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C.K.D. - Completely Knocked Down

- and procedures relating to registering such cars with the DVLA.


The following is reproduced from a S.M.C. document of about 1950

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C.K.D, means completely Knocked Down – that is to say it is the process of reducing a complete car to a number of individual units, including the body, which can be packed separately for export and reassembled in the country to which it is despatched. It was the practice of many countries to impose restrictions on the import of fully assembled cars. These regulations vary with each country. For example, some countries will only permit the import of a certain number of selected parts, while others will allow partly assembled components to be received.


This is known as P.K.D. -“Partly Knocked Down”.


As our readers will appreciate the collating and packing of units to meet the import regulations operating in each country is a specialised job which calls for a high degree of organisation and planning.

In the associated photos we show how the Standard Vanguard components are packed for export.


The chassis, transmission and engine units are packed at the Canley Factory of the Standard MOTOR Company, while the body shell and its internal fittings are packed at the Castle Bromwich factory of Messrs. Fisher and Ludlow, near Birmingham.

In both cases the principle employed when packing is that of building the crate around the components as this ensures firm packing and reduces the possibility of damage


To make sure that the components reach their destination in perfect condition, they are treated with lanoline preparation in order to preserve them, whilst these units which have not been painted, are given a coat of quick-drying oil. Furthermore, to make sure that the parts are protected from dampness, dust, and weather - the packing cases are lined with sheets of Bitumen paper.

The following is advice from the Standard Motor Club regarding the purchase of C.K.D vehicles.

In recent years there has been a growing trend to re-import to this country, cars that were originally exported as C.K.D. This is particularly true of cars that were exported in some quantities, but where the home production was limited in numbers. This applies particularly, but not exclusively to, early Vanguards Pickups and later Vanguard Vans, together with 6 cylinder cars.

The Club’s advice to any persons attempting to reimport these cars or to purchase one that has already been imported is to seek free guidance from our DVLA representative David Groom using Email  Please note that only the guidance is free and any work required for instance to re-register a car may involve a small charge. The Club’s advice however is not to try to re-register a car by yourself.


A lorry loaded ready to depart to the Docks


A packing case is built up with body components


The case nearly full before sealing


Engines, gearboxes and chassis are placed on baseboards


Additional mechanical components added to a baseboard

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