|The MGA With An Attitude
Pressed Metal Corp, Enfield, Sydney, Australia - CKD-102P
Factory floor shot at Pressed Metal Corp in Enfield Sydney, where the Australian MGAs and Mk1 MGBs were assembled. MGA's in center of photo.
At 01:46 PM 9/27/2011 +1000, Thomas Aczel wrote:
I had an interesting few hours with John Lindsay last Friday. John retains vast amounts of old BMC (Australia) material, much of which he's yet to scan and store in an ordered fashion.
I couldn't work out why there was an MGA chassis at the front of the MGA assembly line in the photo. That chassis, John Lindsay pointed out is a "skuck". This was, for the MGA anyway, a modified MGA chassis on trolley wheels. The body was assembled onto this unit and moved down the line. When completed the body was taken off to the painting shop (a separate building to the right of the photograph). If I understood John correctly the body was lifted off the skuck for painting, but he also told me that the skucks had to be intermittently dipped in a bath of caustic soda to clean them up. So perhaps they were painted on the skucks and I misunderstood him.
I include an aerial shot of the Pressed Metal Corporation factory. You can make out the main assembly buildings and the paint shop. The packs of components for assembly were, I was told, stacked at the right rear of the main buildings.
Pressed Metal Corp, cars ready for delivery
Photo above from National Library (Australia) of the the front office of PMC in the 1950's. Photo below taken by Mick Anderson in 2005. You can see the same front office construction and the curved roof of the factory in the background.
Addendum January 2012:
On 1/27/2012 -0700, Brian Gymer in New South Wales, AU, wrote:
"I read with interest the article about PMC and the vehicles they built. Thought I'd let you know that I was the one of the production engineers there from '58 to '74 and had a lot to do with building of MG and Sprite vehicles to the extent of building the first "Bugeye" in Oz. All the trolleys that they ran on down the various assembly lines were of my design. Also did all the work study on them through the various assy areas. The MGA was run down the truck line for the trim and mechanical fit up. All the trim was made there on the mezzanine floor where the photo of the body shop was taken. All this happened when it was PMC, not Leyland-Austin, all they could think of was the Mini". -- Regards Brian
In a further message Brian wrote:
The buildings were CKD. They were aircraft hangers during the war. Clayton Neave saw them in the UK on one of his visits bought them and had them shipped to Australia.
PMC was part of Larke Hoskins and had been located in various parts of Sydney, ie. Palmer St in the then red light area, then in the old velodrome up in Riley St. They were growing quickly after the war. They made their money from assembling A40's, and Neave (he was MD and on the board) decided to buy the Enfield site which was a brick pit (I supposed it was cheap) and filled it and started assembly on the site. They were making A30's, BMC trucks, Austin Utes, Land Rover (not certain which mark). The building of the LR came about when Grenville Motors part of the group (which Neave was a board member) couldn't cope with the vehicle popularity [production volume] so was also one of the reasons for the Enfield site.
When I started in '58 the Press Shop was about to be extended to cope for more Aussie content. It went to do many more items because of the increased press capacity with it's own tool room, for memory the press capacity was 400 tons down. In that building we also specialized in Aluminium spot-welding for the LR.
One of the things I can remember about the MG is that the box containing the carbies was continually broken open for them. Didn't matter what they did in the UK the wharfies always seemed to know where they were in the pack. To my knowledge everything was imported except oils & greases, tyres, the trim fabric, paint & sealants. There was a certain amount wood of in them, especially the "A's", and this was manufactured in the wood shop located in "B" building, which was the first put up located behind "A", which was the one with curved roof. The maximum production rate for memory was about 6-8/day, sometimes it was zero so the labour that was key was scattered around the rest retrenched.
The article of them going down the line with trucks was in either in Modern Motor or Wheels of approx '57; I can remember seeing it when I started in '58. - Regards Brian, 34 years of service with them incl. Leyland/JRA".
Brian Gymer was about 26 when he went to work for PMC in 1958, making him 79 at time of these messages. I wish to thank Brian for his contribution to this information.