Joe Feko Junior Detailer
Chevrolet Engineering Center
In the fall of 1961, I was an engineering student at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University). The school offered a cooperative education program that had me alternating between classes in Flint, Michigan, and work assignments at the Chevrolet Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan.
At Chevrolet, I worked on the drawing boards as a junior detailer. Detailing is the final step in the process of creating engineering blueprints for the manufacture of parts and components for new vehicles. Vehicle design starts in the design studios and, in those days, when a concept was finalized, the entire vehicle was drawn on large metal plates called layouts. This contained all vehicle information including all parts and sub-assemblies. Detailers took information from layouts to create individual parts drawings.
As a junior detailer, I was usually assigned to relatively easy tasks such as making drawing revisions, minor drawing corrections, and various drawing updates. Experienced detailers worked closely with the engineers and handled the more difficult and complex parts. They often made design-improvement suggestions during the detailing process. Detailers made design refinements and added the information required to make a finished engineering document. Detailing also served as a review process where parts were examined for conformance to design and manufacturing standards.