In production

In production : Cowley timeline

In production : Cowley timeline

EARLY last century, amidst the green meadows to the south of the dreaming spires of Oxford City, there was a village called Temple Cowley. In one corner of this village there was a large, dilapidated building that had once been a military college but was left empty for 20 years, until… 1912 to 1919 William […]

Features : Interactive map of BMC and BL factories

Features : Interactive map of BMC and BL factories

BMC and British Leyland had a bewildering array of factories dotted around the UK when the empire was at its peak. Using this interactive map as created by Jonathan Barber, you can now navigate around them and see for yourself as to what was built where. It’s still a work in progress, and we’re going […]

Essays : Wirral going on a plant tour

Essays : Wirral going on a plant tour

Mike Humble accepts an offer to tour General Motor’s Ellesmere Port assembly facility some 20 years after his first visit and makes some sobering comparisons with our very own Longbridge, but remains upbeat about the state of British motor manufacturing… Visiting Ellesmere Port When Andrew Elphick asked me a while back to tag along with his bandy […]

Video : Longbridge reunion

Video : Longbridge reunion

Keith Adams MG Motor UK opened its doors to ex-Longbridge workers and managers and invited them to share their memories of time worked at the iconic works based on Low Hill Lane. The day was a success, attracting many visitors – some of whom had first hand access to Herbert Austin’s office. Enjoy Central TV‘s […]

In production : Light commercials

A brief look at BMC>Rover’s light commercial vehicles being built. A colourful shot of the J4 van on the production line (presumably at Drews Lane, now home to the Sherpa-based LDV Pilot and Convoy). A rare, export-only A40 Farina van and a rather more commonplace Minivan on the production line at Longbridge’s CAB1 plant in […]

In production : Adderley Park Wolseley Works

The Adderley Park plant entered the BMC fold by way of the Nuffield Group. It had been home to the Wolseley motor company from 1901 until the late 1920s when, following William Morris’s purchase of Wolseley, the plant was given over to commercial vehicle production. Location Arden Road/Bordesley Green Road, Adderley Park, Birmingham. A potted […]

In production : Innocenti

The Innocenti factory was a world class facility, as these pictures clearly show. In many ways, this Mini production line was more advanced than its progenitor back in Longbridge. Pictures kindly supplied by Henk Schuuring and Gaetano Zagra

In production : Vanden Plas Kingsbury Works

In production : Vanden Plas Kingsbury Works

Between the two World Wars, the Vanden Plas factory at Kingsbury saw some very prestigious motor vehicles indeed – particularly Bentley, but also Alvis, Rolls Royce, Lagonda and others. A potted history THE Kingsbury Works originally sat in the grounds of Kingsbury House, a Nineteenth Century house at Kingsbury, near Harrow in north-west London, which […]

Retro place : Longbridge

A century of carmaking… STROLL along the perimeter fence that surrounds the Car Assembly Buildings at Longbridge, and it’s hard to believe that the silent buildings once teemed with life and echoed to the sound of car production – the only movement you’ll see now at this unassuming complex is the gentle swaying of the […]

In production : MG TF LE500

For many, the sun set on Longbridge in May 2005 when MG Rover went into administration – but three years on, and small scale car production has returned with the arrival of the MG TF LE500. CAB B as NAC MG UK now calls it currently houses the TF, but there’s room for so much […]

In production : Triumph

In production : Triumph

The 1960s were an exciting time for Triumph, which saw great expansion at the Canley factory. Below are some photographs taken at the 180,000 cars-per-year facility, as well as some at the sister plant in Speke. Triumph TR6 Toledo These early two-door Toledos were built at the Speke factory. Dolomite 2000/2500 Stag Pictures kindly supplied […]

In production : Morris Marina

In production : Morris Marina

During the development of the Marina, it was decided that the Cowley plant in Oxford needed an overhaul – the result was that the production line was completely gutted, giving the plant the capability of producing some 5000 cars per week. These photographs were taken to demonstrate just how much of Cowley was all-new, and […]

In production : Chrysler Alpines at Ryton

In production : Chrysler Alpines at Ryton

The Anglicized version of the SIMCA 1307/1308 went into production at Ryton in 1976. This meant that Avenger production moved to Linwood in Scotland, and Hunter production went to Ireland. Engines for the Alpine were also produced in the UK, boosting local content to above 50 per cent. Photos kindly supplied by 1307-1308.org

Rover 75 : From Cowley to Longbridge

Following BMW’s disposal of the Rover Group in 2000, production of the then-new 75 needed moving from Cowley to Longbridge. Here’s the story, as recounted by IAN ELLIOTT back in 2000, and produced for the then fledgling MG Rover PR Department. It makes fascinating reading to this day, and shows just how logistical mountains can […]

Hillman Avenger : Avenger production in New Zealand

Avengers in New Zealand To celebrate the opening of Todd Motor’s Todd Park car plant at Porirua, Wellington, the December 1974 issue of NZ Motor World ran a large feature of Todds and their operations. Within the feature was a full page glossy colour spread of a car on their production lines, a yellow Hillman […]

Hillman Avenger : Hillman Avenger in production

Ryton’s finest The Avenger was originally built at a new assembly line at the newly expanded Ryton plant, near Coventry. Ryton was essentially an assembly operation, because the bodies and pressed panels were shipped by rail from the Linwood plant in Scotland and the engine/gearbox assemblies came from the company’s Stoke plant. This was actually […]

Bache To The Future

Bache To The Future

More admiring glances and comments for the Polski-SD1 reinforces my thoughts about arguably British Leyland’s finest creation.  Words and Photographs: Mike Humble  Well, the Pride of Longbridge gathering is now just a fortnight away and, man, how time flies. It seems only five minutes ago I was in a panic re-spraying the rear doors to get […]

In production : Rover 25

In production : Rover 25

The Rover 25 at various stages of production. Rover 25 “Stuff-up” suspension process – where the rear “H-frame” is mated to the rest of the car. Fitting the doors to the Rover 25; ensuring an accurate fit… Inside the MG Rover quality analysis centre, where not only are its own products evaluated, but those of […]

Spen King : 1925-2010

Spen King : 1925-2010

Spen King (Charles Spencer King), creator of some of the UK’s most influential post-war cars, has died aged 85, following complications sustained from an injury he received when riding his bicycle. He had been riding to the shops as he was unable to drive following an operation to repair a detached retina – his death […]

Press Report : MG name stands proud again at Longbridge

John Revill, Automotive News Europe, 21st January, 2009 The company that runs the remnants of former UK automaker MG Rover has dropped a reference to its Chinese parent from its name. NAC MG UK has changed its name to MG Motor UK to emphasize the MG name, a company spokesman said. Nanjing Automobile Company or […]