We have been blessed with glorious weather this week and as a result managed yet another tidy up of the yard. This time we had an agenda to get Chris’ i6 from round the back to the front so we can start work on it. Not in the workshop? Nope, we have a car in the panel shop at the moment taking up the space, but we want to give Chris a chance to get on with his car. The first job is to see what is underneath the car which require plenty of scrapping and grinding and filling. If you remember we had Mart’s coupe at a similar stage about eighteen months ago. Now Chris is stepping up to walk that same long path. The dirt and dust will be outside so better for Chris and the workshop. The car has had the axle removed so was sitting on axle stands at the back. The present and unique problem of how to move a car that was rolled in had to be solved? Adam got the forklift out and had an idea. Pick up the back via chains and wheel it round. The second problem was that the car was half on a rotisserie that need to be removed in order to move it. We had some very welcome guests down who kindly gave up their time to help out. Spence and Paul thanks very much for your help. The car was moved to the main yard where it was perched while the areas were made clear.
A space near the fence was cleared for Adam’s resto mod project, and next to it Chris’ i6 was going to get a new home for a while. We will be making an enclosure to keep them dry and away from the elements. The car was again fixed to the forklift and moved near to its new home.
It was turning out to be a complete nightmare to move the car into position on a chain so Adam had a back up plan B. move it via the forks.
The weight of the car was very front heavy so it required a very technical balancing act!
The car was dropped on the axle stands and the more genuine technical work to bolt it to the rotisserie.
With the car bolted up and balanced we turned the car over and for the first time Chris was able to look at his work for the next few months. There was of course plenty of innuendo around having a bit on the side, let alone having two bits on the side at the same time. Yes we know its corny but we found it funny (again). anyway, the centre bar was bolted in place and a celebration cup of tea was required to go with the melted chocolate cakes, Chris was volunteered for the tea duty honours, well it was his car after all.
Chris did point out that one part of the car wouldn’t be rusty, right where the oil leak was.
We had a guest vehicle brought over to us to have a look at, not our immediate field of expertise, but not a bad car on first glance – a Pontiac GTO that was parked up next to 66 convertible.
We have a couple of cars awaiting collection in the main workshop and grabbed a couple of pics of their ghostly presence.
Firstly a big thank you to Gary W. who is an Ex-Ford employee from a senior position. Gary often brings us in his incredible knowledge, as well as some very unusual items. This week was no different as we were asked what this was: Obviously Ford, we thought employee tag, we were close. Gary informed us this was an employee tool tag. The Tag or Chit or Crib was taken to the store when a specific tool was required, the employee’s Tag was hung in the borrowed tool’s place. Thus denoting who had the tool and where it could be located. Once the tool was returned the tag was given back to the employee. We have a seen a single note that says there were five tags per employee. We haven’t seen this confirmed anywhere else yet. We have been looking for more information on these fantastic little pieces of history and found the following incomplete information so far: The Ford River Rouge Complex (commonly known as the Rouge Complex or just The Rouge) is a Ford Motor Company automobile factory complex located in Dearborn, Michigan, along the Rouge River, upstream from its confluence with the Detroit River at Zug Island. Construction began in 1917, and when it was completed in 1928 it had become the largest integrated factory in the world. From what can gather they started in 1932 they were still using them in 1954. They switched to a plastic photo ID sometime later, we are not exactly sure when though. They used most of the letters from A to Z, but so far only found these references: A – Motor building. B – Motor building, paper. C – Plant, Tank engine, Power plant, Specialty Foundry. N – Stock, Blacksmiths. W – Crankshaft, Dies, Jigs. We would love to know the full list of the codes that were used, if you have any information or correct what we have found to date, then please let us know. We would like to have a little article in it’s own right. Thanks again GW for another little piece of the jigsaw, Gary gave us four tags which were given out to our very lucky guys who would honestly appreciate them.
Comment from Gary 17:14
Hi, thanks for mentioning the tags in the blog. The reason I personally think they are very special is that the River Rouge plant complex was the very first motor factory built to handle the complete process of building a vehicle – from making steel and cast iron through to wood processing, casting, pressing and assembly. Henry believed that was the only way to make the cars affordable – and he could control every stage. He also wend the mines producing the ore and the forests growing the timber. So the Rouge was where our beloved car business all started. Up to that point various factories and suppliers worked to build a car. From that point all future car makers would try to emulate the Rouge. If the tags have ‘R’ stamped before the word Rouge they are the very earliest tags…so come from the pockets of Ford workers who were in the business from the very start! History is great eh? Gary