Have you ever wondered just how your 65 Oldsmobile was assembled? Ever wished
you could have watched your Oldsmobile as it was being built? Well, settle in we take
a trip back in time to Lansing Michigan circa 1965 and visit the home plant of
Oldsmobile. These photos came from a booklet that was given to people that took a
tour of the plants. Needless to say this booklet is very rare and almost non-existant.
This is a photo of the Lansing assembly plant, which at the time made F85/Cutlasses
and full size Oldsmobiles. As does Oldsmobile, the plant no longer exists.
First stop, the Rocket Engine Plant. In the first photo you see the new Oldsmobile
V-8. Note the overhead conveyor used the loop on the intake to lift the engine. At this
point the engine has already been painted bronze, as the plug wires have been put
on. The starter, distributor, lower alternator mount and by-pass were installed before
the paint process, so they got oversprayed as a result.
The photos used from the machining area were of the old style Olds engine, the
394. But I imagine the process was the same for the new engine.
Final test area. Engines being broken in at 2,000 rpm for 13 minutes
Valve assembly for the heads
Next up was the stamping plant, where the sheet metal body parts were produced
Hoods being stamped
Sheet metal finishing dept.
Gas tanks were stamped also. This was the dunk tank that checked for leaks.
Fenders and hoods were loaded, unpainted, onto rail cars and shipped to their
final assembly plants. From the text all Olds sheet metal was stamped in Lansing.
Final Assembly Plant
According to the booklet, the frames were mounted upside down on a conveyor
while the front and rear suspenions were installed. The workers in the photo below
are hanging the rear end.
Bolting the transmission to the engine
Bolting the engine to the frame
This worker is gave the front and rear suspension, the driveshaft, and the
transmission a "durable and protective coating". The water fall in the background
kept the air clear of fumes.
Paint control room
Olds had a 202 foot long paint booth where the body parts were painted. Workers
sprayed paint without masks, suits, or gloves
Paint mixing room
Heated tunnel baked paint to a shine in a matter of minutes. This photo was faked,
because the car is already assembled.
Front clip was assembled on a circular conveyor
Then lowered from above to the now mated frame and body
Test Rollers. This was used to simulate highway driving and test engine operation.
End of the line
This was a press that stamped the bumpers out