About Monarch Stags
In 1972 Jonathan Finnis, his wife and 2 small children decided to leave the strike and rain-ridden UK and emigrate to the sunnier climes of South Africa. An electro-mechanical engineer, he got himself a job in Johannesburg through his UK business contacts, sold the house and made arrangements for the move. The idea was to buy a brand new Stag (then £2000 tax free for export) and take it with them. He then found out the SA regulations stipulated that to qualify for duty-free import of a car into South Africa you had to have owned it for at least 6 months in your country of origin. This meant waiting and naturally enough Jonathan's new employers would not agree. Also as he didn't fancy going ahead of the family for that long the plan had to be shelved. Not until 15 years later when he returned to England in 1987 to live did ownership of a Stag once more become a possibility. He bought a bog-standard 1976 manual in BRG with tan interior. He loved his Stag (well, we all do don't we), and drove it happily for a year or so in standard form. He then decided he could do with a bit more power... and then better brakes and then the handling could do with a bit of improvement too and then and then ... so after 10 or so years of development the old Stag now had a 3.9 litre 265 bhp electronic fuel injected Rover V8 with stage 3 heads, lightened flywheel, modified plenum, a 5-speed Rover gearbox, a complete BMW 3-series rear suspension/ transmission transplant with 3.07:1 ratio limited-slip diff, 4-pot calipers with ventilated disc brakes on the front and disc brakes on the back to mention but a few of the modifications carried out on the car.
This was Jonathan's prototype and test-bed for every product that he was to offer other Stag owners. Every part without exception was tested on this car. Thus the 'Monarch' Stag, the basis for the new business was born.
Over the development of Jonathan's Stag one thing that he found extremely irksome was the poor quality of many of the standard spares. It didn't seem to matter which supplier he used, quality was an issue with all of them. It might be the brand new chrome door mirrors which pitted within ONE year on the car, even though it was kept in a dry, heated brick garage, or the so-called reconditioned drive shafts which were supplied without a word with 25 year old worn splines which had no means of greasing from new and were fit only for the dustbin. After fitting the fourth "recon" diff and spending £3000 on the heads he decided this cannot be right and resolved that everything supplied by Monarch would be top quality from suppliers he personally knew and trusted and continually monitored for quality.