If you're a fan of Resto Shop and have been reading the column for a while, you'll remember the first installment of "Off the Line" in the June 2011 issue. We printed an ultra-rare color photo of the "body drop" area on the 1967 Camaro assembly line supplied by our friends over at the GM Media Archives.
Exciting news! We received another rare color image of a 1967 Camaro being assembled. There is a similar black and white image floating around the Internet, but vintage color images show more detail.
This photo shows a good view of a 1967 Camaro body being assembled at the Fisher Body side of the Van Nuys (LOS – Los Angeles), California assembly plant. You can tell that it's not the Norwood, Ohio, assembly plant because the Van Nuys plant shared their line with the Chevy Impala (seen in the background) and Norwood plant only built Camaros that year.
The body was completely welded together in sections before they met to make one unit on the large cart, called a "body truck." In this stage, the body appears to be completely tack-welded together with the exception of the roof panel, tulip (cowl side) panels, upper dash panel, and dash face. There's a loose panel in the trunk up against the rear seat braces, but we can't make out exactly which one. It may be a panel they have not welded in yet. It fits in the trunk between the wheelwells, so it can't be too large.
This Camaro is easily identified as an early production (prior to December 1967) body because of the old-style telephone handset-shape stamped in the doorjamb. Later Camaros had extra indentations in the jamb and/or a partial telephone handset shape.
You can see that the cowl tag (AKA: trim tag) was installed before paint, which is why some Camaros have rust behind their tags.
We can clearly see "C, 2637," and "17" written in crayon on the firewall. The "C" could have been for Ermine White. The 2637 would denote the style code (12637 which would be found on the cowl tag). The 12 would denote model code, 6 would denote "custom" (AKA deluxe) interior, and 37 would denote coupe. We're not sure what the 17 would mean. We've seen firewalls with crayon marks like this in the past that read "PLUM L78" on a Royal Plum colored 1967, "ORN" on a Hugger Orange 1969, and "BROWN 396 M20 N10" on a Burnished Brown 1969.
This is a great photo of the body in complete, raw form. Unlike new cars, the body went to the paint shop in bare steel. It wasn't E- coated to protect against rust like today's cars.
Due to the lack of other assembly line workers and similar existing photos of this man installing roof panels on other Camaros, we could speculate that this photo was taken very early, before actual production was in full swing.
If you'd enjoy seeing more assembly line photos like this, let us know. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook page.
Powdercoat at Home
Now you can powdercoat parts for your Camaro at home with Eastwood's Dual Voltage Powder Coat Gun (PN 11698, $149.99). Powdercoating offers a durable finish that is easy to apply and easy to take care of. It is great for underhood components, suspension parts, and much more. Go to eastwood.com/cp114 or call 800.343.9353 for more information.