Our 40 YEAR STORY
and passion for Triumph, MG, Rover, Mini, Jaguar and Land Rover car parts.



In the beginning ....
Two young men - Bill and Graham Rimmer - grew up in County Durham, where their father was works manager at RHP Bearings. Apprenticed to T.I. Churchill Machine Tools in the 1970s, and already car-mad, each brother bought himself a Triumph sports car, both being used as daily drivers.

This was where they started on regular maintenance, and on rolling restorations, where necessity turned into a hobby and, of course, into a passion for cars of this sort. ’Thank goodness’ , they say, that the family home had a double garage, which gave us space to keep on re-building our cars’. That was a period where they learned all about the renovation of engines, transmissions, chassis items and bodywork - though there was still no thought of turning this hobby into a business.

The big move came in 1980 - and it was one which eventually encouraged the two brothers to start out on their own. Bill Rimmer Senior (their father) accepted a new post at another factory of RHP Bearings in Nottinghamshire, the whole family eventually moving to Digby House, in Brant Broughton, which was an old farm near Lincoln, and the brothers started a new life. This move would become significant in the near future, for Digby House had useful and spacious out-buildings, which would be useful when space was needed to accommodate their growing ambitions.

But not just yet. Bill and Graham moved south, to Lincolnshire, to join their father and mother, but in the autumn of the 1981, as the engineering industry in general continued to contract, they were offered a redundancy package, which encouraged them to strike out on their own. Father offered them space in the outbuildings, Bill and Graham took a deep breath, and decided to set up on their own, to specialise on the preservation, maintenance and sales of Triumph cars.

Not that it was going to be easy. Available capital began to drain away, the two both admit that they spent four frustrating months ’working for the Queen’ (which means signing on for unemployment benefit....), and there must have been times when they could sing: Dream the impossible dream’.

Money was tight - it was always going to be tight for two young men aged 23 and 20 - and to help finance their business they each sold their personal cars - a Triumph TR6 and a TR7. Until the business got going, keeping at least one set of wheels on the road was not easy. For a time a Vauxhall Magnum 1800 Estate became their ’company car’....

And, what to call the business? Having dismissed the idea of founding a small limited company, the two settled on the most obvious title of all - Rimmer Bros. Officially, the business was born on 1 March 1982. Their first capital purchase was a duplicate Invoice book (bought from W.H.Smiths), which they retain, proudly, as a company artefact, to this day.

Then as now, Bill and Graham were the new company. Some things never change.....

As co-founder Graham Rimmer reminded us not long ago: ’In those days we were the only employees, and we set out to do everything to do with Triumphs. We would buy cars, sell cars, service cars, renovate cars, find and sell spare parts - and we did it all ourselves. It was a natural extension to what we had been doing, for ourselves, at home, for years.’

Growing pains
It is a fact of life that many small start-up businesses fail within the first year or so, and for a time it certainly looked as if Rimmer Bros. would struggle to stay afloat. It was only the stubborn-ness of the two brothers, and their determination to tackle anything - anything - which would underpin their future, which kept them going. They had to!

Buying and selling cars was not a success - they think that one reason was that at this stage they were located in a country village with no showroom facilities - but all manner of other activities seemed to help. Bill recalls buying and selling a job lot of used lawn-mowers (’It made us a bit of money’ ), and they both recall becoming Retained members of the Lincolnshire Fire Brigade, a part-time occupation which continued for three years.

Those were the days when they must have had boundless energy, for full-time work at their own business could be interrupted at a moment’s notice by a ’shout’ to attend an emergency, whether it was daytime or night. To help in this activity they both acquired HGV driving licences. One emergency, close to their original expertise was they once had to attend a fire involving a Triumph 2000 which had been subject to a V8 engine conversion: ’A total loss, I’m afraid....’

Somehow, though, Rimmer Brothers stayed afloat for the first year, and gradually began to take on more regular work. Bill recalls that the first year’s financial turnover was tiny but: ’Somehow we seemed to make a bit of a profit - or at least that’s what our accountant told us....’

’Not that everyone always understood us, or our enterprise,’ Bill says. ’We had a modest overdraft, but we always seemed to be testing our bank manager’s nerve, as he kept on saying: "Surely you’re not buying even more stock?"...’

Then, in 1983, came the real breakthrough which, in its own way, helped turn Rimmer Bros. into the substantial parts and expertise supplier that it now is. Bill and Graham realised that a number of Triumph dealer franchises had converted to Austin-Rover outlets. As a consequence they were left with a stock of Triumph parts, service tools, and expertise, which was a diminishing asset.

Using names and addresses found in a directory of UK Triumph Distributors & Dealers (’We found it in a car we were renovating...’ ), more than 100 such dealerships were approached via a mail-shot, Rimmer Bros were able to acquire much Triumph stock, and bring it all back to Brant Broughton, where available storage space soon began to fill up. The founders recall that the problem was not only that of finding the money to pay for the new stock, but of transporting it back to Lincolnshire: ’Which explains why you might have found one or other of us driving a horsebox borrowed from a friendly neighbour at this time. Sometimes this brought, how shall we say, a new flavour to the business too, though they also had to put up with jokes about moving Shergar round the country too.

This seemed to bring a positive change to the company’s progress, for as the business became better known, the demand for Triumph parts and rebuilding expertise seemed to be buoyant. Having contacted many of the long-established Triumph dealerships, a very positive response developed, and Rimmers had to take on extra staff to deal with all the activity - and continually to look for places to store all the stock.

It was at this time that the first Rimmer Bros. Parts adverts were placed in the enthusiasts’ press - the first of all in Exchange & Mart - word got around regarding their enthusiasm, and their obvious expertise, and before long the ’phone was ringing off the hook. Once the original nail-biting months of 1982 had been forgotten, the accent was now on providing excellent, speedy and efficient Mail Order and customer service, which is a feature the company has always preserved, and developed.

Now, within three years of starting their modest little enterprise, Bill and Graham had witnessed a massive increase in activity - and this has never slackened off since then. Even so, the expansion now seemed to be unstoppable, though there was a snag which had to be overcome.

Before long the availability of new-old stock from Triumph dealerships which were changing allegiance to Austin-Rover had peaked, and supplies of some fast-moving items began to run low. Fortunately, word of Rimmer Bros’ enterprise had now spread throughout the enthusiast fraternity. By luck, more than by making a determined trawl around the components concerns, a range of specialist component suppliers made contact, and agreed to start producing and supplying many items. Even though the Triumph models, and some of the components they used, were no longer current - those components could be as small as a rubber O-Ring, or as large as a body pressing - it was gratifying to find that much of the original tooling still existed, and that new supplies could once again be provided. Because many Triumphs were still in current use as ’daily drivers’ , the demand for such parts was very high.

Now it was time to go even more professional, so Rimmer Bros. attended its first national Classic Car Show - at the NEC in November 1984 - and have never missed such an appearance since then. This established a tradition, for Rimmer Bros. was now to be ever-present at the most important shows, especially as major projects such as TR7 body kits, and TR7 - to TR8 conversions became important.

This, too, was the time when the very first Rimmer Bros. Parts price lists were made available. The first of these modest publications - for the Stag - covered just two type-written sheets, which had been produced in her own time by Bill Rimmer Senior’s secretary! Time and inflation has marched on, of course, but it is still fascinating to see that a new Front Bumper cost just £45.00, and that a new Front Wing cost just £65.00.

Although pressure of work meant that the buying and selling of complete Triumph cars had now ended, there was a thriving and expanding trade in the reconditioning of major mechanical components. In that modest List, too, Rimmers also made it clear that for such items they provided a substantial 12 months/12,000 mile warranty - and that export enquiries were welcome.

Accordingly, it now seemed right to start producing a complete range of price lists (Stag, TR6, TR7 and Spitfire being the first) - something which, at the time, no rival had even attempted. But this was only the beginning, for in modern times the obvious (and very professional production) of more than twenty fully-detailed catalogues - for Triumph, Land-Rover/Range Rover. MG-Rover Group, and Rover - are now in the range.

The first big move,
By 1985 the company had expanded so much at Digby House that storage space for the comprehensive stock was rapidly filling up. Further rented accommodation had to be acquired in Grantham, but the time seemed to have come when a complete move was essential.

After a major search around Lincoln, Grantham and Newark (Rimmer Bros. did not want to move so far as to lose its now expanding workforce), an excellent site at an old Co-op egg-packing station was acquired at Branston, just three miles south-east of Lincoln itself, and the business was smoothly moved from one site to the other in 1986. At the time the availability of 14,000 sq.ft. of warehousing, offices and other facilities seemed to look after Rimmers’ foreseeable future - but that was an under-estimate. Now, too, there was a small retail counter for the first time, to which more and more customers travelled to buy their parts.

Amazingly, within five years, not only would Rimmers’ business expand a further five fold, but it would once again have run out of space. The company was still running its ever-expanding business without the benefit of a stock-control computer - but it had one of the most enthusiastic and efficient members of staff that could be desired. Its secret weapon - one which Rimmers was not about to broadcast in case he might be poached to another concern - was the arrival of ex-British Leyland Dealer Parts Manager, John Randall, who knew his way around the British Leyland, Triumph and components supply system, like no-one else.

Only five years after it had been founded by two young men - Bill and Graham Rimmer, who not only worked on the cars, sourced the components, packed up the stock which was sold, despatched it, and scoured the country looking for new supplies - this had matured into a stable business where the customers could visit, call, and telex for attention at a moment’s notice. Not only did they get this, but they also tapped into expertise which was already quite unmatched in the rest of the ’heritage’ motor industry. Unsurprisingly, the company achieved British Motor Heritage Approval in 1987, which confirmed its standing in the heritage/classic car field.

Now was the time, too, for computerisation to be applied, for the company’s stocks now ran into thousands of different items, of all shapes and sizes. This was no small, nor easy, task, for it took a full 12 months, to transfer every parts record, which became fully operational in 1989.

This was also the time when the now-famous Rimmer Bros. range of catalogues was expanded, initially with the launch of a 40-page full-colour TR7 publication. This, Rimmers claim, was a ’first’ for the heritage industry. Not only was almost every part of the car listed, by part number and location in the car, but there were many line drawings showing where each component lived in the car. This was all done with the approval of what had now become the Austin-Rover Group, and it was not long before Rimmer Bros joined, and became a major player in, the British Motor Heritage organisation which looked after every out-of-production car in that group’s range.

Gratifying it might be, but it was certainly not time for the brothers to sit back, relax and enjoy the growing maturity of their new enterprise. It was certainly not a time for them to to spend days and weeks just enjoying life, and driving Triumphs, for that would have seen them losing touch with clientele which was asking for more, much more, from their enterprise.

Any money which a spendthrift might have considered spare was ploughed back into the business - which was just as well, for after 1988 business once again re-doubled. Purely by chance, Graham’s family life (the ’family’ now including a baby, and a Pyrenean mountain dog!) led to the purchase of a 1986 Range Rover, and a growing interest of the amazing range of four-wheel-drive machines which are now so enthusiastically supported by Rimmer Bros.

Adverts placed in 1990 confirmed that the company now employed 25 full-time staff (all of whom were clearly enthusiastic about the brand and the business), and the point was made that the business now embraced more than 12,000 different parts lines. It was just as well that computerisation was now well advanced, the same-day despatch of many orders was being achieved, and a whole range of re-manufactured components was now available. If a part, or a sub-assembly, could not be supplied from what the industry calls new-old stock, Rimmers often made arrangements for new supplies to be made by the same specialists who had provided Triumph (later British Leyland) since the cars were still in quantity production.

The next big move
Today’s visitors to Rimmer Bros. at Bracebridge Heath (just two miles south of Lincoln city centre) find a substantial industrial complex to which the company moved in April 1991, and will no doubt be interested to see just how busy, and how full of stock, the warehousing actually is. In fact the need for a further move from Branston, after only five years, took even the ambitious brothers by surprise, so on that occasion they took a very deep breath, looked around the entire area, before deciding that once again it was necessary to re-locate the business.

That search eventually led to the purchase of a structure which had latterly been a car auction site, but which had originally been set up by Robey as an assembly plant for Sopwith fighter aircraft in World War One, and had carried out much valuable repair work on battle-scarred Avro Lancaster bombers during World War Two. Appropriately enough, it was - and still is - almost within sight of one of Britain’s biggest airfield bases, RAF Waddington. By their current standards, the brothers thought that what they originally called Triumph House would always be amply large enough for their needs, for this new building complex offered 40,000 sq.ft. of warehousing on a four acre site with - at last - ample office space for the still-growing workforce to operate.

With a full computerised operation, and a 12-telephone mail ordering system installed, it was difficult to recall that it was only nine years since the business had started up, in small buildings at the farmhouse where the family lived. Much refurbishment and re-equipment preceded the big move, during which it was good to see that the building could now be modified to provide storage on three levels, using a newly-purchase mezzanine floor covering much of the floor space.

This, in fact, was essential to Rimmers’ vision of its immediate future, for even at that stage it was catering for the Stag, TR6, TR7 and TR8, Spitfire Mk IV and 1500, GT6 and Dolomite car ranges. The official and grand opening of the new complex was made in June 1991, with British Motor Heritage director David Bishop doing the ceremonial honours, and helping to cut a huge and appropriately logo’d cake. Mail order and personal counter collection services were of course available, and the export business continued to expand. By this time Rimmers were looking to Europe, North America and beyond, making their first visit to the Essen show (in Germany) for the first time in 1992.

The next major development followed in 1993, when the company diversified from Triumph for the very first time. Hearing that the Rover Group was ready to hive off its support for the Rover SD1, which had been such a success for British Leyland between 1976 and 1986, the company made an offer for the stock, succeeded in its bid - and needed to send a fleet of thirty-five massive 40-foot articulated trucks to the Rover-Triumph complex at Canley, Coventry to pick up all the parts.

At a stroke this filled up much of the available space at Bracebridge Heath - and eased the fears of all SD1 owners for the foreseeable future. Most of this massive original purchase was of SD1 body panels, though many other components were also acquired. It was Rimmer Bros.’ first venture into supporting a marque which was not a Triumph.

Storing, identifying, labelling and adding this massive acquisition brought its own problems, but those were rapidly eradicated, and integrated into the existing Triumph business. Even so, in the mid and late 1990s, the business expanded further, pressure on space intensified (where had we all heard that phrase before now?), and Rimmers consolidated its place in Britain’s heritage motor car supplies sector. There was time, just a little time, to enjoy and promote the business - not only by arranging for a Triumph TR8 to built up from scratch on the company stand at the National Classic Motor Show at the NEC, but to support Tony Pond’s magnificent driving of an ex-works TR7 V8 in high-profile events such as the 1998 Coys International Historic Festival weekend of racing at Silverstone.

And yet - Guess What? - at the end of the 1990s the company once again found itself running out of storage space, so a project was set in train to maximise the storage space by extending the mezzanine floor, and to expand the front-of-house offices, retail counter, and showroom. Determined to enjoy themselves a little, and to let the customers know how passionate they were about the product, Rimmer Bros. arranged for the showroom to be enlarged, special exhibits, and a handful of carefully restored cars were put on show, together with informative wall panels and charts showing how every one of the products covered was so important to the company.

It was at this time - 2000 - that the company realised that the original (now known as ’Classic’ ) Range Rover had reached its thirtieth birthday (it had been launched in 1970). It had already gone through so many iterations that parts for earlier types were becoming scarce. Since this imposing four-wheel-drive estate car was based around the famous light-alloy V8 engine, with which the company was already familiar, and active in preserving, it was an ideal candidate to be added to their ever-expanding coverage of Rover-Triumph products.

Indeed it was, but supporting a large car sometimes meant large-sized parts - and a new headache in accommodating them all at Bracebridge Heath. Nothing daunted, that project went ahead and has matured. More classic Land Rover models were added to the range and Rimmer Bros. eventually became an authorised supplier of Land Rover and Range Rover parts. By this time, Bracebridge Heath enclosed no less than 75,000 sq.ft. of storage space on three floors.

It is worth recalling that the V8 engine was an important catalyst to this logical and sure-footed expansion, for that engine was used in Triumph sports cars, the evergreen Rover SD1 range, and in various Land Rover and Range Rover models. As Rimmer Bros, once proudly noted in their catalogue covering Land Rover Defenders: ’This was a natural move, as a vast number of Range Rovers are powered by the Rover V8 engine - a subject in which we specialise....’

Naturally it took time for the still maturing company to digest this new enterprise, but with a stable workforce, an ever-enthusiastic attitude to the parts and restoration business, and two founding brothers who still could not quite believe how the company had grown from that run by two oily-fingered men in a farm building just twenty years earlier, there was no lack of resolve, and a continual attempt to make excellent customer service even more successful in the future. Was it any wonder that Graham and Bill, then as in later years, could be seen enthusiastically commuting to and from the office in the type of Range Rovers that they admired so much?

The MG-Rover project
The year 2005 proved to be very important to Rimmer Bros.

First of all, Rimmer Bros. was proud to become an Authorised Land Rover Parts Distributor, which meant that they would have direct access to Land Rover parts for all models, and would also be able to offer their renowned and highly-regarded customer service facilities to modern Land Rover owners too.

The next step, which followed later in the same year, was that the company became involved, for the first time, in the MG-Rover business too.  BMW had owned the Rover Group for six years, then hived it off to what became known as the Phoenix consortium, while Land Rover was sold off to Ford. Early in the new century, much of the existing MG-Rover parts business was then hived off from Unipart, and allocated to XPart (a subsidiary of the Caterpillar corporation), which would handle its distribution.

Subsequently, XPart purchased the entire MG-Rover stock of parts from the Phoenix consortium, and the two Rimmer brothers saw yet another opportunity, which was to begin selling MG-Rover parts. This seemed to be, and was, a natural progression for the business, for Rimmer Bros. was already associated with the support through selling parts with other models, and other brands closely related to MG-Rover.

Events, though, were about to make a dramatic turn. MG-Rover ceased trading abruptly on 8 April, and there was absolutely no warning. Suddenly the production of all MG-Rover products closed down. MG-Rover owners, it seems, immediately began to panic.

The public conception was that all access to parts was lost, but the reality was that mountains of parts were still available. As with its on-going operation in supplying parts for Rover, Land Rover, Range Rover and Triumph products, Rimmers wanted to develop this new side of their ever-expanding business.

In August 2005, the company then bought the Parts operation of Wrights of Lincoln, an MG-Rover dealership local to the business, which was closing its doors as it had no cars to sell.

My first problem,’ Bill Rimmer says, ’was to get this new stock into safe storage here in Lincolnshire ....’

A large variety of bodywork, engine, transmission, chassis and electrical items was involved, which brought with them several problems (or, shall we say, opportunities?), the most pressing being to find adequate storage space. Because Bracebridge Heath was already fully developed, internally, and was showing all the signs of bursting at the seams, in 2007 an off-site warehousing complex at Skellingthorpe, Lincoln was purchased, which quickly started to fill up with MG-Rover stock. It is hardly surprising that after only four years this was almost full.

The good news was that Rimmers also took six highly-experienced staff members from Wrights, who brought in more than 100 years of combined experience in MG Rover BL/Rover parts operations. This meant that when Rimmers launched this new side to their business, they ’hit the ground running’. In the next two years demand, and sales, for all the company’s products rose fast, to record heights - and there was still a lot more to come.

Now with a full-time staff of 60, Rimmers immediately found themselves learning about - and servicing - the new technologies which this new venture brought on. It was yet another reason why the company expanded its range of catalogues - the total now being more than twenty, and still rising.

In the meantime, in 2006 one of the company’s most ambitious projects came to fruition, when the company learned that stock from the Indian company once set up to assemble Rover SD1s (a project, involving much Completely Knocked Down kit delivery from the UK, which foundered in 1987) was available for sale.

Making his one and only trip to India, Bill Rimmer was astounded to discover the sheer variety of what was available, for he found over six hundred unused and carefully preserved car kits in store in Chennai. Those kits were still packed in the original shipping crates, with delivery notes still attached as they had left Rover, in the UK, in 1986, and had stood untouched for twenty years.

Having seen what was available, Bill hoped that he could make haste to close a deal. for, as he recalls : ’I thought that this would secure the long-term parts supply for the Rover SD1 for a long, long, time....’

Haste, though, is a word interpreted in a different way in India, and it took months to finalise a deal. but finally the stock was re-imported (over twenty 40-foot containers were mainly involved), and integrated with existing Rimmers stock, such that the company’s SD1 catalogue soon proudly noted that: ’We now have thousands of previously unavailable parts in stock....’ - which, of course, also applies to all the ranges covered by the Rimmers business.

Even this did not bring the ever-evolving story of Rimmer Brothers up to date, where the addition of all the new product lines helped the business to double in size, once again, in five years - with no sign of this topping out. Co-founder Graham Rimmer is convinced that the development of the company’s latest website - which went live in 2009 and yes, you are reading one section of it, right now - is mainly responsible, as is our customers’ obvious determination to keep their cars on the road, in good condition.

And what are the plans for Rimmers’ immediate future? During 2012 and 2013 a new £1.2m warehouse was built alongside the existing building at Bracebridge Heath, which doubled the storage facilities to over 105,000sq ft. The new building created storage for new product lines and slower moving Triumph, Jaguar and Land Rover bulk items. It also allowed the opportunity to re-design the despatch and goods in areas, which included the installation of new technology for handling orders, new conveyors and packing machine equipment. The investment in systems, facilities and people has resulted in increased despatch and productivity efficiencies across the entire warehousing operation. New business opportunities have begun including a late (’96 on) Jaguar parts range and the expansion of parts supply for later model Land Rovers such as the Evoque, new generation Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery Sport, new generation Discovery, Range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-Pace
As well as expanding in physical terms, Rimmer Bros has also been expanding into the virtual world of social media. The dedicated Facebook and Instagram pages regularly receive thousands upon thousands of interactions including photographs too.

As well as the knowledge of the highly experienced sales staff, since 2013 Rimmer Bros have been working on their YouTube channel, entitled RimmerBrosTV. Originally designed as an alternative piece of goodwill advice for owners wanting to have an in depth explanation of how to fit their parts, should they be of the enthusiast nature and inhabit their own garages with tools and cups of tea at the ready! It has now, however, expanded into a useful addition to the website in that you can buy parts and immediately have access to a fitting video for that part. This, like all developments pioneered by RimmerBros is something that will grow in the future.

The business may be vastly bigger than was ever envisaged in 1982, yet there still seems to be so much to do. Although they continue to be enthusiastic supporters of all things Triumph, Bill and Graham are still convinced that there is scope for much more business connected with MG-Rover, Land Rover and Jaguar '96 on models, especially as latter day models such as the MGF, the MG ZT-T, and the ever-green Land Rover Defender and Discovery models are concerned. Gaining British Motor Heritage approval for Classic MG and Mini has also extended the parts coverage for older models.

2020 – The Pandemic
The flexibility and ingenuity of Bill and Graham and their team has certainly been tested as the company was deemed essential by the government, in that it remained open for mail order and the distribution of car parts for the country’s transport and production needs. At one point, there was even an order from the Ministry Of Defence as they looked to recommission a batch of older Land Rover Defenders that had been retired. Many farmers and customers in rural locations were kept on the road too as most of the Land Rover parts centres and suppliers across the UK closed their doors. Rimmer Bros were also responsible for keeping the Land Rovers of Western Power running so that they could continue to service their electricity network. Naturally, there were also the seemingly less important classic restoration projects that were dragged out of storage to rebuild or restore which in turn eased the inevitable boredom many car owners faced. Perhaps Rimmer Bros has also had a hand in maintaining the mental health of it's customers throughout these difficult months, certainly many are looking forward to a brighter future and going places in their cars.

Graham and Bill had long acknowledged the support of their loyal staff that had played a very big part in the company’s ever-evolving story. ’Without them’, Bill had noted, ’we would not be where we are today.’

This loyalty and flexibility was and still is tested as 29 office staff were relocated to work from home, essentially creating a network of home call centres (Not an inconsiderable logistical process in itself). The office retained a skeleton staff with stringent hygiene measures in place and the warehousing and packing activities were rearranged in order to not only maintain the health and safety of the staff but also the customers receiving their parcel orders.

The early practices of retaining large quantities of stock that had so petrified their bank manager in the early days, was to now become a key asset, as many of our suppliers closed down their operations temporarily. Our parts availability was maintained at an impressively high level of just 2% lower than normal and the purchase team managed to plug many gaps by sourcing alternative suppliers. Parts order collections from our building were made available. These collections were pre-arranged/paid and customers would collect their goods from a designated safe spot.

What was purely a Triumph-orientated operation in the 1980's has expanded mightily in recent years, such that the entire MG-Rover, Land-Rover/Range Rover, Rover, Triumph and ’96 on Jaguar marques are now covered. Not only with the supply of parts, but with individual enthusiasm coupled with the sheer amount of knowledge and expertise which has built up over the years with their hard-working staff of 86.

40 Years and counting....
Rimmer Bros has now reached its 40th Anniversary on 1st March 2022, with both Bill & Graham Rimmer still actively running the business.

The Anniversary comes 2 years on from the first UK national-wide lockdown in order to contain the spread of the virus and now with a complete mass vaccination, we are slowly returning to a sense of normality.

During the pandemic our Click & Collect service really came into fruition as we were forced to close our showroom doors to customers. This service was essential for those who still needed parts for their vehicles.

In April 2021 we saw the re-opening of our showroom and the welcoming of customers back to the counter for face-to-face parts ordering, click & collect and visiting our showroom cars for inspiration on their own projects, which they bought out of storage during the lockdown.

We have implemented a gradual return to office scheme for our dedicated staff who were relocated to work from home during the pandemic, by making the office a Covid secure area to ensure all are as safe as possible when they come to work.

As the ongoing vaccination program continues our staff continue to help Rimmer Bros meet the ever-changing needs of its loyal customer base, no matter what the Global situation may be. Maintaining the ‘Rimmer Bros Service’ of high-quality parts, excellent customer service and fast delivery and over 1000 years of combined knowledge & experience, has seen us continue to lead in the classic automotive parts industry for 40 years now.

With this huge milestone under our bonnet, we are running on all cylinders to keep serving our customers current & future needs with our top-notch customer service.

Here’s to 40 Years and counting...

Rimmer Brother Bill & Graham



Graham and TR7 1979Graham and TR7 1979


Bill and TR6 1979Bill and TR6 1979


Bill and Graham Christmas Day 1979Bill and Graham Christmas Day 1979


First premises at Digby House, Brant Broughton 1982First premises at Digby House, Brant Broughton 1982


Bill & Graham became Retained members of the Lincolnshire Fire BrigadeBill & Graham became Retained members of the Lincolnshire Fire Brigade


Rimmer Bros Renovated MGB GT for sale April 1983Rimmer Bros Renovated MGB GT for sale April 1983


Stag Parts Dept. Digby House 1984Stag Parts Dept. Digby House 1984


Trading at Stag Owner's Club National Day 1984Trading at Stag Owner's Club National Day 1984


Triumph Sales BookTriumph Sales and Service Book


First Rimmer Bros parts price lists 1984First Rimmer Bros parts price lists 1984


John Randall, Ex British Leyland Parts Manager arrives in 1986John Randall, Ex British Leyland Parts Manager arrives in 1986


Second premises in Branston 1986Second premises (14,000 sq.ft), in Branston 1986


Loading Bay & Office in Branston 1986Loading Bay & Office in Branston 1986


Main Store and parts counter Branston 1986Main Store and parts counter Branston 1986


Computerisation in 1989Computerisation in 1989


Work in progress at third premises (Bracebridge Heath) to convert from auction house to warehouse storage 1990Work in progress at third premises (Bracebridge Heath) to convert from auction house to warehouse storage 1990


Main storage area before mezzanine and racking installation in 1990Main storage area before mezzanine and racking installation in 1990


1991 Mezzanine floor being built1991 Mezzanine floor being built


March 91 Building work complete and ready to move inMarch 91 Building work complete and ready to move in


Easter 1991. The opening of our Bracebridge Heath premisesEaster 1991. The opening of our Bracebridge Heath premises


Rimmer Bros sponsored Tony Pond & Works TR7 V8 for The Silverstone Rally Sprint in 1998Rimmer Bros sponsored Tony Pond & Works TR7 V8 for The Silverstone Rally Sprint in 1998


Office extension 1999Office extension 1999


Graham's 1st Range Rover shortly before launching the Range Rover Catalogue 1999Graham's 1st Range Rover shortly before launching the Range Rover Catalogue 1999


MG and Land Rover Franchise 2005MG and Land Rover Franchise 2005


The new warehouse being handed over to Graham & Bill Rimmer by John Hallam Associates and Builders Ric Buble and Lee SmithThe new warehouse being handed over to Graham & Bill Rimmer in 2013 by John Hallam Associates and Builders Ric "Buble" and Lee Smith


The existing warehouse in foreground and new extensionThe existing warehouse in foreground and new extension 2013


Sales Counter & ShowroomSales Counter & Showroom


Sales Office 2012Sales Office


One of many aisles full of parts binsOne of many aisles full of parts bins


Long Term Storage in Warehouse 2Long Term Storage in Warehouse 2


One of many aisles of racking holding stock for all modelsOne of many aisles of racking holding stock for all models


Warehouse Packing BuildingWarehouse Packing Building


Parcel Carrier Vehicles Loading UpParcel Carrier Vehicles Loading Up


Sales Staff working from home during Covid-19Sales Staff working from home during Covid-19


Empty OfficeEmpty Office during Covid-19


Covid-19 PrecautionsCovid-19 Regulations, Customers Not Allowed into the Showroom


Rimmer Bros HQRimmer Bros HQ


Back to New NormalityBack to New Normality


Display Cars in Our ShowroomDisplay Cars in Our Showroom


Display Cars in Our ShowroomDisplay Cars in Our Showroom




Our 40 YEAR STORY
and passion for Triumph, MG, Rover, Mini, Jaguar and Land Rover car parts.




In the beginning ....
Two young men - Bill and Graham Rimmer - grew up in County Durham, where their father was works manager at RHP Bearings. Apprenticed to T.I. Churchill Machine Tools in the 1970s, and already car-mad, each brother bought himself a Triumph sports car, both being used as daily drivers.

This was where they started on regular maintenance, and on rolling restorations, where necessity turned into a hobby and, of course, into a passion for cars of this sort. ’Thank goodness’ , they say, that the family home had a double garage, which gave us space to keep on re-building our cars’. That was a period where they learned all about the renovation of engines, transmissions, chassis items and bodywork - though there was still no thought of turning this hobby into a business.

The big move came in 1980 - and it was one which eventually encouraged the two brothers to start out on their own. Bill Rimmer Senior (their father) accepted a new post at another factory of RHP Bearings in Nottinghamshire, the whole family eventually moving to Digby House, in Brant Broughton, which was an old farm near Lincoln, and the brothers started a new life. This move would become significant in the near future, for Digby House had useful and spacious out-buildings, which would be useful when space was needed to accommodate their growing ambitions.

But not just yet. Bill and Graham moved south, to Lincolnshire, to join their father and mother, but in the autumn of the 1981, as the engineering industry in general continued to contract, they were offered a redundancy package, which encouraged them to strike out on their own. Father offered them space in the outbuildings, Bill and Graham took a deep breath, and decided to set up on their own, to specialise on the preservation, maintenance and sales of Triumph cars.

Not that it was going to be easy. Available capital began to drain away, the two both admit that they spent four frustrating months ’working for the Queen’ (which means signing on for unemployment benefit....), and there must have been times when they could sing: Dream the impossible dream’.

Money was tight - it was always going to be tight for two young men aged 23 and 20 - and to help finance their business they each sold their personal cars - a Triumph TR6 and a TR7. Until the business got going, keeping at least one set of wheels on the road was not easy. For a time a Vauxhall Magnum 1800 Estate became their ’company car’....

And, what to call the business? Having dismissed the idea of founding a small limited company, the two settled on the most obvious title of all - Rimmer Bros. Officially, the business was born on 1 March 1982. Their first capital purchase was a duplicate Invoice book (bought from W.H.Smiths), which they retain, proudly, as a company artefact, to this day.

Then as now, Bill and Graham were the new company. Some things never change.....

As co-founder Graham Rimmer reminded us not long ago: ’In those days we were the only employees, and we set out to do everything to do with Triumphs. We would buy cars, sell cars, service cars, renovate cars, find and sell spare parts - and we did it all ourselves. It was a natural extension to what we had been doing, for ourselves, at home, for years.’

Growing pains
It is a fact of life that many small start-up businesses fail within the first year or so, and for a time it certainly looked as if Rimmer Bros. would struggle to stay afloat. It was only the stubborn-ness of the two brothers, and their determination to tackle anything - anything - which would underpin their future, which kept them going. They had to!

Buying and selling cars was not a success - they think that one reason was that at this stage they were located in a country village with no showroom facilities - but all manner of other activities seemed to help. Bill recalls buying and selling a job lot of used lawn-mowers (’It made us a bit of money’ ), and they both recall becoming Retained members of the Lincolnshire Fire Brigade, a part-time occupation which continued for three years.

Those were the days when they must have had boundless energy, for full-time work at their own business could be interrupted at a moment’s notice by a ’shout’ to attend an emergency, whether it was daytime or night. To help in this activity they both acquired HGV driving licences. One emergency, close to their original expertise was they once had to attend a fire involving a Triumph 2000 which had been subject to a V8 engine conversion: ’A total loss, I’m afraid....’

Somehow, though, Rimmer Brothers stayed afloat for the first year, and gradually began to take on more regular work. Bill recalls that the first year’s financial turnover was tiny but: ’Somehow we seemed to make a bit of a profit - or at least that’s what our accountant told us....’

’Not that everyone always understood us, or our enterprise,’ Bill says. ’We had a modest overdraft, but we always seemed to be testing our bank manager’s nerve, as he kept on saying: "Surely you’re not buying even more stock?"...’

Then, in 1983, came the real breakthrough which, in its own way, helped turn Rimmer Bros. into the substantial parts and expertise supplier that it now is. Bill and Graham realised that a number of Triumph dealer franchises had converted to Austin-Rover outlets. As a consequence they were left with a stock of Triumph parts, service tools, and expertise, which was a diminishing asset.

Using names and addresses found in a directory of UK Triumph Distributors & Dealers (’We found it in a car we were renovating...’ ), more than 100 such dealerships were approached via a mail-shot, Rimmer Bros were able to acquire much Triumph stock, and bring it all back to Brant Broughton, where available storage space soon began to fill up. The founders recall that the problem was not only that of finding the money to pay for the new stock, but of transporting it back to Lincolnshire: ’Which explains why you might have found one or other of us driving a horsebox borrowed from a friendly neighbour at this time. Sometimes this brought, how shall we say, a new flavour to the business too, though they also had to put up with jokes about moving Shergar round the country too.

This seemed to bring a positive change to the company’s progress, for as the business became better known, the demand for Triumph parts and rebuilding expertise seemed to be buoyant. Having contacted many of the long-established Triumph dealerships, a very positive response developed, and Rimmers had to take on extra staff to deal with all the activity - and continually to look for places to store all the stock.

It was at this time that the first Rimmer Bros. Parts adverts were placed in the enthusiasts’ press - the first of all in Exchange & Mart - word got around regarding their enthusiasm, and their obvious expertise, and before long the ’phone was ringing off the hook. Once the original nail-biting months of 1982 had been forgotten, the accent was now on providing excellent, speedy and efficient Mail Order and customer service, which is a feature the company has always preserved, and developed.

Now, within three years of starting their modest little enterprise, Bill and Graham had witnessed a massive increase in activity - and this has never slackened off since then. Even so, the expansion now seemed to be unstoppable, though there was a snag which had to be overcome.

Before long the availability of new-old stock from Triumph dealerships which were changing allegiance to Austin-Rover had peaked, and supplies of some fast-moving items began to run low. Fortunately, word of Rimmer Bros’ enterprise had now spread throughout the enthusiast fraternity. By luck, more than by making a determined trawl around the components concerns, a range of specialist component suppliers made contact, and agreed to start producing and supplying many items. Even though the Triumph models, and some of the components they used, were no longer current - those components could be as small as a rubber O-Ring, or as large as a body pressing - it was gratifying to find that much of the original tooling still existed, and that new supplies could once again be provided. Because many Triumphs were still in current use as ’daily drivers’ , the demand for such parts was very high.

Now it was time to go even more professional, so Rimmer Bros. attended its first national Classic Car Show - at the NEC in November 1984 - and have never missed such an appearance since then. This established a tradition, for Rimmer Bros. was now to be ever-present at the most important shows, especially as major projects such as TR7 body kits, and TR7 - to TR8 conversions became important.

This, too, was the time when the very first Rimmer Bros. Parts price lists were made available. The first of these modest publications - for the Stag - covered just two type-written sheets, which had been produced in her own time by Bill Rimmer Senior’s secretary! Time and inflation has marched on, of course, but it is still fascinating to see that a new Front Bumper cost just £45.00, and that a new Front Wing cost just £65.00.

Although pressure of work meant that the buying and selling of complete Triumph cars had now ended, there was a thriving and expanding trade in the reconditioning of major mechanical components. In that modest List, too, Rimmers also made it clear that for such items they provided a substantial 12 months/12,000 mile warranty - and that export enquiries were welcome.

Accordingly, it now seemed right to start producing a complete range of price lists (Stag, TR6, TR7 and Spitfire being the first) - something which, at the time, no rival had even attempted. But this was only the beginning, for in modern times the obvious (and very professional production) of more than twenty fully-detailed catalogues - for Triumph, Land-Rover/Range Rover. MG-Rover Group, and Rover - are now in the range.

The first big move,
By 1985 the company had expanded so much at Digby House that storage space for the comprehensive stock was rapidly filling up. Further rented accommodation had to be acquired in Grantham, but the time seemed to have come when a complete move was essential.

After a major search around Lincoln, Grantham and Newark (Rimmer Bros. did not to move so far as to lose its now expanding workforce), an excellent site at an old Co-op egg-packing station was acquired at Branston, just three miles south-east of Lincoln itself, and the business was smoothly moved from one site to the other in 1986. At the time the availability of 14,000 sq.ft. of warehousing, offices and other facilities seemed to look after Rimmers’ foreseeable future - but that was an under-estimate. Now, too, there was a small retail counter for the first time, to which more and more customers travelled to buy their parts.

Amazingly, within five years, not only would Rimmers’ business expand a further five fold, but it would once again have run out of space. The company was still running its ever-expanding business without the benefit of a stock-control computer - but it had one of the most enthusiastic and efficient members of staff that could be desired. Its secret weapon - one which Rimmers was not about to broadcast in case he might be poached to another concern - was the arrival of ex-British Leyland Dealer Parts Manager, John Randall, who knew his way around the British Leyland, Triumph and components supply system, like no-one else.

Only five years after it had been founded by two young men - Bill and Graham Rimmer, who not only worked on the cars, sourced the components, packed up the stock which was sold, despatched it, and scoured the country looking for new supplies - this had matured into a stable business where the customers could visit, call, and telex for attention at a moment’s notice. Not only did they get this, but they also tapped into expertise which was already quite unmatched in the rest of the ’heritage’ motor industry. Unsurprisingly, the company achieved British Motor Heritage Approval in 1987, which confirmed its standing in the heritage/classic car field.

Now was the time, too, for computerisation to be applied, for the company’s stocks now ran into thousands of different items, of all shapes and sizes. This was no small, nor easy, task, for it took a full 12 months, to transfer every parts record, which became fully operational in 1989.

This was also the time when the now-famous Rimmer Bros. range of catalogues was expanded, initially with the launch of a 40-page full-colour TR7 publication. This, Rimmers claim, was a ’first’ for the heritage industry. Not only was almost every part of the car listed, by part number and location in the car, but there were many line drawings showing where each component lived in the car. This was all done with the approval of what had now become the Austin-Rover Group, and it was not long before Rimmer Bros joined, and became a major player in, the British Motor Heritage organisation which looked after every out-of-production car in that group’s range.

Gratifying it might be, but it was certainly not time for the brothers to sit back, relax and enjoy the growing maturity of their new enterprise. It was certainly not a time for them to to spend days and weeks just enjoying life, and driving Triumphs, for that would have seen them losing touch with clientele which was asking for more, much more, from their enterprise.

Any money which a spendthrift might have considered spare was ploughed back into the business - which was just as well, for after 1988 business once again re-doubled. Purely by chance, Graham’s family life (the ’family’ now including a baby, and a Pyrenean mountain dog!) led to the purchase of a 1986 Range Rover, and a growing interest of the amazing range of four-wheel-drive machines which are now so enthusiastically supported by Rimmer Bros.

Adverts placed in 1990 confirmed that the company now employed 25 full-time staff (all of whom were clearly enthusiastic about the brand and the business), and the point was made that the business now embraced more than 12,000 different parts lines. It was just as well that computerisation was now well advanced, the same-day despatch of many orders was being achieved, and a whole range of re-manufactured components was now available. If a part, or a sub-assembly, could not be supplied from what the industry calls new-old stock, Rimmers often made arrangements for new supplies to be made by the same specialists who had provided Triumph (later British Leyland) since the cars were still in quantity production.

The next big move
Today’s visitors to Rimmer Bros. at Bracebridge Heath (just two miles south of Lincoln city centre) find a substantial industrial complex to which the company moved in April 1991, and will no doubt be interested to see just how busy, and how full of stock, the warehousing actually is. In fact the need for a further move from Branston, after only five years, took even the ambitious brothers by surprise, so on that occasion they took a very deep breath, looked around the entire area, before deciding that once again it was necessary to re-locate the business.

That search eventually led to the purchase of a structure which had latterly been a car auction site, but which had originally been set up by Robey as an assembly plant for Sopwith fighter aircraft in World War One, and had carried out much valuable repair work on battle-scarred Avro Lancaster bombers during World War Two. Appropriately enough, it was - and still is - almost within sight of one of Britain’s biggest airfield bases, RAF Waddington. By their current standards, the brothers thought that what they originally called Triumph House would always be amply large enough for their needs, for this new building complex offered 40,000 sq.ft. of warehousing on a four acre site with - at last - ample office space for the still-growing workforce to operate.

With a full computerised operation, and a 12-telephone mail ordering system installed, it was difficult to recall that it was only nine years since the business had started up, in small buildings at the farmhouse where the family lived. Much refurbishment and re-equipment preceded the big move, during which it was good to see that the building could now be modified to provide storage on three levels, using a newly-purchase mezzanine floor covering much of the floor space.

This, in fact, was essential to Rimmers’ vision of its immediate future, for even at that stage it was catering for the Stag, TR6, TR7 and TR8, Spitfire Mk IV and 1500, GT6 and Dolomite car ranges. The official and grand opening of the new complex was made in June 1991, with British Motor Heritage director David Bishop doing the ceremonial honours, and helping to cut a huge and appropriately logo’d cake. Mail order and personal counter collection services were of course available, and the export business continued to expand. By this time Rimmers were looking to Europe, North America and beyond, making their first visit to the Essen show (in Germany) for the first time in 1992.

The next major development followed in 1993, when the company diversified from Triumph for the very first time. Hearing that the Rover Group was ready to hive off its support for the Rover SD1, which had been such a success for British Leyland between 1976 and 1986, the company made an offer for the stock, succeeded in its bid - and needed to send a fleet of thirty-five massive 40-foot articulated trucks to the Rover-Triumph complex at Canley, Coventry to pick up all the parts.

At a stroke this filled up much of the available space at Bracebridge Heath - and eased the fears of all SD1 owners for the foreseeable future. Most of this massive original purchase was of SD1 body panels, though many other components were also acquired. It was Rimmer Bros.’ first venture into supporting a marque which was not a Triumph.

Storing, identifying, labelling and adding this massive acquisition brought its own problems, but those were rapidly eradicated, and integrated into the existing Triumph business. Even so, in the mid and late 1990s, the business expanded further, pressure on space intensified (where had we all heard that phrase before now?), and Rimmers consolidated its place in Britain’s heritage motor car supplies sector. There was time, just a little time, to enjoy and promote the business - not only by arranging for a Triumph TR8 to built up from scratch on the company stand at the National Classic Motor Show at the NEC, but to support Tony Pond’s magnificent driving of an ex-works TR7 V8 in high-profile events such as the 1998 Coys International Historic Festival weekend of racing at Silverstone.

And yet - Guess What? - at the end of the 1990s the company once again found itself running out of storage space, so a project was set in train to maximise the storage space by extending the mezzanine floor, and to expand the front-of-house offices, retail counter, and showroom. Determined to enjoy themselves a little, and to let the customers know how passionate they were about the product, Rimmer Bros. arranged for the showroom to be enlarged, special exhibits, and a handful of carefully restored cars were put on show, together with informative wall panels and charts showing how every one of the products covered was so important to the company.

It was at this time - 2000 - that the company realised that the original (now known as ’Classic’ ) Range Rover had reached its thirtieth birthday (it had been launched in 1970). It had already gone through so many iterations that parts for earlier types were becoming scarce. Since this imposing four-wheel-drive estate car was based around the famous light-alloy V8 engine, with which the company was already familiar, and active in preserving, it was an ideal candidate to be added to their ever-expanding coverage of Rover-Triumph products.

Indeed it was, but supporting a large car sometimes meant large-sized parts - and a new headache in accommodating them all at Bracebridge Heath. Nothing daunted, that project went ahead, has matured, soon added the other, even more classic Land Rover models, to the range, which meant that Rimmer Bros. eventually became an authorised supplier of Land Rover parts and expertise for all types of Range Rovers and other Land Rover products. By this time, Bracebridge Heath enclosed no less than 75,000 sq.ft. of storage space on three floors.

It is worth recalling that the V8 engine was an important catalyst to this logical and sure-footed expansion, for that engine was used in Triumph sports cars, the evergreen Rover SD1 range, and in various Land Rover and Range Rover models. As Rimmer Bros, once proudly noted in their catalogue covering Land Rover Defenders: ’This was a natural move, as a vast number of Range Rovers are powered by the Rover V8 engine - a subject in which we specialise....’

Naturally it took time for the still maturing company to digest this new enterprise, but with a stable workforce, an ever-enthusiastic attitude to the parts and restoration business, and two founding brothers who still could not quite believe how the company had grown from that run by two oily-fingered men in a farm building just twenty years earlier, there was no lack of resolve, and a continual attempt to make excellent customer service even more successful in the future. Was it any wonder that Graham and Bill, then as in later years, could be seen enthusiastically commuting to and from the office in the type of Range Rovers that they admired so much?

The MG-Rover project
The year 2005 proved to be very important to Rimmer Bros.

First of all, Rimmer Bros. was proud to become an Authorised Land Rover Parts Distributor, which meant that they would have direct access to Land Rover parts for all models, and would also be able to offer their renowned and highly-regarded customer service facilities to modern Land Rover owners too.

The next step, which followed later in the same year, was that the company became involved, for the first time, in the MG-Rover business too.  BMW had owned the Rover Group for six years, then hived it off to what became known as the Phoenix consortium, while Land Rover was sold off to Ford. Early in the new century, much of the existing MG-Rover parts business was then hived off from Unipart, and allocated to XPart (a subsidiary of the Caterpillar corporation), which would handle its distribution.

Subsequently, XPart purchased the entire MG-Rover stock of parts from the Phoenix consortium, and the two Rimmer brothers saw yet another opportunity, which was to begin selling MG-Rover parts. This seemed to be, and was, a natural progression for the business, for Rimmer Bros. was already associated with the support through selling parts with other models, and other brands closely related to MG-Rover.

Events, though, were about to make a dramatic turn. MG-Rover ceased trading abruptly on 8 April, and there was absolutely no warning. Suddenly the production of all MG-Rover products closed down. MG-Rover owners, it seems, immediately began to panic.

The public conception was that all access to parts was lost, but the reality was that mountains of parts were still available. As with its on-going operation in supplying parts for Rover, Land Rover, Range Rover and Triumph products, Rimmers wanted to develop this new side of their ever-expanding business.

In August 2005, the company then bought the Parts operation of Wrights of Lincoln, an MG-Rover dealership local to the business, which was closing its doors as it had no cars to sell.

My first problem,’ Bill Rimmer says, ’was to get this new stock into safe storage here in Lincolnshire ....’

A large variety of bodywork, engine, transmission, chassis and electrical items was involved, which brought with them several problems (or, shall we say, opportunities?), the most pressing being to find adequate storage space. Because Bracebridge Heath was already fully developed, internally, and was showing all the signs of bursting at the seams, in 2007 an off-site warehousing complex at Skellingthorpe, Lincoln was purchased, which quickly started to fill up with MG-Rover stock. It is hardly surprising that after only four years this was almost full.

The good news was that Rimmers also took six highly-experienced staff members from Wrights, who brought in more than 100 years of combined experience in MG Rover BL/Rover parts operations. This meant that when Rimmers launched this new side to their business, they ’hit the ground running’. In the next two years demand, and sales, for all the company’s products rose fast, to record heights - and there was still a lot more to come.

Now with a full-time staff of 60, Rimmers immediately found themselves learning about - and servicing - the new technologies which this new venture brought on. It was yet another reason why the company expanded its range of catalogues - the total now being more than twenty, and still rising.

In the meantime, in 2006 one of the company’s most ambitious projects came to fruition, when the company learned that stock from the Indian company once set up to assemble Rover SD1s (a project, involving much Completely Knocked Down kit delivery from the UK, which foundered in 1987) was available for sale.

Making his one and only trip to India, Bill Rimmer was astounded to discover the sheer variety of what was available, for he found over six hundred unused and carefully preserved car kits in store in Chennai. Those kits were still packed in the original shipping crates, with delivery notes still attached as they had left Rover, in the UK, in 1986, and had stood untouched for twenty years.

Having seen what was available, Bill hoped that he could make haste to close a deal. for, as he recalls : ’I thought that this would secure the long-term parts supply for the Rover SD1 for a long, long, time....’

Haste, though, is a word interpreted in a different way in India, and it took months to finalise a deal. but finally the stock was re-imported (over twenty 40-foot containers were mainly involved), and integrated with existing Rimmers stock, such that the company’s SD1 catalogue soon proudly noted that: ’We now have thousands of previously unavailable parts in stock....’ - which, of course, also applies to all the ranges covered by the Rimmers business.

Even this did not bring the ever-evolving story of Rimmer Brothers up to date, where the addition of all the new product lines helped the business to double in size, once again, in five years - with no sign of this topping out. Co-founder Graham Rimmer is convinced that the development of the company’s latest website - which went live in 2009 and yes, you are reading one section of it, right now - is mainly responsible, as is our customers’ obvious determination to keep their cars on the road, in good condition.

And what are the plans for Rimmers’ immediate future? During 2012 and 2013 a new £1.2m warehouse was built alongside the existing building at Bracebridge Heath, which doubled the storage facilities to over 105,000sq ft. The new building created storage for new product lines and slower moving Triumph, Jaguar and Land Rover bulk items. It also allowed the opportunity to re-design the despatch and goods in areas, which included the installation of new technology for handling orders, new conveyors and packing machine equipment. The investment in systems, facilities and people has resulted in increased despatch and productivity efficiencies across the entire warehousing operation. New business opportunities have begun including a late (’96 on) Jaguar parts range and the expansion of parts supply for later model Land Rovers such as the Evoque, new generation Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery Sport, new generation Discovery, Range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-Pace.

As well as expanding in physical terms, Rimmer Bros has also been expanding into the virtual world of social media. The dedicated Facebook and Instagram pages regularly receive thousands upon thousands of interactions including photographs too.

As well as the knowledge of the highly experienced sales staff, since 2013 Rimmer Bros have been working on their YouTube channel, entitled RimmerBrosTV. Originally designed as an alternative piece of goodwill advice for owners wanting to have an in depth explanation of how to fit their parts, should they be of the enthusiast nature and inhabit their own garages with tools and cups of tea at the ready! It has now, however, expanded into a useful addition to the website in that you can buy parts and immediately have access to a fitting video for that part. This, like all developments pioneered by RimmerBros is something that will grow in the future

The business may be vastly bigger than was ever envisaged in 1982, yet there still seems to be so much to do. Although they continue to be enthusiastic supporters of all things Triumph, Bill and Graham are still convinced that there is scope for much more business connected with MG-Rover, Land Rover and Jaguar '96 on models, especially as latter day models such as the MGF, the MG ZT-T, and the ever-green Land Rover Defender and Discovery models are concerned. Gaining British Motor Heritage approval for Classic MG and Mini has also extended the parts coverage for older models.

2020 – The Pandemic
The flexibility and ingenuity of Bill and Graham and their team has certainly been tested as the company was deemed essential by the government, in that it remained open for mail order and the distribution of car parts for the country’s transport and production needs. At one point, there was even an order from the Ministry Of Defence as they looked to recommission a batch of older Land Rover Defenders that had been retired. Many farmers and customers in rural locations were kept on the road too as most of the Land Rover parts centres and suppliers across the UK closed their doors. Rimmer Bros were also responsible for keeping the Land Rovers of Western Power running so that they could continue to service their electricity network. Naturally, there were also the seemingly less important classic restoration projects that were dragged out of storage to rebuild or restore which in turn eased the inevitable boredom many car owners faced. Perhaps Rimmer Bros has also had a hand in maintaining the mental health of it's customers throughout these difficult months, certainly many are looking forward to a brighter future and going places in their cars.

Graham and Bill had long acknowledged the support of their loyal staff that had played a very big part in the company’s ever-evolving story. ’Without them’, Bill had noted, ’we would not be where we are today.’

This loyalty and flexibility was and still is tested as 29 office staff were relocated to work from home, essentially creating a network of home call centres (Not an inconsiderable logistical process in itself). The office retained a skeleton staff with stringent hygiene measures in place and the warehousing and packing activities were rearranged in order to not only maintain the health and safety of the staff but also the customers receiving their parcel orders.

The early practices of retaining large quantities of stock that had so petrified their bank manager in the early days, was to now become a key asset, as many of our suppliers closed down their operations temporarily. Our parts availability was maintained at an impressively high level of just 2% lower than normal and the purchase team managed to plug many gaps by sourcing alternative suppliers. Parts order collections from our building were made available. These collections were pre-arranged/paid and customers would collect their goods from a designated safe spot.

What was purely a Triumph-orientated operation in the 1980's has expanded mightily in recent years, such that the entire MG-Rover, Land-Rover/Range Rover, Rover, Triumph and ’96 on Jaguar marques are now covered. Not only with the supply of parts, but with individual enthusiasm coupled with the sheer amount of knowledge and expertise which has built up over the years with their hard-working staff of 86.

40 Years and counting....
Rimmer Bros has now reached its 40th Anniversary on 1st March 2022, with both Bill & Graham Rimmer still actively running the business.

The Anniversary comes 2 years on from the first UK national-wide lockdown in order to contain the spread of the virus and now with a complete mass vaccination, we are slowly returning to a sense of normality.

During the pandemic our Click & Collect service really came into fruition as we were forced to close our showroom doors to customers. This service was essential for those who still needed parts for their vehicles.

In April 2021 we saw the re-opening of our showroom and the welcoming of customers back to the counter for face-to-face parts ordering, click & collect and visiting our showroom cars for inspiration on their own projects, which they bought out of storage during the lockdown.

We have implemented a gradual return to office scheme for our dedicated staff who were relocated to work from home during the pandemic, by making the office a Covid secure area to ensure all are as safe as possible when they come to work.

As the ongoing vaccination program continues our staff continue to help Rimmer Bros meet the ever-changing needs of its loyal customer base, no matter what the Global situation may be. Maintaining the ‘Rimmer Bros Service’ of high-quality parts, excellent customer service and fast delivery and over 1000 years of combined knowledge & experience, has seen us continue to lead in the classic automotive parts industry for 40 years now.

With this huge milestone under our bonnet, we are running on all cylinders to keep serving our customers current & future needs with our top-notch customer service.

Here’s to 40 Years and counting...

Rimmer Brother Bill & Graham



Helpful Links

About Us
A 40 Year Story
Car Shows & Events