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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright I finaly have time to at least start the story of the homecoming trip.

At first we had to wait and wait for the registration to open (seemed like forever). Once the registration was opened, the flood gates poured with all that wanted to be a part of this wonderful event.

Folks were scrambling for time off, hotel rooms, directions to get there, and a possible place to park at Wooodward which followed the day after our Homecoming.

We soon found out that, all who attend would be treated to a Tour of the GM Heritage Museum in Detroit on Thursday night. As the event got closer we learned the one of Detroits SSR owners (Hotrodgirl) would be putting on a BBQ on Thursday night after the Tour.

Contacts were being made via Pm to MarcNY, Devastator (Chris Bellis), and myself (FUZZY), to compile a list for everyone attendig so that if they had any problems they could contact anyone on the list for assistance.This works out well if everyone has a username, contact number, state, color of your SSR, and a plate number listed. You can contact those that are in your state or on route to Detroit to hook up for lunch and travel plans.

I was rather busy right up till the day of Departure, as I was finishing a 55 chevy to deliver on Wednesday evening (4:30- 4:45), and cleaning the road bugs off my own SSR for the trip. Focks called requesting some famous Wisconsin cheese curds, which I made a trip to the local cheese shop and aquired for him. Kroozn (Ross) had called wondering if he could possibly hook up with us for the route around Chicago, and on to Detroit. I said most certainly you can. As Rick418 cars and I had been talking back and forth for a few weeks now about when we were leaving and what was the best route.

On Wednesday night Kroozn and his Nephew arrived in Janesville about 7:30 pm. Figured since they were in town I take them through the Janesville GM assembly plant (where they build the Tahoes, Suburbans, Yukon's, and Denali's) if they wanted. And of course the response was "sure we would". So I made arrange ments to Tour the plant at about 8:00 pm. After we watched the Saftey video were on our way (sorry no photo's for this part),

We toured the Heritage center in the plant where the first 1923 Chevy Superior was built in Janesville (completely restored by voluntary members of the Janesville plant and myself).

Then it was off to the Paint department where we donned our dust free suits and Hair nets, then through the evacuation booth, before asscending the stairs to the computer controlled paint areas. As we walked down the main hall area where all the computers were, we could veiw through the glass walls what was happening with the vehicles. The Computers controlled numerous robotics from Applying Primer, too dusting the finish, to paint aplication, and finaly the clearcoat. What a wonderous system here at Janesville.

We then walked to the Body shop where they Build many of the Metal components of the vehicles. Some of this is completely computer controlled like the system the call the FIRE. This is the system of robots that weld from every angle imaginable in the Body of the vehicles all with in seconds. While running it has sparks flying in every direction and appears to be on ffire as it operates with such speed.

Off to the body line where they assemble the other metal parts on the vehicles to assure propper fit, and remove defects in the metal sufaces before paint. This area is very bright so that every defect (body wave, dimple, etc) will show up.

Now down to the first painted assembly area, where the interior wiring and flor mats, jacks etc. are installed Saw the Wife in action installing Vin plates and the other dod dads she has on her job. Looked pretty busy. We cut over a few lines and showed them the cushiest job in the plant where the employee has a comfortable chair mounted on a swing arm that sets him inside the vehicle to install rosebuds and other items without touching the floor of the vehicle. the swing arm follows the line for a ways to allow the person to install all the items and never bumps the vehicles.

At this point we walk to the IP line (dash). Kroozn is impressed by the number of electrical components in the dash (the IP's are assembled then installed later).

Went over to the Door assembly line and seat instalation area. Doors area ssembled of the vehicles and then attached to the vehicle after the seats are installed. (makes sense to install the innerds before you install something in the way).

Next was the chassis assembly area. All the frames are up side down to ease in installing all the undercaridge parts without having to look over head to do it. Once that was completed they go to the Brake deck where the engine and trans are installed and then the brake systems. Which are completelyassembled, filled and bled without the body any where in sight yet.

We've seen the body assembled. and the chassis asembled, btu now we finally get to see them married together. This is truely an amazing process. A short time later we arrived at the final ine where the vehicles are tested. Computers are checked, alignments, radios, HVAC, everything. If it doesn't pass, it goes to repair. This is quite the facilty area in itself. Hoists, Paintbooths, what ever they need to changed can be accomplished here in a timely manner.

Tour is almost complete. We have seen just about everything in the plant, but on our way back to the front of the plant we spied some bodies the were not like the other ones being assembled. We stumbled upon a few pilot models of the new vehicles to be produced here in 2006. These were not completely assembled vehicles, just bodies. The completed veicles were in Detroit being tested.

Plant tour is now completed and we retired for the night at 10:45, seeing as how 5:00 am would come rather quickly.

After I returned home, I realized I hadn't even started to pack yet. Went through the closet, grabbed a few shirts, then shorts, and other items. the for the bathroom items, everything but the tooth brushes and tooth paste. Oh almost forgot, where did I leave that darned cooler. Npoe not in the house, not in the garage, not in the shop, not in the lean too, not on the porch, ah here it is out by the tree near the fire pit. Better clean it, and put it in the SSR before I load it. OK, let's see... what am I forgetting? Oh yes, the laptop with the GPS, THE TWO CAMERA'S, AND THE RESEVATIONS AND TRIP INFO. I think I'm ready.

Better check the web site before bed. Chatted a while on line till about 1:30 am. OK that's good, now for a shower and some sleep.

That pretty much took care of preplanning. Next post will be on the road to Detroit.
 

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Fuzzy,

The tour you gave through the Janeville plant sounded like a lot of fun. Would have enjoyed taking that myself.

Randy
 

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FUZZY,

Great story so far, but if your posts get any longer, we're going to call you JIM G JR! :lol
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Headin out early

Thursday morning dark and early, Kroozn met us (the wife and I) at my house. Gave him the directions I was taking just in case we got split up in Chicago traffic.
Turns out that the wife decided to stay up after work for fear of not being able to get up at 5:00 am. CT

Anyhow, on the road we went and the first highway we hit headed east there it was, the Sun coming up. The wife says ooohh that's pretty, as I state a fact that instead of saying it just take the picture then tell me. After all no one else can see a Sun rise if she just says ooohh thats pretty. She still needs coaching on taking good pictures. We're off and heading south now towards Rockford, IL just getting up to a cruising speed when WHOOOAAH!! toll time in IL. Paid that one and went on.

When we neared the south side of Rockford I called Rick418cars to see how they were doing? They were just getting under way. We figured we would try to meet at 90/94 and I-80 at the south side of Chicago, and if that didn't work out then the first rest stop in Michigan.

Kroozn and I kept motoring along making good time, hitting some traffic, but not too bad.

As we neared I-80 the phone rings, I assumed it would be Rick, but I was wrong, it was Jeffdbfl's wife Terri. They were outside of Dayton, Ohio and just checking in to see when our approximate time of arrival would be. I figured if all went well we would make it by 2:30 CT/ 3:30 ET. mentioned that Rick should be joining us shortly coming in on I-80 which we had just passed. Told her that we were planning a fuel and lunch/brunch stop in Kalamazoo to meet up with Scott0168.
Terri responded that they should be at the hotel about 1:30-2:00. We should be far behind.

Now it was time to check in with Rick and Jody. Turns out that they were only about four miles behind us. Couldn't have planned that any better if we really tried. Told them to just meet us at the first reststop in MI if he hadn't caught us by then.

We made it through Indiana and approached MI. Traffic was coming on the HWY pretty thick when all of the sudden I see the road sign from between two semi's .... reststop this exit (we were in the far left lane at this point). WEEE DOGGIES this aught to be fun to get both of us into the rest area while so many others were trying to get out if it from the first ramp (Michigan on off ramps for rest area are backwards. They have the exit from the rest area coming on the hwy before they have the entrance going off the hwy. Makes for some inginuitive driving trying to get to a rest stop when your back teeth are floating. Well I made my move on the Semi, sliding in between them and attempting to give Kroozn enough room to follow, but alas he didn't quite make it, Zoom there he goes cruisin by. Called Rick right away to alert him to the fast exit just in side the MI border. Gave instructions to hit the right lane asap in MI and take the first exit. Okie dokie, as he responded he realy needed this stop also (believe his teeth were floating too). Called Kroozn to see where he ended up. Turns out he went to the next exit with a T/A truck stop at mile marker 12. Alrighty now, we're ready for the road again. Rick and I took off with the pedal to the metal coming back on the hwy yeeeehhaaa 25mph to 85 mph in no time (mere seconds) I in the SSR and Rick in the turbocharged GTO. whhooo IT DON'T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS.

We picked up Kroozn at mile 12 and went on to Kalamazoo. Did I mention that it is now raining hard. As we neared (10 miles out) I phoned Scott0168, but only got an answering machine. Left him a message that we were making a fuel stop and brunch/lunch stop there if he cared to join us.

Exit 80 arrived and we pulled in for fuel. Poeple from all around stood there looking at the three of us in awe. They couldn't believe the vehicles. With fuel topped off we were discussing restaraunts when some guy in a blue van pulls up behind Kroozn. figured he was waitng for the pump.As I walked back to my SSR He yells out "HEY FUZZY" "it's me Scott". Ah, now I know who it was. It was Scott0168. He told us where the Pekin's was and followed us over to have brunch with us. Scott told us he would meet up with everyone in Lansing in the morning. After our tummies were full we were ready to hit the road again.

We had decided to go up I-69 to Lansing then come in to Detroit on I-96 on the north side to miss all the construction roads and traffic through greater Detroit.
We made very good time this way and had litle delays at all. From I-96 TO 696 to Van Dyke ave to the hotels, like we knew what we were doing.

Finally arriving at the Hotels about 4:30 ET. Many of the Fanatics were in the parking lot chatting. JEFFDBFL said they ahd a hose set up to wash of the raod grime. So once we checked in I went to wash the truck along with a few others. Went back around to dry off and chat with the others. There was MarkNY, Rebel, Devastator, JEFFDBFL and Terri, PURPLE PENELOPE (ED), Dittonzssr, Dingbat, Big Jim, BobA, Looking_4_an_ssr, Kroozn, Rick418cars, myself and more which I had not met yet. We all chatted a while as we looked at what each of us had done to their SSR, while we waited for Bob walzyck to arrive to lead us to the Heritage center.

STILL MORE TO COME LATER, BUT A FEW PHOTO'S FOR NOW.
 

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Heading for Heritage

Did anyone notice how the silver SSR's were grouping up by themselves. They just seemed to blend into the backround.

Now we were ready for the Heritage Museum, well almost. Jim G had called and said he was either lost or stuck somwhere in Detroit. turns out there were somr roads blocked and he couldn't get here from there. Bob walzyck took care of gititng him directions to get here via a differant route. Bob was there to lead the way and the rest of us just jumped in line. As we headed out of the lot to the nearest stop light and waited and waited, there seemed to be a spectacle appearing in front of us. Looks like someone had jumped out of their truck and stated running around, then there were two. Paying closer attention, it was Devastator, and his co pilot having a chinese fire drill, and it was caught on tape and film. After a short cruise to the Museum, we all gathered around as we waited for the museum to open the doors for us. As everyone arrived, here comes Mo #1 PISTON'SFAN in his gorgeous orange SSR. This must be seen in person to appreciate, because even my 8 megapixel camera doesn't bring out it's true beauty.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Let the tour begin

Once inside the Museum, we were seated and given some introductions, then a video. After some instructions not to touch the vehicles (open doors, hoods, etc), we were allowed to roam freely through out the Museum.

This was great.

IT IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, just in case you planned on stopping by for a peek.

They did allow us to take photo's of what ever tripped our trigger, so I did. There were a number of vehicles I remember reading about as concept cars that were there, as well as restored production vehicles from way back. Some prototype ideas that never made it to production, but were cool non the less. As I walked around I recalled working on many of the vehicles they had there. They had many differant collectables there including old pontiac hood ornaments, and other memorablia. Man I love this stuff. The folks at the museum set out some snacks for us, which were about gone by the time we left at 8:30.
 

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Wow Fuzzy! INCREDIBLE POSTS! Thanks again for allowing myself and Kroozn to meet up with ya.

I also want to thank you for posting your photos and sharing the story of the awesome homecoming with everyone. I will have mine uploaded to my very brand new website; very soon.
 

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next up

Hotrod girls BB-Q. Straight up the road from the Heritage museum just a few miles. As we arrived, you couldn't mistake which one one hers. It had all the SSR's from the area there in the yard. Hotrodgirl and her family put on a terrific BB-Q spread with hot dogs, a relish tray, some cheese, brownies, margerita's, and lots of friends. A big thanks to Hotrodgirl and her family for putting this on for all the fanatics. oh, and thanks for the cd of the FANATICS GREATEST SONGS too.

At this point the wife was ready to fall over (from lack of sleep. remember she hasn't been to bed yet since Wednesday morning). I kept teasing her that now she had a taste of what I do while I'm painting cars and forget what sleep is. Ok we headed for the Hotel to let her get some rest before morning.

On the way back to the hotel, Rick called and said they didn't have his SSR ready yet at Wheel 2 Wheel Powertrain. Turns out a part got chipped and would be showing, so they removed it and sent it to be repowdercoated over night and would have it for 6:00 am tommarrow. So we made plans to rise at 5:00 am and get it at 6:00am then back to the hotel for the line up.

At the hotel a few of us chatted out in the lot for awhile, when we noticed something glowing in one of the cars. It was a black SSR, BUT WHO'S. I know how to figure this out, grab a list of the vehcles and owners and look to see who has the plate WOW FCTR. Well what do you know it was John LOOKING_4_AN_SSR, and we had aphone number too. So we called and woke him up so he wouldn't have to ask for a jumpstart in the morning.

By now it was 12:30 am so off to bed the last of us went. Even though I couldn't get to sleep till 2 am.
 

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FUZZY!

Great story! Thanks for letting us (who NOW know what we missed) see what it was like to be there!

AND now............. About your TV interview?
 

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Buffy said:
FUZZY!

Great story! Thanks for letting us (who NOW know what we missed) see what it was like to be there!

AND now............. About your TV interview?

It aint over yet Buffy. THERE'S PLENTY MORE TO COME. AND ABOUT 70 MORE PHOTOS
 

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Homecoming day

Rise and shine at 5:00 am, and down to the truck to wipe it down. Sprinklers came on over night and dew all over the truck. A short time later Rick comes down for our early morning trip to Wheel 2 Wheel Powertrain to pick up his SSR.

We get out on the AVE and were traveling at a steady speed (50) when all of the sudden as Ford navigator turns the corner right in front of us. Stomping on the brakes, we came to a screaching haul, sliding into the intersection. Turns out my light had changed to red and we were sitting half way in the middle. Well can'tsit here so we kept on going.

We arrived at W2W and found the correct door to enter (the garage door was open and there was Rick's SSR in the doorway), and somebody still undere the hood of the SSR. Thinking UH OH it's not done yet, now what. When we get to the front of the SSR we see that he is installing the intake tube, this shouldn't take long, so Rick and I looked around the shop at some of the other projects.
Checking the time we see itnoe 6:30 and he's still wrenching. Then the wife calls telling us that everyone is lining up and ready to go. Told her to see if they would wait a few minutes for us, and if not to ride with ED and we could catch them along the way. Finally Collin was done installing, but need Rick to sign a release to take the truck, ok, another minute or so, not. I ttook another ten minutes to go to the office get a paper and bring it back. by now it's approaching 6:45, we're running really late now. We headed back and just made it to the line up, we had no sooner pulled in, and the crew were starting up to pull out.

What a great ride this will be.

Out on the hwy just cruising at 60 to start and let everyone group up, then 70 and even 80 for a while. 40 or so SSR's all in a row (this is so cool). Pictures being taken and Cameraman video taping. (I see the wifes photo skills need to improve a bit, she was a bit shaky).
 

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Great Pictures!!!

FUZZY said:
It aint over yet Buffy. THERE'S PLENTY MORE TO COME. AND ABOUT 70 MORE PHOTOS
Great work Fuzzy....:thumbs

Keep them coming.....

RickSSR :cool
 

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more hwy cruising

As traveled towrards Lansing everyone was single file (thought to myself this is getting old seeing the same SSR from behind the hole ways, so I pulled out in lane two to get some differant shots). A short time later as we were cruising about 1 mph faster than the others I noticed in the rear view mirror the some of the gang had done the same. Wow!!, this is better yet, two lanes of SSR's headed down the hwy at 75. By now were approaching Lansing and file back into line for the off ramp. Got some good shots of everyone lined up at the off ramp going around the corner.

As we arrived at the Lansing Craft center we see the SSR on the tower, big tents set up, TV camera's, and lots of folks watching for our grand arrival. It was like being the bell of the ball for all of us. Everyone line up as we drove through the coned route and clapping for our vehicles, telling us thanks for purchasing one.
The usherd us to our parking area in an orderly efficiant manner. We now had to step into the tent ot sign in and sign up for plant tours (our was at 10:50), recieve our goody bags filled with SSR materials, and also got to sign a poster and an SSR hood at the end of the line. Now to go check out the Multitude of SSR's in the lot. There were orange ones, black and silver, silver and carbonfibre, blue and silver faded, orange and white socal, the orange and purple pace truck, the flamed pace truck, and the original purple pace truck. There were virtualy SSR's af many colors and only one day to look them all over.

As we were walking around I heard someone call my handle "FUZZY", as I turned around there was this big fella coming towards us, (I'm at a loss not knowing who this was) He intorduced himself as MIKE Focks from the web site. AH yes, I have something for you in the SSR. We walked over to my SSR and I showed him what we had broght for him from Wiscinsin, about 5 lbs. of cheese curds. If you've never had Wisconsin cheese curds, you're deffinately missingout. Also had some Northern Wisconsin Venison in the Cooler. Focks walke dus to his SSR and handed us a jar of Homeland Honey. Turns out Focks is a bee keeper and rakes in his own honey. Thanks Mike.

From here it was time for our plant tour. pics from outside for now, sorry no indoor plant photos were allowed.
 

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