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#1 RTH

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:34

As there does not seem to be a thread dedicated to this subject.

I am going up to Arch Motors soon to gather some information for an article in 'Historic Lotus ' the HLR quarterly magazine.

Have any of you got any stories/pictures/anecdotes/ adverts /etc about them we can use ?


Repint Kayemod reply from the Specialised Mouldings thread ( Thank you Rob ) : -


Not a great deal I'm sorry to have to tell you Richard, except, and you're probably ahead of me here, my late Dad was Arch Motor's friendly bank manager. To avoid having to repeat this ad infinitum, as well as having the accounts of Arch and Specialised Mouldings, you can add to the list, Lola Cars, Charles Lucas, later Titan Cars as well, Bob King's Royale (I think), Richardson Racing Engines, and one or two others whose names escape me at the moment, as well as a great many of their employees. There was a simple reason for this, he was the manager when Natwest opened a new branch in Huntingdon, and trying to establish themselves in the area, they probably offered better terms than some of the others banks. The companies I've mentioned moved into the area around the same time, and he ended up with all of them. On Arch themselves, there's not a great deal I can tell you, ruddy-faced Bob Robinson founded and ran the company, and I think he was universally liked and respected, doesn't Bob's son still run Arch from the same premises today? As they were next door to SM, there was a lot of co-operation between the two, we were always doing odd-jobs for each other, though with all the welding and grinding, we thought it was a filthy place, and I'm sure that Arch thought much the same about us messy fibreglass people. Customers like Frank Williams would drive up in his van, the most immaculate Ford Escort you've ever seen, flawless midnight blue with that cute little white tab in the centre of the bonnet at the front just like the Brabham he ran back then, and creditworthiness permitting of course, collect items from both Specialised Mouldings and Arch Motors in the same trip. More may come back to me, but you should start an Arch thread if there isn't one already, I'm sure some will remember a lot more than I can.
Rob

Edited by RTH, 13 August 2009 - 10:37.


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#2 RTH

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:45

This is a photo I took 2 years ago on a visit around all the Lotus sub-contractors in the Hornsey area

This is 16 Kings Street Arches ( since re-numbered 516) Tottenham London N 17

Posted Image

This was the original home of Arch Motors who were Chassis space frame makers for Lotus especially well known for the Lotus 7 and went on to be probably the biggest maker of racing car chassis certainly one of the best known.
Subsequently they moved to Huntingdon where they still are and after 50 years only ceased to be the chassis maker for the now Caterham 7 just a couple of months ago (2007).

Edited by RTH, 13 August 2009 - 10:46.


#3 llmaurice

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:08

This is a photo I took 2 years ago on a visit around all the Lotus sub-contractors in the Hornsey area

This is 16 Kings Street Arches ( since re-numbered 516) Tottenham London N 17

Posted Image

This was the original home of Arch Motors who were Chassis space frame makers for Lotus especially well known for the Lotus 7 and went on to be probably the biggest maker of racing car chassis certainly one of the best known.
Subsequently they moved to Huntingdon where they still are and after 50 years only ceased to be the chassis maker for the now Caterham 7 just a couple of months ago (2007).


Peter Denne (one of the original Arch Motors staff ) helps look after his Son Lawrences' motor racing career .
I'm sure that if anyone wanted more information ,Peters son is a regular contributor to the Historicc FF2000 website
And he would pick up on any enquiries .

#4 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:17

Bruce Robinson runs Arch Motors today. A super bloke, yes in the same Huntingdon premises in Redwongs Way a few yards down from the old SM site. Up until recently as RTH says, every Caterham chassis you've ever seen was an Arch product...thousands of them. Many other famous cars had Arch chassis or components in them.

Examples:
LOTUS types 7 - 23 - 24 - 51 - 59 - 61 - 72, McLAREN M1A, CHEVRON sports & single seaters, BRABHAM F3 - F2 - F1, FORD GT40 & RS200, MARCH FF - F3 - F2 - FSV - F.Atlantic, RALT F3 RT1 - RT3 - RT30 to RT35 - F2 - F3000, ENSIGN F3 & F1 MN01, LOLA Sportscars - FF & F5000, ELDEN FF, ALEXIS FF, HAWKE FF, MERLYN FF, PALLISER FF, VAN DIEMEN FF - F.First - FF2000 - Multisports, ROYALE FF - F3 - FSV - F100, TITAN FF - F3, ELVA FJ, GRD F3, RONDEL F2, GRYPHON clubmans, MALLOCK clubmans, PANTHER Lima, AC Cars, AERIAL Atom, CLAN Crusader, ROCKET, UNIPOWER, WHEATCROFT F.Classic and many KART chassis.

With ARCH, SM, Lola, Royale, Titan, Geoff Richardson & Tim Close engine tuners in the area too, Huntingdon has made a huge contribution to the industry and racing history.

Edited by Andrew Kitson, 13 August 2009 - 12:31.


#5 kayemod

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:38

With ARCH, SM, Lola, Royale, Titan, Geoff Richardson & Tim Close engine tuners in the area too, Huntingdon has made a huge contribution to the industry and racing history.


Andrew! You've left Nick Wattiez off that list!


#6 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:44

Oh yes....he doesn't count! I also forgot 1980s/90s crack FF team Fulmar Racing at Godmanchester, using Reynard FF cars - Gil De Ferran among the drivers. Customers FF Reynards were built here too. Also in the area is Harley Plastics - manufacturers of many GRP body shapes ( took over where SM left off ).

#7 brakedisc

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:57

"CLAN Crusader" What did Arch contribute to in the manufacture of Clans?



#8 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 13:13

"CLAN Crusader" What did Arch contribute to in the manufacture of Clans?

I'm not sure - but it is listed on their 'hall of fame' board in the entrance to the company, cars they have contributed to.


#9 RTH

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 17:19

Thank you chaps.

The Clan crusader famous for being one of the few all GRP monocoque cars along with such like the Rochdale Olympic Lotus Elite etc

http://www.classic-k...0picgallery.htm

#10 RTH

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 10:31

I wondered if anyone could come up with anything more about Arch....history/personnel/background/pictures/anecdotes etc before I go up there ? I will then put up some pictures as it is now.