Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

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Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  Red Riley on Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:21 am

Okay, I might have gotten myself in trouble by repeating something that I now can't find the proof of. I think I remember reading that the Elfs were built in the same factory as MGs or Triumphs, rather than with the Minis at Longbridge or Cowley. My car says Abingdon on the slam panel tag. Were the Hornets built there too, or somewhere else? I need information from the experts!

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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  bmcelf on Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:40 am

Being a long time MG owner I know that Abingdon Plant was where the MG's were made. Triumphs were not made there nor a part of BMC. I yield to better knowledge or memory on what other marques could have been produced in the plant. I never heard of the Elf being produced there. (Old Speckled Hen was made by Morland in honor of the 50yr anniversary of MG at the Abingdon plant.)




I would like to know of any other marques that were made in Abingdon, Oxfordshire Plant.
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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  Elf Service on Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:04 pm

Most were produced/assembled at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham. With the bodies coming from Fisher Ludlow in Castle Bromwich (Birmingham). Castle Bromwich is now one of the key UK Jaguar production sites and during the Second World War was famous for Spitfire production.

I'm sure a number of early cars were assembled at Cowley (the then Morris works) and now where the BMW Mini is produced but I cannot confirm this. As far as I'm aware, the Abingdon plant could barely cope with the production of MGB's so I don't believe any Booted Minis were produced at this site, other than possibly some early/pre-production/development vehicles. I will do a little more research and add or ammend as necessary.
Re Triumph production, during the 60's, Truimphs were built at the Standard Triumph plant in Coventry and from memory were not linked with BMC until British Leyland was formed in the 70's. Again I will do some additional research for more information.
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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  Red Riley on Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:29 pm

Okay, explain this to me:
Could this have come off of a different car, or was this car built at Abingdon? This is the source of my confusion, at least on this issue. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  Elf Service on Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:42 pm

I think it's just an admin thing as my cars (Mk3 1967) have the same style VIN plates. Not owning a Hornet, I wonder if they have the same Abingdon address details?
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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  TONYELF on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:23 pm

My '64 elf has same .
Although the following link does not answer your question, it does provide interesting reading

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riley_(motor-car)

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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  Red Riley on Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:21 pm

Thanks, Tony,
I had read through that before. Doesn't really say exactly where the different cars were produced after Coventry was closed. Were other Riley badged cars made alongside MGs at Abingdon? Or were they made somewhere else? And were all the Hornets and Elfs made on the Mini lines at Longbridge? I'd love to see a picture of the assembly line with a Hornet/Elf next to a Mini. Wonder if such a thing exists?

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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  Elf Service on Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:25 pm

A little more to add to the pot.
I have been speaking with an ex Longbridge employee and he confirmed the final assembly for both Elf and Hornet was at the Longbridge plant. He also mentioned that the bodies were built at Fisher and Ludlow in Castle Bromwich and were also painted and trimmed (Full interior, wiring, brightwork and glass etc) at this plant. They were transported to the Longbridge plant by road and entered the site via the Trentham Building. This joined CAB1 (Mini and production/assembly line) and the front and rear subframes with drive train and suspension were attached etc. As the Elf and Hornets were delivered about 6 to 8 vehicles at a time, a batch of a few booted Minis were assembled in line. Checking the production records at the Heritage Centre at Gaydon will confirm these small production batches.
Riley 1.5 and Wolseley 1500 cars from the late 50's and early 60's were produced at Longbridge. Austin and Morris ADO16 (1100/1300) cars were built at Longbridge however the ADO16 upmarket brands (MG, Wolseley and Riley) were built at the Cowley plant. The same applies to the large Farina models, Austin A60 produced at Longbridge and the other marques coming from Cowley.

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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  CamelotR on Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:26 am

By the way, I have a "Fisher" plate that came of my Hornet, but cannot remember its location. Where should it be put?

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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  RobBFG on Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:02 am

Mine is on the inside wing just below the bonnet stay bracket. It's mounted with the long sides vertical.

According to my Heritage certificate she was built at Longbridge.
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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  Big_Al_Smith on Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:39 am

bmcelf wrote:Being a long time MG owner I know that Abingdon Plant was where the MG's were made. Triumphs were not made there nor a part of BMC. I yield to better knowledge or memory on what other marques could have been produced in the plant. I never heard of the Elf being produced there. (Old Speckled Hen was made by Morland in honor of the 50yr anniversary of MG at the Abingdon plant.)




I would like to know of any other marques that were made in Abingdon, Oxfordshire Plant.


MMMMMMMMMMMMM...................................BEER Laughing
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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  Red Riley on Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:58 am

There, we've lost Al.....

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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  catmint on Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:06 pm

Red Riley wrote:There, we've lost Al.....

Doesn't take a lot these days lol!

Had a look at H's chassis plate yesterday while swapping the steering rack - and the address is Cowley ! (late 62 build hornet). Next time I'm over at the lockup I will have a look at the 66 hornet lurking there

Following on from Elfservice's notes about Fisher Ludlow - if you do look at the records at Gaydon, certainly with the earlier cars it states that body and trim is from F&L.

Now a question to muddy the waters a bit - I understand that MkIII's (not sure if all but the later ones) did not have the the F&L plate at all - were they assembled else where or did F&L loose it's name in the BMC empire ?( stand to be totally corrected here)

Doing a google search for F&L does not really bring much useful info up (apart from they still make stuff in Canada)

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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  asahartz on Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:42 pm

Googling "Fisholow" brought up a few pages of interest though (I was trying to recollect why the plate was so familiar to me, and it was on a Standard 8 I had).

This Somerford's page suggests that F&L UK was amalgamated with Pressed Steel to become PSF who had numerous factories around the country supplying various BMC panel assemblies. They were absorbed by BMC which is perhaps why the Fisholow plate disappeared.
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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  paulsminis on Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:28 pm

My 68 Hornet's plate says Cowley as well.
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Re: Where were Elfs and Hornets built?

Post  TONYELF on Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:56 pm

I have seen a utube film of minis coming off the line(I buggered if I can find the Bl**dy thing now!) where an Elf or Hornet suddenly appeared to come off the line which proves to me they did at some stage get built on the same production line......mmmmmm..... more food for thought??????????????

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you tube link?

Post  spongebob on Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:08 am

Is this the link you were thinking of? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gOkPrcYNSg
at the end watch for the hornet being driven away for export.
Also on you tube look for leafster1973 who has two films following the mini production line, no elf or hornets in sight but intersting anyway.
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