The Designer and Manufacturer of the Royale Collection
John Barlow I.Eng., A.M.I.MFGE – Royale Motor Company Owner
& Manufacturer of Royale Dropheads, Sabres and Windsors
John trained at British Leyland in the bus and truck division as a Craft Apprentice. Having attained good grades in 1975 he was offered a place at Bolton Technical College in the evening to attend a Technician Apprenticeship. He completed the Craft Apprenticeship in 1977 earning Apprentice of the Year and began work in the tool room. He completed the Technician Apprenticeship in 1978. He then moved to the drawing office as a design engineer in 1979.
John then took redundancy from British Leyland in 1982 and set up J.B.A. Engineering Ltd with Ken Jones and Dave Ashley (Jones Barlow Ashley), who were in the same drawing office at British Leyland. John was designer and technical advisor producing the JBA Falcon kit car..
In 1989 John with his wife Ann then started a part time company called Top Form Engineering producing styling kits for Jaguar cars and also renovating and converting Jaguars. It was during this time that John began the development work on the Jaguar based Royale Drophead.
In 1981 John left J.B.A. Engineering to concentrate on finalising the development of the Drophead. The company name was changed to Royale and the car was launched in June 1981.
Ann comments “I think you know the story from here and yes I am married to a genius and soon realised after we were married in 1978 that it was a case of `if you can’t beat em join em’”.
Royale News Issue 2 March ‘95