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Milwaukee Plant

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Montana 70 Rebel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Montana 70 Rebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Milwaukee Plant
    Posted: Jun/09/2021 at 4:49pm
Hi everyone, looking for some information on AMC's Milwaukee production plant. Namely, what was produced there and when. My Grandfather was a UAW member in that facility through the 60s and mid-70s. After many years of searching, just got my hands on a '70 Rebel SST 360 project that my son, his namesake, and I will be rebuilding. Curious if we'll be encountering any pieces that might have made their way through that plant at any point. Thanks for any info!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote mrblatzman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/10/2021 at 8:08am
Your Rebel body was most likely built in Milwaukee and then hauled down to Kenosha on special trucks and put in the final assembly plant there in Kenosha....There is a Wal-Mart sitting where the plant in Milwaukee was located....
Thankyou....Bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote PHAT69AMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/10/2021 at 10:41pm
There is a new 2020 little paper back book available from the Colorado AMC Club that at the front of it goes into some details to the point that sometimes can get confusing about how the whole process happened, even has some plat plans, although rather small for old eyes, inside front and rear covers. 
"The Untold AMC Stories" by Peter M. Williams, Gordon O. Spark, & Austin B. Hosterman
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote 73Gremlin401 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/11/2021 at 10:09am
In the Milwaukee plant's final year - 1978 - it seems, based on body numbers, that only matador shells were produced there.  In the last few years I've gotten pretty involved with these final run cars, and when looking at the build tags and VINs of those cars, the disparity between 'body number' at the top of the tag, and the 'sequence number' at the bottom of the tag is often huge. (these numbers rarely, if ever, match, but are often within a few hundred to a thousand difference)
With only around 11,000 Matadors of any kind (2 door, 4 door and wagon) built in that final year, this appears to be what happened. Concord, Gremlin and Pacer build/sequence and VIN of Kenosha assembled cars in 78 don't seem to have this disparity.

This may not be the kind of info you were looking for, but it is one of those curiosities that has cropped up in my research.


Edited by 73Gremlin401 - Jun/11/2021 at 10:12am
73 Gremlin 401/Richmond Gear 5-spd.
77 Matador Wagon 360/727.
81 Jeep J10 LWB 360/4-speed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Montana 70 Rebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/17/2021 at 1:03am
Thank you all for the info! I'll definitely track down a copy of that book and if the Rebel body came from Milwaukee, then I've definitely already "encountered" some bits my Grandpa may have handled haha. Memorial Day Weekend was spent cutting out the lower rear quarters and reforming inner and outer patch panels from scratch basically using the trim for the template. They turned out very nicely though and I'm hoping my icepick has been telling the truth with the rest of the panels. We'll see as the project progresses.  

That's interesting on the Matador bodies towards the end. In other words the body shells sat a fair amount time between their assembly in Milwaukee and final assembly in Kenosha. My grandpa took a buyout in '76 or '77 I believe, and passed away in '79. I was born in 1982 so I never got to meet him so the info here is very appreciated. Been looking for an AMC project for a long time and took on a big restoration project for my first try, but have some help and what seems to be a solid 360 SST for the most part. Will be a complete restoration but the way I see it, that's probably the best way to really understand the car and maybe a little more of the man. Again, much appreciated!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BU1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/17/2021 at 9:10am
Originally posted by Montana 70 Rebel Montana 70 Rebel wrote:

 
 In other words the body shells sat a fair amount time between their assembly in Milwaukee and final assembly in Kenosha.
 
 I don't think that is a fair statement at all. It would take time, and space, to store bodies for any length of time before assembly, which would cost money. Money that would be better spent elsewhere. 
AMO #2726
#1 1968 AMX Rally Green 343 4spd since 1975
#2 1968 AMX Rally Green 290 4spd since 2019
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 73Gremlin401 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/17/2021 at 9:14am
Originally posted by BU1 BU1 wrote:

Originally posted by Montana 70 Rebel Montana 70 Rebel wrote:

 
 In other words the body shells sat a fair amount time between their assembly in Milwaukee and final assembly in Kenosha.
 
 I don't think that is a fair statement at all. It would take time, and space, to store bodies for any length of time before assembly, which would cost money. Money that would be better spent elsewhere. 


Correct.  I think with the Milwaukee plant shut-down looming, that the Senior line was slowed down to a crawl and the bodies were built on an as-requested basis, with just-in-time delivery to Kenosha for final assembly. You'd think that would also mean these bodies were assembled with greater care - but from what we've seen of the 78s in our yard.....that doesn't appear to be the case, unfortunately.
73 Gremlin 401/Richmond Gear 5-spd.
77 Matador Wagon 360/727.
81 Jeep J10 LWB 360/4-speed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Samir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/19/2021 at 10:54pm
I haven't been on the site in ages, but since my dad passed away last year from covid, I have been thinking about him a lot lately. And I wish he was still here because he was a young mechanical engineer living in Kenosha in 1975-76 and could have told you what happened first hand.

I was lucky enough to have him and my mom visit me and my wife when we lived in Milwaukee a few years back and we drove to Kenosha for a day where my dad ran into some townsfolk that remembered the old building where he worked, the old hospital where I was born, and what happened to it all. There's a lot of folks there that remember and still know these things. The restaurant where my mom first ate spaghetti was still there and doing well so we were able to eat there for dinner. That was actually the last time my mom was able to eat spaghetti as her ALS took away her ability to eat and then her life in the next few years.

If you want a real taste of your grandfather, make a visit to Kenosha and talk to people and see what happens. When my dad returned to India for his first visit in over 30 years, he actually found his classmate from college who he had not seen in 44 years--the adventure of retracing the steps in someone's life can be magic in itself and I highly recommend it if you can do it at some point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pacerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/21/2021 at 1:17pm
I do know there was a strike in the Milwaukee plant in 1976 which disrupted the production schedule in Kenosha after it was settled.  There was evidently a backlog of orders for car bodies assembled in Milwaukee as a result of the strike.  My 76 Gremlin was assembled on the west production line in Kenosha, "normally" reserved for the large body cars.   

Happiness is making something out of nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Samir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/21/2021 at 10:19pm
Interesting to know about your Gremlin. My dad signed up to purchase one of the high mileage test vehicles as his first car and had to go at 6am to wait in line. I believe this was right around the time I was born so sometime in mid to late 1974 or early 1975. The first person in line didn't show up, so he got was basically a de-badged Gremlin X that had the Gremlin X powertrain, etc, but didn't have any of the X badging, just normal. Unfortunately, the car was totaled when my dad was late returning from lunch and my mom being a new driver was skittish when he told her to just run the train light for the slow transport train that was there at the factory and when she did, they got a flat right there on the tracks and the train plowed into them and dragged the car a couple of hundred feet. Needless to say the car was totaled, but I still have some faint memories of that car and some pictures of it from when it was in the junkyard.

My dad would have remembered that strike and the details of it all if he was here today. :( I'm sure someone there in Kenosha still would know.
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