No Limits Magazine from the Auto History Preservation Society
We Bring Auto History to Life!
- Resources for the Historian, Researcher, and the Enthusiast -
Tuesday June 24, 2014
Made in Pontiac, '64 Catalina 2+2, '52 Olds Brochure, '61 Dodge D-500, '07 Corvette Poster, "Blasts from the Past" - and More!

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Made in Pontiac - How they put 'em together Back in the Day!
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Did You Miss These?

Click on the Image
to See the the Article

1963 Ramchargers Photo

Revisiting the Ramchargers - A Tribute to Jim Thornton

1965 Pontiac 2+2

1965 Pontiac 2+2
Baddest Big Car Ever!

1970 Chevelle LS6

1970 - Screaming the loudest
before you die!

ForPly vs 64 Wax Wedge

"ForPly" versus Tom Hoover's 1964 Pure Stock Max Wedge

Olds W-43 4-Valve

Don't Call Me a Hemi - 'cause I'm not! Oldsmobile's Infamous W-43

1964 Pontiacs onthe line

Here's where a car starts looking like the real thing.
It's called the" Body Drop".

Pontiac Assembly Plant Floor Plan

The floor plan of the PMD assembly building,
Main Floor, Plant Eight. The interaction of plants
5, 8 and 9 is shown.

Frames getting ready for paint

At the far end of the frame line is the paint spray booth.
Bare metal parts will be painted black for corrosion
protection and visual effect.

The Bridge to move bodies

The "body bridge" from the Fisher Body plant. This is the back end
of plant 8. Bodies arrive via this route - and the empty carts
return to Fisher plant via the lower portion of the bridge.

1964 Pontiac Bonneville Ad

The result of Carl Papke's work - Here are some 1964 Pontiac Bonnevilles in a period advertisement.

Note: This is a standing Feature which we ran some time ago.We thought we'd dust it off for those of you who haven't read it.

Eric White interviewed an assembly-line worker at the Pontiac plant in Pontiac Michigan. It is a bird's eye view into the assembly line process in the 1960s.

The Interview Process - Part One
by Eric White Pontiac Brands Manager & Wild About Cars Staff - reprint with permission only.

A Little History
"Both my dad and Mr. Carl Papke worked for Detroit Edison on line crews operating out of Bad Axe, Michigan. Carl enjoys talking about his experiences on the assembly line in Pontiac, and he also enjoys owning, restoring, and driving the Pontiacs he helped to build in the mid to late '60s. I was able to sit down and get his recollections."

"The information recalled in this interview is as correct as twenty-eight year old memories can be, and should be viewed in that light. Also, keep in mind that these observations relate only to experiences occurring in the Pontiac assembly plant during the course of one of up to three daily work shifts." - Eric White .

Getting to know Carl -

Wild About Cars: Give us some of your background.
Carl Papke: Well, I grew up in Clifford, Michigan, and graduated out of Kingston high school in 1963.

WAC: Where is Kingston?
CP: The thumb area of Michigan. Sixty miles north of Pontiac.

WAC: Were you always into Pontiacs?
CP: When I was a kid in high school I liked Dodges, because '62 Dodges were the state police cars. They were already starting to get a reputation. I don't remember knowing about '62 421 Pontiacs at the time. I knew about state police cars. I wasn't aware of Pontiacs until I was seventeen years old.

I got into a '63 421 Super Duty Catalina that was owned by a guy by the name of Joe Fercowitz. He got killed in that car. Right over here west of Silverwood. Went off the road doin' over a hundred miles an hour and it killed him.

But Joe gave me a ride in his Super Duty Pontiac. The most God-awful thing I ever rode in my life. We went north out of Clifford goin' out towards the power plant. There was a substation out there, it was probably a quarter mile flat stretch, and we were well up to a hundred miles an hour and stoppin' by the time we got down on the corner, which was a half a mile. That thing had tri-power on it, it was just screamin' and haulin' ass. It was a real car. I never thought about Dodges again after that . . .

CP: I had had my eighteenth birthday when I lived in Minnesota, so when I got back home I took a few days to sit around and think about what I wanted to do. The car plants was the supreme place to go and work at that time. If you wanted to make big bucks you went to the car plants. So, I went down to Pontiac Motor.

WAC: Did you know anyone there?
CP: Nope. Never knew anybody down there. I just knew the people around Clifford. There was a lot of the guys that had families, and they worked down there. I went to the employment office. It was on a Friday afternoon, and I started work on Monday morning. It was just that easy. You went in there and they gave you your physical right there. When I went down, I knew the stuff I needed to have with me. At that time it was standard procedure; all you had to have was a high school education. I had my diploma with me when I went. I hired in on days, which was unusual. But they hired, at that time, basically everybody in on days.

: What time of the year was this?
CP: October third, right after changeover. They were building the '64 model Pontiacs, but it was still October '63. Production was up, at that time I'm thinking, 30 cars an hour. Normal was 70, and they were just coming back. They were building up speed all the time.

I went into the plant. They gave me a clock to go to and a foreman to report to by the name of "Tiny" VanKonen. Tiny was his nickname. I couldn't even tell you his first name. He was a great big guy; a four hundred pounder. I got along well with him because his sister lived in the same town I grew up in, which was Clifford. I grew up with her sons. So me and this general foremanĀ - he wasn't a line foreman, he was a general foremanĀ - we got along real well right off the bat.

WAC: What did they have you doing at first?
CP: They had me putting in headlights. Driver's side headlights. You had a little carpenter's apron that held chrome screws, and a little bitty air wrench that had a flexible hose. You carried it with you. At that time it was dual headlights, so you took two headlights with you. One held against your chest with your arm, and the other you carried in the same hand. You reached in and got the plugs, plugged it in, put it in, couple of little screws went in, and you installed the chrome piece that held it on. That was my job.

After a half a day, hell, you could knock 'em right out; you were just goin' to town. It kept you busy for the first three or four days, and then you got used to it. Then you could just put headlights in and talk and look and gop. You could look at every car engine that come down the line. Being a kid, I was interested in everything that had tri-power on it. I was lookin at it and lookin' through the windows at it, and I wanted one so bad I could taste it . . .

To read more of Made in Pontiac, Part One - Click HERE!

More Stories & Articles on Pontiac Assembly, and Ads & Brochures:

To read more of Made in Pontiac - Click HERE!

To see the 1964 Pontiac Brochure - Click HERE!

To see 1964 Pontiac Ads - Click HERE!

NOTE: These stories make our argument for the Automotive History Preservation Society - It is the material they have collected that allows us to bring much of this to you.

Go to and donate some dollars so
they can do their great work!

Documents from the AHPS's Digital Documents Library
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1964 Pontiac Catalina and 2+2
1964 Pontiac Catalina and Catalina 2+2 Test

Motor Trend Magazine took two Pontiacs to the test in their May 1964 issue - a standard 389 Catalina and a 421 Tri-Power 2+2, Pontiac's new performance big car. The 389 Cat was a nice cruiser and a solid value - but the 2+2 - holy cow! They liked both cars but their choice was the 2+2 - see why.

Click here to read/download the 1964 Two Pontiacs Test!

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1952 Oldsmobile Brochure
  1952 Oldsmobile Prestige Brochure

Big news at Oldsmobile for 1952 was the availability of a Rochester 4-barrel carb for the hot 303 Olds V8 - increasing the horsepower from 135 to 160 - big leap for the day. The body styles all reflected the styling introduced on the 98 in 1951. The senior series also added a bunch of options and the low-price 88 series was now the "DeLuxe 88". Check out this neat brochure.

To See and Download the 1952 Olds Brochure - Click HERE!

1961 Dodge D-500 Test
1961 Dodge D-500 Long Ram 383 Road Test

Motor Life Magazine got their hands on Dodge's hot one for 1961 - the D-500 383 Dart. (This was when the Dart was a mid-size car). They picked the heaviest - a Phoenix loaded with every option - not a drag race version like what the Ramchargers used to clout S/S Chevys and Pontiacs at the NHRA Nationals that year. Even so, the 3700 lb 3.23 geared car was quick for its day. See what they said.

To Read and/or Download this 1961 Dodge D-500 Test - Click Here!

2007 Corvette Poster
Modern Muscle - 2007 Corvette, Indy 500 Pace Car Card

One thing we have to say about Corvette, they never lost sight of power and performance and they never lost an advantage to tout their cars. By 2007, we all know the 'Vette was an awesome piece - with more than enough performance to go head to head with some of the world's best. This Indy Pace car commemorative large card (11x8.5) contains all the specs on the back!

To Read and/or Download the 2007 Corvette Pace Car Card - Click HERE!

Check Out Blasts from the Past
What are "Blasts from the Past" at Wild About Cars?

One of the things we do at Wild About Cars - and you can see an example of this usually in our Feature Story here - is to put together a series or select articles from the materials that the Automotive History Preservation Society collects, or that that we go out and solicit from "boys who were there". Why? Because a lot of this history is being lost and we are dedicated to saving it. So check out many of our Features by clicking on the link below or the picture at left.

Click HERE to go to "Blasts from the Past and see what we're talking about!

Check Out the Latest Uploads See What's Hot in the Automotive History Library!

In case you didn't know - the Automotive History Preservation Society operates a very special Digital Documents Library that you can access through Wild About Cars and the AHPS. Check out the over 230 thousand pages of material you can download (or just view) by clicking on the link below. Even though you don't have to be a member to view the materials, PLEASE sign up HERE and help us by DONATING by going HERE

Check out the LATEST UPLOADS - Click HERE to See the Listings.

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