RR :: Summer 2017

NeilsRollsRoyce - 2017_NeilFraser_RR_001.jpgMay 2017

With money running out, I decided to spend time taking apart things that wouldn’t cost me anything apart from time. How wrong I was…

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Rear door panel, not to RR standards

Most of the rear end suffered from woodwork rot and old age, crumbling in your fingers, oh dear!NeilsRollsRoyce - 2017_NeilFraser_RR_003.jpg


Where do you get rubber door alignment bushes?

Today, 27th May 2017 was a special day, as I woke up having passed my karate Black Belt grading, so thought I should spend money I don’t have – don’t we all…..

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At €75 per wheel for blasting and powder coating, it looks a good deal for a “tyred” old wheel!





The Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club

meeting Enniskillen 19th -21st May 2017

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Silver Ghost,

After weeks of hard graft, I decided to see some “finished products” to help see where all the bits go and to re-motivate myself.  There are 70 RR/Bentley owners in Ireland, roughly split 50/50 North and South.  I hadn’t met any before and wasn’t sure what to expect

This Silver Ghost, worth €1.3m was recently rebuilt by James Black Restorations Lisburn, who also restore the famous IRA Yellow Silver Ghost, set fire and dumped in a bog near Cork in the 1930’s before being found 85 years later and fully restored.

http://www.irishexaminer.com  See the story on The Examiners site

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This was a 20hp 1927 model, similar to my own, which also has 4 wheels but not any other similarity.



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1935 20/25 Harrods

This 1935 20/25 Harrods beauty was rebuilt at the request of Mohamed Al-Fayed, for delivery to local customers. Bet Headfords Joyce’s supermarket wouldn’t bother with a 20-year-old knackered van…





NeilsRollsRoyce - RollsRoyce1929_NF_PART7_001.png Today began on a high, as I found out that the delivery dates for the 52 items being made by the Galway engineering firm, will probably be 4- 8 weeks later than I planned . . .

I will have spare cash in June to get the sandblasting done on the chassis and silica blasting on the aluminium body (or what’s left of it after the heavy corrosion).

I also decided that Chrome plating: P100 lights, door handles, bonnet handles, bonnet locking units, door handle fixings, front window surround, floor strips and 2 brackets, so off to WeChrome in Dublin this week for €670.


This plating facility has been going for years, as you can quickly see, so I am sure their experience will turn these corroded bits into shining bling……

NeilsRollsRoyce - RollsRoyce1929_NF_PART7_002.pngThe rear chassis, whilst very rusty isn’t too bad, a few minutes under the sandblasting gun will see if it’s workable, however the woodwork attached to it is just very rotten – that’s being generous!

NeilsRollsRoyce - RollsRoyce1929_NF_PART7_003.pngWiring on the alternator may need a tidy up.


rest of the wiring wasn’t looking so smart, but at least I have a template to work from…

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Decided to look at the interior this week.

So, I began stripping the doors down mechanisms apart to get that famous door “clunk” only from slowly closing a RR door.


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This was how I got it
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Stripping down a bit – nothing found in the door!


Not as Mr Royce would have planned, after only 88 years or a bit less with the replacement body in the 1930’s.

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Broken return spring, so no “clunk” possible….

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Sometimes, I get the feeling that restoring an old car is like an architectural dig, you find bits of old twisted metal, wonder who made it, what purpose it served and then wonder how you can replicate it accurately, so my Royce would be happy….

NeilsRollsRoyce - RollsRoyce1929_NF_Part8_005.pngThese bits at the base of the radiator mounting probably help align the radiator and keep it 3mm above the chassis – why, is nobodies guess. The lower bracket is almost new, the upper bit, less so !

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Waiting patiently for glass and sand blasting and a new colour – undercoat grey!

Mid July 2017

The seats are in a very bad state, woodwork in the frame, leather bad been repaired around 25 years ago, not very well and material hard with age and lack of NeilsRollsRoyce - RollsRoyce1929_NF_Part9_002.pngmaintenance, so needing a total re-make.

NeilsRollsRoyce - RollsRoyce1929_NF_Part9_001.pngI was quoted by a Dublin company around €7.2k for just labour (180 hours min) for making a new interior, material extra and this would cover seats, interior panels, headlining and possibly making a sliding roof, but that was unclear.

They wouldn’t quote the materials, so I had to find a local supplier who was more reasonable.



I took the seats in March to Castlebar company, who said they were too rotten but would find someone who may be willing to assist me. In July, I talked to my delivery driver Jimmy Towey, he gave me the name of Martin Niland, a lovely semi-retired gent from Kilkelly, Co Mayo.

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The Crossley when new

Martin was a man who could tell stories for Ireland, his best was his story of the 1919 Rolls in the Lake (which later turned out to be a Crossley 25/30) which he found after 70 years in the water and says he will restore. This may be hard, as he has little left of it and he is getting on a bit. An American journalist wanted to produce a film about it and even Rolls Royce technical guys came to inspect the chassis, then sadly informing him it was Crossley and not RR.

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The car was supposedly stolen, shot at by the British in Lucan and the 3 bullet holes are still in the fuel tank above.

The IRA kept the car running for 150 miles to Co Mayo, stripped it completely, engine went south and car went into a watery grave to the British wouldn’t find it.

Ignore the radiator, as it’s from his real rolls, but there for show. Martin explained that gangs likes driving Rolls Royce’s, as they were fast and quiet, unlike other cars of their era. His real Rolls is a 1963 Silver Cloud, a converted hearse, chassis LCC33 but in even worse condition than my own, which is hard to believe, but gives me hope