Titan found its origins in Charles Lucas Engineering (CLE), a race team established in 1965 running Piers Courage in F3. The team progressed to build its own cars and engines to significant success.
In 1971, Diana Thomas was part of a management team who bought the company, re-named it Titan Cars and moved it to the current St. Neots site. “When Charles decided to move on, we didn’t really want the company to stop”, explains Diana. “We were, and still are, passionate about the business, so we took the step to save and continue it.”
With the continued success of the cars and engines, requests to produce engines and components for other teams were soon flooding in. In May 1975, Titan stopped the production of cars to focus on engines and specialist component supply. As co-owner Oz Timms explains: “this was quite a gradual thing, to shift from complete cars to components, but also a carefully considered move. The demand was clearly there, and it’s never good to have all of your eggs in one basket, so this was a very natural way to progress for us”.
In the following years Titan was responsible, for designing and developing the RallyMaster Engine, used in Rallycross at the time, as well as introducing a brand new F3 engine in the 1980’s. But it was not just motorsport that Titan catered for, as Diana explains: “We managed to land the contract to design and produce the steering racks for the Lotus Elise, which was quite a significant win for us. That was one of our first major automotive contracts and opened up the gates for others.” So much so, that Titan today have various contracts for numerous “under the skin” components of both niche and mass-produced road cars.
Oz highlights another project that he feels Titan should be proud of: “Over the years, we have done a lot of design, prototyping, production engineering and manufacturing work with Caterham on a whole range of their various models.” He points out. “I think that the relationship that we have managed to build with Caterham, and others like them, is a huge testament to the quality of work that we have consistently delivered over the years.”
Oz highlights this as one of the key factors in Titan’s success over the 40 years; “obviously, a company stands or falls with the quality of the products it delivers. But besides that, your customer service needs to be of the highest level. At Titan we put a lot of time and effort into making sure that our clients are looked after, get the right solutions and that these are delivered on time.”
Both Diana and Oz agree that it is the people and personalities that Titan employ that set the company apart. “We’d like to think that at Titan, we take care to employ the right people and let them get on with the job. Obviously this needs to happen in coherence with our vision and ethos, to ensure that we maintain our quality standards and deliver to the level that is expected from us by our clients” Diana says.
Oz concurs: “We continually invest in plant and machinery, but also in our people, to make sure that we can maintain our ethos of service, quality and price. We always ensure that we deliver value for money, and given that we’ve been going strong for 40 years, I think means that we’ve got it about right!”