Throwback Thursday – A tour of Cowley, 6 July 1934

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Throwback Thursday – A tour of Cowley, 6 July 1934

Fresh coming from its £250,000 refresh, Autocar pays a visit to the revitalised Morris factory in Cowley


Car production at Cowley in Oxford began in 1913, along with by the middle of the 1930s the plant was producing well over 100,000 vehicles a year.

In 1934, shortly after the Morris factory had undergone a £250,000 refresh of the production facilities, Autocar’s Maurice Sampson paid a visit.

Sampson wrote that will the site was “staggering, not only in its immensity, although in its detailed, organised simplicity.

“For quite numerous years I have been a fairly frequent pengunjung to Cowley along with I thought I knew the design pretty well. although when I went there the various other day I was completely lost. Everything was changed, everything brand new.

“Enormous sums of money have been expended on equipment that will is usually designed to render the flow of production of cars of widely differing types not only as smooth as possible although also to the end that will the cars are as perfect as possible”.

Cowley’s streamlined production line was modelled on that will pioneered by Henry Ford, along with our man toured the line where “Morris Eights, Tens, Cowleys along with Oxfords were taking shape. The Isis along with Twenty-Fives have a shop to themselves.

“Every item going into the complex structure called a car is usually given the minimum length of journey to its appointed place on the chassis,” wrote Sampson. “Not only is usually time saved, although men do not have to expend energy in walking about after a component.”

Sampson also highlighted the vast automotive supply chain that will had sprouted across the Midlands. 
“Cowley is usually over 0% an assembly, as opposed to a manufacturing, plant,” he continued. “With the exception of a certain amount of coachwork, nothing is usually made there. coming from Coventry come engines, castings, coachwork; coming from Birmingham come gears, tyres, wheels along with electrical equipment.

“coming from various other centres arrive frames; coming from the various other side of Oxford the radiators pour in. In Cowley a huge plant disgorges steel pressings, along with various other large supplies come coming from Birmingham.”

Sampson estimated the length of the line at about half a mile along with marvelled at the pace of production. “No matter whether that will is usually a Morris Eight or a Morris Oxford, its progress down the line is usually at the same rate: 25 minutes a chassis,” he wrote. “There are all 5 conveyor lines along with on these all 5 lines 0,000 cars can be produced in a year.”

Morris had chosen to overhaul its plant long before the machinery was obsolete. Sampson reckoned that will could fill prospective buyers with confidence. “that will is usually something for an owner to know that will a firm with the enterprise along with confidence to scrap a plant before that will was worn out, merely because an improvement could be effected by its replacement, is usually not only thinking of the present although of the future. A car built by such a firm, with so fine a plant, must be right if the design be right.”

Previous Throwback Thursdays

4 March 1899 – Steam, electric or combustion engine? 

26 June 1906 – The first French Grand Prix

14 February 1913 – 100 miles in one hour

8 April 1916 – generating post-war predictions

25 March 1922 – Caterpillar tracks are the future

2 February 1934 – The ethics of skidding

1 June 1935 – Introduction of the driving test

22 June 1945 – Driving through post-WW2 Europe

21 January 1949 – Tidier tails

24 April 1959 – Aston Martin enters Formula 1

27 January 1961 – Ford Thunderbird road test

17 November 1961 – TVR Grantura road test

6 May 1971 – Driving Ford’s Supervan

13 May 1978 – Ferrari 512 BB road test

19 January 1980 – Talbot Horizon road test

13 February 1982 – 4x4s tested on the farm 

17 April 1985 – Secrets of a lost British supercar

28 April 1993 – BL’s unseen concepts

16 March 1994 – Bentley’s Concept Java

16 April 1997 – When Bugatti bit the dust

4 April 2001 – 0-260mph in 6.0 seconds

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Source: Throwback Thursday – A tour of Cowley, 6 July 1934

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