Fremont Assembly Plant, Fremont CA.
Fremont Assembly was in Alameda Co, 23 miles south of Oakland. The 411 acre site faced
the Nimitz freeway at the Landing Rd-Cushing Rd interchange. The purpose of the plant
was for assembly of Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick and Oldsmobile passenger cars along with
Chevrolet and GMC pick-ups for sale at GMs western dealers. Fremont had the capacity to
build 42 cars and 25 trucks per hour on two shifts daily. That totaled 1,072 vehicles a day.
112 body styles (44 car and 68 truck) were produced there. The first truck was produced on
May 1st 1963. Pilot production of cars started on July 29th and regular car production
started on September 3rd 1963. Fremont was the only plant besides Lansing Assembly to
produce 442s from 1964 to 1966. The plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada made Cutlasses,
but not 442s, in 65 for the Canadian market. My 442 was produced the second week of
March 1965 at the Fremont plant.
The Building of Fremont Assembly
Metal finshing department. Here the doors and trunk lid are fitted to the bodies and any
rough spots are sanded or ground down to make for a smooth surface. Bodies are then
inspected before being placed on the overhead conveyor that takes them through the
rust proofing and painting process on the second floor.
Vehicles receive gleaming exterior finishes in Fremonts state of the art spray booths. The
large volume of air supplied to each booth, sufficient for 300 average sized homes, is
electro-statically filtered. Temperature and humidity of incoming air was also closely
controlled. Notice on this Cutlass hardtop the overspray and chalk marks on the firewall.
The firewall was then blacked out after the paint process, thus covering up the marks and
Engine drop line. Frames are suspended with chains from the overhead line. Engines
came in on hoists to be lowered into the frame mounts. Note the nailhead Buick on the
next hoist and the 330 Olds on the far hoist. Also of note is that the A arms are not
painted at this point. And for the Olds purists, the oil filter on the 330 was painted
gold when the engine was.
Body drop line. Notice now the A arms are black, along with the brake line closest to the
upper arm. Fremont must have had a blackout process like Lansing, where the frames
bare spots were covered in cheap black paint.
As part of the reliabilty and quality control program, all cars at Fremont went through a water
bath to test for body leaks. Large shower jets hit the bodies from all sides and a blower is
used to make a partial vacuum within the car to help find any water leaks.
Fremont body and assembly line layout. The second floor was the paint shop.
Complete and ready to ship to their prospective dealers
Reliability Audit Area. Quality inspectors perform external and internal appearance checks,
engine compartment and underbody mechanical checkout, and torque tests for tightness of
nuts and bolts. In addition, there was a 10-mile road test over good and bad roads.
Three things of note. The mirrors to the rear of the car to check light function, the 64 Pontiac
does not have a back seat installed or rear package tray, and the cars parked off to the side
of the line. My guess is they waiting for repair or the proper parts to complete their
assembly. The line did not stop because the wrong parts were installed or something did
not fit. Issues were fixed at heavy repair once the cars left the line.
Fisher Body Fremont
Truck Line had separate paint booth