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paul shuffleburg
04-25-2017, 09:59 AM
My 51 Commander has 55N in crayon/grease pencil on the right firewall. I was wondering what that
would have meant going down the assembly line.

RadioRoy
04-25-2017, 12:42 PM
My 54 Commander says "rush."

Swifster
04-25-2017, 01:45 PM
My 54 Commander says "rush."

With the assembly line running at a preset pace, what exactly are they going to 'rush'? When the car leaves the line, who's looking for the markings under the hood?

Guido
04-25-2017, 03:37 PM
With the assembly line running at a preset pace, what exactly are they going to 'rush'? When the car leaves the line, who's looking for the markings under the hood?

Couldmean it was a sold unit.

rockne10
04-25-2017, 08:22 PM
My '53 just has a "5" in yellow crayon on the firewall below the defroster motor.

Mark L
04-25-2017, 08:34 PM
I'll ask my father. He worked in Production Control, and he mentioned one time he had to mark the bodies and firewalls for one reason or another.

Mark L
04-25-2017, 09:48 PM
My '51 Land Cruiser has "204" on the upper right firewall.

I just got off the phone with my father. He worked in the body plant in South Bend. Regarding the grease pencil on the firewall that was written before the paint was applied, he said the ladies that worked ahead of the paint booth would write a shorthand paint code on the firewall. When the guys spraying the cars in the paint booth saw a particular number, they knew what color to apply. That way they didn't have to waste time looking at the paint code on the line ticket. They would just spray right over the grease pencil marks.

Regarding the word "rush", that was something my father would write on the body in yellow chalk or grease pencil, usually on the right side of the firewall cowl just ahead of the front passenger door. Once the fender was installed, it was not visible. He said what would happen somewhere up the line, maybe someone had trouble installing something and couldn't stop the line to fix it, or maybe one of the guys might have needed to use the restroom. If no one was available to fill in for him, he would just walk off the line and his bit of work would go undone. Depending what was not installed, it could cause a number of other things down the line to remain uninstalled. Those guys would just put their parts inside the car. When the body reached the maintenance bay at the end of the floor, my dad would have the body pushed off to the side.

Dad said some of the cars were just assembled on speculation that someone would buy one off the dealer's showroom. Others, like Guido mentioned in #4 above, had been ordered by customers through their local dealer, so they wanted to keep them ON the assembly line so they could be shipped. They didn't want pre-ordered cars sitting in the maintenance bays for too long, so my dad would keep track of how long each one had been there. If one or more had been there more than a few hours, my dad would write "rush" on the body, and sometimes how long it had been there. That would indicate to the mechanics who finished assembling the cars that the "rush" cars were to be assembled first and sequenced back onto the line.

He also mentioned that some of the marks were applied by inspectors near final assembly to indicate if the car had passed inspection. So RadioRoy, if your Commander was assembled in South Bend, that may be my father's handwriting on your car!

Swifster
04-25-2017, 10:06 PM
Mark, that makes a lot of sense...

StudeNewby
04-25-2017, 10:20 PM
What great original source history! Thank you so much, Mark!

Dwain G.
04-26-2017, 10:27 AM
Has anyone else ever felt that all those numbers you have seen look like they were written by the same person?

Mark L
04-26-2017, 01:33 PM
I compared the writing on my Land Cruiser to the signature on my last birthday card from South Bend...it's a match! :!:

Seriously, it was the process he was taught. He said he covered three floors in the body plant, and he did a lot of walking on his shift. There were multiple people all doing the same job at several locations on several shifts.

When I was a kid and got in trouble for doing something wrong, I wondered, "How can my father be in that many places at once? Does he have a suit and cape in the closet I don't know about?" The reality is, he's Don Laskowski, former Studebaker employee. That's really Super if you ask me.

TWChamp
04-26-2017, 07:26 PM
My neighbor has a nice original 1950 Champion 2 door with the lowest trim line. His car still has the factory crayon mark "1", which I assume stands for the trim level.

wkwayland
07-08-2017, 02:50 PM
I compared the writing on my Land Cruiser to the signature on my last birthday card from South Bend...it's a match! :!:

Seriously, it was the process he was taught. He said he covered three floors in the body plant, and he did a lot of walking on his shift. There were multiple people all doing the same job at several locations on several shifts.

When I was a kid and got in trouble for doing something wrong, I wondered, "How can my father be in that many places at once? Does he have a suit and cape in the closet I don't know about?" The reality is, he's Don Laskowski, former Studebaker employee. That's really Super if you ask me.

Thanks, Mark: That was very interesting. I am glad you shared that with everyone. I can imagine the confusion it caused when someone had to pee. In 1970 or 1971 my high school vocational auto shop class got to tour the GM plant in Fremont, Ca . What an experience.

riversidevw
07-08-2017, 03:17 PM
My 56J (one repaint 49 years ago, original paint under the hood) always had a code written on the right firewall, applied with some sort of indelible ink marker on top of the paint. Believe it was either a two or three digit code. I was vigorously tidying up the engine compartment one day about eight years ago, diligently removed the markings. Later compared notes with fellow 56J owners, realized I had foolishly removed some sort of distinctive inspection mark used in those last weeks of the Vernon plant.


Not one of my finer moments.:(

tsenecal
07-08-2017, 05:37 PM
When I pulled the front clip off of my 60 Hawk, it ha Rush spelled out in cursive, with a capital R. exactly where you indicated in front of the passenger door. When I got the original build sheet it had : sold rush, at the bottom. Now I know what it meant.

riversidevw
07-08-2017, 09:34 PM
One of the good 56J contributors chimed in privately with clarification about my June '56 built Golden Hawk. Apparently at the Vernon plant the number of the production order was written on the right firewall. Usually with a china marker, he recalls. But mine seemed written in something more permanent, had to use heavy duty compound in my misguided efforts. Did they have Sharpie felt tip permanent markers in 56? Brent Hagen has also described some fairly indelible markings like this.

Thanks, Jim

Gil

BRUCESTUDE
07-09-2017, 12:32 AM
Thanks for that bit of cool factory history, Mark! I always wondered what those markings for; every Studebaker I've owned has had a hand written mark on the firewall.

8E45E
07-09-2017, 12:32 AM
More on firewall markings here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?40927-Markings-on-firewall

Craig

riversidevw
07-09-2017, 12:30 PM
More on firewall markings here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?40927-Markings-on-firewall

Craig

Thanks, Craig. That helps. A lot of this is territory already traveled. Another owner of a 56J (Vernon-built) still has his production order numbers on the firewall intact, offered a photo to help me restore them.

There's still a partial numeral on mine, directly behind the defroster hoses. So the order # was applied after painting (obviously) but early in trip down the line.

Gil