PDA

View Full Version : Vernon CA vs Hamilton Canada plants body production



Cowtown Commander
07-06-2017, 02:53 PM
I remember seeing photos of a train derailment with bodies (from the fire wall back) on an open car and the notation was that the bodies were in transit to the California plant. Does that mean that Vernon was an assembly plant and the bodies and mechanicals were all supplied from South Bend?

As I understand it Hamilton made and painted their own bodies with stampings supplied from South Bend and elsewhere and the engines provided by South Bend (until 65 & 66). Once the South Bend production was closed did some of the stamping operations that had previously been done in South Bend move to Canada or were they sourced from other suppliers?

S2Deluxe
07-10-2017, 12:56 PM
I remember seeing photos of a train derailment with bodies (from the fire wall back) on an open car and the notation was that the bodies were in transit to the California plant. Does that mean that Vernon was an assembly plant and the bodies and mechanicals were all supplied from South Bend?

As I understand it Hamilton made and painted their own bodies with stampings supplied from South Bend and elsewhere and the engines provided by South Bend (until 65 & 66). Once the South Bend production was closed did some of the stamping operations that had previously been done in South Bend move to Canada or were they sourced from other suppliers?

I assume the bodies made in Hamilton, were only those that were available as '65 & '66 models? Those bodies that were not available in the '65 & '66 model years, Avantis, Hawks & Trucks, were shipped from South Bend prior to 12/27/'63. South Bend may have also shipped some of the same bodies, as those produced in Hamilton, preceeding this date? Please provide corrections if any of my assumptions are mistaken?

Thanks,

Mark

riversidevw
07-10-2017, 03:03 PM
Good question regarding stamping operations in Hamilton after South Bend ceased production of finished cars. Wish I had the answer.

I also assume that Vernon was primarily an assembly plant. I don't have a clear idea how much of the painting operation was done there. Guessing some paint was applied there to front end body components, as there were differences in two-toned paint colors on under-hood sheet metal on South Bend and West Coast cars... at least the 56J models I'm somewhat familiar with.

I've only added more loose ends.

8E45E
07-10-2017, 04:42 PM
Good question regarding stamping operations in Hamilton after South Bend ceased production of finished cars. Wish I had the answer.

Come to our zone meet on the 21-23 and ask Stu! :)

Craig

Hallabutt
07-11-2017, 02:34 PM
There were some definite differences in paint quality, technique, and areas painted, between SB and LA. I'm not saying that there weren't some that were done that way, but I doubt that it was commonplace.

riversidevw
07-28-2017, 12:02 PM
There were some definite differences in paint quality, technique, and areas painted, between SB and LA. I'm not saying that there weren't some that were done that way, but I doubt that it was commonplace.

I bought the July 1996 issue of Turning Wheels from Bob Palma last week because it includes Richard Quinn's great article on the history of the plant in Vernon. All major components were shipped to LA from South Bend. Bodies (with doors and trunks attached) were shipped finished in primer, loaded vertically (firewall down) on open rail cars, 16 per rail car. Frames were usually shipped flat on open rail cars, while engines and other parts arrived in box cars. Vernon had its own spray painting facilities for body color and chassis painting. Vernon plant closed on June 12, 1956... seven days after my 56J was dispatched to the Hoffman dealership in LA. Eleven more Golden Hawks went down the line after mine, the final one supposedly shipped about a month after production ceased, destination not specified.

Yup, Vernon was an assembly plant, but all finish painting done there. It's also easy to see that minor running changes during any given model year might have been delayed (if implemented at all) on the West Coast, depending on existing inventories.

Gil