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Development Story


Official Club car sticker 2018.jpg


As production of the Austin-Morris1100-1300 range was phased out and its replacement, the Allegro, would be built at Longbridge, it was decided to make use of the production facilities at Cowley in Oxford to build the new 18-22 Series. The 18-22 Series/Princess/Ambassador was built along the same line as the Maxi.



The huge British Federal press, which punched out the 18-22 floors from a single sheet of steel. This was the biggest single pressing machine of its kind at the time.



The bodies are spot welded together in massive jigs, the front wings form part of the structure of the car and are spot welded onto the inner wings, note the men spot welding, a job that computers and robots do today. Once the structure of the body is complete, it becomes the ‘body in white’. It then passes through the paint booths and emerges in the final assembly area.



The track splits into two so that Wolseley and later HLS models can have the vinyl roof fitted. The vinyl is stretched on to a frame and the underside is spray coated with adhesive, it is then taken to the car where it is laid over and trimmed. The vinyl-roofed car then rejoins the main track…



…where all the mechanical, electrical and trim fittings are added. The picture shows the body about to be lowered onto the engine/transmission and rear suspension assemblies.



Further along the track, the drive shafts, front hub assemblies, brakes and steering components are added.



Princess 2 and Maxi 2 sharing the production  line in 1980.