Q: Document Summary
What are all the possible documents I can use to research my Firebird?
A: For those “connoisseurs” of originality, codes and numbers, here is an overview of the documentation associated with the 1967, 1968, and 1969 Firebirds.
DEALER ORDER/TRIM TAG
When a Dealer ordered a car, an Order number was created and routed to the Assembly Plant. At this point, the Scheduling Dept. sorted the information for sequencing and established a Build Sequence & Build Date. A VIN and TRIM TAG are generated during this phase. Fisher Body is where the car was ‘born’ meaning, the Trim Tag Data is used to define the basics (model, color, trim, glass, major power options affecting the Body in White ‘shell’). The Trim Tag Date Code was the Month and Week that the Body Shell was Assembled. The date that the car rolled off the Final Assembly Line could have been as much as a week or more later in some cases. Fisher Body then transfers the painted Body to the Final Assembly Plant.
CHASSIS BROADCAST SHEET
One of the forms of ‘instructions’ for building the 1st Generation Firebirds was a Broadcast Sheet. This ‘electronically’ generated Form was attached to the car either in the Fisher Body facility or upon arriving at Final Assembly. There were (2) different types of Broadcast Sheets used; the first being a “Chassis Broadcast Copy”. This sheet contained various ‘codes’ related to the Chassis of the car such as specific Engine, Trans, Axle as well as sub-components like Belts, Pulleys, Hoses. Brakes, Steering, Suspension, Radiator details were also on this sheet. This is the sheet that allowed the Operator to pull the right parts for that specific car as well as final assemble the engine down the last item like the Air Cleaner. Just prior to securing the Fuel Tank to the Trunk Pan, an Operator would sometimes place the Chassis Broadcast Sheet onto the Tank leaving it there for a lucky owner to find 30yrs later. These are very rare to find in 1967-1969 Firebirds.
BODY BROADCAST SHEET
Once the car left the Chassis area, it received another Broadcast Sheet, this being the “Body Broadcast Copy”. This was used within the Trim and Final area of the Assembly Plant and affected most everything else except the Chassis items. Things like… Console, Radio, Seats, Emblems, wiring, options, etc. Quite often, the Operator installing the Rear Seat would place a Copy of the Body Broadcast Sheet within the springs of the Seat Cushion. Sheets have also been found under the carpet, sound deadener and in the Bucket Seats. Many Codes were duplicated on both the Chassis and Body Broadcast Sheets since some components had related operations in another area of the Assembly Plant. For example, the Chassis Sheet has detailed instructions for the Rear Axle defining the Ratio and whether or not it was Posi (Saf-T-Track). There was also a Box on the Body Sheet for Axle however, this was likely used for the ‘Saf-T-Track Warning Label’ that was attached to the backside of the Deck Lid. It is likely that there were several copies of each sheet attached to various parts of the car during assembly. Most were thrown away once the instructions were no longer needed. Finding one in your car is the result of an Operator who chose to stick it in the car rather than take it to the trash can. Finding a Broadcast Sheet in your car or having one available during a possible purchase does allow one to ‘document’ the essentials of a car on the spot w/o paying or waiting for the Billing History paperwork. So far, no official PMD document has been discovered that explains anything about the Broadcast Sheets.
This document was used to track a vehicle and it’s cost’s from the Plant to the Final Destination. All the essential information is on the Billing History from Key Codes to Engine Unit Number, Options, Drivetrain equipment and Dealer Codes. The Option/Equipment Codes were based on Sales Code Numbers and are easily decoded. Also included was the Invoice Date which is closer to the actual date the car left Final Assembly than the firewall Trim Tag since the Invoice was not created until the car was completely built. These files were saved on Microfiche and made available to the public in the mid-80’s for the purpose of documenting your car. Back then, one could simply call the 800 number, give them your VIN and they would send you a copy of the Billing History. For FREE. Then, as the Muscle Car boom created a frenzy for documentation, PMD ‘gave’ their files (or access to them) to a Pontiac employee (Jim Mattison) who formed his own company (Pontiac Historic Services) which added a ‘Fee’ for this Copying of the Microfiche Service. Without a doubt, the Billing History is probably the most important of all documents for your Firebird but the Broadcast Sheets do add a little more background to the car as does an original Window Sticker or Warranty Booklet. More detailed information about documentation will soon available on the “Generation-1” Firebird Web Site as well as through other Web Sites including Geoff Martin’s. All of the above information is subject to change and correction due to the limited amount of material circulating with regard to Factory Documentation. For specific questions concerning the Billing History, contact Jim Mattison at Pontiac Historic Services (or PMD). This information is pretty much common knowledge. The codes used on the Broadcast Sheet are being deciphered all the time.
Key Words: Buildsheet
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Content last modified: January 19, 2014 at 10:32 am