Completely Knocked Down (CKD)

OR.  CKD = KAH 5 + KAH 6 = 1519

Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kit cars were an option taken up by Ireland (Eire), Holland (Netherlands) and South Africa (Suid Afrika) for the MG Magnette Z type in the 1954 to 1958 period. CKD assembled cars were all standard Z type bodies; Ireland commenced first, putting together ZA type Magnettes until 1956. 1956 being the year CKD kits were updated to ZB specification and now delivered for assembly in Ireland, Holland and South Africa over the years 1956/1957/1958. Strange as it may seem information on MG Magnette types ZA or ZB with chassis identification numbers prefixed with KAH are difficult to uncover, but thanks to both Colin Heald {Magnette enthusiast of New Zealand} and George Dehlen {MGA enthusiast of South Africa} we have made progress with the following pictures and information.

Picture No1. One of the 750 South African Assembly plates. {This belongs to KAH5/27524 and happily still resides in South Africa with owner Errol Battison}

Emphasizing the lack of information only five of the 1519 CKD assembled Magnettes are known to me, and that includes the one registered Gallery. Hopefully more CKD assembled cars have survived but for now four of the five known, by chassis number, are confirmed survivors:

Year Model Chassis Code Assembly code Assembled Now Located
1954 ZA KAH5/1412 Not Known Eire Not Known
1956 ZA KAH5/16173 Not Known Eire New Zealand
1957 ZB KAH5/19935 Not Known Not Known South Africa
  KAH5/21293 Not Known Not Known South Africa
1957 ZB KAH6/21974 Not Known Netherlands Belgium
1957 ZB KAH5/22051 MGM 276 Not Known Scrapped in SA
1957 ZB KAH5/23521 MGM 354 South Africa South Africa
1957 ZB KAH5/25703 MGM374 South Africa  
1957 ZB KAH5/26026 Not Known Not Known South Africa
1957 ZB KAH5/27156 MGM 461 South Africa South Africa
1957 ZB KAH5/27524 MGM 496 South Africa South Africa
1958 ZB KAH5/27740 MGM 511 South Africa New Zealand
1958 ZB KAH5/27743 MGM 514 South Africa South Africa
1958 ZB KAH5/27915 MGM 520 South Africa South Africa
1958 ZB KAH5/28391 MGM 576 South Africa  
1958 ZB KAH5/29659 MGM 671 South Africa England
1958 ZB KAH5/29778   South Africa South Africa
1958 ZB KAH5/30065 MGM 702 South Africa South Africa
1958 ZB KAH5/31027 MGM 741 South Africa South Africa
1958 ZB KAH5/32464 MGM 801 South Africa  

If we work on the basis that 2.7% of the CKD cars have survived, then it is likely 41 {of the 1519 CKDs} could still be out there. Where are the other 37 CKDs - any volunteers?
 With George Dehlen’s help there seems to be more clarity in the data of CKD assembled Magnettes by country (the book ‘MG Saloon Cars’ is our main source of CKD assemblies, although it is at the mercy of compiled company records). Consequently assemblies of ZA & ZB cars for Eire are now better defined in table 2.

Picture No2. Chassis plate of Errol Battison’s ZB Magnette; Produced as MGM 496 {assume 496th of 750} in the Durban Assembly plant.

Eire 336 ZA 259 ZB = 595 (39.17%)
Netherlands   174 ZB =174 (11.45%)
South Africa   750 ZB =750 (49.37%)

Picture No. 3. South African Assembly Plate. Firewall mounted
 and located above the battery compartment.

Incomplete Tables
 Tables: 3, 4 and 5; attempt to put into focus data that are missing but may still exist?
 Missing for Eire and South Africa are annual numbers of ZB CKD kits assembled, plus for the years 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958/9 almost no real information exists for allocated chassis numbers either individually and/or in a range. Also the Netherlands suffers from a lack of data for chassis numbers or allocation of chassis numbers.


Year      ZAs            Chassis Number Range

1954      84               Commencing with1412 {Note 1. Was  a block of numbers allocated?}

1955     192              Unknown

1956      60               Unknown

TOTAL= 336 Eire

TABLE No 3. - ZA CKD Assembly. {Eire Only}.

Year   Eire   Sth Africa  Total

1956     ?           ?                 100

1957     ?           ?                 473

1958     ?           ?                 436

Totals 259      750             1009

Year   Netherlands             Chassis No.                  Total

   1956            36                    ?????????                36

   1957          135                    26321 – 26326

                                             26481 – 26486

                                             27328 – 27333

                                             7529 – 27534           135

   1958              3                    34516 – 34518            3

   Totals             174                                                         174

TABLE No. 4 - ZB CKD Assembly for Eire, South Africa and Netherlands

The Importer for the Netherlands was the Company "Molenaar". Their books show 24 Magnettes from March to November 1957 with the prefix KAH6 (=CKD LHD) and in 1958 only 3.
They were always made in groups of 6 cars (see table above)

The colours and interior were:

Colour Interior Qty
light blue black 1
light blue red 12
light blue grey 1
light blue biscuit 1
light grey black 2
light grey red 2
light grey green 1
black biscuit 1
black green 2
green black 2
green biscuit 1
green green 1


Year    Model      Number Chassis Nos.      Year     Model         Number  Chassis Nos.

1955      ZA               1            ??


1957      ZB           403            ??

1958      ZB           271            ??

1959      ZB           176            ??                    1959    MK III/IV       148                  ??

Total  ZA/ZB       851                        1960    MK III/IV       193                  ??

                                                                    1961    MK III/IV       156                  ??

                                                                    1962    MK III/IV       123                  ??

                                                                    1963    MK III/IV           8                  ??

                                                                    Total   MK III/IV      628

TABLE No. 5 – Sth Africa Sales {CKD & Imported} MG Sedan’s in 1955/1957-1963

On the premise 1519 CKDs represent total production and within that total 750 {ZB} CKDs were assembled in South Africa: tables 2 to 4 are intended to show the world sources of CKD assembled MG Magnette Z types, while specific to South Africa Table 5 is a period snapshot (1955 to 1963) of all MG sedans sold in South Africa as a combined mix of local assembly CKD kit cars and imports – See note 2. Finding any additional CKD {kit cars} using the Chassis prefix KAH must surely add extra insight. For instance South African assembled Z type Magnettes all seem to have an Assemblers Plaque, Picture no.1, and sequential unique number { assuming unique in a number range of 750}; the question is did the Eire and Netherlands assemblies have this very
SUMMARY (continued)
useful labeling? Further, table 4 basically separates the 1009 ZB right hand drive CKD kits (KAH 5 = part of chassis code) from the 174 ZB left hand drive CKD (KAH 6 = part of chassis code) assemblies; with lots of unknowns in most columns.
Finally can anyone shed light on: Assembly site, Assembly lines, Assembly processes and Assembly tools and jigs? In picture and or written word – something must have survived from this period, as references or articles. These seem rare cars indeed!

Point of Contention
Local South African records show 750 ZBs were assembled at the Motor Assemblies Limited plant in Durban between 1957 and 1959. The contentious point is the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) has records that show 850 (ZBs) were sold, but unfortunately the NAAMSA did not record the chassis numbers. Without more information I have assumed (to be clarified) the extra 100 ZBs are in fact fully built up imports and allow me to attribute a specific allocation of ZBs to Eire as provided in Table 2. This seems reasonable and only more information will sort this out.

References and Sources and Definitions
George Dehlen {MGA enthusiast of South Africa}. Invaluable South African information and images.

Colin Heald {Magnette enthusiast of New Zealand}. Invaluable images

Henk Kroese, Magnette Registar in the Netherlands. Provided information of Molenaar.

MG Saloon cars – Book by A D Clausager. Critical resource.

Note 1 (From page 128, MG Saloon cars – by A D Clausager)
Note 2 George Dehlen extracted the sales data for the period 1955 to 1963 from the archives of the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa

CKD is an abbreviation for a Completely Knocked Down kit car.

KAH is part of the factory identity code and chassis number for a CKD MG Sedan
KAH 5 or KAH 6; where 5 = CKD Right Hand Drive and 6 = CKD Left Hand Drive

Article assembled by Loz {Laurence} Scott

May 2006

Post Script
Extract from MG Saloon cars – Book by A D Clausager
In 1954 {only year exports by country are preserved} the first exports of MG Magnettes were a mix of CKD kits and fully build up Abingdon assembled ZAs totaling 1538 shipped. Of note is 84 CKDs went to Eire commencing with chassis number 1412.