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International Standard Triumph Assembly Plants

John Lay

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Hopefully you enjoyed seeing the press clipping of the Nelson, New Zealand Triumph Assembly Plant, in the July 2021 Courier.

Stefan Vandendijk, in Belgium, has turned up a little more about the New Zealand plant and about the Belgian one.  We've scratched our heads and there were plants in Australia, Malta, South Africa and India at least - but we could be wrong!

The September Courier report will include a plea for our readers, anywhere in the TSSC World, asking them to let us know of any scanned documents, links to websites, reminiscences, or even hearsay they may have relating to Standard Triumph Assembly Plants outside the UK, so that we can see if there's enough useful stuff out there to begin to pull together a report.

Meanwhile, I'm starting the ball rolling by posting a plea here as well.  If you have anything you think might help steer us in the right direction, please post on here - or better still - send it to international-liaison@tssc.org.uk

Thank you!

Edited by John Lay
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One of our members, Paul Robinson, has released a very detailed booklet on Clarence Engineering, Belfast which he has compiled over quite a number of years. They built CKD Heralds and were the main distributors for Triumph in Northern Ireland for many years. It may be the only other UK Herald assembly plant to have existed.

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Many UK shipping lines of that period carried CKD Cars,They where regarded in main as "top up" cargo. When loading was near complete the agent(s) and the chief (usually First Mate) loading officer would decide how many could be loaded within stabilty parameters to bring the vessel closer to the maximum draft. hence most where carried as "tween deck" items. "We" carried CKD Hillman Minx`s to Iran, during the Shah`s rule, many finishing up as Taxi`s.


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Heralds (1200, 12/50), Spits (Mks 1,2,3) and Saloons (both Mk1 & Mk2) were CKD here in Aus by AMI (Aust Motor Industries @ Fisherman's Bend Melbourne from the late 50;s to mid 79's), excepting numbers built there is little other info available & virtually no photo's, because when Toyota took over the plant in the late 70's they binned everything!!! The cars were really CKD ie all seperate panels for assembly here, chassis were complete, only mechanicals were assembled

I wrote an article for the Courier a couple of years ago (Suzie S, Spits 1,2,3 section) with authority, from a recent TSOA Vic members history booklet from info gleaned from previous members and AMI employees, but the main publication was unfortunately copyright.

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6 hours ago, Peter Truman said:

Here's some info on AMI Aussie Triumph Heralds, note Aust 12/50's Coupe & Saloon had the Vitesse 1600 bonnet.

If interested I'll post separately the article I wrote on AMI & Spitfire production for the Courier

Aussie 12-50 Herald Pg1.jpg

Aussie 12-50 Pg2.jpg

AMI 12-50 Coupe body arrangement.jpg

Aust Standard Body Plate.jpg

Herald Aus Trip - Advert.jpg

Definitely interested Peter - you have some gems there.  We'll enjoy sifting through anything we get and try to pull together a report over the next few months!

Thanks so much! 

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John here's some decent pic's of the Aus AMI 12/50 Coupe, I've posted it previously but added here for your record, I think a handsome looking car the Vitesse bonnet definitely sets the car off. From memory AMI had to source 20% of the car locally to get import tax credits so such things as exhausts , electrics (Lucas Aus), interior trim, glass, brakes (PBR), filters, chrome bumper covers etc were supplied by local manufacturers

I'll send the AMI article direct separately.

Peter T





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  • 5 weeks later...

Somewhere I have the book written about the Nelson plant that made BL cars.
It is now the site of Nelson Classic Car Museum and was also the site of The World Of Wearable Arts Museum till the first Covid lockdown in 2020
The paint shop site is a Mitre 10 Mega hardware 
The factory was famous for its dirt floor.
Triumphs built at that factory had a prefix 3 and a few Vitesse were built and are rare.
I think they also built the last of the Innsbruck Triumphs here in NZ, finished production after the rest of the world in March 1979.
NZ cars had slight differences to UK cars one obvious being the door timbers always had screws through them into the steel and some under bonnet panel differences.
Daimlers were built as Jags then taken out back to a shed in which they removed Jag bits and replaced them with the correct Daimler parts. 
They also built Hondas till the late 90s

A bit more here 


Like Australia New Zealand has no car assembly but we lost ours before 2000.
When I was looking for an apprenticeship in the early 80s I wanted to be a tool maker so went round the local car plants looking for a job, we had 4 in the Hutt Valley. Ford, GM, Motorcorp (BL) and Todds (Roots, Chrysler and Mitsubishi) and Todds second plant in Porirua
Never got an offer so became a sparky.
The first Avatar film was predominantly shot in the Todd Motors Mitsubishi plant in Porirua.
The Ford factory was rumoured to have been designed for its site in Lower Hutt Dearborn Michigan. It was built facing south.🤔

Part of the Avatar sequels were filmed in a shed out the back of the old Ford factory in Lower Hutt


an edited bit.

I forgot to mention we also had a GM plant in Upper Hutt which is up the valley from Lower Hutt. It was next to the Dunlop factory.
I believe part of Peter Jackson King Kong was filmed there.


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I found my copy of 'From Cotton to Cars 1965-1998'
After spending a week looking for it and accusing everyone I could think of it was the first book I removed from the bookcase when looking for Vitesse books.


As can be seen it was not uncommon for different brands to be on the line at one time.

The best reference for photos would be from 

They have a photo of my dad scratching his nose while standing next to Prince Philip, it went all round the world.

I have uploaded a photo of the production figures


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