A visit to Pelham Street works in 1926

At the works one gathers the impression that success on a very large scale indeed has come somewhat unexpectedly, for they are hard put to keep pace with the demand. There is not a square foot of floor space to spare, not a single machine that is not hard at work day and night, and not a man who is not pulling his weight. There is no room for duds-mechanical or human. Of course, with the cars being built on such a very large scale a “flow" system of production is essential, and the Clyno is singularly well adapted to the conditions of its manufacture, for the design is ideal for rapid assembly.

This is apparent so soon as one enters the works, for one can literally see the cars taking shape before one's eyes. Almost the whole of the car is manufactured in the works at Wolverhampton with the exception of the engine, which is made by a well-known firm of specialists in the Midlands, and the bodies. Unlike most of the works engaged on producing cars in very large numbers, no moving assembly tracks or other “American" methods are adopted, although of course a “flow" system is in force.

One is greeted at the entrance of the works with a giant stack of chassis frames: these are taken from the stack and first the springs, front axle and front wheels are secured. The car is then pushed stage by stage along the floor of the big assembly shop. The rear axle unit, with the gearbox which has been previously assembled in a different shop, is then run into place (with the road wheels fixed), the engine with the clutch shaft in place lowered on to the frame from above, the steering gear column and connections assembled; the fitting of the radiator, brake rods and so forth completes the assembling.

An engine being lowered onto the chassis frame in the assembly shop.

All this happens in a remarkably short space of time, the car finishing this first stage in its career at the opposite end of the shop to the stack of frames where it started. It is then turned round and the body is dropped into place so that the car can be pushed stage by stage to the original end of the big assembly shop whilst the wiring up, trimming and fixing of hood and side curtains and so forth are carried out.

The car is then turned round again and progresses back down the shop to be elevated near the centre on to a platform which allows mechanics to make sure that everything is in order beneath it and that all parts needing oil or grease are well supplied before it emerges from the far end of the shop for a road test.

Final assembly.

The thing which impresses one principally in the large assembly shop is the extraordinary amount of space which so many manufacturers waste; for in this single shop the whole of the actual building of the cars is carried out in greater numbers and with less delay than in many giant works equipped in a lavish manner and planned on the most up-to-date lines. In the machine shops at the Clyno works one observes the same unobtrusive efficiency that is noticeable in the assembly shop, the work being carried out very rapidly indeed and with no waste of time or material.

The machine shop.

A multi-drilling machine, drilling 8 holes in one end of the axle.

A case in point is illustrated by the accompanying photographs, which show a stub axle in the rough and partly machined. For turning the two faces, machining the spindle to two different diameters and cutting the thread upon it six minutes are allowed; actually this time allowance is on the generous side. Another operation which typifies the efficiency of the machine shop is the production of gearbox layshafts machined complete from 1¾inch steel bar at the rate of four minutes per shaft-a somewhat remarkable achievement.

On the left is a forged stub axle blank. It is shown on the right after machining. An operation that took just 6 minutes to complete.

Machining a gearbox layshaft. It took just 4 minutes.

With regard to the equipment, the Clyno works are very well provided, the machines which are installed being of the best, and in many cases designed specifically for the work which they produce.

So far as the assembly of axles and gearboxes is concerned, the gearbox of the Clyno is on the front end of the torque tube. Little need be said except that precision methods in the manufacture of the parts ensure no delay in putting them together, whilst so straightforward is the design that comparatively unskilled labour can be employed.

The chassis erection shop.

We understand that at the present time there are something like a thousand men on the pay-roll at the Clyno works, whilst, of course, many hundreds more are busy in the production of the engines and the coachwork. The company is a firm believer in the fact that a car to be described as a British car must be British throughout, therefore every detail of the Clyno is of British manufacture.

From the Light Car and Cyclecar magazine, 12th March, 1926.

11hp. Clynos in the assembly shop.

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