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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Called up the manager of the former Lorain plant after work today and got his permission to drive around the grounds to take some pictures. :D

I'll start with a panoramic photo of the front of the plant taken from in front of the main entrance. Click the thumbnail for a larger resolution... not for the faint at heart; the plant's over 1/2 mile long!

-- See post 27 --

The rest of these are scaled to 800 wide. Click for 1024 wide... or if you've got your heart set on full res, PM me. ;)

-- see post 27 --

I don't know for certain, of course, but it looked like this door may have been the "end of the line" where freshly assembled vehicles would emerge from.

-- see posts 27 and 28 --

Here we have the loading ramps where cars to be shipped via rail were loaded onto boxcars. Chances are your car drove up one of these ramps and departed on these rails...

-- see post 28 --

At the back of the plant we have lots of loading docks where countless parts and sub-assemblies would have been unloaded.

-- see post 28 --

The main entrance.

-- see posts 28 and 29 --

One of the pump houses.

-- see post 29 --

All that's left of 1,500,000 square feet of the plant's center section, which was demolished because it had fallen into such a state of disrepair it was deemed beyond renovation.

-- see posts 29 and 30 --

After nearly ten years of neglect, this is what the parking lots mostly look like now. Hard to believe this lot was once full of cars waiting to be sent around the country - or world.

-- see post 30 --

Here would have been a pair of completed vehicles for the then current production model year on display for the passers-by on Baumhart Road to admire. Now just an advertisement.

-- see post 30 --

Meaningless signs reminiscent of a bygone era...

-- see post 31 --
 

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^ lol
Cool pics! Your a lucky guy to go do all that
 

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:thumbsup: Wow. Yea, Big thanks for posting these pictures.

I was thinking the same thing. I bet there's some souvenirs to be had around there somewhere.

How is it you happen to know the manager of the old plant well enough to just call him up and ask permission to poke around?
 

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Awesome photos. Your Thunderbird looks fantastic. Can't think of a better representative.
Great idea. Thanks for posting.
 

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Very cool!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
:zwall: (did you rescue the signs in the last Pic?)
:D Nah, I left them where they were.

I was thinking the same thing. I bet there's some souvenirs to be had around there somewhere.
Very possibly there's something inside one of the buildings that got overlooked when the place was emptied and sold. There are a few warehousing companies that have taken residence in the buildings now; there were lots and lots of semi trailers arranged throughout the grounds. Unfortunately I don't think there'd be any way to get permission to go inside and snoop around - when I was there I was expressly forbidden from entering any of the structures (be it for concerns of privacy, theft, or saftey).

How is it you happen to know the manager of the old plant well enough to just call him up and ask permission to poke around?
I don't know if the guy I talked to used to manage the old plant or not, but I don't know him personally. When I went up there this past Saturday hoping to get photos, I stopped at the gate and talked to the guard on duty that day and asked for permission to take pictures. He wasn't authorized to answer me so he gave me the contact information for "the plant manager" while at the same time let me take a picture of the photo of the last T-bird on the line. At the time I believed "plant manager" simply to mean the guy in charge of the place who was appointed by the new owners of the complex. I don't know if he worked in any management capacity for Ford at the plant or even if he used to work on the lines at all. But it is possible; the security guard did say that a lot of the old line workers went on to work for the warehousing company that moved into the old plant.

I am however good friends with one of the former line workers who used to do work in the body shop and later exhaust work at the plant. After his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps he began working for Ford at the plant and took a company buyout before the plant shut down. I also am good friends with a current employee of the Avon Lake plant as well. I don't know exactly what his position is, but he works the night shift and monitors the welding robots.

I would have been sooooooo tempted to drive onto one of those ramps :tongue:
Those concrete ramps at the front? Yeah, I thought about it too, but they looked a lot steeper in real life than they do in that picture. Plus with that big sign in the way... It would have been awesome to have a photo of my car up there though. "The last MN12 showcased at Lorain Assembly" :)

Thanks everyone for the positive feedback!
 

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Great pictures, makes me a little sad.
 

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Nice, I'm jealous now. I am curious if we were able to get a group picture of most of the members rides together, and sent it to the big wigs at Ford. Could we inspire Ford to bring the bird and cougars back. Hmmmmmmm makes you wonder.
 

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Nice, I'm jealous now. I am curious if we were able to get a group picture of most of the members rides together, and sent it to the big wigs at Ford. Could we inspire Ford to bring the bird and cougars back. Hmmmmmmm makes you wonder.
That would be a lot of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I showed these pics to the carpenter who recently added onto the fiancee's house; he lives about 2 miles from the plant. His dad used to work at the plant as well and retired shortly before they killed the MN12. He also knows about half a dozen of the guys in the picture of the last car coming off the line. Apparently the door I thought was the end of the line where new cars emerged to the world is in fact such. Also apparently the center section had been in a state of disrepair for a lot longer than recently (before it was demolished). When his dad worked at the plant some 20 years ago, the workers were told not to walk on the roof on that area because they were afraid it might fall out under them. It also leaked a lot when it rained, apparently...
 

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I'm surprised looks to me to a lot smaller than the Hapeville plant (home of the original Taurus/Sable)
 

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Thanks Brandon, very cool. I would have loved to join you and get some pics of my car there, too, but yours looks great there. Again, thanks for sharing!
 

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I've only just seen these from earlier in the year. Great pictures Brandon! Must've been really weird driving around there with it all deserted. Its amazing to think that my car came out of there in 1994, and is now sat in my garage over here in the UK.

At the end of July we had the closing of our local Ford factory in Southampton. They've made Transit vans there since 1972 and were a big employer in the area. It marked the end of Ford making cars in the UK. I think they only make engines and components over here now. A sad day indeed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2222524/Transit-van-factory-closure-Ford-blasted-1-500-jobs-axed-cutbacks-Dagenham-HQ-end-UK-Transit-production.html
 

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Thank you for showing us a little history of the birthplace of these beautiful cars. I really like those pictures especially the ones showing your car. Again thanks.
 
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