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    Thread: Some Mk1 history tidbits I wasn't aware of...

    1. Member mikeduke's Avatar
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      04-04-2010 01:49 PM #71
      subscribed this is awsome thank you

    2. Member cooljet's Avatar
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      04-06-2010 10:00 PM #72
      The building of the first 30 Westmoreland Rabbits. During the early days of Westmoreland we began to prepare to start production of the rabbit. The assembly area was busy learning on the 250 MKD cars from Germany. The body shop was gearing up. Each of the sub assembly areas were getting the tooling in place along with quality certifying the tooling. I was a supervisor in the body shop during those wonderful days. All of the areas had been building sub assemblies and going thru quality for certification. We worked for days getting each areas in spec. Finally the day came and the word came down that the first body would be assembled by US tooling.
      The day began as the assemblies came together. The main floor, then the rear floor, the front end, the side body panels, the roof panel, the tail panel. The interesting aspect of the assembly process is how the parts got the the carousel for assembly. At that time the automated delivery systems were not functioning so in order complete we witnessed waves of humans lifting the sub assemblies in the air and carrying them to the assembly point. It looked like a group of Egyptian slaves carrying the king to his throne. It was the story of the ants making things happen. The first 30 cars were built in this fashion.
      Once the bodies were assembled they were lifted of the carousel and placed on trunnion carts an pushed to the respot line. In this line the final mig welding was completed alone with the final spot welds Once completed the bodies went to metal finish where the body was gone over for dings, dents and fitment.
      So much for may ramblings hope that you all enjoy.

      Capt


      Modified by cooljet at 2:55 PM 4-18-2010


    3. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
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      04-06-2010 10:22 PM #73
      love it!
      keep the stories comin
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    4. 04-06-2010 10:55 PM #74
      The Captain was back in Indiana last weekend, and we had an opportunity to sift through some more goodies.

      Morgan dug up his Supervisor Training manual:

      I love pages like this:

      I'll get more of this scanned and posted soon.

      Here's his Westmoreland Master Tech patch and cool Rabbit belt buckle:

      More detail on the belt buckle:

      Here's another neat patch - PPG and VW:

      This one didn't come out so great, it's a VW-engraved watch:

      Another rarity - this is the cleanest VW Rabbit ear hood ornament I've ever come across:

      Here's two lapel pins Morgan had. These are very popular with the Germans to signify "been there, done that, don't even ask". The one on the bottom right is Morgan's one year of service pin

      Here's the Captain himself modeling his VW flag, which he claims flew at Westmoreland:

      I really like this one - it's a "standalone" Rabbit badge - check out the places on the back for the adhesive, very different from a typical plastic Rabbit / GTI badge:

      ...and yea, I saved the best for last. Morgan sent home a bunch of stuff for me to scan and post, as well as pulling out all these neat pieces seen above. While he's doing that, he pulls out this old Polaroid shot and says "I wasn't supposed to have taken this because it was a prototype, but I did anyway". This was taken in Wolfsberg in 1976 on a plant tour Morgan was on:

      It's the prototype of the VW Caddy, built in Germany with a 4-door shell and drop-down sides from a Transporter. I think I'm going to start a separate thread for this pic, I've never seen any pics or documentation on this critter so I'm hoping someone's got some they'd like to share...

      Once again, I'll let the Captain / Cooljet put more detail to the pics Good to see you again this weekend, glad to get some work done on your projects for once!


    5. Member wantacad's Avatar
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      04-06-2010 11:05 PM #75
      Quote Originally Posted by WackyWabbitRacer View Post
      You're new here but don't be a DORK.....
      Cheers, WWR.
      Quote Originally Posted by rte7x9 View Post
      Don't swap if you can't weld or fabricate. It's not a trivial task just to bolt everything up. There's a lot of nut-scratching involved. Take your time and do it right.

    6. 04-06-2010 11:13 PM #76
      That prototype kills what we actually got.

    7. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
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      04-06-2010 11:37 PM #77
      for reals!
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    8. Member greggearhead's Avatar
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      04-06-2010 11:48 PM #78
      Awesome. Thanks for contributing. Its the History Channel for VW nerds. I am one.
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      Usually selling Recaros, Porsche wheels, parts, etc.

    9. Member dubdaze68's Avatar
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      04-07-2010 01:44 AM #79
      Awesome prototype....Does the green signify a possible Bundeswehr application, along the lines of Iltis?
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    10. Member buzbomb's Avatar
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      04-07-2010 01:55 AM #80
      Quote, originally posted by dubdaze68 »
      Awesome prototype....Does the green signify a possible Bundeswehr application, along the lines of Iltis?

      I kinda think so - look how "finished" this prototype is. I wouldn't doubt it was shown off to the same gang of customers as the Iltis. Morgan claims the bed floor sits above the rear wheel arches on this particular vehicle, which would fit in with having a military purpose. Morgan said these vehicles were used as shop mules around the factory and not sold to the public, but I bet there's gotta be at least one that survived (and from what some of my friends I've met over the years at VWoA have shown me, I wouldn't doubt it's out there)...

      Oh yea, here's the link to the separate thread on the Caddy prototype: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=4837560

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    11. 04-08-2010 12:13 AM #81
      This is a great read! Thanks for sharing and keep posting!

    12. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      04-08-2010 09:30 AM #82
      Interesting stuff... I'm watching this.

      EDIT: I had a bunch of nitpicky stuff from early in the thread but this has way changed and I wanna hear more cool cooljet stories I asked him for details about the early years of the Mk2 but I don['t think the Mk2 forum would be interested... maybe he'll post them here, don't hate me


      Modified by VDub2625 at 9:20 AM 4-8-2010

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    13. Member volks25's Avatar
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      04-08-2010 10:31 AM #83
      How many "bodies" did not pass inspection and were scrapped ? (say in a month)

    14. 04-08-2010 03:59 PM #84
      Quote, originally posted by rabfan »
      This is a great read! Thanks for sharing and keep posting!


    15. Member cooljet's Avatar
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      04-08-2010 07:24 PM #85
      This is an interesting question for you to ponder. As far as production scrap I am happy to report that only the two bodies that Mr Cummis through off the paint shop load station (see earlier story) were scraped. Now for all of you to really understand this reality, the Germans had built such tight tolerence in all of its fixtures and the continuous quality checks in all of the sub assembly areas that when the parts and subassemblies came together is was awsome. Once the bodies were assembled we had to have the bodies go through a giant checking fixture that measured the unit. In the beginning this was done about every 5 bodies. As confidence with the fixturing proved reliable the amount of bodies measured was reduced to 2 per shift.
      As far a scrap was concerned we did see scrap in the form of individual parts in the subassembly areas.
      One other interesting not is that VWMOA had a stringent quality requirements that had to be performed and the Tier 1 suppliers before the parts left for Westmoreland.
      Hope that answers you question.

      Capt.


    16. Member JBGITTY's Avatar
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      04-08-2010 07:35 PM #86
      Such great stories must have been exciting to over see this back then. thanks for sharing.

    17. Member jv-dub's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 02:59 AM #87
      This is the best thread and content I have seen in a long time here, or possibly ever!

      Thank you for taking the time to tell these stories and give us some context for the cars we spend so much time on. I have lots of questions, but one that I have always wondered is how the split of German made parts (including interior dash/wiring/fuseboxes, etc...) evolved over the years at Westmoreland. Clearly the first 250 were 100% German-made kits, and as the factory ramped up you incorporated more American made assemblies and parts but what did that percentage come out to for the Rabbits over the years? I have an early 1980 model year caddy, it is very cool to know that you oversaw it being built.


    18. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 08:28 AM #88
      The reasoning behind the different parts is that it is cheaper to make and buy parts here in the US from local suppliers then to have them shipped from Germany. THus an electrical system that is very GM-like since it was developed in the US by an outside company. Same with the seats, different interior (and since they were building it here they decided to take some styling liberties as well), tail lights, suspension feel, etc.

      THe Mk2 was a slightly different case as it was made to 100% immitate it's EUropean counterpart, but yet again all the sub-assemblies and components are locally made and thus quite different from the German counterparts.

      I di find it quite interesting that as Jettas in the late 80s got really popular, they decided to build them at Westmoreland to keep from running out of stock until Puebla was greenlit for USA sales. They stamped the bodies here in the USA too. But they didn't use USA-built components... they actually shipped over all the supplies (dash, electrical system, seats, etc) from Europe so they were basically a German-made model made away from home. I guess it was easier to absorb this cost though since Jettas were far more popular. And they only made the most popular model, the 4 door GL.

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      04-09-2010 11:00 AM #89
      Subscribed- thanks for taking the time to share these stories!

      The picture of the caddy prototype makes me want to build one of those for my shop truck!!!


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      04-09-2010 01:39 PM #90
      Quote, originally posted by dubdaze68 »
      The old "Volkswagen Drive" became "Technology Drive".

      A few years back I wanted to buy the "Volkswagen Drive" sign with the arrow, from a local PennDOT location. I had spied it through the fence sitting on top of a pile of old signs. My wife actually went into the office on site and tried to buy it for me-- she was told in no uncertain terms that it was not for sale.

      After VW pulled-out and the plant was vacant, VW Drive used to be a pretty big spot for clandestine street racing. The road into the plant is pretty long.

      Life begins at 101 kpa ...and so does poverty--Lugnuts Calhoun

    21. Member jonny_breakz's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 01:48 PM #91
      Also subscribed. The stories are great, please keep them coming
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    22. Member dubdaze68's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 05:45 PM #92
      Quote, originally posted by Mark Morris »

      A few years back I wanted to buy the "Volkswagen Drive" sign with the arrow, from a local PennDOT location. I had spied it through the fence sitting on top of a pile of old signs. My wife actually went into the office on site and tried to buy it for me-- she was told in no uncertain terms that it was not for sale.

      After VW pulled-out and the plant was vacant, VW Drive used to be a pretty big spot for clandestine street racing. The road into the plant is pretty long.

      I knew it was still around until a couple of years ago, I say if it's still there we go steal it.

      And VW Drive is great, until you hit the lower end going into New Stanton and you forget about that one big bump.

      The local chapter of the SCCA did run Autocrosses there for a few years, then it moved to Connellsville Airport, then they got bounced from there....Now it's Beaverun.

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      04-09-2010 05:51 PM #93
      Give me a call sometime Pat.
      Life begins at 101 kpa ...and so does poverty--Lugnuts Calhoun

    24. Member cooljet's Avatar
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      04-15-2010 09:09 PM #94
      Buzzbomb where is the Black Jack (the rarest rabbit of them all), story to come soon. Also I am working on the Westmoreland paint shop layout with area descriptions.
      Capt.

    25. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      04-16-2010 12:06 AM #95
      Any info on the Wild White Rabbit?
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    26. Senior Member IronTrap's Avatar
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      04-16-2010 12:07 AM #96
      a relevant item i have. i have to post a pic of a booklet i have from what i believe was given to employees of the plant..





    27. Member buzbomb's Avatar
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      04-16-2010 11:40 PM #97
      Quote, originally posted by saddest6day66 »
      A relevant item i have. i have to post a pic of a booklet i have from what i believe was given to employees of the plant..

      Nice find - how did you come by it? I've been looking for one for decades now, never come across one that anybody wanted to part with. Same pouch as Morgan's too...


      Modified by buzbomb at 9:42 PM 4-16-2010

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    28. Member vwnut84's Avatar
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      04-17-2010 01:15 PM #98
      Wow, please keep this stuff coming! I absolutely LOVE the history of the Pa plant and the cars that came from it. This has got to be the best thread ever (for rabbit nerds at least haha)

      Subscribed!

      -Chris-

      "Design must be functional and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics, without any reliance on gimmicks that have to be explained." — Ferdinand A. Porsche

    29. Member vwnut84's Avatar
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      04-17-2010 10:55 PM #99
      Ok, so I'm laying in bed trying to sleep, and I'm thinking about this thread (sick, I know) and I remember that I had gotten an E-mail from one of the workers at the plant many years ago. His name was Blaine Stanza. He had sent me all sorts of info, including some pictures, but unfortunately were lost on my work computer. I'm going to try and search him out and see if I can get in contact with him again.

      back to bed.


      Modified by vwnut84 at 10:11 PM 4-17-2010

      -Chris-

      "Design must be functional and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics, without any reliance on gimmicks that have to be explained." — Ferdinand A. Porsche

    30. Member vwnut84's Avatar
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      04-17-2010 11:10 PM #100
      I think I remembered the e-mail correctly and have sent him a link so he can chime in on this (fingers crossed)

      Edit: damnit, no dice. He must not have the address anymore.

      Well if anyone else recognizes him, I'm pretty sure his name was Blaine Stanza, or Stanzia. I don't remember exactly.


      Modified by vwnut84 at 10:15 PM 4-17-2010

      -Chris-

      "Design must be functional and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics, without any reliance on gimmicks that have to be explained." — Ferdinand A. Porsche

    31. Senior Member IronTrap's Avatar
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      04-17-2010 11:29 PM #101
      Anyone able to shed light on if this was something that was given to plant employees? Another neat relevant item out of my collection..













    32. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      04-17-2010 11:43 PM #102
      Man, if you wanna scan those pages in high-res and email them to me I'll host them on the site for you... I'd love to read that!
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    33. Member deuceofhearts's Avatar
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      04-18-2010 01:07 AM #103
      Quote, originally posted by VDub2625 »
      I don't think the Mk2 forum would be interested... maybe he'll post them here...
      Modified by VDub2625 at 9:20 AM 4-8-2010

      another mk2 guy hoping that you will throw up more stories. subscribed.

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      Mods just need to make it obligatory to register your bentley's serial number in order to post in the mk2 forum.
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      If you're into abusive, one way only relationships with European goldiggers, that have a penchant for BDSM roleplay w/out the use of safewords, then yeah, MkII Gti's are the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

    34. Member cooljet's Avatar
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      04-18-2010 04:51 PM #104
      I believe that your document was part of a shareholders document for the corporation that was highlighting the expansion in the US.

      Capt


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      04-19-2010 11:54 AM #105
      Wow. When I met you last year, Morgan, I didn't realize about how you had worked at the plant, etc.

      Thanks buzbomb for getting him in here and telling me to look at this thread. In for more...

      Don't break my heart with your common sense.

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