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Old 07-12-2014, 12:26 AM   #1
G-10Assembly
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Body Stamping Historian

Tidings from IN. I am the De-Facto historian of the former Chevrolet Commercial Body Co. Stamping Plant, located in Indianapolis IN. I have a very large collection pertaining to the stamping of most of the body parts for Chevrolet and GMC pick-up trucks.

Is there a place on this forum where I can start posting some images and text pertaining to the history of the Stamping of the BEST Truck ever made?

I assume this would be ok with the site "Town Fathers".

Please respond.
G-10Assembly

1976


I started wearing one of these to work in 1972... retired in 2004

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Old 07-12-2014, 12:43 AM   #2
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Very cool. Welcome from san diego.
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:06 AM   #3
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Thanks... the platforms (part of the bed of the truck that you lay stuff on) was stamped on this press line... image circa 1976

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Old 07-12-2014, 02:11 AM   #4
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

I wore this patch on my Chevrolet company issued coveralls with much pride. :-)

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Old 07-12-2014, 03:29 AM   #5
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

interesting!
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:05 AM   #6
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Welcome to the site. Keep the pics and history coming.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Welcome, and very nice photos.

I mentioned on the other thread (before I saw this one) that I have been working for GM truck in design and vehicle assembly since 1979. My dad started with GM in 1955 and worked for 35 years as a die maker (Chevrolet Flint Manufacturing) and in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Chevy Central Office).

I'll probably have quite a few questions for you

My vote would be for you to start loading as much as you can into this thread, and then if the conversation starts to go off in one direction or another we could start appropriate separate threads as need be.

Again - welcome and thank you for your good work all those years.

K
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-10Assembly View Post
Thanks... the platforms (part of the bed of the truck that you lay stuff on) was stamped on this press line... image circa 1976

I have an uncle that can sleep leaning against one of those....

(lol)

K
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:39 PM   #9
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
Welcome, and very nice photos.

I mentioned on the other thread (before I saw this one) that I have been working for GM truck in design and vehicle assembly since 1979. My dad started with GM in 1955 and worked for 35 years as a die maker (Chevrolet Flint Manufacturing) and in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Chevy Central Office).

I'll probably have quite a few questions for you

My vote would be for you to start loading as much as you can into this thread, and then if the conversation starts to go off in one direction or another we could start appropriate separate threads as need be.

Again - welcome and thank you for your good work all those years.


K
My Dad started at Chevrolet Commercial Body Co. in Indianapolis in 1959 as did my uncle.

I am very familiar with the Die Making trade in a large stamping plant. In Indianapolis it was the highest paid UAW skilled trade. Those Die Makers really impressed me with their skills and hard work.

Pertaining to Chevrolet at Flint. Our plant in Indianapolis for many years stamped all of the Pick-up Truck Body Parts and some other parts for a long time. I was told that probably sometime in the latter 1950's or but perhaps in 1955 the stamping of the hood and two front fenders was moved to Flint MI, and we made all of the rest.

For the sake of this discussion do you know or can you find out if and when the hood and two front fenders were moved to Flint from Indianapolis, if this in fact is what happened. I do know that they were moved. The party which told me this hired in back in 1947 but he could not remember the exact year.

Looking forward to your reply.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:42 AM   #10
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Thank you; I do not know off the top of my head but have daily contact with different parts of MFD; I can ask some of those guys if they have access to the info.

I also am in close proximity to Metal Fab on Bristol Rd (at I-75) and can ask some of those guys as well.

K
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:44 AM   #11
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Here's another thought...

The other thread seems to be heading in a more historical/technical direction.

Since we've already had some exchanges about different relatives in the industry perhaps this thread could take a more personal tack.

Can you tell us a bit about your work experience (ie, hourly vs salaried, different job assignments you've had through the years, etc)?

Thanks,

K
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Chevelle intro: http://www.superchevy.com/features/s...hevy-chevelle/
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:47 AM   #12
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-10Assembly View Post

I am very familiar with the Die Making trade in a large stamping plant. In Indianapolis it was the highest paid UAW skilled trade. Those Die Makers really impressed me with their skills and hard work.
Many of those guys made more per year than their salaried foremen, especially considering the amount of overtime (shift premium plus time and a half for regular overtime; double time for Sundays).

I recall dad saying that there were many weeks where he worked more than 100 hours during the 7 day period.

K
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Chevelle intro: http://www.superchevy.com/features/s...hevy-chevelle/
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:26 AM   #13
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
Here's another thought...

The other thread seems to be heading in a more historical/technical direction.

Since we've already had some exchanges about different relatives in the industry perhaps this thread could take a more personal tack.

Can you tell us a bit about your work experience (ie, hourly vs salaried, different job assignments you've had through the years, etc)?

Thanks,

K
Not one to toot my own horn but since you ask I will reply.

I was finishing up Nursing School to be a License Practical Nurse (I did get my license) when I hired in on 8-21-1972 as a Press Metal Worker. I worked in the department that stamped and welded the Endgate (tail gate) for the 1973 model pick up. About 300 new hires were hired that week end prior.

After nine days I went on salary as a shop clerk and I did that four months and was unjustly booted back to production hourly (long sad story). However I was glad to go back as well.

Went through one long lay off from Chevrolet 74-76 but during that time I worked 50 weeks at Detroit Desiel Allison Div. In Indianapolis.

Finally in June of 1976 I was back to the Chevrolet Plant worked a year and got into the apprenticeship in June of 1977 as a Millwright (we did our own welding also). Became a journeyman in 3 years 2 months and 3 weeks (overtime).

Worked a short while as a Millwright and then got laid off for nearly 2 1/2 years. Toward the end of this I worked a month at Delco Remy in Anderson as a Millwright.

While in that long lay off I retested and went back to the Chevrolet plant as a W.E.M.R. apprentice and started all over again. WEMR or Welder Equipment Maintenance & Repair. I was an apprentice in this from 1983 to 1987 and became journeyman. This trade worked on all the spot welding machines and hanging gun spotwelders. We did it all and some referred to it as a "Bastard Trade". It was a large group.

I worked as a WEMR for 16 1/2 years total. Along the way the welding was downsized gradually. Hence in June of 2000 I was ask if I wanted to transfer to the Electrician Department and get cross trained as an Electrician. I went into that as an E.I.T. (Employee In Training) In four years I was an in plant Journeyman Electrician.

In September of 2004 I retired at the age of 52 and my life has never been happier. I have a letter that was given to me by request from the Human Resource Dept. when state in writing that in GM's records I am skilled in three trades... which is fairly rare. It is not that I am "genius"...it was a lot about being in the right time at the right place.

Now what was really interesting about all of this was being exposed to so many manufacturing processes at the plant. It was all interesting and I enjoyed ALL OF IT, and made a good living as well.

Almost forgot...for 4 months in 1995 I was loaned out and worked in WEMR at Lordstown Assembly in Ohio where the Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire was assembled at the time.

RKW
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:49 PM   #14
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

Thank you for sharing; 52 years old.... that's ...uh... pretty young to be retired.



Your experience(s) as far as working and then getting layed off parallels what was happening up here in Flint and Metro Detroit at that time. Historically a person could plan on graduating from high school and hiring in "the shop" and working the next 30 years without drama. Not so much by the time you and I came along.

K
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:06 PM   #15
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

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Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
Thank you for sharing; 52 years old.... that's ...uh... pretty young to be retired.


Well not really...as I have said before...I'm not a genius. HOWEVER, if I had it to do over again I would have left when I was 49. I had 30 years accredited service when I was 49 years old. Make no mistake... retirement is the biggest decision one may make in their lifetime. Where I worked the door only swung one way. Hence you better have your mind made up and $ducks$ lined up. No regrets here, since retiring I have not hit a lick,nor been bored a second... just living the dream. Also... a man can only stuff so much money In that old mattress. HAW!

We had one Millwright work 59 years and he was a model employee. When he told me he was leaving I said, "Don, why don't you stay another year and make it an even 60 years." He replied, "Oh no Randy... that is just entirely to long to be working."


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Old 07-14-2014, 02:09 PM   #16
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

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Originally Posted by G-10Assembly View Post
Well not really...as I have said before...I'm not a genius. HOWEVER, if I had it to do over again I would have left when I was 49. I had 30 years accredited service when I was 49 years old. Make no mistake... retirement is the biggest decision one may make in their lifetime. Where I worked the door only swung one way. Hence you better have your mind made up and $ducks$ lined up. No regrets here, since retiring I have not hit a lick,nor been bored a second... just living the dream. Also... a man can only stuff so much money In that old mattress. HAW!

We had one Millwright work 59 years and he was a model employee. When he told me he was leaving I said, "Don, why don't you stay another year and make it an even 60 years." He replied, "Oh no Randy... that is just entirely to long to be working."


LOL. I am afraid that is going to be me, too.

K
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Intro from an Old Assembly Guy: http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=342926
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Chevelle intro: http://www.superchevy.com/features/s...hevy-chevelle/
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:54 PM   #17
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Re: Body Stamping Historian

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LOL. I am afraid that is going to be me, too.

K
Shucks... nothing wrong with that. Work is honorable, retirement can be also.

Did you know Antonio Stradivari was making his famous Stradivarius Violins in Cremona Italy until he was 95 (croaked)? If a guy wants to "fiddle around" go for it.

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