> French Version 🇫🇷

Just for fun

Wrong start !

The former owner, who wanted to position the Spartan, for the last time, on the front line towards the path of its renovation, accidentally bites the edge of the tow truck.

It will take a lot of effort to get it back on track.
The French Spartan on a flatbed truck
No doubt he did not have the driving qualities of Roy Payne, here at the wheel of his Spartan V8 in 1983 :

However, a few drivers before him flirted with the limits :

Piloting a Spartan

Origin of the parts

The parts needed to restore the Spartan Roadster are bought new whenever possible, and, when they cannot be found, used, by professionals or individuals, in France or abroad, mainly in England.

It was necessary to search for them in many countries, here are some examples of their origins :
Map showing the main countries where the parts needed to restore The French Spartan were found
  • Metres, tachometer and pressure gauges : India 🇮🇳 
  • Chrome exhaust outlets : Thailand 🇹🇭        
  • Aluminum radiator : Czech Republic 🇨🇿 
  • LUCAS headlights & additional lights : France 🇫🇷 
  • LUCAS Sidelamp rubbers : England 🇬🇧 
  • Bushes : France and England 🇫🇷 🇬🇧 
  • Clutch : Germany 🇩🇪 
  • Clutch cable bellows : England 🇬🇧 
  • Steering ball joints : England 🇬🇧 
  • Steering rack : England 🇬🇧 
  • Differential : England 🇬🇧 
  • Electronic ignition : Germany 🇩🇪 
  • Crankshaft seal : Germany 🇩🇪 
  • Ball bearings : France 🇫🇷 
  • Shock absorbers : England 🇬🇧 
  • Engine mount : Lithuania 🇱🇹 
  • Grille : England 🇬🇧 
  • Spare wheel fixing : England 🇬🇧 
  • LUCAS mirror seals : England 🇬🇧 
  • High-engine seals : Italy 🇮🇹 
  • Low engine seals : Spain 🇪🇸 
  • Steering ball joints : England 🇬🇧 
  • Master cylinder : Germany 🇩🇪 
  • Rims and hubs : France and England 🇫🇷 🇬🇧 
  • Car steering wheel : England 🇬🇧 
  • Hub car steering wheel : England 🇬🇧
  • Windshield : England 🇬🇧
  • Gearbox MT75 / gear lever bushes x2 : England 🇬🇧
  • Aluminium bulkhead hose adapter : England 🇬🇧
  • Enamelled Spartan grille badge : England 🇬🇧

Spartan commercial brochures, period documents, press articles...

Various period documents were collected to enrich the Spartan information site, and contribute, very modestly, to the memory of Spartan Cars Company.

It is really all around the world that I had the chance to find and be able to buy some rare copies of this documentation.

To the difficulty of finding them, is often added the language barrier.
I had a lot of trouble understanding and making myself understood in Croatian, for example. Thank you Google Translate ! 😁
Spartan Car News Article
Article published in Cars magazine in October 1981

Spartan Cars Company Factory

Spartan Cars started its activity in Nottingham on the first day of 1973.

To get to this point, Jim McIntyre, its founder, had worked more than 18 months, as early as 1971, on the design of the prototype that would become the famous Spartan.
 First address of Spartan Cars
The launch was announced in April 1973, the presentation made in July, and the first order was delivered that same month.

The success of the brand was quickly achieved, 24 deliveries were made until the end of this first year.

The production rate gradually accelerated in 1974 to reach a rate of 3 deliveries per week.

In 1975, enough to assemble 4 Spartans per week will now be produced, and, in 1976, Spartan Car Company will celebrate the sale of the 500th copy.

A new plant will be needed and quickly established in Pinxton :
Announcement of new Spartan Cars factory

The compagny was etablisheed here :

Contact details for Spartan Car Compagny
Production was running at full speed :
Spartan Cars production
Interior of the Spartan Car Company factory

Around 1977, the milestone of the 1000 Spartans commercialised will be reached, and successes will continue for nearly 20 years.

Years after Spartan Cars ceased its activities, its former premises were still visible :

Spartan Cars factory in Pinxton
At the time, SPARTAN was written in large and red on the facade of the building.
Spartan Car Company premises

In the history of Spartan Car Company, other vehicles have completed the range over the years, they will be mentioned below on this page.

The Roadster has always remained associated with the brand and was called by its name, the Spartan.

The model and the brand were thus one on the facade.

The trade names of the other vehicles, the Sherwood and the Starcraft, had been added to the facade next to SPARTAN, in the same size and red.
 Spartan Car Company premises
With the success of the Roadster, the Spartans were still much more present in the company's parking lot.
 SPARTAN commercial
Customers could come to Spartan Cars 7 days a week, except on Christmas Day, to try the Spartans with different engines, and, of course, order on site.

It was also possible to order without travelling, from England or overseas, by sending the order form below :
Spartan Car Compagny order form
1975 Spartan order form
Foreign customers had to specify whether they wanted a left-hand drive.

A deposit of £50 was required, and the delivery time was generally 4 to 6 weeks.

The withdrawal could of course be done on site, but Spartan Cars offered shipments at prices ranging from £15 for Birmingham or £25 for London, to £30 for Glasgow.
Overseas deliveries were made on estimate.

Quickly, faced with the brand's success, the deadlines lengthened a little. Seen from 2023, they still seem very short.

In a 6-page document attached to the purchase orders that Jim McIntyre sent to buyers who requested it, he then specified the deadline requested in hand.

On this original signed by his hand, we can see that in May 1975, it was 10 weeks :
Spartan Car Compagny note

The 1983 sale brochure provided for a free space where the delivery time to whom requested an offer was indicated by hand :
Spartan sale brochure
It was then possible to return this order form to Spartan Car Company :
Spartan price list and order form
1984 Spartan order form
Spartan Car Compagny  advertisement

The surprises of the renovation

A high-tech fixation

A sawn eye wrench to measure to stall the alternator was a rather incongruous trick.
Spartan alternator before renovation
The idea was original, but the assembly will be redone in accordance with the original Ford assembly.

The steering power rack

Very difficult to find, Ford Sierra Cosworth's power steering rack was bought at auction on eBay UK.

While it is planned to be installed on the rolling train, we realise with amazement that its bellows are full of oil !

It must therefore be disassembled to change all its joints !

We'll already have to find them...

It's done! As a result, the rack will be able to be completely refurbished

 Spartan Ford Sierra Cosworth Steering Rack Joint Replacement
Ford Sierra Cosworth steering rack refurbishing for the Spartan

The differential

Ford Cortina's rear axle suggested an abnormal noise.

After disassembly, it turns out that the differential axis has clearance and that it should be replaced.

 Spartan Ford rear axle

Without a specific reference, a used Ford Cortina differential was purchased in England.

Differential initially planned for the Spartan, it came from another Ford Cortina model

Unfortunately, this differential looks like two drops of water to that of the Spartan, but it comes from another version of Ford Cortina, and is slightly larger.

The part is difficult to find, and, finally, the Spartan's original differential will go to a precision mechanics company to be disassembled before axles and sprockets are manufactured to make a new one.

9 months later, in July 2023, the small sprockets and the centreline were redone, the part is ready:

Ford differential renovated for The French Spartan

The rear brakes

One of the two brake cylinders was leaking, they had to be changed, and with them the brake jaws.

 Ford Cortina rear brakes for the Spartan Roadster

I only knew their origin, Ford Cortina, but had only their shapes for reference.

Unfortunately, at the reception, the new ones were smaller in diameter than the original parts on the Spartan.

MELUN RETRO PASSION was at the top ! 

They found the right reference from the too small models I had ordered from them, and replaced them for me !

The windscreen

The alloy frame of the windshield was in poor condition.
It was as difficult to find one as to convince his English seller to ship it internationally.
He was rightly afraid of breakage in transport.
I accepted the risk.
Despite the care given to the packaging, the glass did not resist.
Ford based Spartan Roadster windscreen and its aluminum frame
This will be an opportunity to replace it with a laminated windshield, more secure than the original tempered glass.
Evolution of the alloy frame between the Spartan base Triumph (Mk I) and the Spartan base Ford (Mk II) :
The aluminium frame of the Spartan Roadsters windshield on a Ford based has a clean curve in the lower part, on the junction side to the bodywork (as above).
The first models, based on Triumph , had the following form :
Triumph based Spartan Roadster windscreen and its aluminum frame

The mirrors

The mirrors, on the wings of the Spartan, are Lucas 406.
Lucas 406 on Spartan Kit Car
These Lucas 406 equip other English cars.
Lucas 406 mirror, the same as the Spartan
Like this one :

The French Spartan on December 31, 2022

 Spartan Roadster Ford on December 31, 2022, The French Spartan is being renovated step by step.

Following the renovation in 2023...

Spartan, it’s the Roadster, but not only...

The Spartan Roadster is clearly identified as THE model of the brand.

However, Spartan has created 3 other vehicles, all quite atypical :

- The Sherwood, a pickup based on Ford Cortina
- The Starcraft, a 6-wheeled motorhome also based on Ford Cortina
And, later, from 1990 to 1995,
- The Treka, a kind of small Jeep built on the basis of a Ford Fiesta Mk II.

Raymond, from Guadeloupe, one of the readers of this site, shares here a picture of his Treka, beautifully restored :

The advertisements of the time that evoked several models of the brand called the Roadster "THE SPARTAN", and the other models were them called by their trade names.
Regarding "The Spartan" (the Roadster), only the mention "PLUS-TWO" had been added to the 1976 commercial brochure to characterise the model when the car had been enlarged compared to the firstcopiesbuilt on a Triumph basis, to receive a rear seat thus allowing 4 people to be transported.
Spartan also available in two-plus-two

The Spartan Plus-Two

Amazing ! I was just talking to you about the commercial brochure of 1976 of the SPARTAN PLUS TWO.

I just found an original copy for sale in the United States 🇺🇸

I bought this documentation, here is the cover :
Spartan PLUS TWO commercial documentation
Spartan PLUS-TWO sales brochure

A real 4-seater Spartan

The Spartan Plus Two had been extended to accommodate a back seat, but it was more intended for childrens than for adults.

An owner of Spartan in the Lancashire region had extended the chassis and bodywork of his to allow him to comfortably transport his family.

His unique model was presented on the inside page of Kitcars and Specials magazine in September 1985 :
Four-seater Spartan

In comparison with the Spartan Plus Two, also on Triumph-based (photo below), we see that it is indeed slightly longer, and especially that its hood covers up to the rear end, while that of the +2 stops just behind the rear seat :
Excerpts form Spartan Plus Two Brochure
Spartan + 2
Excerpts form the Spartan Plus Two Brochure

The preparers

In the time of Spartan Cars, some automotive professionals had specialised in the preparation of Spartan, such as Jencal Motors who communicated regularly :
Advertisement of a Spartan builder
 Advertisement of a SPARTAN car specialist
Spartan Builder Announcement
In 2015, 20 years after Spartan Cars had stopped its activities, Jencal Motors Limited had been dissolved .

Double Europa Cars, wholesaler of automotive spare parts and Spartan Authorised Coatchbuilder, as specified on this site at the bottom of the page >  «Restored parts and work carried out», was particularly active in assistingSpartan owners in their preparation, repair or renovation.
 Double Europa Advertising, Spartan Specialist
With Wayne Roper, their Chairman who had been passionate about Spartan, they were described by the press as "The Specialists" :
The Spartans lined up in their workshop testify to this :
 Double Europa Cars premises

The First Lady !

In June 1986, Kit Car magazine devoted its monthly edition to the Spartan by placing it at the top of its category.

The Spartan - First among equals

« Anything but Spartan »

In traditional style, the Spartan has continued to evolve since 1973, and, by 1986 standards, is recognised as "anything but Spartan" :


That said, the English press always liked to say that the Spartan was not Spartan, as already in 1974 Autosport headlined it :

The Spartan that isn't
1974 AUTOSPORT article

In September 1977, Hot Car magazine even found "civilised" the Spartan with its modern comforts :

Press article relating to the Spartan roadster

One of the most successful ever

In September 1986, the monthly SPORTS CAR described the Spartan as one of the most successful ever :
Spartan, the most succsful ever

The success of the brand

In 1986, the Spartans were so popular that some companies offered preferential conditions to their owners, such as this insurer :
Special offer for Spartan owners

The Spartan badge

In the 1980s, Jim McIntyre, founder of Spartan Car, had a Spartan badge manufactured, in just a few units.

I was lucky to find the trace of a copy of this very rare Spartan badge today.

Its former owner got it from Jim McIntyre who gave him, at the end of the event, the badge at the badge he wore at the Stoneleigh kit car show.

He agreed to sell it to me, asking me to treasure it as he had done in over 40 years, and, after visiting thefrenchspartan.com, said he was pleased that his badge is going to the right home.

It is with pleasure that I share this badge with you :
Spartan badge
Spartan badge size

May 2023

Spartan Car renovation may 2023

The renovation should be completed, we are very far form it.

I'm looking for solutions.

July 14, 2023

 Renovation of thefrenchspartan awaiting resumption of work
At a time when we are celebrating, in France, a great upheaval that made it possible to move forward, otherwise, this renovation must also move forward, ... .

August 2023

I dreamed of a Spartan ride this summer, but only the steering and running gear components have been reassembled.

All new parts piled up for 16 months, all those that have been dismantled, seats, metres, engine, chassis and body parts will be moved in early September for the restoration can resume.

While waiting for this work, I dream on the beach...
 Dream of SPARTAN cars on summer by the sea
Have a great summer !

The SPARTAN Rallycoat

In 1983, Spartan Car Compagny offered a sports jacket to Spartan owners.
The Spartan rallycoat - Spartan jacket
Research in several countries did not allow me to find a copy of this jacket.
40 years after its manufacture, perhaps a Spartan rallycoat is still hiding in a wardrobe. 

If you have one, contact me...

The Spartan mug

This mug was not part of the goodies or accessories distributed by Spartan Car Compagny, but was made in a single copy, by an enthusiast, in memory of Spartan.
The Spartan mug

September 2023 : Facebook

For more interaction, The French Spartan arrives (finally) on Facebook :
Facebook of The French Spartan