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Canley Assembly Line

Standard 9 and 10 Assembly Line at Canley, 1935.

Let’s take a look at how Standards were manufactured at Canley, by means of this snapshot of part of the mechanised track, from the summer of 1935. That date is determined by the fact that the 10 has a filler cap on top of the radiator grille, whereas on the 9 it is under the bonnet. This appears to have been taken in the annual works holiday close-down as the overhead conveyors are unusually devoid of components.

Both the 9 and 10 chassis are coming, backwards, towards the camera, down the chain-driven line on the left. This allows the numbers being built to be varied according to customer demand. The last items to be added are the radiators, seen on the left and the wheels and front wings, seen on the right. These are supplied from an overhead conveyor, which is presently empty. The air-driven wrench for tightening wheel nuts hangs limply over the last chassis. The painted wings are then protected by rubber sheets. By the time the chassis reaches the foreground, it is complete. It is loaded on a trolley that is then wheeled across to the right, you can see the railway wheels under the trolley - to the start of the line going in the reverse direction, with the cars now going forward. This first part of the line is stationary and this is where the body is put on. The bodies arrive on the looped track to the right, you can see the next bodies waiting. In the apex of the loop, the body is chained in the 4 corners and hoisted over to the waiting chassis, and bolted to it. (The one there is already done) You can see the electric hoist in the roof. The car is then pushed forward onto the start of the mechanised conveyor. The bodies are a mixture of four-door 9’s, with no boot, and 10’s with a boot. This mix can be achieved because of the 2 arms of the body loop. The 10 bodies are furthest away, facing backwards, the 9’s are facing forward, you can just see the first one with the screen open. When the next chassis arrives the appropriate body is rolled either backwards or forward to the hoist. Three cars further forward you can see the car has received its spare wheel and the next spare wheel is waiting to be added. The conveyor then drags the cars away towards completion. This is an extract from Phil Homer’s book “Cars of the Standard Motor Company” which can be purchased here Cars of the Standard Motor Company


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