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FAI Automotive plc has evolved out of motorsport, with its attendant high standards of technical, logistical and administrative efficiency. Ian Walker, our founder was a semi-professional racing and rally driver from 1956 to 1962, when he retired from driving and formed Ian Walker Racing (IWR).

This was a fully professional four-car race team, which campaigned all over Europe and North America with considerable success. Apart from two contracted drivers, the team was fortunate to have the services on an occasional basis, of such drivers as Jimmy Clark, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart. When IWR was closed down in 1968, its assets and some of the personnel were integrated into Ian Walker Service – a garage business – which specialised in the sale and service of high performance cars, particularly Lotus. It also produced and marketed performance conversions, such as camshafts, cylinder heads, inlet and exhaust manifolds and eventually competition engines.

In 1974 we commenced engine re-conditioning for road cars and consequently were regrinding road camshafts and, due to the cost of engine parts prevailing then, began sourcing outside of the franchised networks. As we built up stock holding and availability for ourselves, we saw a market opportunity to offer a range of engine parts to the engine reconditioning industry.

Commencing in 1976 the small range offered included re-profiled camshafts, followers, tappets, rocker shafts, oil pump repair kits, timing chains, and core plugs. We started with an 8 part range consisting of a total of only 135 part numbers, and were operating out of a premises comprising of 2,250 square feet.

We now operate out of a premises covering 110,000 square feet, our current range of products consists of over 25 product lines, 40,000 part numbers covering 100+ vehicle manufacturers and at any time, our average parts inventory totals over 5,000,000 items.

Over the years we have made significant investments to the product ranges we have on offer. In 2015 our Gaskets and Head Bolts saw over 2,000 part numbers introduced, Steering and Suspension currently boasts over 5,000 part numbers, while our Timing Chain Kits offer the most comprehensive kits in terms of content but also car parc coverage found in the market today. We are also the sole UK authorised distributor of the industry leading Lucas Glow Plugs which consists of over 150 part numbers.

We are continually making additions to all of our product ranges, while introducing whole new product lines like our new Sump Pans, Torsional Vibration Dampers and Oil Control Valves.

Here at FAI we believe our continuing success has been achieved by maintaining certain key principles:

  • Technical Excellence
  • Quality Products
  • Superb Valve for Money
  • High Picking Rate – 98%>
  • First Class Cataloguing
  • Outstanding Customer Relations
  • 1954

    The First Rally

    Ian Walker’s first major rally.




  • 1962

    Where it all began

    The birth of Ian Walker Racing Limited.




  • 1970

    IWR into Blue Flash

    Ian Walker Racing began its transition into Blue Flash.




  • 1974

    Engine Reconditioner

    Blue Flash Products commence engine re-conditioning for road cars.




  • 1976


    Blue Flash Products develops itself as a reputable brand for engine rebuilding and associated products.




  • 1983

    Birth of FAI

    Blue Flash Products becomes FAI and extends its business.

    FAI = Flexatherm Automotive International.


  • 1990

    MLS Gaskets

    FAI add the first of many MLS gaskets to the range, the first part number being HG907.




  • 1994

    Goodyear Engineered Product

    FAI partner with Goodyear Engineered Product to be the UK distributor. This partnership lasted up until 2012.




  • 2000

    Growth of FAI

    FAI’s premises grew from 2,250 square feet to over 67,500 feet, slowly taking over the trading estate unit by unit.




  • 2000

    ISO Accreditation

    FAI receive their ISO accreditation




  • 2002

    FAI launch their online presence, the website growing as the years progress.




  • 2006

    Laser Welded Gaskets

    FAI introduces the first laser welded head gaskets to range.




  • 2006

    Lucas Diesel

    FAI are appointed the Lucas Diesel distributor for European markets.




  • 2007


    FAI begin listing their products on Tecdoc and achieve an A rating as a data supplier.




  • 2007

    Online catalogue

    FAI launch their online catalogue which has continued to improve and make an easier platform for customers.




  • 2008

    Back from the ashes

    The company overcame a fire at its warehouse where 1.4 million pounds worth of damage was caused by the fire. FAI didn’t miss a day of operation and came back strong from this huge event.




  • 2010

    Timing Chain Kits

    FAI introduce a range of Timing Chain Kits that soon explodes to over 400 references and sees FAI positioned as the leader in the Aftermarket.




  • 2016

    1 000 000 units

    FAI achieve the milestone of selling 1,000,000 steering parts in a 12 month period, a first for themselves.




  • 2017

    Oil Control Valves

    Due to the massive success of Timing Chain Kits, FAI introduce a new range of Oil Control Valves.




  • 2017

    Sump Pans

    FAI continues to expand its product offering with Oil Sump Pans as this compliments many existing ranges.



  • 2017

    Torsional Vibration Dampers

    FAI launches a range of top quality Torsional Vibration Dampers complementing their other bottom engine products.




  • 2018

    Queens Award

    FAI has been specifically recognised for the outstanding growth in International Trade, one of four categories within the Queen’s Award for Enterprise program. An awards dinner was held where HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis proudly presented the award to the staff of FAI.

  • 2018

    International Track 200

    The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 is a prestigious award that ranks the highest achieving UK companies based on international growth. FAI is ranked 143rd in an article published in the Sunday times, which is viewed by 3 million readers; a figure that encompasses 54% of the business elite audience.

  • 2018

    Wheel Bearing Kits

    During the month of November 2018, FAI launch a brand new range featuring 200 references; covering 85% vehicle parc for popular European & Asian manufacturers and provides bearings for 42,000 application variants.

  • 2019

    International Track 200...Again!

    The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 is a prestigious award that ranks the highest achieving UK companies based on international growth. FAI is lucky enough to win it for the second year in a row and ranked 183rd in the league table.