Tony and Rob were also backed up by what they proudly termed „a highly talented executive.” The £20m turnover group was taken into the cutting edge of computer design and CAD-CAM technology for the world’s car and aerospace industries; for example, they styled, designed, assembled and tested complete prototype vehicles, with clients including Aston Martin, BMW, Ford Europe and USA, GM, Jaguar of course, Nissan, Rover, McLaren, Renault and Volvo.
Ted Loades, though still President of the group, was himself living on the Isle of Man since he stepped down as boss of Abbey Panels when he was 65. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn this choice of home was a carefully considered one, to ensure that he wouldn’t be tempted to ‚help’ his sons run the business.
Not that Ted was idle; he established Barford Engineering (later Loades Isle of Man Ltd) at Peel on the Island, a company which undertook jobs for the Loades Group, and he was in there early every morning. And when we visited his home in the afternoon, Tony Crook rang to discuss Bristol Cars business…
Ted Loades died in January 2002 at 93.
From 2002, Loades Plc progressively ended all manufacturing activities and now concentrates on promoting its commercial property activities. In 2012 it opened its high tech, beautifully designed, Loades Ecoparc in Coventry, dedicated to promoting the country’s emerging industries. THE SPIRIT LIVES ON.
XJ220 takes pride of place in one of Abbey Panels’ styling studios, viewed from the 16-seat conference centre.
It was people of the calibre of Ted Loades that helped Sir William Lyons produce some of the world’s most beautiful cars. So let our celebration of the 92 years of ‚Jaguar’ also include the 50 years’ service to Jaguar by Ted and the Loades family businesses. I feel that Sir William Lyons would be the first to agree with that!