne, IN, wonder if they give tours. I passed by a Corvette museum in KY and I believe they have an assembly line there, you can see Vettes being manufactured.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Yeah, visited the GM plant in Doraville, GA (now closed) back around 1978-79. They were building Chevelles and anything else that goes on the same frame (El Camino). What was somewhat of a surprise to me is that the cars come down the line in the sequence that orders were placed, so if somebody orders a Plain Jane in white, and the next guy orders a black one "with everything", completely different power trains, they come down the line one right after the other. Or they did anyway.

I always imagined they would at least keep the paint color the same for a few cars, this seems more efficient to me, but I guess in reality it does not buy you anything.

Dunno if Ford or Chrysler do the same, but they probably do.

I would expect to see more robotics now than then. This is not necessarily a bad thing for the auto workers either, at least not the ones with a little brains - better to let the man program, maintain, and supervise the robot, which does the grunt work without getting tired, bored, or repetitive motion problems...
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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Closest I came was an engine plant (Mound Rd). No organized tour, I was in my early 20's. The cat calls and offers of sex and drugs reminded me of of the "scared straight" shows with kids walking through prisons...lol
Lots of people I know worked in the plants starting with my grandfather at Hudson so I think I was lucky to escape the life.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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I've visited the BMW plant in Greer, SC. They tour was really informative. The Zentrum was pretty cool, too.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:53 PM
 
Location: North Central Florida
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I took the tour of the Ford rouge plant twice. Once in the late sixties with the school "field trip" and once with some friends and relatives during the mid seventies.

It was a while back, but I remember going from the docks with iron ore and coal, thru the steel making process(it was hot in there), and on up the line thru stamping and to where the finished cars came off the line at the end. It was an all day thing as I recall.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:21 PM
 
Location: NY
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I was fortunate to get a chance to tour the GM Wilmington plant last spring. That is where they assemble the Solstice and Sky. It was an organized event for owners and enthusiasts, and a good time. It's a very interesting process to see it all work. Every job is timed out, down to adding on a specific nut or bolt, so that the line keeps moving.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: California
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My Dad worked at the GM plant in Linden, NJ...so I was able to go there many, many times...not sure I appreciated it then as much as I would now!
Also visited the Carol Shelby "factory" and museum in Nevada....Mustangs brought in and converted...I was very surprised they allowed us in the work areas (behind ropes of course)
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: SW France
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I went to Browns Lane in the UK where they made Jaguars.

This was in the days where the bonnet was made from three pressed pieces of steel that were welde to make the one piece.

Nowadays the bonnet is one pressed piece of steel.

I chatted to on of the workman who welded these seams and he was so proud, quite rightly, of the work he did.

I saw the men and women stitching the seats by hand and cutting out the burr walnut dashboards and the whole feel ws of a hand made car- probably explains the electrics!

Commercially it was bonkers but I never looked at a Series I, II or III XJ in the same light again.
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