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Australian 6 Manufacturing plant


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#1 NTSOS

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 17:50

I stumbled upon the following photos during a non-related search.

They were supposedly found in a suitcase in a New South Wales rubbish tip (what's that, a garbage dump?) approximately 12 months ago.

Australian 6 Manufacturing plant in Sydney, early 1924.......thought you all might like to see them......maybe you already have!

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John

Edited by NTSOS, 25 August 2010 - 01:10.


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#2 Tony Matthews

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 18:58

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To save space I've only copied one at random - wonderful photographs. 1924 - who needs digital photography!

#3 McGuire

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 23:58

Thanks, these are fantastic photos. Pretty small operation, note there is no assembly line, moving or otherwise. The cars are simply built on the floor. Bet they never built more than a thousand units, few thousand tops. Very interesting... except for the RHD the cars look very American. The photos of the trim shop and body shop are especially great.

Check out that one body on a cart -- clover leaf touring with ducktail. Very rare by '24. There are two views of this body from different angles, one in the trim shop and one in body drop. From the way things look it could be skiff or Weymann construction. Note the vast bulk of the cars are standard touring car bodies. Evidently, the cloverleaf was a special car for somebody.

Thanks for sharing the photos, John. Really made my day.

#4 Grumbles

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:16

Wonderful photos. I like the idea of going to work on the factory floor wearing a waistcoat and tie, possibly even a suit..

From wikipedia:

The Australian Six was an Australian automobile manufactured from 1919 to 1925. It was a grandiose attempt to compete against imported cars from the United States, and was produced from a mixture of local and imported parts. Vehicles featured a conventional chassis layout and a choice of five bodies, locally made under the motto 'Made in Australia, by Australians, for Australia'.[1] Most models were fitted with Rutenber Straight-6 engines and Grand Lees or Muncie gearboxes; some, however, had imported OHV Ansted engines instead. Before 1919 the factory was at the Sydney Harbour side suburb of Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, it then moved to Ashfield until 1924. The company was forced to shut down production after some 500 cars were built; this was due mainly to high local construction costs. The final few cars were made by the Harkness and Hillier hire car company in Sydney. Sixteen Australian Sixes survive, one in the Powerhouse Museum automobile collection in Sydney.



#5 McGuire

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:22

Most models were fitted with Rutenber Straight-6 engines and Grand Lees or Muncie gearboxes; some, however, had imported OHV Ansted engines instead.



This is sort of exciting to an auto history geek like myself... like discovering you have a cousin down under. Grand Lees doesn't ring any bells at the moment but Ansted, Rutenber, and Muncie were all automotive companies based in central and eastern Indiana. This Muncie is the not same outfit that made the well-known Muncie four-speed transmissions for '60s GM cars but is related to it, as are Warner and Borg-Warner -- H.L. Warner was originally the president of Muncie Gear Works. The Waterwitch outboard motor was also manufactured by this company. Ansted once manufactured a car under its own brand, as well as the Lexington automobile for a time, but also supplied engines to a number of carmakers, including Auburn and Durant... as did Rutenber, which is a mildly interesting convergence.

Ansted was actually a cluster of various companies in Connersville, Indiana, controlled by A.W. Ansted, most of which supplied the automotive industry. The Ansted interests were absorbed by E.L. Cord and the Auburn Auto Co, and his umbrella firm, AVCO. The main Auburn assembly plant was then relocated in Connersville, while a former Ansted company became the Central Manufacturing Co, which made bodies and pressings for Auburn, Willys-Overland (incl. the WWII Jeep) and others. The confusing tangle of companies also held a good portion of the appliance manufacturing business (washers, driers, ranges, refrigerators) for many years after the war, selling under a number of brands and manufacturing for others. Additionally, the grandson is the Bill Ansted who sponsored or owned a number of Indy car teams in the '50s and '60s, including the A.J. Foyt Sheraton-Thompson operation.

#6 NTSOS

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:17

The photos are so life like....it's like peering into a window of history.
Curious....what year did Ford start using a *fully* developed assembly line method of car construction?
Australian Six probably knew of it, so I wonder what the reasons were that they did not choose to implement the concept years after the fact........anyway, excellent history lesson........please continue!

John

#7 Tony Matthews

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:22

I like the idea of going to work on the factory floor wearing a waistcoat and tie, possibly even a suit..

You mean you don't? How odd..

#8 Greg Locock

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:33

You mean you don't? How odd..


I used to wear a bow tie and tweed jacket occasionally when I worked in the engine lab. How standards have fallen, these days at work I look, coincidentally, as if I have just finished sailing and drinking all weekend.

#9 McGuire

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:32

To save space I've only copied one at random - wonderful photographs. 1924 - who needs digital photography!


Funny how this works. Yesterday I was working with some B&W scans obviously taken from 35mm Tri-X, very grainy. Thank God we have digital now, I was thinking. Then we see these photos, clearly using a much larger and slower film, and by a photographer who really knew what he was doing. Aren't they beautiful? Look at the light in the windows. Obviously a very long exposure.

#10 McGuire

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:31

The photos are so life like....it's like peering into a window of history.
Curious....what year did Ford start using a *fully* developed assembly line method of car construction?
Australian Six probably knew of it, so I wonder what the reasons were that they did not choose to implement the concept years after the fact........anyway, excellent history lesson........please continue!

John


I wouldn't presume to judge as until yesterday, I had never heard of the Australian 6 (Six?) but it was probably not a matter of knowledge but of scale. Just guessing, but they probably got their engines, axles, frames, etc a few dozen at a time as vehicle orders and cash on hand dictated.

HF I had the moving assembly line in full operation at Highland Park by 1914-15 but then he had the production demand to support such grandiose thinking. I've been in his previous plant (Piquette Avenue) many times and it looks much like this facility, just somewhat larger. There isn't enough room for a moving assembly line, really. One thing you could do with this setup is change the assembly station orientation from "horizontal" to "vertical" -- stationary assembly line -- especially in the body shop, but it's not clear if the building's layout is conducive to that. Note this is an assembly operation, more or less. No presses or machine tools to be seen and from the way the components are stacked and laid out, it looks like they were mainly contracted. There were hundreds, no thousands, of auto manufacturers like this in the USA in the '20s... rather like PC manufacturers in the '80s.


#11 Tony Matthews

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 13:24

I look, coincidentally, as if I have just finished sailing and drinking all weekend.

You mean you haven't? How odd...

#12 Tony Matthews

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 13:32

Funny how this works. Yesterday I was working with some B&W scans obviously taken from 35mm Tri-X, very grainy. Thank God we have digital now, I was thinking. Then we see these photos, clearly using a much larger and slower film, and by a photographer who really knew what he was doing. Aren't they beautiful? Look at the light in the windows. Obviously a very long exposure.

They may well be contact prints from glass plate negatives, and even if the grain was coarser than a modern fine-grain film the lack of enlargement would give a very fine effect. The Motor Sport and Motoring News photographic side of LAT used Tri-X almost exclusively, and as a result, so did I, and for years after I left LAT. Properly exposed and process it can give really quite fine results, although the grain is alway apparent - but I like a bit of grain!

Edited by Tony Matthews, 25 August 2010 - 13:33.


#13 McGuire

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 14:06

One thing you could do with this setup is change the assembly station orientation from "horizontal" to "vertical" -- stationary assembly line -- especially in the body shop, but it's not clear if the building's layout is conducive to that.


I should add that this wouldn't necessarily be an improvement. A vertical plan assumes that the assemblies will finished in their order in line -- which requires a fair amount of organization and orchestration. If there is considerable hand fitting and fabrication involved, horizontal can be better. Many race car and specialty car builders are set up horizontally like this plant. Cars are moved from one assembly stage to the next as they are ready -- which due to the vagaries of the process, may not involve strict chronological order. One job hits construction snags while another sails through. The vertical plan allows the assembly line to run right down the center of the area, with people, parts, and tools brought in from both sides as they are required. But in order to work, all the processes on the line must be fairly well standardized.

#14 McGuire

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 14:18

They may well be contact prints from glass plate negatives, and even if the grain was coarser than a modern fine-grain film the lack of enlargement would give a very fine effect. The Motor Sport and Motoring News photographic side of LAT used Tri-X almost exclusively, and as a result, so did I, and for years after I left LAT. Properly exposed and process it can give really quite fine results, although the grain is alway apparent - but I like a bit of grain!


From what I hear, film is making a bit of a comeback. It seems people are hauling out their old film cameras, then having their images digitized onto disc instead of prints or slides at the processor. The scanning is dirt cheap now, like five bucks a batch, and is not subject to processing variations like paper. Best of both worlds in a way, while there is a lot of really superb film equipment sitting on the shelf. Drawbacks include the cost of the film and processing and the additional wait. The latter is generally a problem for me, but I would still love to try it some. I sure miss Kodachrome. Digital has many advantages but color rendition is not necessarily one of them.

#15 mariner

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 18:57

Going back to the photos when I saw the one with all the artillery wheels in an Australian factory I was reminded of visting the Ballarat gold town museum near Melbourne. The highlight for me was the wheelwrights shop. I had thought that was a cottage industry thing but even by the mid 19th century it was very mechanised. There were wonderful machines to do each job. One made hubs out of minor tree trunks. Another did the spokes in one operation and some very clever combined drills/chisels cut the square holes in hubs and spokes. If you like wood as a material it was wonderful.

Apparently it was organised on a "just in time" kit of parts basis. The machinery , from the USA , made the parts in a big city and they were sent out to local wheelwrights who assembled the kit of parts as and when wheels needed fixing.

#16 Spoofski

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:39

:up: Thanks for posting these: they are truly superb. I keep finding myself going back to them and finding bits I missed previously such is the detail.

#17 GreenMachine

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 13:02

... Aren't they beautiful? Look at the light in the windows. Obviously a very long exposure.


Yes, wonderful photos, but given the lack of movement evident, probably not a long exposure. Of course, the photog may have just called out "freeze, until I tell you you can move" ... :clap:

The light from the windows could be from a relatively large aperture, necessary to capture the poorly lit interior.

#18 Terry Walker

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 16:05

What a find!

The Australian 6 was an assembled car, everything bought in. There were very high tariffs on motor bodies in the period, to protect Australian coachbuilders etc, which is why outfits like Ford and GM set up plants here. The bodies were entirely locally built, the running gear assembled from imported components, thereby avoiding high tariffs. Ford T's, for instance, used a lot of stuff from either the Manchester or Canadian plants - getting the old Empire preference.

Not a lot of Australian 6s were built and I'm not sure if any survive. Mass producers like Chevrolet and Ford undercut them severely on price and quality, not to mention reputation and service networks.

Edited by Terry Walker, 26 August 2010 - 16:06.


#19 NTSOS

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 01:19

An amazing amount of additional information and photos about the Australian Six motor car and the company and people that produced it.

Australian Six motor car, 1923

John

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#20 Catalina Park

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 01:42

As far as I know the Australian Six was produced at Parramatta Road Burwood and the factory was where the AWA Factory stood until recent years (and the site of Australia's first Hooters restaurant). Don Harkness the constructor of the Anzac and Enterprise record breaking cars was associated with the company for a while.
My father told me that he had stumbled across a fairly complete Australian Six in the 1960s and regretted not getting it. His mates told him it was worth nothing where a "T" model would always go up in value! :lol:
The cars were built using a lot of imported American components. A brave attempt that was doomed to failure in the economy of the time.

#21 Catalina Park

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:39

Just looked through an old book and found two of these photos in the book! The photographers name was Milton Kent.
I think these may have been publicity photos for the company.

Another publicity attempt was a race car...

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The Victoria Park track later became the home of the BMC and Leyland factory in Australia until 1975.


#22 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 21:56

The Holden [Holden and Frost?] plant in King William St Adelaide did not have a moving line, it was much the same as you see in these pics. Though on a far larger scale.They assembled a multitude of brands inc Ford until the late 20s when GMH was formed and the manufactured/ assembled cars at Woodville. With moving lines.

#23 275 GTB-4

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 00:34

I sure miss Kodachrome. Digital has many advantages but color rendition is not necessarily one of them.


http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

#24 McGuire

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 14:58

One of my pastimes is keeping track of all the old auto plants around the Detroit area. Shown here, the original Hudson plant on Mack Avenue circa 1910 and when I photographed it in 2008. The building is complete and intact, in pretty good shape, and is used mainly for warehousing, apparently.

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#25 NTSOS

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 16:14

The original was a real clean machine.....just love the double hung windows and muttons, the trolley tracks and street texture and lack of power lines.

More please! :up:

John



#26 McGuire

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 22:36

This first photo was taken in 1895 in Toledo, Ohio at the intersection of Central Avenue and the NY Central RR. At this time the Lozier Bicycle Company occupied the building. It was taken over by the Pope bicycle trust and became the plant for the International aka Toledo steam automobile (a Pope production) in around 1899. In 1903-07 the Pope-Toledo automobile was built here. In 1909 the Willys-Overland Co moved from Indianapolis to Toledo and took over the facility. The complex eventually expanded north (right in the photo) and was, for a few years (1912-1918 or so) the second largest auto factory in the world (after Ford, of course). This facility was in regular daily production until around eight years ago. The WWII Willys Jeeps were built here, among others. Chrysler/Jeep now has a brand new plant a few miles north of the original facility and the original Willys-Overland aka Jeep plant has been razed except for one smokestack from the original foundry and, ironically, the original building in the complex. Has nothing to do with historical preservation -- at some point in the '40s or '50s (?) the original building facing Central Avenue was separated from the complex and sold off. The current owner is looking for a tenant/rehab partner/buyer.

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Anyway, that is the building shown still standing in the second photo, taken in April 2009. I was not able to duplicate the original photo angle. Where the original photographer stood in 1895 is now a railroad viaduct and I would have to stand in mid-air. Anyway, this building is my unofficial candidate for the oldest auto factory in America still standing -- 1899.

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Here is an aerial view of the Willys-Overland complex circa 1960-ish. (Toledoans called it simply "the Overland.") The original Lozier building facing Central Ave. is at lower right. Note that by this time, its west wing has been torn down for parking. The office building at the very center top of this photo is the Willys-Overland administration building, which was imploded in 1977. Magnificent building, white limestone, built in 1916, very ornate with all kinds of unique details and fixtures. However, it was designed to run on 400v DC from the factory's power plant, long since shut down. It was a nightmare to maintain and the then-owner of Jeep, American Motors, did not need an office building in Toledo. So it was loaded with explosives one Saturday morning and blown down. I remember that day well -- thousands of people came to watch the implosion.

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#27 NTSOS

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 05:56

What a lovely concept.......before and after photos, plus a fascinating narative....would make a terrific book man. :up:

John

#28 Tony Matthews

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 10:07

One of my pastimes is keeping track of all the old auto plants around the Detroit area. Shown here, the original Hudson plant on Mack Avenue circa 1910 and when I photographed it in 2008. The building is complete and intact, in pretty good shape, and is used mainly for warehousing, apparently.

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A simple, elegant building, but it shows how easy it is to corrupt that form by altering or bricking-up windows, changing doors and covering everything with paint. It has changed from a period industrial unit to a Young Offenders Institute. Assuming it is structurally sound it would, depending on location, make dozens of appartments in a refurbished shell. At least it still stands...

#29 McGuire

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 11:46

A simple, elegant building, but it shows how easy it is to corrupt that form by altering or bricking-up windows, changing doors and covering everything with paint. It has changed from a period industrial unit to a Young Offenders Institute. Assuming it is structurally sound it would, depending on location, make dozens of appartments in a refurbished shell. At least it still stands...


Indeed. This style of construction was typically employed in the first generation of auto plants: red or brown brick stacked in attractive piles, more or less. The more modern-appearing and structurally advanced steel and concrete "curtain" style as popularized in Detroit by Albert Kahn would arrive in just a few more years, and the plants suddenly got much larger and grander. Today, Old Detroit has a tremendous surplus of industrial buildings of all types.

Right across the street from the Mack Ave. Hudson facility (which was the Aerocar plant before that, d. 1907, I neglected to mention) is this rather similar building. The history of this one is a bit fuzzier (to me, anyway) but I believe it was originally built for the BF Everitt Auto Trimmings Co... Everitt being the E in the EMF automobile and apparently, seats and tops were built here. This building was also run by Briggs for a time and was also a Columbia assembly plant. Since these two buildings are directly across the street from each other, they are often confused and I am not sure I have it totally sorted out myself. Digging though various records, it appears this building was very busy well into the '80s, hosting a number of businesses. A steel products company was in here until just a few years ago.

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#30 McGuire

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 12:10

What a lovely concept.......before and after photos, plus a fascinating narative....would make a terrific book man. :up:

John


Thanks, those are very kind words but unfortunately, there is no money in it. For what it would pay, may as well post them here.

Here are two more then and now photos -- this is the Ford Piquette Ave. plant (between his Mack Ave and Highland Park plants, chronologically) in 1907 and 2009. The building adjacent is the remnant of the former EMF-Studebaker plant, most of which burned down several years ago. Through the opening there is a very nice open courtyard where more than one new car shoot has been done. (The Ford wall has a lot of character.) The Ford plant is owned by a preservationist group and they do a good job caring for it, which must be a difficult job as today this is one of the scarier parts of town. I could tell a story or two.

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These two photos recently appeared in this story, which you might like: http://www.hotrod.co...ents/index.html








#31 NTSOS

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 19:13

Thanks for the last two, complete with with a model T no less....jeeze those building were pretty then!

Obviously I know zero about photography, but I had fun with this old photo of Goodies Speed Shop, circa 1965 and a photo of the same building a few hours ago.

Goodies was home for the early GTO funny car Brutus, owned by Lew Arrington, and driven by (Jungle) Jim Liberman.....Jim also worked there. I drove those vans (or vans like those) up and down the west coast, for most of 1965 and early 1966.


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John

Edited by NTSOS, 29 August 2010 - 19:15.


#32 NeilR

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 22:51

I used to wear a bow tie and tweed jacket occasionally when I worked in the engine lab. How standards have fallen, these days at work I look, coincidentally, as if I have just finished sailing and drinking all weekend.



Ahhh we've turned you into an Australian!

#33 McGuire

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 11:27

Obviously I know zero about photography, but I had fun with this old photo of Goodies Speed Shop, circa 1965 and a photo of the same building a few hours ago.

Goodies was home for the early GTO funny car Brutus, owned by Lew Arrington, and driven by (Jungle) Jim Liberman.....Jim also worked there. I drove those vans (or vans like those) up and down the west coast, for most of 1965 and early 1966.


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John


Nice photo. Lots of fun, isn't it?

Must have been great to have a front row view of a great era in drag racing and several of its major players.



#34 NTSOS

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 16:28

Yes sir, the '60s in general and that time period in particular was an extraordinary personnel experience for me.......had Jim lived, my life might have taken a completely different turn of direction.....personality wise, energy, and showmanship, Jim was most certainly, John Force 2x!

John

#35 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 23:37

Thanks, those are very kind words but unfortunately, there is no money in it. For what it would pay, may as well post them here.

Here are two more then and now photos -- this is the Ford Piquette Ave. plant (between his Mack Ave and Highland Park plants, chronologically) in 1907 and 2009. The building adjacent is the remnant of the former EMF-Studebaker plant, most of which burned down several years ago. Through the opening there is a very nice open courtyard where more than one new car shoot has been done. (The Ford wall has a lot of character.) The Ford plant is owned by a preservationist group and they do a good job caring for it, which must be a difficult job as today this is one of the scarier parts of town. I could tell a story or two.

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These two photos recently appeared in this story, which you might like: http://www.hotrod.co...ents/index.html

Excellent article, so sad to see those old buildings collapsing. It is a pity about the Ford Plant having that other building against it as it was [and still is] a very attractive building.

#36 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 23:41

Thanks for the last two, complete with with a model T no less....jeeze those building were pretty then!

Obviously I know zero about photography, but I had fun with this old photo of Goodies Speed Shop, circa 1965 and a photo of the same building a few hours ago.

Goodies was home for the early GTO funny car Brutus, owned by Lew Arrington, and driven by (Jungle) Jim Liberman.....Jim also worked there. I drove those vans (or vans like those) up and down the west coast, for most of 1965 and early 1966.


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John

While not quite as architecturally satisfying as Macs Detroit plants good to see even 60s buildings surviving and seeminly unchanged. I am a bit surprised about the lack of bars or at least heavy mesh inside the windows against burglars. Basically a insurance requirement here these days, even over skylights and such.

#37 Catalina Park

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 10:25

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Another version of the first photo was in this months Restored Cars magazine...

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#38 NTSOS

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 15:49

..........and yet another view on the back page of the pamphlet:

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A lot larger plant than I had imagined.

John

#39 NTSOS

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 15:51

While not quite as architecturally satisfying as Macs Detroit plants good to see even 60s buildings surviving and seeminly unchanged. I am a bit surprised about the lack of bars or at least heavy mesh inside the windows against burglars. Basically a insurance requirement here these days, even over skylights and such.



Hi Lee,

Interesting.........you are referring to Adelaide I presume?

John

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#40 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 22:15

Hi Lee,

Interesting.........you are referring to Adelaide I presume?

John

Yes, most showrooms now have mesh inside the glass on small and medium size busineses of any type. Sad as it makes them look like a jail. But with all the ramraiders and druggies around it is the only way you will get insurance. And if you have it with no mesh you will after getting burgled

#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 23:05

Originally posted by Catalina Park
As far as I know the Australian Six was produced at Parramatta Road Burwood and the factory was where the AWA Factory stood until recent years.....


Seriously doubt that...

The building doesn't look at all similar to me. AWA's building, from memory, was much taller.

.....My father told me that he had stumbled across a fairly complete Australian Six in the 1960s and regretted not getting it. His mates told him it was worth nothing where a "T" model would always go up in value!


That was the day your old man should have sacked his mates...

And the day you should have sacked him!

#42 johnny yuma

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 01:54

[quote name='Ray Bell' date='Sep 1 2010, 00:05' post='4567090']
Seriously doubt that...

The building doesn't look at all similar to me. AWA's building, from memory, was much taller.

Post 19 by NTSOS has a history of the places used by Australian 6. The Ashfield site was used
until moving to Fivedock.The Ashfield site was huge,became known as Dodge Park,those cars
being assembled there among others.From 1931 AWA has use of some of the site.
Certainly the more moden AWA buildings were not even there when Australian 6 was on site.

Seem to remember reading elsewhere the AWA plant was something of a Workers Paradise.
I do recall in the 60s the garden-like grounds along the Parramatta Road frontage, with what
appeared to be staff having a pleasant picnic lunch.



#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 02:48

Yeah, and it's just down the road from Peak Freans...

So they could have Vita Weats for their lunch!

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#44 johnny yuma

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 04:37


The head of AWA ,Sir Ernest Thomas Fisk, is described in his bio as a "speed demon"
with a great interest in "business driving records" between Sydney,Canberra and Melbourne.
However a difficulty with Fisk is to find some aspect of life he was NOT obsessed with !

#45 Catalina Park

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 09:58

The location of the AWA factory could be described as Ashfield, Haberfield or Five Dock (and at a pinch Burwood!) I wonder if the Australian Six factory did move from Ashfield to Five Dock or if it was just a change of name. (The BMC factory at Victoria Park was called Zetland till they moved the offices to the other side of the plant and the new street frontage it suddenly became Waterloo.

I think the Australian Six factory in the photo is part of the AWA factory. It was set up in a similar arrangement with a road between two buildings. I know the bit close to Parramatta Road was taller but the buildings towards the rear of the block were lower and older.

#46 McGuire

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 11:33

Here are two more then and now photos -- these are of the Ford Highland Park plant where Henry I and crew perfected their moving assembly line. The front portion of the building is gone, replaced by the Henry T Shopping Center facing Woodward Ave. However, the adjacent administration building still stands with a nice historical marker. The former plant now hosts warehousing and light manufacturing, while the back lot is operated by a company whose work is apparently gathering up all the pallet racking in the world.

Taking these photos is a fun challenge in trying to duplicate the original composition. Often you can't back up far enough: there is a busy street or another building where you need to stand that weren't there back in the day. Also, the original photos were invariably taken with large view cameras, in which they could pan or tilt the lens board and film plane to correct the perspective. A modern digital SLR doesn't have these features (progess!) so the building will appear to be teetering forward or falling over backward. You have to experiment and find the least awkward compromise.

Posted Image

Posted Image



#47 Tony Matthews

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 16:23

Taking these photos is a fun challenge in trying to duplicate the original composition. Often you can't back up far enough: there is a busy street or another building where you need to stand that weren't there back in the day. Also, the original photos were invariably taken with large view cameras, in which they could pan or tilt the lens board and film plane to correct the perspective. A modern digital SLR doesn't have these features (progess!) so the building will appear to be teetering forward or falling over backward. You have to experiment and find the least awkward compromise.

It is a challeng! View cameras are so simple that it is not difficult to incorporate shift and tilt, and there are still specialist, professional cameras that have those features, but not many - I only know of Nikon and Canon off the top of my head - make lenses with tilt and/or shift for SLR bodies. I have a 35mm shift Nikkor, they make or made a 28mm and an 85mm, which seems an odd focal length for a shift lens... and Canon make a couple of tilt and shift lenses. I don't like converging verticals, but when you are trying to reproduce the same view as an old photograph it takes on more importance.

Great photos, thanks.

#48 Wirra

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 21:37

http://www.pictureau....org/index.html

I couldn't find any images of Australian Motors Ltd but there were quite a few of AWA. They brought back many memories of my first job with Hawker De Havilland at the old Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation site. Canteen (with the obligatory piano and a 'Cecil' from the toolroom or heat treatment, or wherever tinkling the ivories), lawns and gardens, tea ladies, golf & tennis clubs, etc, and grand Awards nights... not to forget the foreign orders! The good old days.

Some great old motorsport related images on that site.

#49 Wirra

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 21:59

Wonderful photos. I like the idea of going to work on the factory floor wearing a waistcoat and tie, possibly even a suit..
..

Some toffs from the office more like it, just doing a bit of grandstanding. Notice how they are always in the front of the picture and everyone else is in factory apparel.

Wonderful images.

#50 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 03:05

Family friend used to go assemble CKD Chrysler products in white shirt and tie,,,, in about 1960. It kept his wife busy cleaning his shirts.