> 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 🇬🇧

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
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 :
Spartan Cars factory in Pinxton
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.
 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
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
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.


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.

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 :
Spartan PLUS TWO commercial documentation
Spartan PLUS-TWO sales 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

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 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 home.

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