Haflinger Technik was created in June 2002, however its roots go back many years. In 1958, Mr Peter Ward and his wife Margaret established a motor vehicle business in the village of Lealholm, on the North Yorkshire Moors, trading as P & M Ward of Lealholm. Due to the remoteness of the village, Peter soon saw an opportunity for dealing in four wheel drive vehicles such as Land Rovers, WW2 jeeps etc. In the late ‘60's, Peter became aware of a new vehicle which was built in Austria by Steyr – Daimler – Puch (S.D.P.), called the “Haflinger”, and by the early 1970's P & M Ward became agents for SDP vehicles. The Haflinger was designed for the Austrian and Swiss armies as a small troop / missile carrier, but due to its small size, very high quality and renowned ability it was well suited to hill farmers and estates as a shepherding tool.
P & M Ward supplied Haflingers and spare parts in the Yorkshire area, and consequently for the petrol “Pinzgauer”, which was a larger vehicle built by SDP, but few of these were sold in the civilian market at the time due to their relatively high cost. This continued until a shock decision by SDP in 1974 to cease production of the Haflinger.
Peter Ward continued to supply parts for the Haflinger, and the occasional new Pinzgauer, and over time many of his fellow SDP agents across the UK and Europe decided to stop selling parts for the little 4x4, often selling their stocks to P & M Ward at this time. By the late 80's, parts were becoming scarce and there was little interest in the Haflinger, as it was by now too old for work and not regarded as a “Classic”, however Peter persevered, having some parts re manufactured and sourcing other parts from all over the world.
In the Nineties, the Swiss army began to sell off the Haflingers still in service, and Peter purchased large quantities of their stocks of spare parts. Approximately 3,000 army vehicles were disposed of and quickly snapped up by enthusiasts all across Europe, UK, Africa and the USA, adding to those already distributed in previous years when new. P & M Ward was now in a very strong position, holding the largest stock of parts in the world for these vehicles which were by now very sought after and appreciating in value rapidly, and in the hands of enthusiasts who now saw the potential to restore and preserve them.
In early 2002 Peter decided that he would like to semi retire from the motor trade approached myself as a long time enthusiast and friend, to ask if we would like to take over the Haflinger / Pinzgauer division of his business. We agreed, and in June 2002 the stock was transported to Scotland and the new company, “Haflinger Technik” was established. The next chapter in the story has begun !