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    Default Heidelberg CKD production

    Does anyone remember the days of Renault and Peugeot assembly in Heidelberg?.
    Was it in Waterdale Road?.
    Is there a link to this specific subject?.
    For the history books -


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    Type this into the search box and some info will be revealed: "Renault Factory at West Heidelberg. Local History."
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    Factory was located in Dougherty Road Heidelberg West. I worked that area and used the case wood to build all sorts of things including the Benches in my garage. I also posted many advertisements that appeared in the Heidleberger both about the Factory and the employment adds for staff to apply. Kim worked on the line at one stage and a lot of that was written up in a nostalgia thread started by Simon years back. I think it still survives but not easy to find old threads these days..

    Ken
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    Factory was located in Dougherty Road Heidelberg West. I worked that area and used the case wood to build all sorts of things including the Benches in my garage. I also posted many advertisements that appeared in the Heidleberger both about the Factory and the employment adds for staff to apply. Kim worked on the line at one stage and a lot of that was written up in a nostalgia thread started by Simon years back. I think it still survives but not easy to find old threads these days..

    Ken
    Yeah, itís history should be retold and updated before itís too late.
    I read something about CitroŽn preceding Renault. Do you know anything about that, is it true?.
    I was hoping to flush out more info because my recollection is fading beyond commuting along Bell St and wishing I could afford a 16TS .


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    We got French pastries for morning tea every day, great.

    Lead allowance for gap fit Renault 300gm Ford Cortina when they assembled for Ford 3kg especially LHS

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    Sounds like the panel gaps were as bad as the P76 V8 I had.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagaman View Post
    Yeah, it’s history should be retold and updated before it’s too late.
    I read something about CitroŽn preceding Renault. Do you know anything about that, is it true?.
    I was hoping to flush out more info because my recollection is fading beyond commuting along Bell St and wishing I could afford a 16TS .


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    Hi Nagaman,

    Yes the West Heidelberg site hosted several CKD "manufacturing" operations, including Citroen and I think Peugeot and some british cars, I have details somewhere. Somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 Citroen ID19 cars were produced with a fair amount of local input (notably upholstery and paint) between roughly 1961 and 1965. It was federal government policy to incentivise this local "manufacturing" over just importing vehicles.
    These cars are known to this day as the "Heidelberg ID19s" (I own two of them, an early one from 1962 and a late one from 1964/5). You can find more details by searching the Citroen forum. (Note that by default on Aussiefrogs the list of threads is limited to recent ones, you can change this and the forum search tool does search way back into threads you may not see if you stick to the website defaults.)

    The older generation of current Citroen club members report they don't have any links to anyone who worked there in the Citroen days any more, meaning it is hard to answer questions about "why this?" or "why that?" about the operation and the cars. There also does not seem to be any useful records left behind, at least in the case of "Continental and General Motors" the Citroen connection.

    One thread on the Citroen forum about the Heidelberg history: Heidelberg

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers Leconte
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    Thanks Leconte
    Way back in the early 70s I traded my mk1 Austin 1800 on a mk2......worst thing Iíd done (to that stage at lea) because the bean counters had stripped out unnecessary things like moly in the CV joints, anti rust in the doors and replaced the rear trailing arm bearings with rubber bushes. (oversteer became an ageing feature)
    How did the local quality stand up in comparison to the imported ones?.


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    The history of the Heidelberg assembly plant is preserved accurately in my book Peugeot and Australia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Hall View Post
    The history of the Heidelberg assembly plant is preserved accurately in my book Peugeot and Australia.
    Including the rallies of the day I assume.
    Redex, London - Sydney etc (Iím still in recovery over a Hillman Hunter winning)


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    Interesting.got to know Enzo Dozzi and others quite well,ended up meeting his son -in law,lived up the road from where I am right now.

    When the Plant had closed down,a guy who I got to know quite well,friend of friends, ended up doing 2 Landscaping jobs for him..Called him one night..they had a load or two to do the final clean out of the factory..tons and tons and tons of good stuff..scrapped.Oh..over half a century I have people tell me..ALL CARS THE SAME..INSAY..........BLA,BLA,,BLA BLA..IE...FACTS AND FIGURES HISTORICAL FACTS..WHAT EVER...300 G TO 3 KG MASSIVE DIFFERENCe.Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagaman View Post
    Including the rallies of the day I assume.
    Redex, London - Sydney etc (I’m still in recovery over a Hillman Hunter winning)


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    The Hillman Hunter that won the London to Sydney Rally was based on another successful Rally Car, the Sunbeam Rapier. The Rapier was a fantastic rally car, with too many victories to be listed here – team prizes all around Europe, a string of magnificent saloon car category performances in the Alpine, Monte Carlo and RAC Rallies. Top drivers of the period driving Sunbeams Rapiers to victory included Peter Harper, Paddy Hopkirk and Peter Procter.
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    Default Went to the Factory clearing sales..

    Quote Originally Posted by pekay49 View Post
    Interesting.got to know Enzo Dozzi and others quite well,ended up meeting his son -in law,lived up the road from where I am right now.

    When the Plant had closed down,a guy who I got to know quite well,friend of friends, ended up doing 2 Landscaping jobs for him..Called him one night..they had a load or two to do the final clean out of the factory..tons and tons and tons of good stuff..scrapped.Oh..over half a century I have people tell me..ALL CARS THE SAME..INSAY..........BLA,BLA,,BLA BLA..IE...FACTS AND FIGURES HISTORICAL FACTS..WHAT EVER...300 G TO 3 KG MASSIVE DIFFERENCe.Thanks.
    They actually had a quite massive clearance sale at the Renault Factory, and I went to the sale, there were wooden crates full of all sorts of bits and pieces, but at that time I wasn't that much into Renaults, I bought a few sets of dash gauges as I thought I could repurpose them. Lots of metal suspension parts in big crates as well as a lot of bodywork parts, all going for not much cash per item, lots of traders there buying up bits.

    Could have been lots left over from the sale, so yes probably dumped. others in the trade might know more about that. I sold most of what I bought at Bendigo Swap meet and one dash unit I exchanged for a new Fuego radiator with a supplier (early R8 I believe complete instrument panel).


    Like everything else you can only buy with the spare money you have at the time, and with a young family that wasn't much!!

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    They actually had a quite massive clearance sale at the Renault Factory, and I went to the sale, there were wooden crates full of all sorts of bits and pieces, but at that time I wasn't that much into Renaults, I bought a few sets of dash gauges as I thought I could repurpose them. Lots of metal suspension parts in big crates as well as a lot of bodywork parts, all going for not much cash per item, lots of traders there buying up bits.

    Could have been lots left over from the sale, so yes probably dumped. others in the trade might know more about that. I sold most of what I bought at Bendigo Swap meet and one dash unit I exchanged for a new Fuego radiator with a supplier (early R8 I believe complete instrument panel).


    Like everything else you can only buy with the spare money you have at the time, and with a young family that wasn't much!!

    Ken
    What is this "spare money" you speak of. I have never experienced that
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    Quote Originally Posted by driven View Post
    Lead allowance for gap fit Renault 300gm Ford Cortina when they assembled for Ford 3kg especially LHS
    Explains why early Cortinas didn't rust, and they were glued to the road! Haha.

    Cheers,
    Fordman.
    Last edited by Fordman; 22nd July 2019 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Demoted from Foreman to Fordman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    Explains why early Cortinas didn't rust, and they were glued to the road! Haha.

    Cheers,
    Foreman.
    Heavily!! and Mr Foreman is that a name change or have you been hacked..

    Ken
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    The plant was built to handle around 3500 Simcas per year. In 1960 under C&G it was making around 2300 Peugeot 403's and 600 Studebakers supplemented by NSU and Citroen. By 1964 when Peugeot sales had slumped Studebaker had become the major product of the plant. Studebaker was a very old company but had always struggled to find its place in the American auto industry. In the 1960's they developed a Lark based police cruiser for American police forces. Victoria Police found it suited their needs and by the time Studebaker shut down in 1966 Heidelberg was turning out 1100 Larks a year. Studebaker was far closer to Canada Cycle than Peugeot were and gave more support. The last Studebakers were sold in Melbourne at a 600 pound discount. When Studebaker went, the plant wasn't viable and was sold to Renault.
    All car plants are wasteful and scrap good parts not used but Renault actually stored the old body jigs at an engineering works in West Heidelberg. For the R10 and R16 and the 403/404. Still there in the late 1970's, probably long scrapped.
    Last edited by Russell Hall; 9th August 2019 at 04:17 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Hall View Post
    The plant was built to handle around 3500 Simcas per year. In 1960 under C&G it was making around 2300 Peugeot 403's and 600 Studebakers supplemented by NSU and Citroen. By 1964 when Peugeot sales had slumped Studebaker had become the major product of the plant. Studebaker was a very old company but had always struggled to find its place in the American auto industry. In the 1960's they developed a Lark based police cruiser for American police forces. Victoria Police found it suited their needs and by the time Studebaker shut down in 1966 Heidelberg was turning out 1100 Larks a year. Studebaker was far closer to Canada Cycle than Peugeot were and gave more support. The last Studebakers were sold in Melbourne at a 600 pound discount. When Studebaker went, the plant wasn't viable and was sold to Renault.
    All car plants are wasteful and scrap good parts not used but Renault actually stored the old body jigs at an engineering works in West Heidelberg. For the R10 and R16 and the 403/404. Still there in the late 1970's, probably long scrapped.
    It was Homicide and Leonard Teale IIR in the Lark as the promo.
    I remember dad taking us to Eildon in the FE and an uncle in his Simca Aronde with us in the mid 50s.


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    Simca gave more support to their Australian operation than Peugeot ever gave including more favorable pricing.
    Ken, you mention the packing crates which were great for chook sheds. A father and son operation from Wonga Park used to buy them. After a while they stopped paying and Renault said no more crates until you pay. They didn't but the crates piled up so Renault called them back and let them have them for nothing.
    All sorts of unwanted parts went to the crusher including a crate of Renault instrument clusters because they had kmh speedos. If a starter didn't fire or an alternator spark up it was taken off and the offending part left out for the cleaner to send to the crusher. At one stage there were lots of failures. The situation was rectified when the police came and took the cleaner and his assembly line son away. Appears he was confusing the back fence with the crusher. I had stacks of R12 steering lock assemblies and keys because at a given time a new unit was fitted and the old ones junked. I still have packs of pre-cut lining materials for R12 wagons thrown out.
    Everything came in wooden crates that were sometimes broken. Panels could be badly damaged and components and panels corroded. Handling was often rough on the wharf and the first pre-production 504 imported had a very low roofline after a crate was dropped on it. I wondered that if you had cans of peas from the crate above in a car parts crate did people opening their crates of peas find 504 diffs and the like? When looking for an ultra expensive 504 diesel block for a bloke I found a bargain priced one being sold from the back of a truck and always wondered if it hadn't "fallen" out of a crate.

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    Huh. Didn't know NSUs were screwed together in Australia. Dad has two of those Prinzes, I should try to get one together and running one day... They'd be great for an EV conversion
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    Huh. Didn't know NSUs were screwed together in Australia. Dad has two of those Prinzes, I should try to get one together and running one day... They'd be great for an EV conversion
    I saw what you just did there ... Nifty
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    There is a Prinz sitting in the front yard of a house near New Norfolk just north of Hobart too - nearly ran off the road going :"holy shit, thats an NSU!"...
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Hall View Post
    Simca gave more support to their Australian operation than Peugeot ever gave including more favorable pricing.
    Ken, you mention the packing crates which were great for chook sheds. A father and son operation from Wonga Park used to buy them. After a while they stopped paying and Renault said no more crates until you pay. They didn't but the crates piled up so Renault called them back and let them have them for nothing.
    All sorts of unwanted parts went to the crusher including a crate of Renault instrument clusters because they had kmh speedos. If a starter didn't fire or an alternator spark up it was taken off and the offending part left out for the cleaner to send to the crusher. At one stage there were lots of failures. The situation was rectified when the police came and took the cleaner and his assembly line son away. Appears he was confusing the back fence with the crusher. I had stacks of R12 steering lock assemblies and keys because at a given time a new unit was fitted and the old ones junked. I still have packs of pre-cut lining materials for R12 wagons thrown out.
    Everything came in wooden crates that were sometimes broken. Panels could be badly damaged and components and panels corroded. Handling was often rough on the wharf and the first pre-production 504 imported had a very low roofline after a crate was dropped on it. I wondered that if you had cans of peas from the crate above in a car parts crate did people opening their crates of peas find 504 diffs and the like? When looking for an ultra expensive 504 diesel block for a bloke I found a bargain priced one being sold from the back of a truck and always wondered if it hadn't "fallen" out of a crate.
    Interesting stuff Russell

    I went to Heidelberg West Police Station at Corner of Altona Street & Waterdale Road as a lowly constable
    First appointment after doing the Russell Street, H.Q. thing

    Continental Cars was a big employer, and our main interaction was with the person who ran the Gate security, I can't remember his name now, but he did live locally in Pacific Drive? Not that many calls there for uniform members other than on patrol in the local Divisional Van that worked out of Heidelberg, with staff from Surrounding Police Stations.

    We were always welcome to use the crate material (probably because of its abundance) some of the larger crates had 6 x 6 inch pine and that made ideal bench legs, then every dimension in between, and as money was tight for everyone in those days ideal for odd carpentry jobs around the home and the 4 inch solid planks from the outside of the crate useful for everything including furniture and toys, every now and then I come across things made from those planks.

    When I was outfitting my new garage with benches and shelving, I used to remove the seats in my wife's Morris minor so that I could fill the whole car with the Renault crate wood, several trips meant an ample supply, there was also a Furniture Factory that used to throw out exotic off cuts near Northern Road, and I used to select nice pieces to make toys for kids in the neighborhood. I think that that half of the local places burnt these offcuts and crate and pallets that were thrown out in those days, as those local concrete (Holmsglen style) Commission homes were cold holes in winter they were gas heated mainly with coin in slot meters, that were a favourite among kids to break in and steal the coins, so many never used the gas heaters but had kerosene heaters, and you could smell those as soon as you went inside the house. Every time I smell burnt kerosene it reminds me of those days.

    Very hard times for those families living in Commission areas almost a battle for survival. I didn't realise that I would become interested in Renaults or eventually own some, otherwise I might have made more effort to suss out the history at the time I worked locally. So very good to see your written recollections of the Factory etc.

    I quite often go to the Ivanhoe Library with my good lady and while she is doing genealogy research, I spend time browsing the bound copies of the Heidelberger and photographing the adds and the newspaper reports, and putting a selection of photos up on this forum in the excellent historical compilation of the marque that you and Simon and others contributed too at the time, the early jobs vacant had reference to the person responsible for hiring painters, upholsterers and general hands that worked on the assembly lines. I hope that thread is still somewhere, I think it survived the Go Daddy Crash of A/F.

    By the way all car factories suffered pilfering, it was common for police to blitz the factory shift changes at GMH and Ford, search vehicles and recover probably a minor amount in terms of what they were losing. The Sidchrome Factory in West Heidleberg used to maintain a close watch on their fenceline as half of West Heidelberg resident seemed to get their tools by way of insiders chucking stuff over the fences, until the factory instituted regular patrols.

    In the early days the Factory roads were in the main unmade and full of potholes and a favourite trick of locals to evade capture by police was to try and speed through the potholes, till they discovered that the little Ford Anglia station cars front end suspension was superior to the FJ Holden in negotiating potholes. Now if they had been driving Renaults of the day I am sure they would have got away.

    The Heidelberg Historical society (Located in the old Courthouse Jika Street Heideleberg) is slowly building up donated material on such things along with first hand accounts and memorabilia.

    Thanks for your recollections, much appreciated Russell.

    Ken

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    Very interesting reading, gents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    Huh. Didn't know NSUs were screwed together in Australia. Dad has two of those Prinzes, I should try to get one together and running one day... They'd be great for an EV conversion
    NSUs,I think they were made in Warrigal Rd Moorabbin before play moved to Heidelberg. The plant became the Freighter truck assembly

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