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How many believe Chevrolet is holding back on record for these old car?

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How many believe Chevrolet is holding back on record for these old car?

Old 12-03-2018, 07:28 PM
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68hemi
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Default How many believe Chevrolet is holding back on record for these old car?

I do. I don't believe that the records were lost in fires, were destroyed by water or simply discarded as some of the stories we hear. I believe it is a liability issue for them.

Years ago there was a law suit filed against Pontiac because they were putting Chevy engines in their model similar to the Nova that through proceeds of the suit ended in for one thing the release of records to the public which created the Pontiac Historical Society (PHS) and I don't think that every would have come to be if it were not for that law suit forcing their hand.

I think the big problem is that with all of the fake cars out there that if there were records available to prove what a car truly WAS when originally built that it may create a need for Chevrolet to be involved in all kinds of fraud cases between past and previous owners. I could be WAY of base here but that is what I think.

I believe that there are select few in our hobby that have access to some of this info and it is used in very tight circles.

What do you think?
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:35 PM
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I believe people who were involved at the time and/or who have inside information - like JohnZ -, who say that records do not exist, rather than engage in speculative conspiracy theories. There is way too much of that kind of stuff going on in the world these days.....
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tuxnharley View Post
I believe people who were involved at the time and/or who have inside information - like JohnZ -, who say that records do not exist, rather than engage in speculative conspiracy theories. There is way too much of that kind of stuff going on in the world these days.....
seems to me anyone who every worked for GM in a high up possession all the same thing about all these conspiracy theories. That they never happend. But no one seem to believe them.

While it would be cool to have them I certinaly won’t hold my breath. And why would GM care about a car they built 50 years ago. They have nothing to gain. I would be more happy with all the engineering drawings of al the parts
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:17 PM
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You really gotta ask yourself: Who working in engineering or on the assembly line would have benefitted BACK IN THE DAY from better record keeping. That is to say, someone in a position that they COULD have recorded all of those serial #'s, etc.

Answer: No one.

It would have been a thankless, unpaid task in addition to everything else someone had to get done. Especially before computers.

Nobody in the position to keep those records gave a damn. As long as cars rolled off the line, and dealers sold 'em,...

If lack of accurate records made service's job a little harder, oh well.

If half of the records that WERE kept were wrong, oh well. Who (except some enthusiast 50 years in the future) is ever going to care. (Which is the far more likely reason GM never released 'em --- knowing they were garbage and only going to cause even greater problems if released. Just imagine some enthusiast finding out his or her car was never built, according to GM's flawed records. Barrett Jackson's lawyers would have a field day.

I speak having been the engineer responsible for portions of an assembly line, with far bigger fish to fry than record-keeping.

Last edited by wadenelson; 12-03-2018 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:31 PM
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hogwash.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:37 PM
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not hardly. To protect themselves corporations maintain procedures for document retention. This is done to protect them from lawsuits that their own documents could be used against them in a lawsuit. without a doubt those documents are long gone....
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by wadenelson View Post
You really gotta ask yourself: Who working in engineering or on the assembly line would have benefitted BACK IN THE DAY from better record keeping. That is to say, someone in a position that they COULD have recorded all of those serial #'s, etc.

Answer: No one.

It would have been a thankless, unpaid task in addition to everything else someone had to get done. Especially before computers.

Nobody in the position to keep those records gave a damn. As long as cars rolled off the line, and dealers sold 'em,...

If lack of accurate records made service's job a little harder, oh well.

If half of the records that WERE kept were wrong, oh well. Who (except some enthusiast 50 years in the future) is ever going to care. (Which is the far more likely reason GM never released 'em --- knowing they were garbage and only going to cause even greater problems if released. Just imagine some enthusiast finding out his or her car was never built, according to GM's flawed records. Barrett Jackson's lawyers would have a field day.

I speak having been the engineer responsible for portions of an assembly line, with far bigger fish to fry than record-keeping.
Oh but they DID exist and they did have computers (the size of a house) and they were not created by engineering they were created by the corporate offices beginning when an order was placed and went into the system that eventually created the build sheet that every car had. These records were keep for years but supposedly for what ever reason are now missing.

Last edited by 68hemi; 12-03-2018 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:43 PM
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So, saving the paper documentation back in the 50s and 60s era would require file cabinets, warehouse space, and labor.
Then transferring them to microfiche is more file cabinets, warehouse space, and labor.

A copy of the documentation was provided to the dealer and maybe the buyer. Who else would need the info? In the 60s and 70s these C1 and C2s were just old used cars, so what will happen to them in the future? Who would want the documents? They didn’t have a crystal ball.

So I suspect GM has been in financial straits a few times over the past 50 or 60 years. I would expect budget cuts were not uncommon. So, Trash anything that is not returning a profit and was not required by law. It is a good business model.

I can’t believe they hung on to some of the documentation that they did. Even with the invention of the computer, it still would take labor and storage space to preserve these un-needed documents.

Maybe when GM started computerizing the process, they determined it was not that big a deal to retain the magnetic copies as the information was already entered for use in the assembly process, and they saved some of the data to protect them from the government regulations that continued to surface on safety issues (e.g., Ralph Nader) to protect themselves from law suits by individuals and class action suits, etc.

Sure they trashed them, much to the dislike of a few “Restorers” but much to the joy and celebration of the counter fitters.

Just my analysis.

Ron

I see that a few jumped in ahead of me, but oh well.

Last edited by R66; 12-03-2018 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by R66 View Post
So, saving the paper documentation back in the 50s and 60s era would require file cabinets, warehouse space, and labor.
Then transferring them to microfiche is more file cabinets, warehouse space, and labor.

A copy of the documentation was provided to the dealer and maybe the buyer. Who else would need the info? In the 60s and 70s these C1 and C2s were just old used cars, so what will happen to them in the future? Who would want the documents? They didn’t have a crystal ball.

So I suspect GM has been in financial straits a few times over the past 50 or 60 years. I would expect budget cuts were not uncommon. So, Trash anything that is not returning a profit and was not required by law. It is a good business model.

I can’t believe they hung on to some of the documentation that they did. Even with the invention of the computer, it still would take labor and storage space to preserve these un-needed documents.

Maybe when GM started computerizing the process, they determined it was not that big a deal to retain the magnetic copies as the information was already entered for use in the assembly process, and they saved some of the data to protect them from the government regulations that continued to surface on safety issues (e.g., Ralph Nader) to protect themselves from law suits by individuals and class action suits, etc.

Sure they trashed them, much to the dislike of a few “Restorers” but much to the joy and celebration of the counter fitters.

Just my analysis.

Ron

I see that a few jumped in ahead of me, but oh well.
the thing is the number seven gets thrown out a lot. so there was seven duplicate documents for each car of how they were built with each RPO code ect. a few left with the car and shipping companies and then to the dealer. so that begs the question out of the seven copies how did they all disappear. but then you got to remember the sheer number of cars built each day at all the assembly plants. they kept the RPO numbers so they could figure out what option was ordered the most so they knew if they were going to keep it for the following year and to keep track of all the out side manufacture. I do believe there is more info in hiding but I don't think its build sheets
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 68hemi View Post
Oh but they DID exist and they did have computers (the size of a house) and they were not created by engineering they were created by the corporate offices beginning when an order was placed and went into the system that eventually created the build sheet that every car had. These records were keep for years but supposedly for what ever reason are now missing.
So somewhere a spool of magnetic tape only readable by an IBM 360 has been secreted away by GM's IT department all these years?

Maybe it'll be in the next vault Geraldo cracks open on live TV.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:00 PM
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So, some of you guy don't believe that they had these records? They were originally keep for warranty as well as other purpose.

You could not get any info out of Pontiac before the law suit forced their hand either.

How many of you are familiar with The Marti Report? The link below will tell you about it.

https://www.martiauto.com/martireports.cfm
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:10 PM
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I think someone has been watching too many conspiracy theory movies.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:19 PM
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So, saving the paper documentation back in the 50s and 60s era would require file cabinets, warehouse space, and labor.
Then transferring them to microfiche is more file cabinets, warehouse space, and labor.
Very true, but it puzzles me why GM Canada has records of vehicles sold from Canadian dealerships, during that time period.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne88 View Post
Very true, but it puzzles me why GM Canada has records of vehicles sold from Canadian dealerships, during that time period.
volume of cars shipped there
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
volume of cars shipped there
Maybe, but someone still had to put in the effort of keeping those records for all those years. From paper to microfilm to digital. And for what reason?
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:32 PM
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im sure GM has records somewhere

but its said GM ordered some employees to find records back in the 80's-90's,and after a 6 month search,none were found

so maybe they really are gone
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 68hemi View Post
So, some of you guy don't believe that they had these records? They were originally keep for warranty as well as other purpose.

You could not get any info out of Pontiac before the law suit forced their hand either.

How many of you are familiar with The Marti Report? The link below will tell you about it.

https://www.martiauto.com/martireports.cfm
"Lois Eminger worked for Ford Motor Company. Being a car person herself, she wisely asked that she be able to keep batches of invoices that Ford was preparing to destroy. These invoices included some of the most popular cars of the 60s and 70s. Marti Auto Works has now purchased these invoices and is making them available to rightful owners of cars."

It can happen.

20 some odd years ago we bought the original paperwork she had for our '70 Mustang. Cool story.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wadenelson View Post
So somewhere a spool of magnetic tape only readable by an IBM 360 has been secreted away by GM's IT department all these years?

Maybe it'll be in the next vault Geraldo cracks open on live TV.


It wont be magnetic tape, it will be Microfiche files that were the first high density document archive medium, if any survived (and if a reader can be found to print on photo paper, or a custom scanner is built).

Optical document scanners for documents and drafted drawings did not become viable until the 1980's, and even then the resolution was poor (as bad at the AIM manuals that are from Xerox copies of copies a hundred times over). The cost to scan engineering drawings and documents was expensive, and remains expensive today (about $1 per sheet, plus labor wages, for odd size documents to comply with a subpoena for legal discovery today).

My experience with GM Van Nuy's in the 70's and 80's makes me skeptical that any paper documentation survived, as they could not even find drawings of the plant buildings (I had to request and pay for what the City archived to generate plans to permit the contracted work). Space was limited for filing, and I expect that even if microfiche became affordable the documents were not secured. A fire in the front administrative building at Van Nuys could have easily gutted any files stored on site. GM was not alone in this resistance to archive media, because it was not until the early 1990's that Warner Brothers and Paramount started environment storage protection and digitizing of film archives, a move initiated by a growing revenue stream from colorizing old films (sometimes an effort that was too late to save nitrocellulose film). Hanna-Barbara threw away the original gels for many cartoons, and gave them to kids during studio tours. Old documents and media was just not valuable. Earthquakes also destroyed a lot of file archives in California. The discipline was not like Lockheed and Hughes where DOD requirements demanded file protections.

Fire and flood, and yearly cleaning, could easily lose the Corvette assembly line and build sheet file archives.

GM stills allows downloads of the Information Kits (for enthusiasts who didn't know):
https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/gm-...tion-kits.html
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:21 PM
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The liability theory falls flat IMO. The “made up” example cited above where it might hypothetically apply are specious. The records are just gone.

There was no reason to archive documents in perpetuity for a product that was supposed to be obsolete every 3-5 years.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:31 PM
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The way that most of the auto manufacturers did it was the hand written dealer order form arrived at the GM office and it was input to the IBM computer and a punch card was created with the order number, model number, V.I.N. and options. When the car was scheduled for production that is when the build sheet was created at the assembly plant.

I know that Chrysler still has IBM cards that you can order for 1967 model year up cars through Chrysler Historical. They are cards that were scanned onto microfiche and then photo copied to be sent to the customers that order them and they are blurry and hard to read. I would think there may also have been a hard copy of the build sheet or at least a copy of the original invoice that the dealer would have received a copy of prior to the arrival of the car to pay for the car from. They were filed by the corporate office. After a period of years they would be moved to storage in one of their massive building somewhere.
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