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.
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 :
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
It was necessary to search for them in many countries, here are some examples of their origins :
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 🇬🇧
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 ! 😁
Some documents have begun to illustrate thefrenchspartan.com, others must reach me and extracts will be published soon...
Spartan Cars Company Factory
Years after Spartan Cars ceased its activities, its former premises were still visible :
At the time, SPARTAN was written in large and red on the facade of the building.
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.
With the success of the Roadster, the Spartans were still much more present in the company's parking lot.
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 :
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 :
The surprises of the renovation
A high-tech fixation
A sawn eye wrench to measure to stall the alternator was a rather incongruous trick.
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
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.
Without a specific reference, a used Ford Cortina differential was purchased in England.
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
The rear brakes
One of the two brake cylinders was leaking, they had to be changed, and with them the brake jaws.
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 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.
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 :
The mirrors, on the wings of the Spartan, are Lucas 406.
These Lucas 406 equip other English cars.
Like this one :
The French Spartan on December 31, 2022
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.
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 commercial brochure to characterise the model when the car had been enlarged compared to the first copies
built on a Triumph basis, to receive a rear seat thus allowing 4 people to be transported.
Raymond, from Guadeloupe, shares here a picture of his Treka, beautifully restored :
The Spartan Plus-Two
Amazing ! I was just talking to you about the commercial brochure of the time 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 :
In the time of Spartan Cars, some automotive professionals had specialised in the preparation of Spartan, such as Jencal Motors who communicated regularly :
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.
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 :
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.
« 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 :
One of the most successful ever
In September 1986, the monthly SPORTS CAR described the Spartan as one of the most successful 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 :
The Spartan badge
In the 1980s, Jim McIntyre, founder of Spartan Car, had a Spartan badge manufactured, in really small quantities.
I was lucky to find the trace of a copy of this very rare Spartan badge today.
Its former owner held it from Jim McIntyre who had given him his badge 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
It is with pleasure that I share this badge with you :