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France A. Beaulieu


Mr. Pilot Line


France A. Beaulieu…..lovingly known by friends and family as “Frank”, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1926. At the age of 19, Frank joined the Navy and was ranked the aviation storekeeper third class and earned a World War II Victory Medal.  Rebecca, Frank’s daughter, described her dad as a character who had a great sense of humor. She tells about her dad going into a bar while on leave from the Navy and planting a kiss on the first beautiful girl he saw. That was Lois, Rebecca’s mother…..and they married in 1947 and had two children. After the war, Frank’s uncle…who worked in Personnel at General Motors, arranged for Frank to begin on the assembly line.   Rising rapidly to the top, Frank began on the Pilot Line in 1948. Frank earned the distinction of “Mr. Pilot Line” by the time the F-car was introduced. His letter and signature graces the introduction page of the Pilot Book.  Frank was in charge of the Specifications Division, but wore many hats during the Pilot Prototype Build.  He was the decision maker in charge of build configurations, build orders, fleet and special orders, and ultimately…..what divisions received the early prototypes to effectively do their respective jobs.  In a nutshell, he was in charge of orchestrating the program before and after the Pilot Prototype’s builds.   An extensive photographic history is included.  Please note the Pilot Prototype Build Board located on the wall behind his desk.  After 30 years of employment, Frank retired in 1979.  Unfortunately, in 1983, Frank passed away after a lengthy illness. He was loved by many and played an important role in the development of the car we now know as the “Camaro”.  He is buried in Crestwood Memorial cemetery in Grand Blanc, Michigan and survived by his loving daughter….Rebecca Margriff, who was interviewed on May 13, 2015.



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All of the Vehicles produced by  the former General Motors Corporation at its long expunged Norwood, Ohio factory are all existing trademarks of the new General Motors Company.  Any and all historical marks as used here are used for identification, description, illustrative, and educational purposes only.  This site is not affiliated with General Motors Company.



By: Logan Lawson

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