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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abbey Panels Ltd
IndustryAutomotive and Aerospace
Founded1941; 79 years ago (1941) (as The Abbey Panel & Sheet Metal Co. Ltd.)
FoundersEdward Loades FRSA[1]
Les Bean
Bill Woodhall
Ernie Wilkinson (Company Secretary)
Key people
John Carolan, Engineering Director

Abbey Panels Ltd., originally The Abbey Panel & Sheet Metal Co. Ltd., was a Warwickshire-based coachbuilding company founded on Abbey Road, Nuneaton in 1941, initially assembling Supermarine Spitfires for the ongoing war effort. The original partners were Edward Loades, Les Bean, Bill Woodhall and Ernie Wilkinson.[2] As the business grew they expanded to Old Church Road, Coventry before having their main manufacturing plant on the well known Bayton Road Industrial Estate in Exhall. In 1967,[2] Ted Loades listed the business on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and it became known as Loades PLC, with Abbey Panels its main brand, alongside Albany Zinc (castings), Loades Dynamics (machining) and Loades Design (automotive styling) (previously known as Descartes Design). The company specialised in producing handmade prototype car bodies and did so for many notable car companies including: Bristol Cars, Lea Francis,[3] Jaguar Cars, Rover,[4][5] MG,[6] Healey,[7] Rolls Royce,[8] Buick,[9] Lincoln, Volvo and BMW amongst others. They fashioned the bodywork of cars such as the Le Mans winning Ford GT40,[10][11][12][13][14][15] numerous Jaguars (XK120,[16] C-type,[17] D-type,[18][19] E-type,[20] XJ13,[21][22] XJ220,[23][24][25] XK180[26]), the original Mark I Land Rover Station Wagon,[27] Jim Clark's Lotus 38[28] and Stirling Moss's 1957 Pescara Grand Prix winning Vanwall.[29] They also produced many specialist parts for the aerospace industry, particularly for Rolls-Royce plc, such as the Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine duct of the Harrier Jump Jet.[30][31]

In 2002 the company stopped much of its manufacturing and began a phased closure of the Abbey Panels plant in Coventry. They continued to run their aerospace engineering and machining company for some time, and refocused their efforts on redeveloping their industrial properties.



  1. ^ Loades, Edward (9 October 1972). "Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce". RSA Certificate.
  2. ^ a b Skilleter, Paul. "THE EDWARD LOADES STORY". Jaguar Magazine.
  3. ^ Price, Barrie (1998). The Lea-Francis Story. Veloce Publishing Ltd.
  4. ^ Bobbitt, Malcolm (1994). Rover P4. 4,110: Veloce Publishing Ltd.CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ Gould, Mike (2015). Rover Group: Company and Cars, 1986-2000. The Crowood Press.
  6. ^ Knowles, David (2013). MG V8. The Crowood Press.
  7. ^ Gunnell, John (2004). Standard Guide to British Sports Cars. Krause Publications. p. 77.
  8. ^ Hull, Graham (2014). Inside the Rolls-Royce & Bentley Styling Department 1971 to 2001. Veloce Publishing Ltd. p. 114.
  9. ^ Automotive Engineering, Volume 96. Society of Automotive Engineers. 1988.
  10. ^ Bruce, Gordon (2014). Ford GT40: Owners' Workshop Manual. Haynes. pp. 15, 31, 35, 50, 52–53, 103, 105, 150.
  11. ^ Richardson, Clive (December 1975). "Rejuvenating-GT40s". Motor Sport magazine archive. p. 48. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  12. ^ Legate, Trevor (2002). Ford GT40: Production & Racing History. Veloce Publishing Ltd.
  13. ^ Friedman, Dave (2015). Ford GT: How Ford Silenced the Critics, Humbled Ferrari & Conquered Le Mans. Quarto Publishing Group. p. 29.
  14. ^ "Debut for 'last' GT40". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014.
  15. ^ Oleski, Frank. Gericke's 100 Jahre Sportwagen: 1905 - 2005 ; einhundert Jahre ... Vertrieb Pressehandel. p. 225.
  16. ^ Laban, Brian (2016). Classic Jaguar XK: The 6-Cylinder Cars 1948 - 1972. The Crowood Press.
  17. ^ Road and Track, Volume 45. CBS Publications. 1993. p. 106.
  18. ^ Lillywhite & Skilleter (January 2017). "Here's some they made earlier...". Octane (163): 75, 83.
  19. ^ Frankel, Andrew (August 2014). "Norman's conquest". Motor Sport magazine archive. p. 90. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  20. ^ Wood, Jonathan (1990). Jaguar E Type: The Complete Story. The Crowood Press Ltd.
  21. ^ Wilson, Peter (2011). XJ13 - The Definitive Story of the Jaguar Le Mans Car. Paul Skilleter Books/PJ Books.
  22. ^ "Paradise-lost". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014.
  23. ^ Bailey, Tony. "Jag-lovers brochures - an XJ220 Press Pack page".
  24. ^ Moreton, Mike (2010). Jaguar XJ220: The Inside Story. Veloce Publishing Ltd. p. 81.
  25. ^ "Production-plot". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014.
  26. ^ Thorley, Nigel (2015). You & Your Jaguar XK/XKR: Buying, Enjoying, Maintaining, Modifying. Veloce Publishing Ltd. p. 62.
  27. ^ James, Taylor (5 January 1988). The Land-Rover: A Collector's Guide 1948-1984. p. 19.
  28. ^ Brown, Allen. "Lotus 38 car-by-car histories".
  29. ^ Williams, Richard (2005). The Last Road Race. W&N. p. 94.
  30. ^ "Flight Global Archive" (PDF). Flight Global Magazine.
  31. ^ Whyte, Andrew John Appleton (1985). Jaguar, the history of a great British car. P.Stephens. p. 159.
  32. ^ "BENTLEY SPOTTING: The Sultan of Brunei Darussalam's Different Rolls Royces".
  33. ^ Hull, Graham (2014). Inside the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Styling Department 1971 to 2001. Veloce Publishing Ltd. p. 114.
  34. ^ "A Detailed History of the making of the XK180".

External links

This page was last edited on 20 November 2019, at 23:15
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