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Cowley Pressed Steel P1800S

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Old Oct 14th, 2018, 08:47   #1
Peterjohnbull
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Default Cowley Pressed Steel P1800S

Hi

The body of my '65 P1800S was made in the Cowley plant of the Pressed Steel Company (there is a very obvious stamp in the engine bay).

Does that mean that Pressed Steel continue to make the bodies when the cars were assembled in Sweden? I had thought one of the main reasons that Jenson stopped making the P1800 was the quality issues, primarily from the manufacture of the bodies.

Perhaps I am wrong. Anyone know?

Cheers

Pete
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Old Oct 14th, 2018, 10:03   #2
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You are correct, Pressed Steel bodies from the Linwood Plant in Scotland, not Cowley, were still supplied to Volvo for car assembly in Gothenburg up until the agreed contractual total of 6000 shells were exhausted.

As you say, Jensen had the P1800 assembly contract terminated for a variety of reasons before the 6000 car agreement was completed, body fit and finish being one of them. Presumably skilled production people in Sweden were able to correct any poor body and panel alignment etc?

Therefore a number of early 1800S models are around with the Pressed Steel identification plate on the bulkhead, we have a particularly nice example owned by a lady member in our Cheshire section of the VOC.

Paul
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Old Oct 14th, 2018, 11:19   #3
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Why would the car have Cowley, Oxford stamped on the plate? Was that the head office?
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Old Oct 14th, 2018, 12:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterjohnbull View Post
Why would the car have Cowley, Oxford stamped on the plate? Was that the head office?
I can't answer that one, Pressed Steel had several body plants, I recall one at Castle Vale in Birmingham which produced Austin Healey shells and the one at Linwood produced Hillman Imp shells.

They may indeed have had one at Cowley for other models but everything I've ever read about P1800 body shells has said that they were produced at Linwood?
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Old Oct 14th, 2018, 13:15   #5
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They definitely had one in Cowley, it is where Minis are now made (albeit not proper ones). I think Cowley was the first one due to the tie in with William Morris.

So it could be that Cowley was the head office, so the engine bay stamp has that address even though it was not made there. Or, I guess it could have been made in Cowley.
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Old Oct 14th, 2018, 13:48   #6
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This Volvo article makes reference to the first P1800 body shells being produced in Scotland prior to Volvo's own steel pressing plant at Olofstrom.

https://www.media.volvocars.com/glob...eleases/103875

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Old Oct 14th, 2018, 15:20   #7
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David Styles excellent book "Volvo 1800 The Complete Story" covers the matters relating to the body shell production in great detail outlining the issues faced by Jensen with the quality issue of the Pressed Steel body shells.

from his book...

The initial contract between Jensen Motors and Volvo was to produce 10,000 vehicles using body shells from the Pressed Steel Company's Linwood Plant. In three years Jensen manufactured 6000 P1800's before the contract was terminated early and assembly transferred to the Volvo Gothenberg factory from the beginning of April 1963 when the model changed to 1800S. Volvo continued to use the bodies supplied by the Pressed Steel company from their Scottish plant until chassis number 30000 at the end of 1969.

My own December 1963 build 1800S with chassis number 8683 has a Pressed Steel Company Cowley Oxford Plate.
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Old Oct 15th, 2018, 15:21   #8
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Cowley was the registered office for the holding company, hence the marking on your 1800S.
My car has the same on the inside of the nearside wing/engine bay.
Bodies were produce in Scotland, then shipped to Sweden for at least 2 years, after the Jensen contract ended.
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