Some Bad News, Some Good News and the way ahead
It's about time I raised my head above the parapet and put some rumours to bed and explained what's going on.
Most of you will have noticed my absence from the forum for a month or so and some have PM's me and had advance notification of what's up.
Let's start with the 'Bad' news (Though as you will see it's not all bad). A couple of months ago, I had what some would call a 'shot across the bows' with a health scare (Well it scared the wits out of me!) which after consultations with the medical fraternity and family alike resulted in the same dire advice / orders in that I should not be 'doing so much' and 'find a nice (boring) desk job. In the time between then and now, I had some very difficult decisions to make and as I found out, they were right! The more time I was behind a desk, the better I felt, to the point that in the last week, I spent some time with 'the doc' doing tests etc and found I was nearly back to where I was before. Now, I have no intention of having another bout so the discussions I have been having in the interim have become a plan and this, I am here to tell you, is what is going to happen. This I will call the 'Good bit'
The Good news.... With all that happened, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that I have to wind down Ribble HQ, so, in the words of Baldrick, 'I have a cunning plan'. This is that with effect from the end of August, and in some select cases, earlier, all Ribble business will be transferred to a good friend, Mike Moore, who runs 'Replica Rides' from his expanding workshop in Swindon. He has already started the growth, is taking over some Turnkey builds and will be taking on the 'New business' with the kits as of Monday 1st September. This will effectively mean that there will be no immediate change in any current or future business so my mind is at rest. I don't intend disappearing totally but he will be completely at the helm of the business with all empowerment to do whatever in his power to keep improving the product in whichever way he chooses.
The Way Ahead... Well as I said, Mike will be looking after things and from discussions we have had in the past weeks, he has some exciting ideas afoot. He will, and I'm sure he'll add to this thread if I'm wrong, carry on the current line and shells from the current moulds, for the rest of this 'Season' and has plans on a remould which are already starting to be put in place, to bring both Pilot and Navigator shells, including bonnets' to a common, improved standard. He plans on carrying on a plan I had already started working on, in making both kits work to standard parts with the only difference being the wheelbase. I don't want to tread on his toes so I will leave it at that for now and let Mike tell you what he plans in his own time. As for me? I'm going to carry on building cars, one at a time, not to order but as a hobby and keep in the loop for as long as I can. The bills will be paid by me going back to a desk job where I can be as bored as the Doc and Family want me to be.
I hope all this doesn't phase any of you and I hope you will give as much support and banter to Mike as you have me. In the transition, I will, of course, be keeping the Ribble emails alive and will forward any queries or correspondence to Mike.
Take care all. I'll hopefully see you at future Kit Car Shows.