Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business Blog: An interview with the owner Paul Lucas.

Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business - Birthday Plymrads 40th - Plymouth Radiators Ltd

The average age of a company in the UK is 8.6 years (March 2022). This has gradually declined from 10.7 years since 2000. Unfortunately, many businesses never make it past the five-year mark. This however is not the case for Plymouth Radiators.

To mark this momentous achievement, we conducted an interview with Paul Lucas, owner of Plymouth Radiators. We spoke about all things Plymouth Radiators – including the weird, wacky, and wonderful projects he’s worked on through the years!

Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business - Supercar - Plymouth Radiators Ltd
Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business - Classic Car Front Shot - Plymouth Radiators Ltd

Tell us something people may not know about you?

Well, I’m an open book! My name is Paul Lucas and I’m the owner of Plymouth Radiators. Alongside my work here, I like to restore antique collectables and vintage signs.

What inspired you to take on Plymouth Radiators?

I first started here as a Saturday boy in 1983, I then started working evenings after school! It sort of grew from there! At one point I did consider coming away from Plymouth Radiators and starting up my own business, but my boss here at the time said if I stuck around, I would own this place one day! Well, he was right. A funny story about that time is that when I was working here in the evenings after school, my careers teacher came in to see my boss and I was the one who repaired the radiator for his car! We have been friends since then, and last week he asked me if I wanted to buy that car I worked on so many years ago!

What has been your proudest moment at Plymouth Radiators?

Taking over ownership in 2004.

What is the coolest project you have worked on?

There have been so many! I’m not allowed to talk about all of them, as a lot of them have links to some pretty high-profile people such as the likes of the Beatles. The few that stand out though are a 1927 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, The Batmobile, a 1929 6.5 litre Bentley Blower and a Type 41 Bugatti.

Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business - Classic Car - Plymouth Radiators Ltd
Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business - Classic Car Closeup - Plymouth Radiators Ltd

What is the most major challenge you have faced?

Well from a project standpoint a 1924 Bentley took me almost 300 hours to finish! For the business I would say the most challenging thing we have faced would be returning back to business after a catastrophic fire in 2015. This showed the unshakable commitment that the Plymouth Radiators team had to the business.

What is something you’ve learned at Plymouth Radiators?

The golden rule! Treat others how you would like to be treated. Respect makes the world go round, and treating your customers with respect is the foundational block to long term loyalty to you and your business. I like my customers to feel listened to, and know that their opinion is valued so we can build ongoing relationships. Another thing I have learned is how important it is to move with the times!

How does Plymouth Radiators stand out from other organisations?

We don’t believe that anything is ever fully broken. We like to think that anything we work on can be repaired or improved from its current state. We also never throw anything away, regardless of the size. We see the use in everything and hate to put good things to waste.

What has been the most surprising thing to come across your desk since you’ve been at Plymouth Radiators?

Oh, we get everything! False teeth for repair, spectacles, obscure antiques oh, and the other day we had a three-legged bronze horse. We also get lots of people asking us for advice on more or less everything!

Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business - Paul Owner - Plymouth Radiators Ltd
Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business - Purple Class Car - Plymouth Radiators Ltd

Lastly, if you could instantly fly all the Plymouth Radiators employees to any destination for an anniversary celebration, where would it be?

Home haha! No, I think we would have to go to the Ice Hotel in Sweden from James Bond’s Die Another Day. We have worked on a few Bond cars and Aston Martins so perhaps that’s what puts me in the mood!

Is there anything more you would like to add?

Plymouth Radiators has just been something I’ve grown with, there is no other place like it. I really enjoy everything it brings to me and my family, I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands (and luckily been quite good at it!) and Plymouth Radiators has allowed me to apply that skill.

Plymouth Radiators 40 Years in Business - Ice Hotel - Plymouth Radiators Ltd