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  Building Britain's best seller

 

When building any motor car it is important to remember that amount of equipment and people required to start assembling the cars and the adding the finishing touches. Longbridge and Cowley were amongst the most modern car factories in the UK.


 :: Additional information - Longbridge

Click here to view a larger picture of Longbridge

Longbridge works taken circa 1962. Home to production of the Austin models. However other makes of the 11/1300 range were built here too.

 :: Additional information - Cowley

Click here to view a larger picture of Cowley

Cowley works taken circa 1939. Home to production of the Morris models. However other makes of the 11/1300 range were built here too.


This image shows where bodies were stored awaiting a coat of paint. BMC spent approximately 750,000 on conveyors in the plants. On the underneath of the 1100 there were U shaped brackets welded to the floor, these brackets were used to hold the bodies to the cranes.


This particular image shows the complexity of the 1100's bodywork. This picture has been taken with the 1100 being suspended in the air on one of the many conveyors which moved the bodies around in the factory.


From time to time, Bodies were taken off the production line to be transferred from one side of the road to the other (in early days). This shipment of cars is taking a trip across the road to be rotodipped and have a first coat of paint applied.


At Cowley the bodies are prepared for rotodipping. BMC used rotodipping as a rust prevention method. It's just a shame it didn't always work!


After rotodipping, the bodies were given their first coat of paint. 1100's weren't dipped in primer, instead they were all spray painted. This was a problem, as vital areas were left unprotected. Hence the rust problems associated with the cars.


After receiving a coat of paint the body shells were returned to storage. This time in a room heated to take the chill and allow the paint to harden up quickly before continuing the journey to the fitting lines.


An interesting shot showing 1100's being assembled. On the left hand side cars without interiors are going up the line, presumably having the lights and external bits fitted. The cars in the centre are being fitted up with their interiors. Interestingly the MG shown at the front is a left hand drive model, followed behind, by a right hand drive Morris 1100.


This particular photo depicts "CAB2" (Car Assembly Building No 2) at Longbridge. Completed cars were given their first check, any adjustments are made before being passed to the "inspection line"


This Morris 1100 is given a final checking over before being dispatched for its test drive and water checking. The sticker next to the Side light on the drivers side indicates that the "Paint Ok". It is still possible to see these stickers internally on an 1100.


Here an 1100 is put through its paces enduring the "Water tank" testing. Electrical components, windows, and seams are are sprayed with water to check for leaks, and if there is any evidence of poor performance afterwards.


Once the 1100 had undergone water testing it was put back on the line, to be cleaned, and prepared either for dispatch or storage in large fields near the factories.

Here the millionth 1100 is seen rolling off the completion line at Longbridge. The sign states that this is a BMC Hat-Trick. BMC had already had success with the Morris Minor and the Mini.

 

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