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Trip Through Time The Ford River Rouge Plant

Richard Cranium

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Assembly plant tours are always interesting, no matter the brand. Think of all the manpower working there and those supplying parts and materials.


 
Then
Raw materials in, finished car out.
Now, components delivered to receiving docks, assembly, and out the door as junk car cars/trucks.
 
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Took the tour, when I was very young. There was some scary **** in that place.
 
For it's time it & Henry Ford was pretty ingenious
he had all aspects of the build in house, his own plants for power
his own forges & mills 'in house'
his own rubber plantation in central America IIRC,
he was a shrewd operator, & he had the money to do it too
leveraged most everyone else out, when he could...

You couldn't build that today, eco-nazis would never let it happen
no matter if it was good for our country or not...

Except for him being a Nazi sympathizer/collaborator/contributor before WWII
he had it all, hated by some & seemingly loved by most,
his workers were indifferent allegedly, they were glad to make a decent wage
he dbl'd their wage at one time, when most made a $2. a day to $5. a day
in a time people needed work, he employed 10's of thousands
many untrained uneducated...
Not like it is today all political & all Union UAW stuff...
He fought for decades to keep them & politics out
(mafioso Union strongarming stuff, that came with them both/it out) ...

Innovator for damn sure, he had some very savvy people working for him
doing all the military contracts during WWII, helped him streamline it all too...

I'm not the biggest Ford fan, or Henry Ford fan, he wasn't a nice dude'
not even to his son Edsel
but he got it done, when most went belly up...

I'll leave it there...
 
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The first open house I went to was in 1966, things have changed. We lost two guys in all my years, both crushed. In the 70's they didn't issue coveralls. The guys spot welding would duct tape their pant legs, top to bottom, to keep from burning holes through to the skin. Most of the welders had burns everywhere on their bodies. My dad got me a job as a vacation replacement one summer when I was 18. I watched kids leave for lunch and not come back. The body shop was called the devil's den. It was dark, dirty, and sparks flying everywhere. A good job was a trucker. You'd push and pull a van (mid 70's big van) on a dolly from one set of lines to another. They'd wrap their hands in rags, so when you grab a window opening, the sheet metal didn't cut you to the bone. I was one big blister for weeks. When the summer was over,I was grateful for the job and glad it was over. It turned out my dad watched and followed me, unknown to me, till he thought I'd learned my lesson. I found out later that he never wanted me to end up there. After my apprenticeship and 9 years on the job, they asked me to come back and helped make it a better place. I sat in on hundreds of meetings and helped engineering to better facilitate each job. I built wooden mock-up models that they sent out to venders to build out off steel. I even built a carburetor delivery rack for Carter for our carbs. We started having problems with the carburetors, and it turned out they didn't line the rack with sheet metal like I did. They were getting slivers of wood in them from all the wear and tear from the constant use. They were trying to save a buck. The stories are endless.
 
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Took the tour, when I was very young. There was some scary **** in that place.
There is scary **** in most steel mills. I remember as a pre-teen going to a program offered by United States Steel at Edgar Thompson plant. We got to see up close all parts of steel making. The heat that radiated from everything is incredible.
Later now as a steel hauler truck driver, I have seen the strip mill side and some stints as a scrap truck driver the melt shops (electric furnace style) definitely **** that will kill you.
I've been at a couple places that are not even the mills themselves just processing plants. One kid got killed just as I was being unloaded. Another guy in a different plant had his arm ripped off by steel moving by on a painting line. Much respect for all of those guys. For those who say it is unskilled or repetitious work go ahead and join them, you will be the dead one. The skill is staying alive.
 
For it's time it & Henry Ford was pretty ingenious
he had all aspects of the build in house, his own plants for power
his own forges & mills 'in house'
his own rubber plantation in central America IIRC,
he was a shrewd operator, & he had the money to do it too
leveraged most everyone else out, when he could...

You couldn't build that today, eco-nazis would never let it happen
no matter if it was good for our country or not...

Except for him being a Nazi sympathizer/collaborator/contributor before WWII
he had it all, hated by some & seemingly loved by most,
his workers were indifferent allegedly, they were glad to make a decent wage
he dbl'd their wage at one time, when most made a $2. a day to $5. a day
in a time people needed work, he employed 10's of thousands
many untrained uneducated...
Not like it is today all political & all Union UAW stuff...
He fought for decades to keep them & politics out
(mafioso Union strongarming stuff, that came with them both/it out) ...

Innovator for damn sure, he had some very savvy people working for him
doing all the military contracts during WWII, helped him streamline it all too...

I'm not the biggest Ford fan, or Henry Ford fan, he wasn't a nice dude'
not even to his son Edsel
but he got it done, when most went belly up...

I'll leave it there...
He was the world's biggest piece of ****. And got sued and lost for the world's biggest settlement.
How fitting. A heart warming story for the ages.
( my brother and I did an unchaperoned tour of the Edsel estate. What a place. His own island on the river.. :rolleyes: )
 
my few main Fords, most recent to fun
had a couple other in between a 69 Boss 302, 67 Fairlane 390 GT,
79 F250 4x4 shortened bed & lifted, 94 F250 work truck
65 Galaxie XL500, there's a couple more too

2002 F350 PS 4x4 6 speed 1 tone dually, tow rig
2002 F350 Powr Stroke Diesel Dually & 27' Jayco Designer Trailer 002.JPG

2022 Maverick Lariot 4wd lil' truck
I got dad, he didn't like, we traded it in on the Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition I have now
2022 Ranger Lariot Maverick Alto Blue 10-13-2022 #5.JPG

my 49 Ford Tudor Bus. Coupe Pro-Gas 8.50 class, had a 477cid inj. BBC
& later 499ci BBC methanol inj. hat on a tunnel ram
then an all alum. Hemi 528cid Milodon Mastodon 8:71 blow Inj methanol 7.90 S/E class
Budnicks 49 Ford Business Coupe Pro-Gas #4.jpg

my 23 T (ford 'fiberglass trends' replica) A/A Altered 7.90 S/E class
wasn't any really a good class for altered for a long time
from later 70's to early 90's
It would run 6.90's @ 190+ on good track & good air
had my Milodon Hemi (out of the 49) in it & did some match racing too,
never could get the set up right full potential,
too much gear in the Lenco 12 bolt axle 4.56:1, extremely hard to get parts for at the time
Budnicks 23 T Ford 427ci BBC Alky Inj Altered A-A Sac Raceways.jpg


23 T AA/Gas Altered when I was 18, 301cid alum. Donovan SBC (6lbs per/cid) Comp Elim. classes
ran 8's before I turned 18, rans 7's shortly after too
Budnicks 23 T Ford Altered AA-Gas 6-71 Blown 301ci Donovan (1).jpg
 
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