Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chassis Receiving Before Buick City

We had two of these large gas powered fork lifts for unloading the flat-bed rail cars. This was quite a balancing act that sometimes led to disaster. We would occasionally go joy riding in these at night on second shift. You had to be careful because of the extra tall mast, so as not to knock into any overhead bridge. A smaller version of these trucks were used for loading onto the factory conveyors. The frames in my time came from A. O. Smith factory in Milwaukee,Wisconsin And early on from Midland Steel in Cleveland Ohio. I have an interesting story about this unloading procedure in my memoirs. links:  News of a shutdown for a lack of frames in 1945.

Factory #04-03 In 1976

Chassis Line 1966

Factory #62 Chassis Loading

This shows the two locations where the chassis first started their long journey through the two factories of Buick final assembly prior to the creation of Buick City and the Unit-body construction. The chassis was placed on a link conveyor (upside down) when entering the factory. There were metal spacers or dunnage placed between the chassis during shipping. These were the first things removed after they entered the factory and thrown into a tub for return to the manufacturer. Then the manifest that would tell the assembler on the line how to build this particular Buick would be added. The large Electra's and LeSabre's were built in factory #04, The intermediate Century and Regal were built in factory #40. An interesting note is that the frames for factory #04 were hung from chains.

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