I know, so fresh faced and perky are we that you’d never in your wildest dreams have believed for one second that we had turned fabulous 35!
We’re really looking forward to our 35th year, with many plans afoot for new parts, a little cosmetic nip and tuck in the form of a tweak to our branding and website (don’t worry, you’ll still recognize us as all our vital bits and pieces will still be in the same place), and hopefully the recruitment of additional staff to assist us with our ever increasing workload – more of which later.
How time has flown since Mick left technical college at the tender age of 18 to join with his father John in creating E.J. Ward Motor Engineers. The company has seen many changes over the years – four different locations, a dozen or so mechanics and apprentices, the retirement of one partner and the appointment of another, the new age of the internet and mobile phone, the development of new and upgraded parts for the Triumph Stag, and many more, too numerous to mention. But one thing has never changed. We still really enjoy what we do and the Triumph Stag continues to attract the same, if not more, attention than it ever did.
I won’t say here’s to another 35 years as that’s a heck of a long time (although I’ve done the Math and it’s not entirely impossible, but more likely improbable under its current line-up), but I will say that we look forward to serving the Stag owners of the world for many years to come.
It’s full steam ahead as the start of 2016 sees us continue with plenty of restorations (see photo of Topaz Stag which was painted at the beginning of the year following its full body restoration), completing and also starting on painting jobs, and bodywork. We also have a plethora of engine rebuilds and an assortment of mechanical work too, including the return of the Rally Stag.
The Rally Stag is here primarily for the replacement of that pesky diff. It is to be fitted with one of our New Crown Wheel and Pinion units. The next trip for #RallyStag is a less onerous one, as they take it on the Three-Castles Welsh Classic Trial - 1st to 4th June. With trials over three days covering about 500 miles. Each day starts from the beautiful seaside town of Llandudno. It looks like a most civilised way to enjoy your Stag.
On the Spare Parts front we are pleased to have secured a great deal from our supplier and can now offer aluminium radiators at the same high quality but for a vastly reduced priced of £360 plus VAT. That’s a whopping £70 cheaper than previously. So there’s never been a better time for that upgrade!
This time last year we had in our advert news about the preparation of Phil and Kieron’s Rally Stag. Well since then it went, it saw, and it came back from the most epic journey across America. And now it’s been to the NEC Classic Car Show too, where it was received with joy, ore and wonder. The team from the Stag Owners Club did a fantastic job with the stand, with amazing back-drop photos and welcoming and informative volunteers. They were also inspiring the next generation of Stag owners by inviting the young people to have a sit in the driver’s seat of the Rally Stag. It was great for us to be invited to contribute on the Sunday, answering questions about the Rally Stag with Phil and Kieron.
In the workshop Mick has been continuing with the welding to the Stag from Scotland. The passenger side is now welded up, with the welding left to do on replacing the front inner wheel arch and also the replacement of both front wings. It is then in the queue for the paint booth.
There is still no sign of a let up in engine rebuilds (sorry John, you still can’t quite fully retire yet). Here you can see John starting the refit of an engine bay following the complete overhaul of this engine. It is at this point that many customers like to choose some upgrades. This customer has chosen to have one of our aluminium header tanks with silicone hoses, a high output alternator with relocating bracket/loom and also an electric water pump kit. Hopefully if the mercury rises to ‘sizzle’ this summer these will to prove to be the perfect additions for trouble free, top down staggering. I know I’ve banged on about these upgrades before, but for those that weren’t privy to my lyrical waxing, here they are for you delectation.
Another 1930’s Triumph Gloria has appeared in the workshop. A lot less shabby, but no less chic, than Mick’s beloved Gloria. And it’s a very busy little Gloria too, always up to something, and so we have squeezed it in for some small welding repairs to the wings and running boards post Stoneleigh Show and prior to Practical Classics Restoration show.
Finally, we would like to welcome the newest member of the team, Julia. Julia will be working in the office and we look forward warning her, I mean teaching her, about the world of the Triumph Stag.
And finally, finally, just in – new batch of Stainless Steel Bumper Kits. Go on, you know you want a set!
We are currently in the throes of a body restoration on a Stag that requires panels such as outer sills, inner sills, front wing rear sections, floors, and splash panels. As with so many Stags the condition of the inner sills is relatively unknown until you cut out the outer sills. This Stag is quite typical of what we see, with the photo below showing the extensive rot to the innersills that is not visible.
We love this little Dual Voice Coil speaker, designed to allow you to connect 2 stereo channels from your radio to one speaker, providing you with maximum sound for a single speaker application! Fitting one of these into your Stag is a simple few steps (we provide our own special instructions for Triumph Stag fitting). And due to the ultra thin mounting profile they fit the original dash mounted speaker space perfectly. Available from our on-line catalogue. See website for further details.
Our apprentice Dan has been getting to grips with painting, and we are very impressed with his level of skill already. Here is one he prepared earlier…
This Month’s Spare Parts Letter is I…
Word's used to describe
a Triumph Stag!
It doesn’t seem like five minutes since the guys were in France for the 2010 Le Mans Classic meeting. So here we are again - same last minute preparations and same mad panic to have Mick’s car ready for the journey. This year’s preparations appeared to be going relatively smoothly, until the car was packed. Time 19.00 hours with 7 hours left until rev up and go at 2am; the fuel tank on Mick’s precious Triumph 2000 chose this very moment to spring a leak. So after a very rapid bail out of the boot it was off to the workshop for a quick patch up. But alas, this was not successful and Plan B was put into action as Mick took the decision to quickly service his NAIL (see pic of said item to prove I am not exaggerating. The back window isn’t mid zip, it’s falling out!) and take that instead. Back home at midnight the Stag was packed, 1 hours sleep and off they went. However, looks can most certainly be deceiving, as the NAIL made it to Le Mans and back again without a hitch. The cobbler’s child may very well go unshod, but not unloved.
|I just have to mention the little Austin VP that we restored a couple of years ago, because this special little car has just got first prize in the 11/1300 Class at the Vanden Plas Owners Club 2012 Show. Well done Mike!|
This Triumph White Stag, suspended in mid air, was one of our focuses this July as it was booked on a container ship during the first week of August, bound for a life in Cyprus. Work under the bonnet included a reconditioned engine, new tubular manifolds and an aluminium radiator. The body work involved replacing rear wing repair sections, door skins, a front wing and complete respray.
This Month’s Spare Parts Letter is D …
Spare Parts Alphabet Continues With The Letter C...
Our On-Line Catalogue has an enormous range of Triumph Stag parts and accessories. Here is just a small selection. Why not take a look today!
In our experience there has been an upsurge in Stags being brought out of long term storage. I am sure you can figure out the problems associated with storing a classic car for any period of time, but typically with a Stag we find things like seized needle valves, fuel pumps, water pumps and brakes. But to be honest you never really know what you are going to come across when starting the vehicle for the first time in a while. The Carmine Red Stag in the picture was brought to us after being laid up for about eighteen months. Its main problems lay in the water pump impellor being corroded, perished water pump gaskets and perished carburettor and fuel pipe parts. We gave the Stag a special E J Ward kiss and have made it all better. The car’s owner is now looking to sell the Stag and so you can view the details on our Classic Cars for Sale page on the website. Don’t forget, you can advertise your classic car totally free of charge on our website!
We’ve had fun trying out the new engine test bed. See pic of engine mounted for testing. We’re now able to set the carbs and ignition before installing. And any niggles can be looked at without having to remove the engine. Mick reckons all it needs is a seat and a set of wheels for the ultimate, light weight, super car!
On a week in May we had hood replacements stacked up for the entire week. One was for a lovely couple who had travelled all the way from Scotland, and had dropped in to have their hood replaced on their way to France – as you do. We have quite a few customers who stay overnight whilst we carry out work to their cars. Fortunately we are blessed with being situated in a lovely rural part of Leicestershire and have no shortage of country guest houses and Inns to stay in. So, if you are not on the door step and need a stay overnight we will be delighted to point you in the direction of some good, Stag owner recommended, places to stay.
Continuing with my Spare Part Alphabet, this month it is the turn of the letter B …
IF ALL ELSE FAILS!
IF ALL ELSE FAILS!
Looks like the body restoration of this TR3A in going to be keeping Mick out of mischief for a while. The owner has owned the car since the 60’s, but it has been off the road since the 80’s. It will be great to get it back on the road again after all this time. Panel replacement is to include sills, floors and rear apron, to name but a few.
For a number of years we have been supplied with panels manufactured by CPP at Coventry. So it was with surprise and sadness when we learned recently that the company had gone under. I won’t go into the details of the why’s, what’s and wherefores now, (though the more curious of you may want to Google the saga, it makes for interesting reading) but as you can imagine, our concern was whether we would still be able get a good supply of panels. We needn’t have worried though. CPP have been taken over by Coventry based, design and engineering company Envisage. I visited them recently to pick up their first batch of panels for us. I was very pleased to see that they have retained most of the original and highly skilled workforce, the workshops are full and buzzing with activity, and the panels I came back with are of the same high quality. This all bodes well for a good supply of the best panels available for the coming years.
A customer recently said that they hadn’t realized what a large stock of spares that we kept. So I thought; if he was unaware, maybe you are too. I could just say, ‘visit the website for spare parts, blah de blah de blah’, but that would be boring. I know, why not I compile a SPARE PART ALPHABET! However, taking into account the magazines Christmas breaks, I reckon this approach is going to take me to about September 2014. Be interesting to see if I get to Z!
OUT OF STOCK DUE TO HIGH DEMAND
Mick and the guys have been busy getting some more Stag restorations finished for Spring collection. There has been a gorgeous ‘Flash’ Red Stag (see pic) that we have restored, destined for Sheffield, and an early Mallard Green Stag destined for Bedfordshire.
I mentioned a couple of months ago about a Triumph White Stag that we were getting ready for emigration to Münster in Germany. The new owners collected it from us just before Easter and had a short, wet, tour to North Wales before bringing it back to us for its 500 mile head torque down and final check over. We have heard that it made the journey home and they are now having to go through what sounds like a very strict Historical vehicle check that are the regulations for importing a classic to Germany. Apparently no upgrades are permitted. For this day and age it’s hard to find a Stag that hasn’t had any mods. How far do you go? Interesting information (courtesy of Wikipedia) that Münster transport consists of more bikes than vehicles on the road. The statistics show that Vehicle traffic (36.4%) bikes used in traffic (37.6%). What I’d really like to know is – what kind of traffic is the other 28%?
We’ve had manual gearbox overhauls in a stacking system waiting for a new batch of RHP bearings to come in, as we won’t use the cheaper, unmarked bearings in the workshop. With RHP we can be assured of quality manufacture. Years ago we found with the imported bearings that the front input shaft bearing fails after about 3000 miles and you get an annoying, grumbly, chatty noise whilst the engine and gearbox are idling and quite often a constant whine whilst the engine is driving. Whilst in human terms we can put up with these ‘qualities’, but it’s certainly something you shouldn’t tolerate with your gearbox. And due to amount of effort involved in overhauling a gearbox, it works out more cost effective to fit RHP bearings than to do the same job twice in 5 years.
Having accumulated 30 years of Triumph Stag bits it’s time to sort out what we have. To this end we have installed another storage container. We are currently racking it out trying to make some sense of the volume of stuff we have. With a bit of luck we’ll have this done for next month and we can start to sell some of the items we have on our website. Which by the way, is going to have a tiny revamp soon as I think it would be all the better for a bit of tweaking.
Did you go to Stoneleigh? How was it? I hear on the grapevine that we were much missed. That’s nice. Don’t take this the wrong way, but when I got up at ‘civilized O’Clock’ on that Sunday morning, and it was cold and persisting down I was mightily relieved. Mind you, I’d never have lived it down, had been a beautiful warm spring day. It must have been miserable though. I’m guessing that Stags weren’t that well represented as Richard has been extra busy in the spare parts department. It might also have had something to do with the free March delivery offer that we had running.
Forgot to mention last month - another migratory Stag that has just left us for Italy, after full engine rebuild, leather trim, stainless bumpers, re-veneered and recovered dash, and so on. It is bound for a life spent in the very classy company of Mark Bolland. I can just imagine it – the Stag - purring along, hugging the winding Italian coast, the scent of lemon and salty sea in the air. Ahhh.
Staying on the continent, we have engine rebuilds in the pipeline for a Stag in France – near the border with Switzerland, and one for Spain. As I’m sure you know, our reconditioned engines come with a full warranty, but also from now on they will also have been bench tested on Mick’s new toy – I mean test bed. Although we like to fit and test the engines her in the workshop, when it comes to supplying an engine for abroad this is just not possible, so the test rig is the next best thing. This way the carburettors, distributor, front pulley and flywheel can all be fitted to the block and run up, tested and balanced before shipping.
You may have noticed, but there has been no further mention of our apprentice. This is because for some reason he got it into his head that you don’t actually need to turn up for work every day in order to keep a job. Is it me?! So after another couple of attempts at employing the ‘youff’ of today we have decided, for the time being, to stick with us oldies. The whole process has left me feeling rather haggard. For the first time in my life I am old enough to be the Mother of our young candidates. That can’t be right! I guess I’ve turned that corner that says ‘THIS WAY – MIDDLE AGE’.
The diff’s with our own new crown wheel and pinions have been a huge success. We thought that there would be a demand for this product, but like everything, there is always an element of risk. Looks to have paid off this time. The cost of the unit £940.00 plus VAT exchange.
DON’T FORGET. IF YOU HAVE A STAG FOR SALE YOU CAN NOW ADVERTISE IT FOR FREE ON OUR WEBSITE. JUST EMAIL THE DETAILS TO US WITH CONTACT INFO AND A PICTURE OR TWO.