At the Factory

On April 4th 1964 a Ford photographer walked the Dearborn line and captured different phases of assembly ranging from bucking the steel platform to quality control.

What these images from Dearborn lang ago tell us is simple. Mustangs were assembled in busy factories where the human factor determined outcome. In 1964, the only automated phase of assembly was the automatic welder that fused the platform together at the beginning of assembly. From then on, Mustangbodies were hand assembled by humans. What's more Mustangs weren't dipped in an electrostatic bonding process (called E-coat today) for corrosion protection. They were hand primed with guns in a spray boot, then painted, which is why cowl vent assemblies leaked and floor pans rotted out in great numbers.

Here a 64 gets its roofpan welded. The workers fit the pan to its place and then spot-weld it to the body.
At this time this 64 hardtop does not have a vin number yet.
The outer rocker panel is welded in place. No dashboard or rear seat area have been installed yet.
A Ford worker poses for the photographer.
The hoods are brought by hand and installed by hand.
While tightening the screws the hood is hold by a support that sits on the radiator !
The fenders are installed. The human eye checks for gap and fit....
At this point the car has its battery, gasoline and all its fluids, in 10-15 min it is started and drives.
The rocker molding gets installed. They used a jig and an air drill to bore the rivet holes. Notice the absense of the quarter ornanment and no accent stripes. Those were installed in the quality control area.
Front bucket seats were brought in by an overhead hoist and positioned inside the vehicle
This is the quality control area. The Fairline production was dropped in Dearborn. They were already produced in Kansas city.
Quality control for this red fastback. It is a HIPO V8, standard with dual red line tires.
The Cougar was produced on the same line as the Mustang.
This red convertible receives its inspection at the end of the assembly line, ready to be fired up.
Mustangs and Cougars on the assembly line in 1968.
During the 1968 strike.
Parts ready to be installed for 1968 mustangs.
More parts, painted and ready to receive emblems and side markers.
Nice 1968 fastback !
Somebody is working hard on this '70 Grandé Mustang.
Demand was high, production was high, so loads of mustangs ready to be transported to the dealers.
Mustangs and Cougars on the same assembly line
Look at that train in the back.... and the parking lot !
Checking to see if it's waterproof at San Jose.
Parking filled with new 65 cars. Most cars have wheelcovers, only 1 with styled steel wheels.
1969 Shelby assembly
1969 Shelby assembly
1970 Mach I on assembly line (notice the Cougar on the left)
Mustang II's ready for transport.