THE RESTORATIONand LEN PRITCHARD'S WONDERFUL SKILLS
I was very grateful to Tony Whitehead of Whitehead Classic Motors in Cheadle Hulme for his hard work helping me restore the car. In order to preserve originality, during 1982 and 1983 we spent many hours researching the original suppliers to Lotus Cars of the components.
I was fortunate to meet and become friends with Ron Welsh of Edmonton Tool & Engineering. Ron supplied many components for the car, all either to original specification or in the case of items such as hubs, wheels and drive shafts to a strengthened specification for long life.
Once the chassis had been shot blasted and repainted Ron kindly introduced me to Len Pritchard of Williams & Pritchard, the comopany who made all the bodies for the early Lotus cars from 1952 onwards.
Everyone who has seen my car in the flesh has always said it looks a real 'W&P' body, it just has something about the shape and lines which is Len's signature. He was a wonderful man. who made all the bodies for the early Lotus cars from 1952 onwards.
Len was working in his workshop just around the corner from Ron in Edmonton. I took the chassis to Len and will never forget meeting this wonderful man for the first time. His workshop was full of various chassis from Lotus and Cooper cars. Around the walls were the templates for various body styles, all cut out in pieces of cardboard and detailing all the panels Len needed to cut to create his wonderful bodies. With Len's guidance I chose the'LeMans' style. Len said it was his favourite [it was also mine] and he preferred the proportions, so that was good enough for me!
Finally, I am very sorry to have recently heard of the death on 17th September 2008 of Len Pritchard, one of the two partners of Williams & Pritchard. I am always amazed at Len's skill, why I don't know because after all he did make Spitfires in the second world war! Thank you Len, my car remains a tribute to you.
© 2008 John Gray
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