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Lotus; the beginnings & the Hornsey museum


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#101 PeterTRoss

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 08:46

Richard,

We understand that as Lotus demand grew W&P worked exclusively for them and to save transport to Hornsey moved their works from this Edmonton site into a section of the Lotus stable block.

You are getting Edmonton confused with Enfield.

Enfield is where Williams & Pritchard were in 1952 when they made the first body for Lotus - the Lotus Mk VI. The rolling chassis had to be towed there from Hornesy, and the journey was made more memorable when it was discovered that the steering worked in reverse!

Later in 1952 they made the body for the Lotus Mk IIIB for Adam Currie, and in 1953 they moved to the old stable block at Hornesy - squeezing Lotus into a very small space indeed - and started making the Mk VI bodies in earnest.

The move to Edmonton must have occurred in late 1955 or early 1956, and that is where they remained (I believe) until the company was wound up.

I will send a copy of your photo to Len Pritchard to make absolutely sure you have the right building. I will send the Edmonton Tool Company bulding photo to Ron Welsh as well.

Re-naming the thread

I think it should be re-named Lotus Museum. I think all these old buildings are part of the history of the Lotus Hornsey works that the Museum is covering. Perhaps someone could knock on the door of 19 Ribblesdale Road and take a photo in the garden of what is left (if any) of the original Progress works?

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#102 RTH

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 10:09

Ah yes Peter of course you are right I had the chronology a bit confused there.

I suppose the next question is do we have the address in Enfield where W&P started?

Do we have the exact address or draw me a little map of exactly which unit Progress chassis were in on First Avenue/Stacey Avenue and I will go back and photograph that.

I don't mind going back to Hornsey to get a picture of Progress works/garden in 19 Ribblesdale Road

Peter can I throw two more names at you, do you know the significance to the story of Argyll Works and F L Hine 89 Park Road ?

Who made the bodywork for the original MK III? especially the compound curvature radiator fairing with blended in headlights .

Can this car be seen again in the near future for me the most significant early car ?

#103 RTH

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 11:33

This is the lock up garage behind Hazel Chapman's parents house where the MK I was built
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This is an aerial view of the Hornsey works

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This is the former Shanklin Motor Company site now being redeveloped where Clive Clairemonte took the incomplete MKVII

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With thanks to local historian John Douglas for these 3 who has lived in the area most of his life



#104 RTH

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 15:53

Mid 1959 saw a move up the A10 a few miles to a purpose built new car factory on a piece of land Colin chapman's father Stan had bought for development at Cheshunt in Hertfordshire on an industrial estate in Delamare Road which today is swamped by Tesco world headquarters on both sides of the road and both sides of the ex-Lotus factory.

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AS you can see from the pictures I took Sat 19th May 2007 at present half the old factory is being used as a Gym. The other half is a plastics factory.

We had a word with them in the Gym the girl on the front desk seemed to think its previous use as a carpet warehouse of greater interest although the muscle builder customers who were completely unaware it had been home to Lotus showed real interest.

#105 RTH

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 16:25

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I understand the B&W photograph was a publicity picture used in much of the advertising material , brochures magazines etc described as "frequently seen " at the time to display the range of products.

This picture was commissioned by Robin Read who was appointed Sales Manager of Lotus Cars upon the move to Cheshunt in 1959 and was arranged at his request in the Autumn of 1959.

Reason for the picture is really to compare the originality of the structure of the building over a period of near 50 years amazingly unchanged.

However from right to left ex-Team Lotus Sixteen, ex-Team fifteen. works Team Seventeen, the original Seven Series One 'A' Demonstrator 703 HNK and a spare 'borrowed' Elite

Robin Read has written the most splendid book " Colin Chapman's Lotus" hardback large format 336 pages published in 1989 by Haynes ISBN8854297030 recounting in great detail his years at Lotus Cheshunt 1959 to 1963 and a good deal more. Its a major contribution to the story. Recommended.

#106 RTH

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 17:07

However this 'To Let' board might not be good news, perhaps it should have a preservation order on it as a historical monument ? Or listing so that it can't be knocked down ?

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#107 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 17:58

Wonderful thread. :clap:

#108 PeterTRoss

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 18:09

Super pictures Richard.

Peter can I throw two more names at you, do you know the significance to the story of Argyll Works and F L Hine 89 Park Road ?

Who made the bodywork for the original MK III? especially the compound curvature radiator fairing with blended in headlights .

Can this car be seen again in the near future for me the most significant early car?

I know nothing about Argyll Works, but you really should resd my book before asking these questions!

Frank Hine built the Lotus-Austin (the Mk III) in 1951 at his workshop at 89 Park Road Hornsey. He also built the body for the Lotus Mk IV in 1952. When we went to look for his workshop just before the book was published we found that it had been demolished and replaced by a builders merchant.

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Not much further down the road is Shanklin Road and in 2004 the Clairmonte Brothers factory had not yet been demolished. William Taylor, of publishers Coterie Press, took this photo and retouched it.

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Here is a picture of the Lotus-Austin Mk III taken at Silverstone last year just after it had been restored (yet again) by Kelvin Jones who stands behind.

#109 RTH

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 19:26

These are 2 recent pictures taken by Hornsey historian John Douglas of two views of the site of 89 Park Road Hornsey where F.L. Hine had his workshop and as Peter has just told us the aluminium bodies for MKIII and MKIV were made.

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#110 RTH

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 19:49

This is 104 Vallance Road the parental home of Michael and Nigel Allen and the newer of the two large garages, one at each end of the house where Colin Chapman and the two brothers designed and constructed the very early cars , the early plan being to make 3 Mark III cars , one for each of them.

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Photos John Douglas.

#111 Charles Helps

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 20:10

Excellent photos, Richard, especially the one of the Malaysian lads outside the old Cosworth works.

Sad to see all the razor wire on the roof. You may have seen the pictures on the museum site of several Eleven chassis stored outside the Lotus works. I asked David Morgan where these were put overnight and he said that they remained where they were, just covered with tarpaulins - times change.

I was driving the Mk VI out of Stow-on-the-Wold today and stopped at some traffic lights. A man in a white van in a parallel lane leaned out and asked whether the car was a Lotus. He then said that he owned "Colin Chapman's factory at Cheshunt" but had to sell it about fifteen years ago. Then the lights changed and he had to go before I could find out more - perhaps he will turn up again sometime.

#112 RTH

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 20:35

Wow, what an amazing co-incidence Charles. I know what you mean the lawlessness these days is simply awful.

#113 Alan Cox

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 20:40

Amazing that in Richard's post 105, the Plastek offices still have the original metal window frames which were in place when the photo with the Lotus 16 etc. outside was taken.

Fascintaing thread, as others have said.

#114 David Beard

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 21:40

Originally posted by RTH
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Richard..where did you find this photo?

(This thread is just excellent.)

#115 RTH

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:42

This must have been taken just as Cheshunt was opened as essentially these are all cars in production at Hornsey. Already the Museum have a great collection of early pictures.




This is the house Colin lived in with his parents before marrying Hazel

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Hazel Williams family home which had the lock up garage where Colin and Hazel built MKI the Austin 7 based trials car.

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From what I have read , heard people speak, seen many film interviews, and myself having met Hazel Chapman , if only very briefly at her home in Norfolk 17 years ago when I was picking up the Gold Leaf 49 for a static display at the British GP. Her contribution to this whole story should never be underestimated.

Quite clearly a strong, determined ,resouceful, capable, practical woman who was enormously supportive to Colin Chapman in so many ways. It is often said behind every great man is an equally great Woman. I think without her we would not have this story to write about in this form at all . Clearly she made a colossal contribution and was a major factor in the success of the enterprise and achievements and should be recognised as such.

Incidently she was a very capable racing driver in her own right she was able to match Colins times in the MK III
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Thanks to John Douglas one of the museum presentation talk speakers for these pictures



This is an extract from the museums aims and ambitions for the future


One of the primary aims in the setting up of the Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre is to promote awareness of the need for innovative, efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions to engineering problems. Colin Chapman himself was renowned for "thinking outside the box" and we hope that retelling his achievements will stimulate young people to explore the world with a questioning eye, asking:

• What is this for?

• Does it do the job?

• Is this the most effective use of resources and energy?

• Is it even necessary?

To this end, the Museum Trustees envisage the following activities:

Education

Production of DVD and computer screen presentations of Chapman's engineering innovations, for distribution to schools and colleges

• Space frame chassis and rigidity

• Weight reduction generally

• Engine development - ports, cam followers, crankshaft modifications

• Suspension development - Split axle IFS, Chapman strut (1957), inboard spring/shock absorbers De-Dion rear axle

• First production road car with glass-fibre unitary chassis/body (1957 Elite)

• First Grand Prix car with monocoque chassis (1962 Type 25)

• First road car with steel backbone chassis and glass-fibre body shell ( 1962 Elan)

• First rear-engined F1 car using engine as load-bearing chassis member ( Type 49 1967)

• Ground effect Grand Prix car (1977 Type 78 )

• Active suspension (1981 Esprit )

In-house presentations to visiting school groups and other specific audiences

Presentations in the cinema, similar to Royal Society Christmas lectures, with models, audience participation and lots of fun.

• Chassis design, triangulation, weight distribution, centre of gravity

• Suspension - demonstration of different systems, sprung / unsprung mass

• Analysis of spring, mass and shock absorber combinations.

• Driving / race techniques explained.


• All presentations to end with some aspect of road safety since audience will soon be driving, if not already. Hazard perception competition. Explanation of legal requirements of car use.

• General guided tours of the museum with hands-on explanation of design features.

• Enhanced opportunities for training and the development of skills needed in engineering. Open minds to the career opportunities in design and engineering..

• Linkages with universities to create an environment where engineering can be seen as a career for the young.

• Opportunity to extend existing partnerships and to create new partnership.
To find out more about engineering courses at sites across the country please refer to http://www.educatelondon.co.uk/


#116 RTH

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:41

This is currently on the side of the Hornsey showroom (at present with the Jewsons identification)

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The MK IV trials car

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Photos John Douglas

#117 PeterTRoss

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:52

Chapman's engineering innovations:
First production road car with glass-fibre unitary chassis/body (1957 Elite)

I’m afraid that this is another of the many myths that have grown up around the Chapman story. As well covered by Mike Lawrence in his book “Colin Chapman - Wayward Genius” he relates on pages 69-70 how at the 1956 Earls Court Motor Show preview ACBC had discovered the little Berkeley sports car designed by Laurie Bond, and was inspired to use the same idea of a fibreglass monocoque for the Elite.

Here are some details of the car. It can be seen that the four-wheeler alone had a production run of over 2000, about double that of the Elite.

Information taken from the Wikipedia website:

Berkeley Cars Ltd of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, produced small cars with engines from 322 cc to 700 cc between 1956 and 1960. The company produced designs by Laurie Bond in the Berkeley caravan factory owned by Charles Panter. Four models were made. Production stopped in 1960 and an attempted merger with Bond Cars come to nothing. The factory was later used by Kayser Bondor to make women's underwear, but it has now been demolished and the site turned over to housing.

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Sports SA322, SE328 and B65
A glass-fibre monocoque, two-seater open tourer initially powered by an Anzani twin-cylinder 322 cc two-stroke engine producing 15 bhp. It was mounted transversely and drive the front wheels via a chain. The car had all round independent suspension by coil springs and in spite of the tiny engine gave remarkably good performance owing to its light weight (600 pounds - about 270 kg) and excellent roadholding. After 146 of the SA322 cars were made a change was made to the SA328 model with a 328 cc Excelsior engine offering 18 bhp. About 1300 were made, many being exported to the United States. The last 10 cars were known as B65 and had a strengthened body. Top speed was just over 60 mph.

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Sports SE492 and Foursome
For 1957 the engine was changed to a 30 bhp, Excelsior three-cylinder 492 cc with three carburettors. A Foursome four seater was now available in a slightly wider body and a closed coupé version was also made. Top speed was now 80mph. Over 650 of the two seater and 16 four seaters were made.

Sports B95 and B105
In 1959 the cars got more power, from twin-cylinder Royal Enfield 692 cc four-stroke engines, with 40 bhp in the B95 and 50 bhp in the twin-carburettor B105. The B105 could exceed the magic 100 mph. About 200 B95 and B105 models were made, half being exported.
In October 1959 the Q range was announced, with longer and wider bodies. The wheelbase went up from 70 inches to 78 and the track from 42 inches to 46. The Qs were four seaters (just), although the QB version dispensed with the rear seat to give extra luggage space. Very few of the Q cars were made.

Sports T60 and T60-4
The 1959 T60 was intended as a more basic model and was a three wheeler using the Excelsior "Talisman Twin" 328 cc engine seen in the SE328. Drive was still to the front wheels through a four speed gearbox and a trailing arm replaced the swing axle independent suspension of the four wheeled cars. The T60-4 had a larger rear seat and, together with other three wheelers of the era could legally be driven on a motor cycle licence in the UK, so was suitable for a motor cyclist with family. Another advantage was that the registration fees for three wheelers were considerably less than four wheeled vehicles. Just over 1800 were made.
______________________________________________________________________________

Despite Chapman’s successful efforts to prolong the myth, this IMHO, should not be taken as any disparagement of Chapman who was always quick to spot a good idea and often improved on it to good effect. This, I think, is the lesson. Many people have good ideas, but it takes someone like Colin Chapman to see their potential and adapt them to his purpose – and in so doing often exceeding the expectations of the first person with the idea.

Lock up garage behind Hazel’s parents house
When we visited in 2004 the present owner was not at all pleased to get publicity. She showed us a garage in her garden which she had been assured was where Chapman had built his cars. She was wrong, and the photo on this site (and in my book) show the correct ones. We believe Chapman had the middle one. I feel that some sort of commemorative plaque should be mounted on the door.

Plaque at Hornsey erected by Club Lotus
Unfortunately they got this wrong. If you look at the Museum website you will see that it has been corrected to show that the Lotus Engineering Company (not a limited liability company until 25th September) was started at the site on 1st January 1952 (NOT 1953).

#118 RTH

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:15

Originally posted by Charles Helps


I was driving the Mk VI out of Stow-on-the-Wold today and stopped at some traffic lights. A man in a white van in a parallel lane leaned out and asked whether the car was a Lotus. He then said that he owned "Colin Chapman's factory at Cheshunt" but had to sell it about fifteen years ago. Then the lights changed and he had to go before I could find out more - perhaps he will turn up again sometime.


Lovely sunny day out there today Charles...........how about a photo of your car as an illustration of Hornsey's first real production series customer cars the mark VI and the skill and craftsmanship of Williams & Pritchard , Progress Chassis, and a bit of history if you have it . Specially interesting when someone regular on the forum has a really significant car.

#119 Charles Helps

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 14:08

Originally posted by RTH


Lovely sunny day out there today Charles...........how about a photo of your car as an illustration of Hornsey's first real production series customer cars the mark VI and the skill and craftsmanship of Williams & Pritchard , Progress Chassis, and a bit of history if you have it . Specially interesting when someone regular on the forum has a really significant car.

I'm not sure it's really significant compared with some of the real racing cars but here's one taken today in the sunshine:
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Denis Wilkins worked with ACBC at British Aluminium Company and ordered a replica in 1952. The car was fitted with a Ford Consul engine of 1499 cc and what Denis told me was the Austin gearbox from the prototype which had been crashed almost a year earlier. Patrick Stephens built up the car for Denis and it was first registered in July 1953. Denis first raced it at Silverstone on the 4th July and had further races that year at Snetterton, Goodwood and Thruxton.

Denis came from Northern Ireland and returned there for 1954 where Ian Titterington, cousin of Desmond, helped him improve the car with twin SU carburettors replacing what I believe was the original Zenith downdraught used in 1953. In return Denis let Ian share the car and they did a number of races and speed events during the summer of 1954 including Carncastle, Enniskerry, Syonfin, Kirkiston, the Leinster Trophy in County Wicklow and the Cork Road Race. I believe Denis was Autosport's Northern Ireland correspondent at one point and there was an obituary in the magazine after his death - I didn't see it and would be grateful if someone could let me know when it appeared. I think he may have written under a pseudonym.

It seems to have gone to George Pitt for 1955, then to Rodney Bloor (of Sports Motors, Manchester), Ken Coffey all living in the NorthWest and by 1963 Brian Main had it in Bristol. Nigel Irens, now a noted yacht designer, had it for a short while in 1964 and then a succession of owners in the area some of whom used it for sprints and autocross before I found most of it, less engine and gearbox, nosecone and steering in a stable near Keynsham. Got it back on the road in 2006 and took it to Classic Le Mans for a shakedown trip - great fun. Some of the panels are Len Pritchard's work in the 1980s while some are the original 1952 set. Again some of the tubes are probably David Kelsey's 1950s work and some were done in the late Seventies by Richard Scott who used to produce the Centaur Clubman cars from a little workshop in Halesworth, Suffolk.

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#120 RTH

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 14:49

Amazing, sounds as if its had a dozen or more owners most of which it seems have used it competitively.

Le Mans & back in a Lotus Six wow! It seemed far enough in a motorhome. That is pretty spartan motoring by any standards.

Looks like you live in a beautiful spot , love all those stone buildings ! I raced a Caterham in the '84 Snetterton 24hrs, clearly a VI is a very different car to a 7

#121 Charles Helps

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 09:34

Thanks, Richard.

Club Lotus have a 'Fast Driving Track Day' at Castle Combe this Saturday (26th May). There should be a few old Lotuses there amongst the Elans, Esprits, Elises and Exiges. We are also hoping that at least two of the team who helped in 1954 with the first Lotus Mark VIII will be there. All welcome - Historic Lotus Register will have a small stand with some of the older cars and there shuold be a lunchtime parade.

I've never done more than speed events in the Lotuses although we did the Bristol 24 hour pedal car race on Whitchurch airfield a few times in the seventies :)

#122 RTH

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 15:16

Thanks Charles, I will not be able to go I'm guessing it not so far from where you are . If you are able to get any photos and video especially of the pre '60 cars that could find their way in to the propsed DVD that would be enormously helpful.

#123 RTH

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 16:32

Here is a piece of incomplete research that someone reading may be able to help with.

In their magazine adverts in the early '50s Lotus used to advertise themselves for crankshaft grinding and balancing.

In his book' Building and Racing my 750 ' from 1953 Patrick Stephens mentions many many times taking engine components to the Lotus Engineering company at Tottenham Lane in 1952 for reboring crankshaft grinding big end remetalling balancing valve seat cutting as well as other specialist machining and things like inlet manifold fabrication and cylinder head refacing.

Now, we do know in 1952 Lotus did not have a fully equipped engine reconditioning machine shop to perform these operations, even though Patrick clearly thought they were doing the work.

As a result of some local publicity about the proposed museum in Hornsey out of the blue John Douglas tells me than fellow trustee John Scott- Davies received an e-mail from a Mr Robert Rust saying he was an apprentice at Argyll Motors an engineering works on a small industrial estate Priory Park just off Priory Road (which is now a housing estate) in the early 1950s.

He says they did engine machining work on Austin Seven 750 engines for Colin Chapman as well as "extra ordinary" work such as reducing the capacity of a Ford 1508cc engine to below 1500cc by eccentrically grinding the crankpins to reduce the stroke.

It looks as if Argyll in Hornsey established in the early 1930s were originally the London Service Department for the Dumbarton car manufacturer of the same name who started making cars around 1900.

Robert Rust went on to say his brother was involved with Arch Motors who also later made chassis in Tottenham for Lotus and later Caterham and much of the racing car industry, subsequently moving to Huntingdon .

So it all sounds likely , anyone got anything that might confirm it ?


This was the entry to the area where Argyll Motor was located

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#124 David McKinney

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 17:17

Can't help, Richard, but it's all fascinating stuff. Keep it coming :up:

#125 Charles Helps

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 15:08

Very interesting, Richard - Patrick Stephens - not Stevens :)

I always had a theory (untested) that Lotus's machining was done by Johnson Roberts - Michael Allen joined them after leaving Lotus. PTR in Lotus, The Early Years writes "... engine overhaul company Johnson Roberts who had been so helpful to them when they [Chapman, Michael and Nigel Allen] were racing..." although there is no reason why Lotus should not have had a whole series of people who could do different machining jobs for them.

According to John Tipler's "Lotus and Caterham Seven" Arch Motors was founded in Tottenham in 1958 and the first Lotus chassis made by them was the 23 with a contract for Lotus Seven chassis following in 1965, about the time of their move to Huntingdon. Anyone know any better?

I believe that Progress Chassis made all the frames from the production Mk VIs up to the Eleven. I have emailed John Scott Davies about Robert Rust - another chap called Rust in London N.8. had a replica Lotus Six at the end of the fifties - he may be related.

#126 RTH

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 15:23

Interesting Charles, my apologies for getting the spelling of Patrick's name wrong , I should have looked , do we have a full address for Arch Motors in Tottenham for a picture ? I also really need a full address for Progress in Edmonton, were they also in First Avenue if so what number ? Where were these people Johnson Roberts?

Rust is a very unusual name....can't think there would be more than one in N8 other than a relative perhaps!

#127 David McKinney

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 15:57

Originally posted by RTH
....do we have a full address for Arch Motors in Tottenham for a picture ?

Someone at the museum evening knew it well - I asked him and he said they started up in the "King's Road arches". There is a King's Road in Tottenham (north of where we were) and there is a railway running close to it but I haven't checked it out

#128 RTH

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 16:11

Thanks for that David, I wonder if they are numbered, I wonder if a photo exists anywhere of Arch Motors around 1960 ?

This is their current website http://www.archmotor.co.uk/

I have written to Arch asking for some help.

#129 David McKinney

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 17:37

I've had another look at the map (should have looked more closely before I posted the above)
King's Road is actually just behind the Bruce Castle property where we were
I'll try and get up there for a nose around tomorrow

#130 RTH

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 10:15

Just a word to mention Peter Ross's Book ' Lotus the Early Years ' 208 pages which at last I have got down to reading.

Not only is it packed with amazing information you will not find elsewhere but it is also a really good read, packed with never seen before photographs.
The large format wide shape hardback will stay open on its own on a flat surface and has pleasantly large type face (sadly not the case in many books nowadays ) make it really easy to read.

Good job Peter.

#131 David McKinney

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:32

As you may have noticed - I didn't get up to the arches on the weekend.
I did go today, and found what I believe are the approporiate arches, but - unsurprisingly - no-one who had a clue about Arch Motors. Not much point in taking a photos, especially as the units are all enclosed by a big black security fence.
I have however asked the local museum if they have a business directory covering the period, so we might succeed from that angle. If I can find the unit number I'll go back and take a pic. If it's stopped raining by then :|

#132 KJJ

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:23

Great thread.

I don't know if this is of any use but the London Telephone Directories for 1880-1984 are now on-line for subscribers to Ancestry.com. I had a look and there is an Arch Motor and Mfg Co. listed in 1959 and 1960 with an address given as 16A Kings Rd. N17, phone TOTthham 5807.

#133 RTH

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:42

Thank you David and KJJ that is helpful.

We do still need an address and road number for Progress Chassis in the late 50s who were in First Avenue Edmonton and a road number for Edmonton Tool Company in Second Avenue Edmonton if you can use the directory to find those that would be a help.

Also we need to know the address details for Johnson Roberts an engine machine shop in the general Hornsey district or maybe a bit further afield.

Also we still need an address for Williams and Pritchards original workshop in Enfield pre Hornsey so early 50s.

If I get a reply from the e-mail to Arch in Huntingdon that may shed some light, I hope they might have some pictures.

#134 KJJ

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 13:08

In the 1959 Telephone Directory:

Progress Chassis Co., 27 First Av., N18, EDMontn 2822

There's an Edmonton Tool & Engineering Co. Ltd at 141 Hertford Rd., N9, EDMontn 4412 - what year were they in Second Av.?

1957 Directory

Johnson Roberts Ltd, Engrs., 12 Pembroke Rd., N8, MOUntvw 0111

The earliest I have found for Williams & Pritchard is in the 1956 Directory, by 1958 they are at 25 First Ave:

Williams & Pritchard Ltd., Car Body Bldrs., 7 Tottenham La., N8, FITzroy 1161



#135 RTH

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 18:04

KJJ, many thanks for that, its a real help, that is really good information.

I'm not really surprised your can't find a works address for W&P Enfield it was when they very first started it may even have been home addresses or even parents home addresses.

I will make another trip down there and see if I can get some more photos.

#136 RTH

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 13:01

Peter,


How is your memory for 1952 ?

In your book "Lotus The Early Years " p79...... you said that you and Adam Currie (the IIIB purchaser) towed IIIB ONK 408 the rolling chassis , round to Enfield to the workshops of Charlie Williams and Len Pritchard to have a body made and fitted to the design of the original III this they completed within 10 days for the price of £50 (probably had the buying power of £2500 today.........still very cheap for complete aluminium car body, Frank Hine having made the body for III for Colin Chapman a year earlier for just £32 !)

So....do you have the Enfield address, can you remember where it was , what sort of premises , enough for us to be able to find it and photograph it now ?

Where is IIIB today? Any photographs, does it ever come out? Can it be photographed and filmed ?

It is clear W&P coachwork was to a very high standard not just the surface quality and fit but in terms of style ,line and aesthetic appeal , much more than just copying a drawing they were a major contributor to the Lotus style in the first 10 years or so at least.

Has anyone ever written a book about Williams and Pritchard and their influence on post war British motor racing ?

I gather Len Pritchard is still alive , I don't know about Charlie Williams have they got a photo album ? Have they ever been interviewed on film .......I have never seen anything.

#137 RTH

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 21:51

The Lotus Seven 50 years on ...........

http://www.pistonhea...p?c=112&i=16004


Interesting in just the last few months Arch Motors have now ceased to be the spaceframe chassis maker for the car.

To celebrate 50 years of Seven production

A Seven with a supercharger and 330BHP a far cry from the kit in the 60's starting at £399

...........for the whole car !


http://www.pistonhea...p?storyId=16328

#138 RTH

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 06:53

Well no one seems to be able to solve this one.............including Len Pritchard !!

We just do not know, and can't seem to find an address for Williams and Pritchard's first workshop in Enfield ( that is before Hornsey and before Edmonton)........even Len himself cannot remember it!

It would be nice to find the site , ......anyone any ideas?

#139 David Beard

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:30

A year or two before he left us, I had a short, but much appreciated, E-Mail exchange with Jabby Crombac. He told me that when he arrived at Hornsey in 1958, with his Hispano Suiza and trailer to collect his Lotus XI, Colin Chapman asked if he would do him favour and take the new Lotus 16 wooden body buck around to Williams and Pritchard’s place. He said he had a photo somewhere….

About 6 months later I was delighted to receive a brilliant photo showing the body buck on the trailer behind the grand car, with a gentleman stood in front who Jabby couldn’t identify. I later established that this is the sales manager of the time, Colin Bennett. I am not posting the whole photo here, but just a detail showing a building which I would love to have identified. Jabby sort of gave the impression that the shot was taken outside W & P, but nothing posted here so far looks like this. It seems to say something Dairies on the wall? Anyone recognise the place?

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#140 David McKinney

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:56

David, didn't we decide this was Tottenham Lane, Hornsey?
Either over the road from Lotus a a few doors up from the pub?

#141 Terry Walker

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 13:27

"Something Dairies Ltd" says the sign on the wall. I can't make out the "something".

What a car!

#142 f1steveuk

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 13:38

Blacksomething Dairies, can't see what the something is, but it is a smaller something!

#143 KJJ

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 13:40

Looks like Black??? Dairies Ltd. If that's so then as a limited company they should be easy enough to look up on the Companies House dissolved companies list - it's free but offline at the weekends. Then look up the address in the old telephone directories.

As a last resort I guess you could check out Williams & Pritchard's file at Companies House, they were a limited company by 1957 so there should still be a file available in the archives which might have something.

#144 Terry Walker

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 04:49

Product of Hornsey... in Perth, Western Australia


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#145 RTH

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 14:20

Originally posted by David Beard
A year or two before he left us, I had a short, but much appreciated, E-Mail exchange with Jabby Crombac. He told me that when he arrived at Hornsey in 1958, with his Hispano Suiza and trailer to collect his Lotus XI, Colin Chapman asked if he would do him favour and take the new Lotus 16 wooden body buck around to Williams and Pritchard’s place. He said he had a photo somewhere….

About 6 months later I was delighted to receive a brilliant photo showing the body buck on the trailer behind the grand car, with a gentleman stood in front who Jabby couldn’t identify. I later established that this is the sales manager of the time, Colin Bennett. I am not posting the whole photo here, but just a detail showing a building which I would love to have identified. Jabby sort of gave the impression that the shot was taken outside W & P, but nothing posted here so far looks like this. It seems to say something Dairies on the wall? Anyone recognise the place?


We have got Hornsey museum historian John Douglas on the case. In 1958 W&P would have gone to Edmonton. Presumably Colin Bennett would have been at Hornsey so this would have been before Jabby Crombac set off for W&P with the 16 buck.

Any chance of seeing the rest of the photo David , there may be some more clues.

#146 RTH

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 13:16

At a glance Lotus potted history.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A827598

............and some history on film

http://www.youtube.c...jZ45ATlBLo&NR=1

http://www.youtube.c...qSz36XDDE0&NR=1

http://www.youtube.c...pXKHxZlGUY&NR=1

http://www.youtube.c...related&search=

#147 ian senior

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 14:05

Originally posted by RTH
At a glance Lotus potted history.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A827598


Useful, even informative, but even at first glance a few things to raise the eyebrows. MIKE Costin the chief aerodynamicist? The Eclat and Excel "lacked the quality of their brethren"?

But I did like the suggestion that Chapman threw his moustache in the air when a works Lotus won a race....

#148 RTH

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 15:21

Originally posted by ian senior




But I did like the suggestion that Chapman threw his moustache in the air when a works Lotus won a race....



So something like this then ??



#149 David McKinney

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 15:30

No, that's a hat :lol:

#150 RTH

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 13:04

John Douglas has been on the hunt for the location of David Beard's picture of Colin Bennett and so far has turned up the fact that there was a 'Bladen Dairies' in the area .Looking at the sign again a few posts back, do you think that could be the wording on the wall ? They got taken over by Express Dairies.

John says :
" The style of the building is very familiar being similar to several semi-commercial buildings near here such as the Municipal Baths and the Water Board pump houses.

Again looking at the picture, the brickwork on the end wall facing us looks to be in very good condition compared to the frontage as do the chimneys. I wonder if there was bomb damage ? I get the feeling that the road is rising towards the left which would correspond to Tottenham Lane. There is a modern community centre opposite the Hornsey works which may have been the site in question "

Then by chance he has come upon this newspaper picture of the time.

John: "On 10 November 1944, a V2 landed on the corner of Ribblesdale Rd and Totteham Lane opposite the Railway Hotel which was relatively undamaged (can be seen in the background ) Just think, a few cc less fuel and there might have been no Lotus Company"
Good work John!

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It was on the depression caused by the V2 and at the junction of the gardens of 41 Church Lane and 19 Ribblesdale road with a mixture of partly demolished stable and bomb shelter materials that John Teychenne built his first workshop at the bottom of the family garden to build his own special the JVT and then start 'Progress Chassis ' to make the frames for Lotus early cars with David Kelsey They ended up making 110 Lotus Six chassis!