E.B.(STAFFS) LTD. Keele Street works, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.
John and Wilf Edwards first advertised their shells for sale in April 1959. Intended for the Ford chassis they were sold as just the front and rear sections with instructions on how to make the doors out of aluminium so as to fit the wheelbase of your choice, all for £39.
John Edwards original drawing of the EB 50
After this one advert in Car Mechanics, plus another one in August the same year offering a wide range of accessories as well as the body shell, the work load got so bad that the two brother had to give up their day jobs and look for some premises. Initially they had been selling the cars from a rented shop in Newcastle and having the shells made by Wilson's a coach-building firm of Newcastle (Staffs). But in January 1960 they bought an old pottery in Tunstall Stoke-on Trent.
EB 50 photographed 2005 Historic Specials Day
Soon the waiting list was sixteen weeks long. With Wilson's being unable to cope with more than eight shells a week another set of moulds were made and then another. Such was the demand that even producing fifteen shells a week, they still had a waiting list of sixteen/eighteen weeks.
During the early part of 1960 elder brother Sid was asked to join the family firm taking over the administration and in July 1960 the EB 60 was announced. The earlier model was now called the 50 and was still available in its basic form. The 60, priced at £101.15.0 came self coloured in red, primrose, white, blue or green and was complete with properly moulded returns to the wing edges, had double skinned bonnet lid and doors, plus a windscreen, (from a Wolseley 1500 rear) bulkhead and dashboard. A hardtop was also available at £18.18.0. A lot of the 60`s were sold complete with a boxed Ford chassis (£136.5.0) and a few months later EB announced their own ladder chassis.
The EB 93 chassis had unequal length wishbones and coil sprung dampers to the front with quarter elliptic springs, lever arm dampers and a panhard rod to the rear. With rack and pinion steering the cost of the chassis was £86.
Then at the Racing Car show in January 1961 the brothers announced
I think the best way to describe the beautiful Debonair is to leave it to John Edwards:
"In producing the EB Debonair the object has been to provide a car body which in design and finish would stand more than favourable comparison with any medium priced production car. The elegant styling and standard of finish will appeal not only to the sporting enthusiast, but to the motorist who requires for general use a car with individuality.
The inside of the doors and rear quarters are fully panelled and the headlining is also fitted. The dashboard with padded and leather covered top, embodies a beautiful walnut grained facia edged in chrome and this decorative feature is continued along the waist rails of the doors and rear quarter panels. Wind up windows separate quarter lights are fitted to the doors, together with push-button rotary locks, internal handles being recessed immediately in front of the built in armrest".
Designed to fit the new EB93, or the Ford 7`6" chassis prices started at £238. By 1962 it was also available with flooring to suite LMB, CRS and other flat floor type chassis priced at £148 plus another £35 for the floor.
John Edwards LMB Debonair
Only 55 Debonair's were produced, but a whopping 2000, 50 and 60 models were made, and from July 1961 the price of the EB 50 was down to an amazing £29. Surly the lowest price ever for a shell.
Also in 1961 Peter Morgan contacted the company with regard to making him a body shell. Hence the Morgan 4 plus 4 plus was born, although never achieving the orders that they had hoped for.
By late 1962 the sports car side of the business had declined and the company were doing a lot of work for local process engineering firm William Boulten LTD. This eventually led to a joint partnership of the two companies and the brothers selling the Keele Street works to Boultens, but they only merged the process engineering part of their company leaving them to carry on with their body shells and general mouldings on the other side of the street in a building they were renting. Then in the summer of 1964 The company was sold to ERF, for whom EB (Staffs) were making cab panels and front wings amongst other things. It was to be another three or four years before John, Sid and Wilf eventually left the E.B. companies altogether.