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Learn How the Ford Dearborn Assembly Plant Constructed the 1962 Ford

Today’s feature is a fascinating video of a publicity film produced for the Ford Motor Company at the Dearborn Assembly Plant showing in detail how a 1962 Ford is constructed. The factory is located at the Ford River Rouge Complex that began operations in 1928 manufacturing the Model A Ford; at that point it was the most extensive factory system in the entire world.

Unlike the present time when auto parts and components are sourced and shipped from around the US and the world, in the 1960s the Automaker continued to manufacture the vast majority of the content of its automobiles and trucks on site from the necessary raw materials. Most of what was not produced at the Rouge was created at the plants of Ford-owned subsidiaries.

  • At the foundry molten iron is poured into molds used for casting camshafts.

  • The “hot test” device and operator start an engine at end of the motor assembly line .

This video covers a very interesting manufacturing process that begins with raw materials and ends up as a completed automobile. After the car leaves the end of the assembly line, it undergoes further testing before it is driven onto a transport truck for delivery to a Ford dealer.

13 responses to “Learn How the Ford Dearborn Assembly Plant Constructed the 1962 Ford

  1. I think you linked to the wrong video at the end.

    Thanks, We checked the link on three different browsers and it worked fine, but used the link you sent in case it display better for all readers.

  2. Two things really struck me. There was a fair amount of simple robotics and labor saving and assist devices in play. The other things is that the older workers seemed to predominate in the inspection areas. I suppose it is partly experience and partly the reward for enduring years on the line!

    • Actually not that simple, Andy, given that all this equipment worked without the computers of today. There must have been a whole lot of limit switches and relays and many miles of wiring involved.

  3. My first car was a ’62 Fairlane! Bought it in 1974 for $300, drove it for 4 years. It had a small V-8, I think it was 260 cubes. A good little rig, except the rear fender wells were completely rusted through, so the trunk was always wet and muddy from tire splash.

  4. Watching that body building process all I could think about was the fact that ALL of those processes are now done by robots! All those workers have been replaced by a few technicians babysitting the robots.

  5. I wonder if you bought your car at the factory at Ford you could watch the car you ordered come off the assembly line from a special customer’s observation room just like at GM.

  6. When I was 16 (1990) I bought a ‘62 Fairlane convertible with the original 221 V8 from a local wrecking yard that my father was good friends with for $150. Being too enthusiastic about the car I failed to give it a good inspection. The engine ran, the interior was decent, except for the top, and the body was pretty straight, although the paint was faded. They even towed it back to the house for free. As I was doing the ever important “first cleaning” I had both doors open while vacuuming, etc. Mom announced it was dinner time, so I tried to shut the door. It just bounced off the door jamb. Went to the other side. Same thing. It was then that I noticed the body had a very severe sag in the middle. It was so rusted the it was folding in half. Used a floor jack to lift it up enough to get the doors shut. The moment I shut the second door a neighbor drove by very slowly. He asked if it was for sale. I told him that the floors were gone and I’d take $600 for it. His eyes lit up. “Perfect!”, he said. He had just bought a ‘62 Coupe that needed new front sheet metal, some trim, and some interior pieces.

  7. My folks bought a 6 cylinder blue 63 Fairlane Ranch Wagon to replace a 6 cylinder blue 1955 Ranch Wagon whose oil pump had failed and locked the motor. The 63 was replaced, after it’s oil pump failed and locked the motor, by an 8 cylinder blue 69 Fairlane. My guess is that my folks mostly drove short trips and didn’t change the oil often enough.

    The engine start in the film sounds pretty bad, all valve clattery and I was reminded of that era’s distinct starter sound from what was called a “Bendix Spring”. When they went bad they tended to not disengage from the flywheel after starting. On this one you can hear the starter drive spin after disengagement.

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