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Other anecdotes

Come on, in the bodywork !

It was under a superb September sun that The French Spartan left for the bodywork where its wings and hood are already being prepared.
 Departure of the French Spartan for the bodywork

Spartans, what is your profession ?

Ahou !  Ahou !  Ahou !
Here is what was hidden behind the Union Jack that covered each of the two doors of the Spartan :
The French Spartan and The 300
It's as mythical as the movie scene !

You’ll find a link to the excerpt from the film "The 300" in comment of this publication on The French Spartan's Facebook page.

Just for laugh about it :

My coachbuilder, a little upset at the scale of the task, and forced to design parts, informs me of his concern.

I answer him, like Leonidas :
Translation :
                 - Aurélien, what is your profession ?

- Well, that's exactly, it's not my job, so I don't know how to do it.

                  - Ahou, Ahou, Ahou !

Long before this 2006 peplum, the press liked to allude to the famous Spartan warriors, such as Cars and Car Conversions magazine in 1974 :
On the front page, with humour, the title given to the article was inspired by a famous battle :
One of the article on Spratan from Cars and Car conversions
...or yet another Spartan Triumph ;)

An atypical Spartan

An atypical Spartan

In January 1975, Spartan presented a copy without the windshield and the headband so characteristic of the brand.

Spartan from 1975 without its traditional windshield or its characteristic roll bar
We can also note on this copy the opening to the rear of the doors.

Compared to a "traditional" Spartan as below, it is surprising and has its charm :
traditional Spartan picture

A Hot Rod based on Spartan

From a 1968 Triumph Herald-based Spartan, equipped with original Brooklands windshields like that of the atypical Spartan presented by Spartan Car Compagny in 1975, Ralf designed a Hot Rod in 2004.

He changed the general look of the Spartan, by cutting and reworking the location of the headlights integrated into the front wings, to add protruding chrome headlights.

Equally spectacular, he replaced the grille so characteristic of the Spartans with a model he specially designed from a 1936 DKW grille.

Ralf, from his nickname "Streethawk", shares with us here his Hot Rod :

Long before The French Spartan…

In Bulgaria, long before I undertook the renovation of The French Spartan, Yordan was renovating Spartans.
His superb realisation is very close to what I'm looking to do :
I admire such a job.

He too went from far away, from here precisely :

October 2023 : Instagram

After the Facebook page in September, The French Spartan arrives on Instagram :
the_french_spartan on INSTAGRAM

Direction the reassembly

In the bodywork, a month of daily work was necessary to restore the Spartan to the lustre it deserves.
Spartan arriving and exiting the body
It was again under a beautiful sun, this time in October, that the Spartan took the road, towards the reassembly workshop.

In this last stage of the renovation, a lot of work will be done in the coming months.
 Spartan heading to the reassembly workshop

Britain's most practical kit car

This is how this Spartan advert described at this time :

Spartan cars advert
I love the mention « Roomy enough for 6ft 5in driver ».

Spartan Nederland

As specified on the "Characteristics" page of this site, SPARTAN NEDERLAND B.V. was a major importer of these roadsters, and probably the most important Spartan seller beyond the Channel.

It all started at the London Racing Car Show in Earls Court in early 1974.

Henk Van Aalstede, already a car importer in the Netherlands, immediately fell in love when he discovered the Spartan that Jim Mcintyre had come to exhibit just a year after creating SPARTAN CAR COMPAGNY.

At the end of the show, the two men agreed that Nova Import, Henk Van Aalstede's company, would become an importer, and Spartan MK1s (based on Triumph) will be marketed in the following months.

The technical documents had been translated for Spartan Nederland customers, as we can see on these 3 pages extracted from the assembly manual :
Excerpt from the Spartan user manual
 Excerpt from the Spartan assembly manual
 Excerpt from the Spartan builder's manual

The homologation in the Netherlands of the Spartan Mk2 (based on Ford) released in England in 1983 took time, Eugène de Boer and Wil Hartsuiker did a lot of work on this, and it was not until 1987that the cards were redistributed, probably with the approval of Jim Mcintyre.

Henk Van Aalstede withdrew from business at the end of the Mk1 version, Nova Import was taken over by Wil Hartsuiker, to become Spartan Nederland which will meet with great success.

Various Dutch newspapers emphasised that driving this Spartan MK2 was a pure pleasure.

When Spartan Car Company ceased its activity in 1995, Spartan Nederland, then under the direction of Nico v.d. Woude since 1991, proposed to continue, with the support of J. Schepers from Aalten, one of the first members of the DSOC (Wil Hartsuiker having retired in 1992), Spartan production on its soil.

Steve Beardsall, then head of Spartan Car Compagny, never responded to this request, and Spartan Nederland also ceased its activities.

In 1996, British Sports Car magazine, in its Dutch version, devoted an article to the Spartan :
The 5-page article was illustrated with photos mainly provided by Spartan Nederland :
British Sports Car SPARTAN News Article
 British Sports Car article on Spartan Nederland

Faced with the craze for the Spartans in the country, the Dutch press regularly published beautiful articles, like those of AUTOKAMPIOEN and AUTOVISIE :
 Article on the Spartans: SPARTAANS GENOEGEN
Extract from an article by AUTOKAMPIOEN
Article about SPARTAN cars
Extract from an article by Autovisie
In this same issue of Autovisie, the Spartan was beautiful from all angles.

With many owners, customers of Spartan Nederland, the creation of a national club was almost obvious, and the Dutch Spartan Owners Club was born in 1993.
He will organise many events in the Netherlands, England, Belgium and France.

The condition for joining the club was to own a Spartan. Its members were described as a family where everyone found or provided their help, both technically and for the organisation of festivities.

The Sghagerdagblad newspaper then headlined « Spartan fans unite with the Dutch Spartan Owners Club » :

Newspaper article relating to the Dutch Spartan Owners Club

In June 2023, the DSOC celebrated its 30th anniversary !

Close links existed between Spartan Car Compagny, Spartan Nederland B.V., the Spartan Owners Club (English) and its local counterpart, the Dutch Spartan Owners Club.
Their joint participation in the MOTOR 100 in the Netherlands in 1985, as reported on the "Events" page of this site, is the perfect illustration of this.

In 2023, the agreement is still cordial between the two Clubs, some even mention a possible joint event next year.
 I dream of it and hope that, if it were to take place, The French Spartan would be ready to hit the road.

You will find the contact details of the Dutch Spartan Owners Club on the "Useful Links and Acknowledgements" page of this site.

The Spartan studied at school

Han Ortlep, the rector of a Dutch apprenticeship high school, probably had to be an exceptional person to allow his students to assemble their own sports car.

To train future talents, a teacher had obtained from him that they could build a British sports car.

The Spartan, composed of the Ford Cortina chassis, the Ford Sierra's 2-litre engine and aluminum and fibre body parts, was considered ideal for understanding all aspects of the construction and maintenance of a car.

The apprentices, from different years of the training course, found something to learn with great motivation.
A Spartan as a training support for automotive professions
The Spartan as a training support for automotive professions

A car in its peak

In 1983, Spartan Car Compagny indicated on its commercial proposals that the Spartans had been designed, as early as 1973, as an alternative to modern sports cars that, at the time, were not built to last.

Jim McIntyre wanted his cars not to rust, and, since the beginning, aluminum sheet had been retained for the bodywork, with fibreglass wings easily replaceable in the event of damage, and at a lower cost.

10 years after the arrival of the first Spartan, he estimated that, although they were imitated, no car offered as many advantages as the Spartan (Mk2), now mounted on Ford Cortina chassis (Mk III and Mk IV), the most popular car in Great Britain at that time.
With a lower centre of gravity and lighter than the latter, the Spartan was more manoeuvrable.
 Commercial proposal from Spartan Car Company
Commercial proposal from Spartan Car Company (1/2)
 Commercial proposal from Spartan Car Company
Commercial proposal from Spartan Car Company(2/2)

A first-class finish

In 1986, SPORTS CAR magazine judged that there was charm in the style of the Spartan, and that the fit and finish were first-class.

They specified that due to the number of Spartans sold, production had been streamlined to allow Spartan Car Company to offer the right value for money.

The finish of the two-tone roadster that had been entrusted to them for testing was described as exceptional.
Spartan Ford based roadster
Excerpt from the 1986 SPORTS CAR magazine

Customers as better advertising

A satisfied customer is the best advertising a company can wish for, recalled Kit Car magazine in June 1988.

As for the Spartans, there could be no fairer advertising than that made by Chris Glasby, a member of the Spartan Owners Club, who spoke of experience in this magazine of his second Spartan.

Equipped with a V6, its Spartan was magnificent:
Spartan in the customer advertising article
Excerpt from Kit Car magazine of June 1988

Old wine, new bottle

In February 1991, « Which Kits? » Magazine, which tested the Steve Beardsall's Spartan on Cortina base, found the transition from the Triumph base very successful.
Although longer and wider, and with a more streamlined trunk, it could not be confused with anything other than a Spartan they wrote.
Red and Silver SPARTAN
Steeve Beardsall's Spartan loaned to « Which Kits? » in 1991 for a road test

The Spartan Keyring

I found the enamelled emblem of an old Spartan keychain that had belonged to Bob Johnson, a famous English car racing mechanic (Formula 3000, Lotus).

I don't know if the car collector he was had a Spartan.
Nevertheless, the fact that he also kept a Spartan badge, such as the one presented on the "Anecdote" page of this site, suggests that he was seduced by the Spartans at one point in his life.
He had, among other things, in his collection, the most beautiful Austin 1300 GT in England.

In 2023, I was able to obtain a copy of this keyring through the Spartan Owners Club.
Spartan keyring
Spartan keyring