Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

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Chas
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Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Chas » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:06 pm

Hi Stringray

"With hindsight I can only agree with you but they did rectify it which to me shows some consientiousness on their part plus a desire to improve (which is somewhat at odds with a slipping standards narrative)." Maybe more of a "conscientiousness" to stay in business if the truth's known.

I've just read a post about KP Morritt's new metal finishing machine. I don't know when they installed this machine but I was given an Intrepid Elite as a Christmas present by my parents. I'm pretty sure that it would have been in 1964 or latest, 1965. Mine definitely had the satin finish on the bright-work and the reason that it is imprinted on my mind is that I lost the drag nut after only a week or two (I dropped it, it bounced and fell in the water). I bought a replacement from the tackle shop but this one was bright chrome. I'm also pretty sure that mine also had what we call the third version bail arm mechanism (i.e. the plunger rather than the release "switch").

I also remember reading somewhere that KP Morritt changed their painting process (not sure when or where I read it) but this is probably when the gloss finish came in. I have a memory of a friend's father buying an Elite, not long after I got mine (so that would have been 1965 or 1966) and I'm sure that it had the gloss finish (because I remember not liking the look of it so much).

In conclusion, I now think that it is highly likely that both the change from bright chrome to satin finish on the bright-work and the change from eggshell to gloss paint were not in any way connected with any mechanical changes such as bail arm release mechanisms or metal gears.

There is an advert on this forum which shows what we all seem to agree is a "first version" Elite that is stated to originate from 1961. There must be dozens of other old KP Morritt advertisements from the 1960s and they would probably the only clues we will ever have to approximate dates for the changes.

Cheers

Chas

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Stingray
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Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Stingray » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:59 pm

Hi, Chas.

The question of incremental evolution vs punctuated equilibruim may never be answered but I favour some combination of the two - ie. changes were being applied ad hoc throughout the production life of a reel and also some sets of changes were being deliberately applied together to create either official or unheralded new versions - the changing reels being the result of a mixture of both processes.

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Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Stingray » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:06 pm

Chas wrote: "With hindsight I can only agree with you but they did rectify it which to me shows some consientiousness on their part plus a desire to improve (which is somewhat at odds with a slipping standards narrative)." Maybe more of a "conscientiousness" to stay in business if the truth's known.
Of course - they were a business just like any other - nothing wrong with that. I have always tried to apply cold logic to the info I have on them but I have been reading a slight negative spin in some of your comments - the metal gear is an improvement however you look at it and companies' need for more money can drive both cost cutting and improvement - sometimes both at once.

DAVE.

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Chas
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Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Chas » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:43 pm

Hi Dave

You're not related to Ken Morritt by any chance are you?

It wasn't just KP Morritts that suffered from poor quality control, it was pretty much all of British Industry, aviation included and, things had been like that for a very long time. It wasn't just British industry either, it was practically all industry worldwide (you could almost watch Lancias rusting away before your very eyes and it was easy to watch them because they hardly ever run for long enough to move). Remember, the Japs came along in the 1970s and kicked everybody's butt by building cheap products that worked well and were reliable. Some people would say that the Japs killed off our motorbike industry but really, we killed it off by building out of date products to a poor quality. We rested on our laurels for far too long like a lot of other manufacturers in a lot of other countries did.

I think that British engineers are more capable of designing good products and systems than the Japanese (I've worked with the Japanese) and are as good as anybody anywhere. Unfortunately and up until quite recently, other nations especially the Japanese, have been far more capable than us of getting items into viable economic production and especially maintaining quality.

Cheers

Chas

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Chas
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Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Chas » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:47 pm

Greetings All

I seem to be becoming an Intrepid Elite Anorak so I'm giving up after this.

Regarding Stingrays point about incremental evolution vs punctuated equilibrium: as far punctuated equilibrium is concerned; we appear to have three very distinct bail arm arrangements. These three types would all be immediately recognisable in period literature. I've also found a couple of other, what you might call "incremental evolutionary" changes that I wasn't aware of before so I'll try and amend the list based upon what I believe now. Note, I say believe, not know for certain,

The reel started out with a release "switch" on the rotor for the bail arm, the bail arm folds flat, Tru Play (3 way) check, nylon gears, bright chrome type finish to bright-work which appears well finished but many now (not all) appear pitted, handle is attached by a screw that passes straight the main drive shaft and the only threaded part for the screw to locate is the opposite side of the handle, body and rotor castings look good, good eggshell finish to paintwork, nameplate has PAT No 798,024 written on diagonal below "Elite", hourglass shaped winding knob. Also, it would seem that the tell tale clicker spring in the spool is straight and points from the outside towards the centre. There is a picture of such a reel earlier in this thread and I don't think there is any doubt that this is how the Elite started out.

The first, in my opinion, "incremental evolutionary" change we know about is that the hourglass shaped winding knob was replaced with a conical type knob common to later production. I wouldn't say that a change of winding knob only constitutes a different version. I have one at this stage that I bought as a source of spare parts. I can post pictures if there is any doubt but they are quite common and often in less than good condition.

Version 2?: The completely redesigned bail arm pivot assembly with plunger release which also involved modified rotor could be considered as punctuated equilibrium. Other changes that may have happened at the same time as part of that punctuation or could just be other incremental evolutionary" changes are: redesigned check mechanism (still 3 way but works better this time), satin aluminium type finish to bright-work which also appears well finished like the first version but none seen so far seen appear to be pitted, the main drive shaft is now threaded part for the handle retaining screw to locate into which provides more secure and positive fixing, nameplate has PAT No 798,024 written on horizontal above MADE IN ENGLAND. The tell tale clicker spring in the spool was at some point changed so that it initially pointed to the outside of the spool then curves round to face the centre.

I have two of these, they are both the same and these seem to be the most common type. The bail arm still folds flat and they still have nylon gears.

After the introduction of version 2, there are two more, arguably, "incremental evolutionary" changes: one, the nylon main gear was replaced with a metal (probably Mazak) version and the paint finish was changed from eggshell to almost a gloss. (I'm sure I read about a change of painting process somewhere). Some at this time also had a sticker on the rotor boasting of the roller in the bail arm but not sure if all had the sticker or even how easy to remove.

Version 3?: The bail arm pivot assembly was modified again, still with a similar plunger release but with a larger pivot and the bail arm still folds flat. Either before or after the introduction of version 3, there are, in my opinion, not so much "incremental evolutionary" changes but a fall in quality: bright-work not as well finished as before with casting seams not polished out and body and rotor castings looking poorer than before with visible defects.

I also have one of these.

Cheers

Chas

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Tonkin Wand
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intrepid reel "Elite"Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Tonkin Wand » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:22 pm

Hi , I found this old thread on Elite reels and my have to offer this. Somewhere in the steam computer I have an small anouncement in a Fishing mag that states that Morritts were about to change their production to a new /additional facility at North Cheam not the Sunningdale Ave site which would remain. At the new site a new process would be introduced hence the low shine chrome finish. If any one is interested I will look it out, the mag being dated. Also as a throw away tip .The blank cap on the unused spindle is often lost. A very good temporary replacement is a valve cap off a motor car wheel it looks the part and of course black. If not satisfied with the fit P.T.F. tape. Tight lines

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Nobby
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Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Nobby » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:57 am

I was told by local Phil Waller that they had a factory in nearby Gander Green Lane. He wrote a couple of little books on collecting reels, so he is surely qualified.

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Paul D
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Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Paul D » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:21 pm

Still got mine, still love it, glad this thread has been resurrected. :cheers:
Oh, is Chas still around?
" I have no intention of changing my habits and fully intend to become even more weird as I age."
The Old Buffer

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Stingray
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Re: intrepid reel "Elite"Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Stingray » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:52 pm

Tonkin Wand wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:22 pm
Hi , I found this old thread on Elite reels and my have to offer this. Somewhere in the steam computer I have an small anouncement in a Fishing mag that states that Morritts were about to change their production to a new /additional facility at North Cheam not the Sunningdale Ave site which would remain. At the new site a new process would be introduced hence the low shine chrome finish. If any one is interested I will look it out, the mag being dated.
Always interested in info regarding Morritts etc - thanks for the offer and yes please.

PS. The low shine chrome is known as satin chrome.

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Paul_V
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Re: Question Regarding Intrepid Elite Variations

Post by Paul_V » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:52 am

I'm another sucker for intrepid reels. all my first reels were intrepids.
getting a pretty decent collection of them too.

keep the info coming

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