Bentley - B-79-KU

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre
Year of Manufacturer:1937
Chassis No.:B-79-KU
Coachwork:H J Mulliner
Body Style:Drophead coupé
Restored:N/A

Alpine Eagle are proud to be offering this wonderful 1937 Derby Bentley 4¼ Litre Drop Head Coupe (CVB 702) with disappearing hood. With all matching numbers this car was supplied to its first owner Mr S.F. Ely after the 1937 London Motor Show where the car was used By H.J. Mulliner as their show exhibit that year.

The Bentley chassis carries the extremely handsome original drop head coachwork by H.J. Mulliner with a fully disappearing hood in the open position. The Bentley also has the spare wheel mounted semi-recessed in the bootlid in a sporting manner. The Bentley currently finished in gloss black with beige leather and carpets still presents very well since extensive restoration work around 1980, notably the Bentley received a new ash frame at this point.

The Bentley was shown extensively including concours events since restoration and passed through a handful of owners before arriving back in the Uk. Obtained by the current family in 2010 the Bentley was re-instated with the original registration number and has been lovingly cared for and maintained to a high standard with ourselves. We have carried out various restoration works to the mechanical parts of the chassis and engine. Major works include a full spring and damper overhaul along with a new set of leather spring gaiters, a full re-wire in period correct cloth covered wire, refinishing of the wooden cappings, a full set of wheels rebuilt and shod with new tyres. A modern Paynes overdrive has been fitted for relaxed touring.

The Bentley having completed several tours to the continent is ready for touring and enjoying. A full annual service and check will be completed before sale. Viewing is advised and is by appointment only.

Price: £220,000

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Rolls Royce 25/30

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:25/30
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:Gurney Nutting
Body Style:3 position drophead coupe
Restored:N/A

May 2017 - another exciting project for the Alpine Eagle team which we are due to begin shortly; this delightfully handsome 25/30 has been resting peacefully in a garage for the last few years; the car is remarkably sound and mechanically very good and we will be recommissioning the car and testing to ensure reliability; we will be carrying out a body and cosmetic restoration to the remainder of the car

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Bentley - B-171-MX

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre
Year of Manufacturer:1939
Chassis No.:B-171-MX
Coachwork:Alpine Eagle
Body Style:Vanvooren style, 2 door drophead coupe
Restored:Currently

Overview - May 2017 - another exciting project into the Alpine Eagle workshop, this chassis is another barn-find discovery; repatriated back to the UK from Canada in 2016, B-171-MX was acquired after some short negotiations by the current owner; amazingly the engine oil was changed, a new set of plugs fitted, a few tweaks and some fresh petrol the engine fired up, a little smokey so the decision was made to remove the head to inspect the condition of the engine; needless to say the engine has now been completely stripped and cleaned and is now at the machine shop awaiting the works for a complete overhaul; the decision has been made to completely restore the chassis to concourse standards and have us build a 2 door drop head coupe in the style of Vanvooren; the chassis has been completely stripped of pipes, fittings, drive train etc. and is currently 'bare bones'; the shock absorbers have been stripped and fully rebuilt along with a few other chassis components; whilst this has been happening the chassis has been paint stripped and cleaned by hand until every last piece of paint and surface corrosion has been removed; the chassis has so far received several coats of paint with flatting between coats for a smooth finish; the brake equalizers and cross shafts etc. have been stripped, cleaned, reassembled and repainted; and very shortly they will be refitted to the chassis!

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Rolls Royce Phantom III - 3-BT-103

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom III
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:3-BT-103
Coachwork:H J Mulliner
Body Style:Sedanca Coupe
Restored:Currently

Overview - May 2017 - an exciting new project for the team here at Alpine Eagle, arriving with us shortly after Christmas 2015, this true and one of the last important barn finds is about to receive an exacting restoration which the car undoubtedly deserves; 3-BT-103 is fitted with its original stunning two door coachwork by H. J Mulliner; located in England this car has been barn stored for the best part of 40 years; astonishingly the body work and panel work seem in remarkable condition; whist the engine was dissembled and spread around we have used our extensive knowledge to locate all parts but a few nuts and bolts; we have already begun work dry assembling the engine to see what other parts may be missing and we are happy that the engine is complete and have now started the pulling down procedure to begin machine work; the body has also started to receive attention in the way of paint removal and so far the only damage found is a small dent on the rear!

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Riley RM

Manufacturer:Riley
Model:RM
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:TBA

Latest Update:

May 2016 - new to us, in the workshop for minor paint repairs and for minor mechanical works

August 2016 - minor mechanical work completed; minor paint repairs turned into a bigger job as the ash frame inside the door was damaged; repairs were made to the framework and door made to fit correctly before repainting and reassembling; the car was returned to its owner in the summer.

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Rolls Royce Phantom III 3-AX-59

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom III
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:3-AX-59

Latest Update:

May 2016 - new to us, this car is here for replacement of the carburettor as the incorrect unit has been previously fitted; fitting of drains to the sedanca roof and renewal of the headlining

April 2017 - now back with us under new ownership 3-AX-59 has been undergoing some major chassis works along with minor mechanical works; over the last few months 3-AX-59 has been subjected to a complete front and rear suspension and steering joint overhaul including kingpins etc.; the non original carburettor has been removed and replaced with an original type carburettor and rebuilt with a new float chamber; 3-AX-59's engine has had the sludge traps stripped and cleaned out along with the sump and associated parts; the exhaust reset; new engine and gearbox mounts and various other mounts and drives replaced; the engine vibration damper has been overhauled and re-faced along with a full service and a fresh set of tyres; only in recent days have we been able to get out on the road to carry out tuning; the car is running well and will hopefully be out on tours and at events very shortly

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Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Silver Ghost
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:Barker

Latest Update:

May 2016 - new to us, this car is here for minor jobs and to rectify the rough running of engine

April 2017 - minor running issues sorted out; inline sediment bowl and filter fitted to stop particles entering carburettor and causing rough running; returned to owner and used regularly

Rolls Royce 20/25

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:20/25
Year of Manufacturer:1934
Coachwork:Owen Gurney Nutting
Body Style:Drophead

FOR SALE:

Three position drophead coachwork by Owen Gurney Nutting finished in a very attractive colour scheme of coffee and cream with brown coach lining.

The car has been the subject of extensive restoration works and this is reflected in its current condition.

The elegant lines of this design are still regarded as being one of the most desirable bodies built on pre-war Rolls Royce and Bentley models.

Equipped with a modern overdrive, the car can now comfortably keep up with modern traffic and is a joy to drive.

The small and large tool sets come with the car to complete the package.

The car will be serviced prior to sale ready for touring.

P.O.A.

Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom II
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:Park Ward
Body Style:Sedanca de Ville

FOR SALE:

An elegant Sedanca de Ville Coachwork by Park Ward finished in light green with olive green interior and roof

This lovely car underwent extensive restoration around a decade ago, now mellowing delightfully with use

Recent expenditure on engine; very good condition and maintained to a high standard

Well documented history folder and comes complete with a small and a large tool kit

The vehicle will be serviced before sale

A superb car ready for gentle long distance touring

P.O.A

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Rolls Royce Silver Dawn

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Silver Dawn
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:Standard Steel saloon

Latest Update:

May 2015 - currently with us for a complete repaint to original colours along with a re-trim; currently the car is completely stripped of brightwork and interior; the engine has been removed and the front of the chassis has been cleaned, paint stripped and repainted in the correct finish along with suspension and steering components; the bulkhead has been stripped and refinished prior to refitting of various components; minor bodywork repairs and general alignment is now complete and the car will be heading to the body shop to begin the painting process shortly

​May 2016 - bodywork completed and fully aligned; now completely repainted, some chrome parts refinished along with a refinish of the road wheels; the engine has been refinished along with ancillaries to original specifications and refitted to the chassis; the brakes have been inspected and full linkage set up and adjustment completed; many parts of the brightwork have now been refitted; the lamps have all now been fitted and rewired as required; the car is now awaiting fitment of a new headlining and completing the re trim; the front seats have been re trimmed along with the rear armrests ready for refitting

December 2016 - all mechanical, electrical and bright-work components painstakingly refitted and adjusted; the trim work has been completed to an exceptional standard and all now refitted; the car looks superb in its original factory supplied colours and the very best surface dyed leather as original; we have completed our road testing programme and the car was returned to her owner in time for Christmas for final shake down runs and running in; we expect the car back in the not too distant future for a complimentary service, tune up and check-over

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Bentley

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:Park Ward
Body Style:Standard Steel Saloon

Latest Update:

May 2015 - after a lengthy hibernation / restoration period we have been commissioned to complete the works required to get this handsome car ready for gentle touring use; todate we have completed the wiring, fitted the dashboard and instruments and finished reassembling the bodywork etc; we have inspected and cleaned sludge traps and sump; cleaned and primed the oil system; replaced the HT system and lubricated the bores prior to starting the engine; we have also stripped and freed off all the braking system; with the re-commissioning process nearly complete we have the car running quite sweetly; we are now awaiting a new headlining and carpet set before heading out for an MOT test and road testing

​December 2015 - all works now completed; new headlining and carpet set fitted; wooden cappings refinished as required to match existing; extensive road testing and setting up completed; the car was returned to the owner in time for Christmas

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Rolls Royce Phantom IV 4AF12

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom IV
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:4AF12
Coachwork:Hooper

Latest Update:

May 2015 - we are excited to announce that this incredibly rare car has arrived with us for completion of a Pebble Beach level restoration; so far we have nearly completed the re-assembly and detail of the 8 cylinder engine, fitted it along with the automatic gearbox into the chassis; we have the primary basic wiring and pipework fitted into the chassis; the bulkhead is currently being re-finished; the paint applied to the body has been removed as there were some issues with adhesion and panel gaps; the body has been refitted to the chassis; we have now reworked panels and repaired body splits to obtain consistent panel gaps and allow body mouldings to run through in-line; unnecessary holes have been filled; the bulk of the chrome flashes and window frames have been fitted and adjusted as required; currently the car is being prepared to head to our paint shop for body refinishing

​May 2016 - a huge amount of work has now been completed to this car over the last few months; the front end bodywork was found to be a terrible fit so major adjustments and shape work were required to improve this; the brightwork has almost all been re-chromed now with the final couple of batches heading out shortly; the bulkhead and many of its fittings are now fitted and ready to be set up; a completely new petrol tank has been fabricated as the old was in poor condition; the majority of the chassis work is now completed and the wiring has been run to appropriate places ready to connect; the chassis fuse box and junction boxes have now been connected; the switchbox is currently being re-engraved before refinishing; the engine has been set up and run for a few minutes, now requiring fine tuning and setting up for driving; the missing gearbox linkages have been replaced and set up as required; the front floors have been refinished and re-felted as per original; the dashboard and instrument brackets have now been trial fitted and the dashboard and various other pieces of cappings are being refinished; the handbrake and brake reservoir assembly have now been reassembled and fitted to the car; the car has been repainted in its original blue colour as matched from the paint on the inside of the wheel rims; currently we are identifying body electrics and making them work as they should, fitting windows and starting to fit brightwork

March 2017 - The body has now been fully painted; rear wings painted and witted with wing beading; the boot and small panels have also been fitted; we are currently awaiting the front wings, bonnet and valance to return from the paint shop, they are due imminently; the interior wood work has been flawlessly refinished; the front compartment has been fully re-trimmed as per the Hooper factory records; the dash board and complicated heating system installed; all body wiring is now completed; the electric division assembly has been made to work correctly and now incorporates a lock out system so not to damage the motor; hidden speakers have been fitted into the division as original; the occasional seats have been stripped, repaired and re-chromed where required; new covers have been made and hand sewn into place; new carpets and headlining throughout have been made; the rear arm rests have been remade and recovered in West of England cloth as per original; the rear seats have been stripped and rebuilt where required; now refitted the car is looking exceptionally lavish inside; all the wooden cappings have been fitted, all interior bright work windows seals etc are now fitted; a new flagstaff and shield mount has been fabricated from original line drawings; the boot has been completely re-trimmed and attention paid to ensuring the rear blind operates electrically as intended; both of the original radio units within the car have been re-manufactured and restored; we now have a complete set of small and large tools for the finishing touch; we expect the car to be on road test in the next 2 weeks, exciting news!

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Rolls Royce 20/25

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:20/25
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:Barker

Latest Update:

May 2015 - Travelling some distance to reach us the car is here for some minor works; a general health check of the engine plus an overhaul of the slipper drive and clutch; checking of waterways and sludge traps; also whilst the car is here she will receive a full re-wire and some fine tuning

​May 2016 - after completing the rewiring of the car, the clutch was renewed and the engine refitted; the overdrive unit was remounted to remove vibration; now tuned, running and driving sweetly the car is being enjoyed by her owner

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Jaguar E-Type Series 1 GRT100

Manufacturer:Jaguar
Model:E-Type Series 1
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:Reg. GRT100
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:Coupe
Restored:N/A

Latest Update:

May 2015 - currently with us for a complete repaint, panelwork rectification and general factory level detailing; the paint has all been removed to reveal the extent of repairs required to the body; the interior and brightwork has been removed and assessed; the dashboard and instruments have been removed for recovering; the engine bay has been stripped ready for engine and gearbox removal

​May 2016 - the engine, gearbox, front suspension and steering have all been removed; the engine frame removed and media cleaned; the bulkhead completely stripped and body assessed; the body then had extensive repairs including bulkhead panels, one floor pan, outer sills and repairs to older attempts; the body then had the interior, bulkhead and engine frame painted in the cars original opalescent silver blue colour; the engine meanwhile has had all ancillaries removed, stripped, assessed and refinished as original; he engine itself was subjected to refinishing in the original colour scheme and style; all the suspension components have been refinished or renewed as per original; the front engine cradle and suspension were then refitted to the body along with the steering, hubs, etc.; the engine and gearbox were then refitted together with bulkhead fittings, ancillaries and pipework; a new wiring loom has been installed ready for connection to the dashboard; the petrol tank fitted etc.; the bonnet and doors have been repaired as required and aligned with the body and gaps set accordingly; currently the car is in the paint process before returning to us for completion

December 2016 - after many hours of hard work GRT100 was finished in original livery of opalescent silver blue; the time was then taken to obtain correct finishes for all components to ensure the car was as close to factory original as possible; all bright work, glass, lamps etc .have been carefully re-fitted to the body; the recovered dashboard refitted, instruments and switch gear installed; a new wiring loom connected and tested; the engine has had all ancillaries finished and connected; we have run and briefly driven GRT100 around to ensure correct operation of components; currently GRT100 is with the owners E-type specialist trimmer having a hand made interior fitted along with an MOT test, primary road testing and shake down; w expect GRT100 back in due course for any rectification work required and of course a complimentary service

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Rolls Royce Phantom II 47MW

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom II
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:47MW
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:TBA
Restored:N/A

Latest update:

May 2014 - rolling chassis with stunning Gurney Nutting coachwork is with us for a new full set of wooden cappings, panelwork rectification works, fitting-up and alignment of the windows etc.

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Rolls Royce Silver Ghost - 17RB

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Silver Ghost
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:17RB
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:TBA
Restored:N/A

Latest Update:

May 2014 - the vehicle's body has arrived for some ash frame rectification work before the overhauled chassis arrives for fitting up

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Aston Martin DBS

Manufacturer:Aston Martin
Model:DBS
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:TBA
Restored:N/A

Latest news:

May 2014 - with us for an annual service, mot and a few small jobs

Bentley MkVI Standard Steel Saloon

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:MkVI
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:Saloon
Restored:N/A

May 2014 - with us for a full service along with front steering and suspension overhaul

Rolls Royce Phantom II - 123RY

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom II
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:123RY
Coachwork:H J Mulliner
Body Style:Sedanca de Ville
Restored:N/A

For Sale:

An elegant Sedanca de Ville with some very interesting features.

99% complete and only requiring some reassembly of the engine; which we are lead to believe has had some major mechanical overhaul completed and just requiring final assembly of the top end and ancillaries.

The bodywork, although not rotten, will require some straightening of wings etc. due to damage in transit.

The interior will also require some refurbishment.

Currently here with us for immediate viewing or sale.

POA

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Rolls Royce Phantom III - 3BU134

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom III
Year of Manufacturer:1937
Chassis No.:3BU134
Coachwork:Barker
Body Style:Tourer
Restored:N/A

November 2013 - brought to us after extensive engine work has been carried out to have the rear axle seals replaced and various other jobs carried out

February 2014 - now reunited with its owner back in Europe, all works completed successfully

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Rolls Royce Phantom III - 3AZ140

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom III
Year of Manufacturer:1937
Chassis No.:3AZ140
Coachwork:Binder of Paris
Body Style:Pillarless Saloon
Restored:N/A

November 2013 - brought to us for ash frame repairs and rectification; due to be started within the next week

February 2014 - all works now completed, trim refitted and returned to owner ready for the upcoming season

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Bentley S1 Continental - BC5DJ

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:S1 Continental
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:BC5DJ
Coachwork:Park Ward
Body Style:2 door saloon

Latest Update:

October 2013 - arrived with us this month, the car is in for various restoration work; the interior wooden cappings have been removed and are already receiving repairs where required before re-veneering and re-finishing; the interior has been completely stripped and labelled ready for re-trimming; the exterior has been paint stripped and  taken back to bare aluminium ready to receive body work repairs in preparation for paintwork to begin; all glass has been removed and new front and rear screens commissioned; all the bright work is being assessed and repaired as required before being sent for re-chroming

November 2013 - urrently receiving repairs to body panels as required; instruments are away being overhauled and cleaned as required; interior woodwork is progressing nicely; engine and gearbox have been removed and the engine is currently being dismantled and cleaned before assessing; the engine bay and steering/suspension components have been de-greased and cleaned for inspection

March 2014 - engine has been stripped, cleaned, checked and all works required carried out, painted, all gaskets renewed, all required parts re-plated and now In the final stages of reassembly; extensive body and panel repairs have been completed; primary batch of plating has been returned and re-assembled ready for ref-itting; the braking system and engine bay have been completely stripped; all components overhauled if required and re-painted ready for re-fitting; chassis legs have been stripped, cleaned and painted; wooden cappings are in the final stages of lacquering after extensive repairs and re-veneering; the car is now in the paint shop in the early stages of paint preparation

May 2014 - bodywork is now nearing completion; all panels have been fitted and gapped; the whole car has been shaped and tweaked to obtain correct and straight lines throughout; the engine bay has been reassembled and all removed parts cleaned, overhauled where required, painted and fitted; the engine has been reinstalled along with the transmission and ancillaries have started to be refitted; the car has now been graded and door shuts, boot and internal faces have been painted in colour; the car is currently being masked-up for top coat and lacquer

December 2014 - now completed after paintwork, the efitting of all components, complete interior and boot re-trim in the finest Vaulmol leather and Wilton carpets! New glass screens all round together with new seals; all brightwork refinished and refitted. Having covered some 50 or so miles test driving we are pleased that BC-5-DJ is now reunited  with owner ready to be driven

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Rolls Royce Silver Ghost - 97AE

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Silver Ghost
Year of Manufacturer:1920
Chassis No.:97AE
Coachwork:Cunard Motor Company
Body Style:Tourer
Restored:TBA

Latest Update:

October 2013 - 97AE has been driven from her home to our workshops to have her interior trim rectified and re-upholstered, work will be commencing shortly

November 2013 - the front seat arrangement has been stripped and area cleaned for a fresh start; various modifications including Auster screen stowage and the seat shape have been altered to gain room and comfort; spring frame fabrication is currently underway

March 2014 - All trim related work now completed including full sprung front and rear seats trimmed in the traditional manner, rear seat moved and re-shaped to gain extra legroom and width; new rear storage arrangement for side screens; lockable storage boxes incorporated; new over-mat for the front and new rear carpets have been made and fitted; some alterations to the tonneau cover to suit the new seats; skirt fabricated and fitted to the Auster screen to keep the passengers a little drier! Currently we are just completing a few small mechanical jobs before she will be heading home

May 2014 - now returned to the delighted owner who is using the car on various 20-Ghost Club and other events

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Bentley - B29GP

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre
Year of Manufacturer:1936
Chassis No.:B29GP
Coachwork:James Young
Body Style:DHC
Restored:N/A

February 2013 - newly acquired by the owner this stunning motorcar is with us for a full service MOT and safety check before the motoring season starts!

April 2013 - all serviced and checked and ready for the summer roads

March 2014 - now back with us for an exciting restoration! A car once owned by racing enthusiast and driver Prince Bira; we are delighted to be restoring the car to show condition; so far we have removed the trim, brightwork and all other interior parts; unfortunately the ash frame is in poor condition so will be requiring substantial repairs; currently we are stripping the old paint from the body in preparation for removing panels

May 2014 - all remaining paint has now been removed; the panels have been sectioned and cut into manageable sizes; all panels have now been chemically cleaned to remove any remaining corrosion and deposits in preparation for re-edging the panels; the engine and transmission have been removed in preparation for inspection and cleaning; all components within the chassis have been removed and stored safely; the Bijur one shot system has all been removed along with other pipe work and wiring; the chassis has been steam cleaned, prepared and painted; various removed parts have been overhauled, painted and refitted to the chassis; all chassis lubrication pipework has been pressure tested, replaced where required cleaned, polished and refitted along with new fuel pipes and ride control pipes; new wiring conduits have been fabricated and are awaiting fitment; the bulkhead has had all the unnecessary holes filled and is currently being refinished

December 2014 - currently mid-way through ash frame construction; front wings have had repair works carried out, re-edging and planishing  as needed; the majority of the chassis fittings have been stripped, assessed and overhauled as required; the gearbox is now awaiting fitment to the chassis along with various suspension parts and a nearly re-assembled rear axle; the front axle has been stripped and overhauled as required and is now refitted; the steering column has been stripped, repainted and re-chromed and is now awaiting fitment to chassis; the engine has been stripped, the block and head are currently being de-scaled before further assessments are completed

May 2015 - ash frame re-construction is now completed and has been returned to us; panelwork to door shuts, inner panels, boot apertures, etc. have all been completed; rear panels have been re-edged or re-made along with door skins; rear sections have been welded together and currently are being pinned to the ash frame; new rear inner wheel arches have been fabricated and fitted; gearbox and drivetrain have been refitted along with front and rear suspension components; the engine was found to be excessively worn and is now being re-worked and re-bored as necessary

​May 2016 - re-panelling of the body is now completed; a trial fit of all windows, hood frame, door fittings, etc. has been completed; all parts now stripped down and sent off for plating as required; new bumper brackets have been fabricated for the rear and the rear bumper blade repaired; the radiator and road wheels have been stripped and sent off for specialist overhaul; the engine has been re-white metalled and completely reworked back to factory specifications; now fully rebuilt and ready for starting preparations; the engine and gearbox are now refitted to the chassis; many engine ancillaries have been overhauled, refinished and refitted to the engine; chassis first fit electrics has been completed, the fuse box and switchbox have all been wired with correct marker beads and Ross Courtney terminals ready for testing; the wooden cappings have been set up, repaired where required and are now ready for lacquering; the body tub has been primed and some minor shape work completed and the painting process is starting

April 2017 - after some complications the car has now progressed through the paint process and is flatted and polished; finished in the eye catching Prince Bira Siamese racing blue B-29-GP is a real eye catcher; the body, chassis and engine wiring have all now been completed with just the front lights remaining to be connected; all windows, frames and body bright work have now been fitted and adjusted; the dashboard and original wooden cappings have all been refinished and repaired where necessary; the engine has been run for the first time since its total rebuild and purrs like a kitten - after all starting preparations were completed B-29-GP started on the first revolution of the engine and settled into a 500rpm smooth idle - a real testament to the Alpine Eagle team; the hood frame is all prepared and refitted, tool trays well underway for the complete tool kit; front valance, horns and associated hardware are all fitted and the road wheels are rebuilt and shot in period pattern rubber; currently we are finalising the position of the seats before the car begins the trim process; the front and rear wings will be fitted once the trim is complete to avoid any accidental damage; there is no doubt that B-29-GP will be an exceptional car!

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Dash board stripping

Ferrari Dino 246

Manufacturer:Ferrari
Model:Dino 246
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:N/A
Body Style:TBA
Restored:N/A

December 2012 - currently in our workshops for service and minor repairs

February 2013 - all finished and returned

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Rolls Royce Silver Ghost - 60AE

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Silver Ghost
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:60AE
Coachwork:Barker
Body Style:Touring Body
Restored:N/A

December 2012 - currently in our workshops for trim repairs and replacement for the upcoming Alpine Tour

February 2013 - the front seat has now been constructed, stuffed using traditional methods, and fitted into the car; we are also managing to gain an extra inch of leg room in the process! A new hood bag has been sewn and fitted; a fully collapsible trunk has been designed and fabricated, it fits snugly in behind the front seat and ulster screen when not in use! Currently waiting to be trimmed!

March 2013 - as you will see from the images this lovely car is now all complete and ready for the Tour

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Bentley Mk. VI 1947 - B397BG

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:Mk. VI
Year of Manufacturer:1947
Chassis No.:B397BG
Coachwork:Harold Radford
Body Style:Countryman Saloon
Restored:N/A

December 2012 - recently acquired by the owner this Bentley is now undergoing preparation and major overhaul work for an upcoming tour in India; we are fitting a higher ratio rear axle for more comfortable touring, replacing joints, bushes, bearings and rubber components together with tracing and rectifying electrical faults; replacing tyres and balancing wheels; we shall also be stripping and completely rebuilding the braking system including all linkages, the servo, master cylinder and wheel cylinders; in addition we will also be overhauling the shock absorbers and suspension; finally we will install safety belts and a trip computer! Oh, and we almost forgot - she will also enjoy a full service!

February 2013 - all works carried out ready for the upcoming tour were completed on time but unfortunately, after 200+ miles of testing, unforeseen cooling issues have prevented this beautiful car taking part; fortunately the owner has another car to use; we are currently in the primary stages of upgrading the engine to the 4.9litre unit, but don’t worry the original engine is being removed and stored safely for the future!

July 2013 - the engine is now partially stripped, bottom end sludge traps have been removed and cleaned; big ends have been inspected for damage and excessive wear; head and top end overhauled and decarbed; engine block flushed and cleaned out, new water pump, new clutch and flywheel; starter motor stripped and tested; new dynamo; all aluminium engine castings have all been cleaned and treated; radiator recored and painted; engine block and head stripped and painted; all reassembled with new gaskets; all required parts have been plated and re-fitted; carburettors overhauled; engine has been fitted into the car and is currently having throttle geometry calculated and modified to suit

October 2013 - all engine components are finished and fitted; a new sporting, stainless steel exhaust manifold and down pipe have been fabricated and fitted; the radiator and grill shell have been refitted after painting the grill insert body colour; most setting and testing has been completed; the car has been on a maiden voyage to the north of England where it performed superbly, now back after this trip we will be able to re-torque the head and check all is as it should be before returning the car to its owner

November 2013 - currently receiving repairs to door veneers to preserve and improve

March 2014 - door Veneers now repaired and preserved for the coming years

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Bentley B79KU

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:B79KU
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:TBA
Restored:N/A

A recent addittion to our list of workshop vehicles

November 2012 - in for routine maintenance and servicing together with a few small repairs and fitment of a new Overdrive for long distance touring

December 2012 - back with us over the Christmas period for refurbishment to wooden cappings

February 2013 - wooden cappings have been refurbished and re-fitted to the car and look fantastic; currently we are awaiting the calibration and setting of the petrol gauge sender unit

May 2013 - all completed and returned safely to the proud owner

March 2014 - currently with us for routine servicing and some small jobs

May 2014 - all complete and returned

Bentley b79ku (2)
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Jaguar ‘E’ Type

Manufacturer:Jaguar GPM 707L
Model:'E' Type
Year of Manufacturer:1973

October 2012 - currently undergoing a gentle re-commissioning from a sleepy hibernation for a valued client; work including full service, carburettor overhauls, replacement of cooling hoses, fuel lines and vacuum tubes, repairs to floors, new brakes bearings and bushes, paintwork rejuvenation etc.

December 2012 - new bearings, brakes and bushes now fitted; driver's side floor pan now removed and awaiting replacement

February 2013 - driver's floor pan is now in place and 90% finished

July 2013 - new floor pans fitted to both driver's and passenger sides, and all further rust repairs rectified; radius arms re-bushed; new rear brakes; new brake and fuel lines; newly sound deadened and insulated; all new carpets and trim; seat belts replaced; seats and vinyl cleaned and leather re-coloured; now in the final stages of work before a new MOT is applied for!

October 2013 - all the interior has been refitted and finished; the engine has received a new HE ignition system upgrade for reliability; plenty of test driving and minor 'tweaking'; she has finally been MOT'ed and taxed and is ready for a rolling road tuning session

March 2014 - all work now completed; rolling-road tuning carried out; car now returned to owner and driving well

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Bentley ‘R’ Type Continental BC21D

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:'R' Type Continental
Year of Manufacturer:1955
Chassis No.:BC21D
Coachwork:Franay
Body Style:4 Seater Coupe
Restored:TBA

One of 5 Continental chassis supplied to Franay of Paris, this late stunning car is unique and in exceptional condition; the car  was originally delivered as a manual with a 4.9L engine and it is clear that they were anxious to avoid putting on weight as had happened with the standard cars; the seats are extremely light but supportive and the trim elegant and of the highest quality; the car is also 16” shorter than the Mulliner and lighter; retro-fitted with modern air conditioning and radial tyres the car is an absolute joy to drive and easily cruises with modern traffic

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Bentley 3 litre 40

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:3 litre
Year of Manufacturer:1921
Chassis No.:40
Coachwork:Rebodied in 1986 by R.C. Moss
Body Style:2 seater with Dickey
Restored:1986

Original matching numbers car, restored by specialists R.C.Moss in the late 1980’s; minimal mileage since; upgraded to 4 wheel brakes; trimmed attractively in beige leather with matching carpets with the exterior being finished in a beautiful pale blue; eady for touring

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Bentley 3.5 litre JR1934

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:Derby 3.5 litre
Year of Manufacturer:1934
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:Hooper & Co.
Body Style:Green 4 door saloon
Restored:N/A

A rather charming and handsome 3.5 litre Bentley Derby

The vehicle has had a partial sympathetic restoration and is now needing a new owner to finish off the work

 In good running order as it is with the wooden cappings and chrome generally in good condition

The Bentley is currently taxed and Mot’d

Please do call the workshops for more details

(Images to be added shortly)

Bugatti T46

Manufacturer:Bugatti
Model:T46
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:TBA
Restored:N/A

September 2012 -  this fine example of a Bugatti T46 is in the workshops for routine checks and attention to a few minor oil leaks; we are also going to clean and and prepare her for the winter months

October 2012 - completed and returned

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Aston Martin DLB 533

Manufacturer:Aston Martin
Model:MkII
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:TBA
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:TBA
Restored:TBA

July 2012 - this lovely example of the MkII is in the workshops for her regular service and checks

September 2012 - brake drums have now been skimmed and the brake shoes re-lined; in addition to that the complete braking system has been stripped down, checked, cleaned and re-assembled; we are currently awaiting new hubs before re-building the wheels

October 2012 - the interior has now been stripped from the car; repairs have been made made to the seats which are now ready for re-trimming; the main body tub has also been paint stripped and cleaned

November 2012 - DLB533 is now ready for some repairs to the ash frame and a few structural additions which are required to rectify previous repairs

December 2012 - ash frame repairs now complete and ready for the addition of structural steelwork before re-panelling

February 2013 - the structural steel is now in place making the body rigid the way it should be; outer panels are currently being tig welded into place before the paintwork is started; chrome plating is also being attended to

July 2013 - all repairs to body panels have now been completed as has the chrome plating; the body has been shaped and painted in high gloss black; the interior has been fully re-trimmed to original specifications along with a new hood and tonneau cover; new wheels have been fabricated and fitted; a new bulkhead to the original specification has been manufactured and polished, the screen and some brightwork has been re-fitted; the engine detailing is almost complete and ready for reassembly; the new dashboard, wings and bonnet are currently in the final stages of painting

October 2013 - the interior trim is finished awaiting final fitment; engine components have all been finished and refitted; the exhaust has been wrapped in sporting heat insulation; the dashboard has been fitted as have all instruments; this lovely car has been test driven and we are now preparing to fit the wings and bonnet

March 2014 - continuing work now after a short break we are heading towards completion; we have now completed fitting of painted wings, bonnet, valance etc., all brightwork and fittings; the car has now completed 50 miles of road testing to iron out the usual post-restoration bugs; more road testing and fitment of trip computer is required before heading out on upcoming tours

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Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 42EU

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Silver Ghost
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:42EU
Coachwork:N/A
Body Style:TBA
Restored:2012

July 2012 - you will see from the images that this is a major restoration project; 42EU is in our workshops for a complete chassis inspection and preparation for a full re-wire. We then plan to build her a body, suitable for long distance rallying

August 2012 - the chassis now jet washed and de greased; old wiring removed; new wiring conduits fitted; new period wiring fitted into chassis and almost ready for testing. The rear axle has been removed; rear springs stripped, cleaned, and re oiled. Bushes and pins checked and now ready to be re fitted; shock absorbers have been stripped and are awaiting overhaul

September 2012 - the driving sphere has now been stripped and overhauled with new pins and bushes; it has now been re-assembled and re-fitted; a new HT carrying tube has been fitted and the ignition re-wired; the dynamo has been internally cleaned and its brushes checked; a modern rally alternator has also been fitted and wired in; leaking engine pipework has been repaired and finally the ash framing is now underway with an all-new 2 seater body under construction

October 2012 - the body tub shape and size now can clearly be seen, ash framing well underway with body cross rails and verticals fitted; dashboard mocked up and positioned; headlamps have arrived this week and look superb!

November 2012 - the ash framing construction is now complete and the car is ready for the next parts of its restoration which are the skinning of the body in aluminium and the fabrication of its wings

December 2012 - fabrication of the aluminium skin is now underway

February 2013 - the body is now fully skinned and pinned into place and is looking fantastic; the rear bed height has now been set and storage created underneath; currently the bed is awaiting an aluminium skin before the wooden deck top can be fitted

July 2013 - the new body and wodwork are now completely finished; the new ash frame has been skinned in new aluminium, new beadings fitted around the edges etc; a new rear oak deck has been fabricated form re-claimed oak boards; the remainder of the exhaust parts have now arrived so we can now progress with the mechanical repairs

October 2013 - various mechanical jobs are now underway and progressing towards getting the car running; the petrol tank has been fitted with a filler neck and an adaptor made to fit a stylish tank level unit; the traditional style pleated trim is nearing completion and the upper wooden cappings are under construction; new running-boards have been fabricated, trimmed and finished with fluted aluminium edging; the wings have been shaped and are currently being fabricated; windscreen pillars for a sporting split ‘V' screen are under construction in preparation for casting

November 2013 - all brakes and hubs have been stripped and cleaned; brake shoes are due to be relined and re-fitted shortly; steering and kingpins are also stripped awaiting repairs; the interior trim is now complete; the exhaust system has been installed; the windscreen pillars are due back shortly; wooden cappings are now complete

March 2014 - work nearing completion; screen pillars are now machined and fitted; all wiring completed; wings and bonnet landing panels etc. are now all fabricated and fitted; windscreen glass now fitted and sealed; the car is now running; ll the braking system has been checked, cleaned and overhauled where required; carburation and ignition timing are waiting for fine tuning before road testing and mot time!

May 2014 - now MOT tested and returned to the delighted owner 42EU  is ready for extensive road testing before preparation for the next Peking to Paris!

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Bentley MkVI B5MB

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:Mk6
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:B5MB
Coachwork:Special
Body Style:2 Seater Sports
Restored:N/A

Was in our workshops for a routine service and an MOT in June 2012

All satisfactorily completed and returned to its proud owner

May 2014 - back with us for an annual service and safety check

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Bentley S1 Continental BC21BG

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:S1 Continental
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:BC21BG
Coachwork:Mulliner Park Ward
Body Style:2 Door Coupe Fastback
Restored:N/A

This excellent example of the S1 Continental has arrived for wooden capping and dashboard re-furbishment and a routine service

All complete, this lovely car has been returned 'purring' to its lucky owner complete with 'as new' capping and dashboard

Bentley s1 cont for wood capping re furb
Bentley s1 for wood capping re furb

Rolls Royce Phantom I 62AL

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom I
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:62AL
Coachwork:Rippon Brothers
Body Style:4 Door All-Weather Tourer
Restored:N/A

This excellent Rolls Royce Phantom I has come in to the workshops in May for a full routine service, carburettor strip with a check and repair if required; together with new inlet and exhaust gaskets

That should get her in top condition for the Summer

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Rolls Royce Phantom II 117SK

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom II
Year of Manufacturer:1934
Chassis No.:117SK
Coachwork:Hooper
Body Style:Limousine
Restored:N/A

A recent barn discovery after nearly 40 years

A largely complete and original car requiring some work to re-commission

The engine turns freely by hand but as of yet we have not tried to start the car

All instruments and fittings seem to be in place

Viewing recommended

Sold: September 2012

 

 

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Bentley S1 Continental BC40DJ

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:S1 Continental
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:BC40DJ
Coachwork:TBA
Body Style:TBA

This fine S1 is in our workshops for general servicing work plus the resetting of the rear springs and an overhaul to the bushes, dampers, etc.; we are also to test and repair the brakes as found necessary; on the bodywork there is some work also to be done to strip, repair and re-lacquer the wooden dash cappings

Latest Update:

April 2012 - woodwork cappings have been stripped, repaired and re-lacquered and are currently being fitted; brakes are awaiting their final setting and road testing

May 2012 - now finished and awaiting collection, looks superb!

November 2012 - this lovely Continental is back in the workshops now for some further work - a few routine checks and maintenance along with the fitting of new wheel bearings and kingpins

December 2012 - all complete and returned safely to a proud owner!

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Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 22LM

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Silver Ghost
Chassis No.:22LM

Undergoing some extensive body repaint and repairs, plus a clean and paint to the chassis, complete re-trim, check engine and running gear condition and re-wire

Latest Update:

February 2012 - currently the vehicle has had its paint stripped, trim removed, body removed and repairs are getting underway

April 2012 - 22LM's body has now been repaired and painted to our usual high standards and has now been refitted to the chassis; running boards have been overhauled and are ready for fitting; chassis has been cleaned and painted, with any chassis parts requiring attention having been repaired; the instrument panel has been re-made and fitted; the chassis and control boxes have been re-wired; the vehicle's fully buttoned trim work is currently underway

May 2012 - The trim work is progressing well; door panels have been made and fitted; doors also now fitted; the dashboard is complete, all fitted and wired-up; 22LM has been running and has undergone various tests, especially for electrical components in ‘live’ conditions

June 2012 - Tests all complete and the vehicle has been returned to its owner; though we say so ourselves she looks absolutely stunning returned to former glory!

Another classic restoration project that we are very proud of

February 2013 - back with us again currently for running-in checks, minor alterations and a lube service after approximately 2,500 miles use - it's good to see her back!

December 2014 - currently back with us for servicing, a few minor jobs and the fabrication of a new trunk for touring

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Bentley 1936 B11HM

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre Coupe
Year of Manufacturer:1936
Chassis No.:B11HM
Coachwork:Van den Plas
Body Style:Coupe
Restored:2002

This fascinating car is one of two made, its first owner was the famous Brookland’s racing driver Hugh Curling Hunter, Hugh has a room dedicated to him at the Brooklands Museum and this car won its first award, “The Motor Trophy” at the 1938 Eastbourne Concours. He owned eighty cars during his lifetime and was still driving an E Type, registration number, 150MPH in his eighties!

The car was located for a member of the family in America and Alpine Eagle commissioned to do the work. The photographs below show the state it was in and the transformation that has taken place. It was first in its class at Towcester in 2003 and it won the Masters’ Class in 2003.

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Bentley 1938 ‘Honeymoon Express’ B30MR

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre "The Honeymoon Express"
Year of Manufacturer:1938
Chassis No.:B30MR
Coachwork:Park Ward
Body Style:Sports Coupé
Restored:2011

A two door sports coupé, Park Ward’s exhibit at the 1938 London Motor Show, finished in maroon with fawn leather.

Apparently Charlie Ward was very taken with the Mercedes 540K coupé and felt there was an opening for a high speed businessman’s express with extra large luggage carrying capacity, however no orders were received so only the one was built.

When the car appeared on the Park Ward stand in 1938 it acquired the title “The Honeymoon Express” because of the space behind the front seats for its luggage rather than passengers. It is reported the press named the car because there was only room for “two people and two toothbrushes”! The boot is fully taken up with the spare wheel.

The description in the Earls Court Motor Exhibition catalogue reads as follows:

“4¼ litre, 6 cylinder BENTLEY single coupé; coachwork by exhibitors, seating two, sunshine  roof; luggage accommodation behind seats; spare wheel in boot at rear; frameless glasses  with mechanical lifts; illuminated built-in number plate with reverse and stop lights; Triplex  glass throughout; tools in boot; cigar lighters; arm rests; electric backlight blind; wheel discs;  bumpers; fire extinguisher, etc.; upholstery in soft fawn leather; cellulose paintwork in  maroon.

Price, complete as shown, £1800; body only, £550”

After the 1938 Motor Show the car became the personal transport of the chairman of Park Ward and was used during World War II as the personal car of a London Rolls Royce dealer. During the war the original maroon paintwork was changed to camouflage. The car was later returned to Rolls to be repainted.

The car has now had a complete nut and bolt restoration to Concours standards.

Text credits: The 1938 / 1939 Overdrive Cars  by Mervyn Frankel & Ian Strang
                             Bentley, The Silent Sports Car  by Michael Ellman-Brown

 

Workshop News:

July 2013 - currently in our workshops for some tracking checks, rectification and servicing after the 'Bill Boddy Run'.

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Bentley - B26MR

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre
Year of Manufacturer:1938
Chassis No.:B26MR
Coachwork:Hooper
Body Style:Drophead coupé
Restored:2001

Some before and after photos showing the transformation to this award winning car.

Latest Update:

March 2014 - a new acquisition for the delighted owner and currently with us for a general inspection and service ready for the upcoming season

​May 2016 - back with us for annual servicing along with a few minor jobs and paint repairs

June 2016 - servicing and paint repairs completed B-26-MR was back with owner in time for summer touring!

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Bentley Mk.V B14AW

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:Mk. V
Year of Manufacturer:1939
Chassis No.:B14AW
Coachwork:Soutchick
Body Style:Drophead coupé
Restored:1990s

Of a handful of Mk. V’s made, this Soutchick bodied drop-head is surely the most beautiful and definitely the most desirable.

Shortly after our restoration was finished it was driven by its owner to Barcelona and then on to Monte Carlo.

It has recently changed hands and Alpine Eagle’s John Hodson accompanied it to the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours.

Alpine Eagle have won at Pebble Beach in the past but sadly not this year.

 

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and here are some photographs of B14AW from the archives

 

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Bentley MR DHC 1939

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre Derby
Year of Manufacturer:1939
Chassis No.:MR DHC
Coachwork:Vanvooren (Paris)
Body Style:Drophead coupé
Restored:1990s

Without doubt the most beautiful, the rarest (the only one made) and most desirable of all Derby Bentleys, this magnificent 1939, 4¼ litre MR DHC by Vanvooren (Paris) was restored 12 years ago by Alpine Eagle.

Vanvooren were amongst the finest coachbuilders of all time in that they combined elegance, lightness, strength and build quality in a way that few, if any could equal. Alpine Eagle are dedicated to the re-creation of the work of these great masters and it is our sympathy for their highly individual style that makes us an ideal choice for this type of restoration.

The car was recently auctioned by Christies for what may have been the highest price ever for a Derby Bentley. Alpine Eagle had been asked to give it a thorough inspection and service in preparation for its new owner.

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Bentley R Type Continental 1955 BC21D

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:R Type Continental
Year of Manufacturer:1955
Chassis No.:BC21D
Coachwork:Franay Chassis
Body Style:2 door coupe
Restored:A long time ago!

Rolls-Royce made 208 R Type Continentals and most were Mulliner Fastbacks. Towards the end of production five chassis were released to Franay who produced three identical and two different cars. This is one of the different ones.

The racing successes of ER Hall in an unofficially backed Derby Bentley, the Embiricos Bentley and the Corniche models are clear evidence of R-R’s commitment, at the time, to a sporting image for Bentley. After the war this continued, the MKVI was still sold as “The silent Sports Car” and owners such as Wolf Barnato, his daughter and Raymond Mays reinforced that image. Also MKVI chassis had been sent to Facel Metallon in France and Pinanfarina in Italy and they produced some very distinctive and sporting looking cars. It was these designs with lowered or removed radiator shells that influenced the Fastback Mulliner, although one cannot help wondering if the vaguely similar Cadillac of the Forties was not also a factor. R-R were great admirers of the US manufacturer and they undoubtedly influenced the design of the post ’55 cars, for by then it was clear where the largest market was.

The Continental chassis is remarkably similar to the standard steel cars and most of the extra performance is obtained by reduced weight, reduced drag and slightly reduced frontal area. The shock absorbers were also re-valved and the spring rates were changed to give a surprisingly compliant ride for a car that was at least the equal of the finest grand tourers of the era.

The engine had a better cylinder head and slightly higher compression ratio; the exhaust system was a straight through, two chamber (one about twice the volume of the other) with a larger diameter downpipe than the MKVI but the same size tail pipe. It is reputed to have given up to 29 BHP more the standard MKVI/Silver Wraith system. They are very quiet but distinctive sounding and one cannot help wondering why R-R were so wasteful of power with the standard models. Power loss through restrictive silencing means hotter engines, more fuel used as well as less acceleration and hill climbing ability. I’ve fitted a version of the Continental system to my 4.25L MKVI and it is a big improvement.

The close ratio gearbox was similar to Clubman’s Racing motorcycles of the time and helps to explain why, although the cars are so fast when you drive them, the 0-60 time seems slow. First gives about 30mph, second 80, third 100 and top around 120 at peak revs. The idea is to maintain maximum possible speed and maximum car control on roads that comprise a mixture of slow and fast bends, lots of bumps and some straights. Off the mark acceleration is less important than maintaining high average speed. Think: no freeways but fast empty roads through beautiful countryside, eventually arriving at Biarritz or the Mediterranean coast, relaxed and refreshed after a truly invigorating drive in one of the greatest cars of all time.

Most British cars of the era ran with comparatively low final drive ratios, so that changing gear was rarely necessary. Fine in the UK with no motorways, endless narrow twisty roads and quite a few steep hills, but not good for the engine if you need high speed cruising on fast straight, empty roads. Standard MKVIs had a 3.7 to 1 axle and Continentals 3 to 1 so they can cruise effortlessly at 100 mph.

 
The first 27 cars had MKVI chassis and this is why I make the comparison. However, once the R Type appeared its was used and these are recognisable by the absence of the mixture control on the steering column. The choke was automatic. Also the early models were sold with 4.5 Litre engines although most were later bored to 4.9L when they were reconditioned. Presumably so that full-length liners could be fitted without R Type and MKVI owners demanding them too!

This Franay was delivered as a manual with a 4.9L engine and it is clear that they were anxious to avoid putting on weight as had happened with the standard cars. The seats are extremely light but supportive and the trim elegant and of the highest quality but basic. The car is also 16” shorter than the Mulliner and lighter. Tom Solley who owned it at the time had weighed it, and John Hodson who followed Tom back from Switzerland in it, cruising in the region of 95-100mph, tells me that it pulls noticeably better than the standard car above 80mph!

This Franay was found by Roy Partridge (of Alpine Eagle) in a terrible state, it had a broken windscreen, the doors were hanging off, the gearbox was completely worn out and previous history very sketchy. Roy pays tribute to Tom for taking such a brave decision in having it completely rebuilt, although I understand that as soon as it was finished, it was clear that it was going to sell for more than the cost. It is after all, an extremely important car in almost perfect condition.

I was lucky enough to drive and ride in it in and I have to say it was a breathtaking experience. It is worth remembering that Autocar described the Mulliner Fastback as a “motoring first”, it was the most expensive and fastest four-seater ever built and that the Franay is the only one and cost even more!

Alpine Eagle are based in Clanfield not far from Oxford, the roads (other than main ones) are quiet and open, the villages beautiful, Kelmscot Manor was where William Morris lived and Gertrude Jekyl designed the garden and Kate Moss is in the picturesque village of Little Faringdon so all tastes are catered for! It is not quite France but it is stunning and it does give you an idea of just how special these cars are. Suspension is firmer than the Clouds and their Continental derivatives; there is less roll and grip is much better. The car has been fitted with Pirelli Cinturatos and they suit it well, it runs straight, steers precisely and bump steer is almost non-existent. Most impressive of all is the tremendous reserve of power, it’s completely linear and progressive; you touch the accelerator and before you know it, you are well over the legal limit in a country that is paranoid about speeders!

Seats are superb, visibility excellent and discretely fitted air conditioning, quite an advantage in a very hot British summer. All in all, it is hard to imagine you are in car built fifty years ago until you get out and admire it. It is extraordinarily elegant with hints of the Gull Wing Mercedes and the Mulliner Continental but still with a delicacy that can only be French. I and a small group of Register members have just spent a week in France with one Fastback, 2 Dawns, 3 MKVIs and an R Type and everywhere we went, we were clapped and cheered and we even appeared in to two newspapers. It was quite extraordinary and very heart-warming to bring such obvious pleasure to people. I cannot begin to imagine how they would respond to a Bentley built by one of their country’s finest coachbuilders but I am sure they would be even more dramatic!

Sadly Tom died recently so the car now has a new owner in Belgium.

Recommended reading: The dedicated website http://www.continental.org.uk and the Rolls-Royce Heritage trust publication by Ken Lea entitled “Rolls-Royce- The first cars from Crewe”

Ashley James. 22.06.05

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Bugatti 1930 Type 46 - 46293

Manufacturer:Bugatti
Model:Type 46
Year of Manufacturer:1930
Chassis No.:46293
Coachwork:Veth et Zoon
Body Style:Faux Cabriolet
Restored:2009 / 2010

This well documented car chassis 46293, still fitted with its original engine (no. 157) was the 18th of 35 cars to leave the factory at Molsheim in 1930.

The chassis was ordered on the 4th April 1930 by a provincial Dutch Bugatti agent approximately 35 miles south east of Amsterdam.

The first owner commissioned Dutch coachbuilders Veth and Son (Veth et Zoon) of Arnhem to produce a faux cabriolet in the style of his previous model.

At the request of a very good customer Alpine Eagle sourced and took delivery of this magnificent motorcar. Soon after delivery Alpine Eagle were commissioned to carry out a total and most comprehensive restoration.

Upon completion in April 2010 the car was exhibited at the Bugatti owners’ club “La Vie en Bleu” event at which it won the Concours in supreme style.

At the Bugatti Garden Party in 2011 the car was also rewarded with a second Concours winning trophy.

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Rolls Royce 1927 Phantom I - 94RF

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom I
Year of Manufacturer:1927
Chassis No.:94RF
Coachwork:Windovers
Body Style:Enclosed Limousine
Restored:2008 / 2009

This historically important car was ordered in 1927. Windovers’ records show that it was allocated job number 7338 and work commenced in September 1927.

It was originally ordered as a Limousine (body no. 5453) which it still retains today.

Supplied  to The Maharaja of Jodhpur, it was shipped to Bombay on the SS “Ranchi” on the 24 December 1927.

94RF was lavishly equipped with ivory steering wheel, controls and pull handles; pigskin leather to the rear, dual speedometers, exotic woodwork with ebony inlay, twin sunroofs, fly screens, purdah glass and blinds.

It features a polished aluminium body with all silver plate fittings and a full complement of Stephen Grebel lights.

The car is still in the Royal Family today and is exhibited regularly.

In 2008 Alpine Eagle were consigned to give the car a full cosmetic restoration; upon arrival the car was in very poor condition and required a huge amount of hard work to bring to the condition you see today.

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Rolls Royce 1929 Phantom I Springfield - S285FP

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom I Springfield
Year of Manufacturer:1929
Chassis No.:S285FP
Coachwork:Brewster
Body Style:Stratford Coupe
Restored:2009 / 2010

This 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom I arrived with us in 2009 with instructions to prepare for the upcoming 2010 Paris to Peking rally.

With the engine and transmission already re-built we then set about sorting the brakes, adding strengthening plates and all the necessary modifications to enable the car to participate.

The car was duly finished and shipped out to China ready to start the motor challenge!

The Challenge began on the 11th September 2010 in Peking and passed through such countries as Russia, Mongolia, Iran, Turkey, etc. before finally landing in Italy and touring up to Paris.

Having successfully navigated some of the toughest terrain the car finally arrived in Paris on the 16th October having covered some 14,000km only suffering minor problems in the desert.

The driver and co-driver were rewarded with a Gold Medal for finishing on time and passing through.

Latest Update:

November 2012 - we welcome this hugely successful Rolls Royce back to Clanfield for preparation for an upcoming long distance tour in India; S285FP is currently being serviced and tested etc. ready for the rigours ahead

December 2012 - all work completed and returned ready for the challenges she will face, watch this space!

May 2014 - now under new ownership the car is back with us for preparations for the next upcoming Peking to Paris Event

December 2014 - continuing preparation for the Peking to Paris rally the front springs have been stripped, cleaned and re-oiled; front axle inspected along with various other works; currently the interior is being refitted to suit new drivers

​May 2016 - back with us for minor repairs and hood replacement before looking for a new owner

October 2016 - S285FP has successfully finished a couple more tours and is now for sale once again with marque specialists The Real Car Co. Ltd., see it at www.realcar.co.uk

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Rolls Royce Phantom II 1929 61XJ

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom II
Year of Manufacturer:1929
Chassis No.:61XJ
Coachwork:H J Mulliner Weymann
Body Style:?
Restored:?

61XJ was finished Friday 18th June 2004 and then driven on Saturday to Boughton House for the Annual RREC Rally (and part of the Rolls-Royce centenary celebrations). The car looked magnificent and we had great fun entertaining a constant stream of enthusiasts and admirers. We talked ourselves hoarse!

The car's owner, Bill Borchert Larson, seen relaxing at the rally on the left, was absolutely delighted that so many people were so enthusiastic about his beautiful car and the exceptional quality of its restoration.

61XJ's previous owner (of 15 years) was with us when the awards were given, he told us that he had been apprehensive about seeing the car again, especially after a complete rebuild, but that had been overwhelmed when he saw it and completely overwhelmed when it won.

All in all a fabulous weekend and an uneventful but enjoyable return journey.

Alpine Eagle has completely rebuilt 61 XJ to show winning condition in ten months. Other cars can take a little longer because they may also need repairs to the wood frame and or a new aluminium skin so, if you have a car that needs restoring to the highest possible standard and without and inordinate delay, then please get in touch, we would love to help you.
 
This most interesting Art Deco car has been completely dismantled and rebuilt retaining as much of its patina as is consistent with total reliability. Our customer is a regular on the international rally scene and will require to do tremendous mileages in it.

The Weymann body is one of the most significant developments of the vintage era, it was so comfortable and quiet after a tourer but not plagued by squeaks and rattles that dogged the all aluminium saloons of that era, it was also lighter and faster. 61XJ ranks as a most sporting incarnation of this type of body, having only four lights, no provision for luggage and two, rear mounted spare wheels.

The owner at the time,  Bill Borchert Larsen, deserves great credit for having this car rebuilt faithfully to its original specification. It is a model that is often overlooked yet vitally important historically. Bill has also had Motor Historica research the car's history and short resume appears below.

Work is nearing completion and it is hoped that the car will appear at this year's National Rally where we would be delighted to meet those interested and show them the car.

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Rolls Royce Phantom II 92MY Continental

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom II
Year of Manufacturer:1933
Chassis No.:92MY
Coachwork:Park Ward
Body Style:4 door 4 light saloon
Restored:1990s

Owned by the co-author of the book on PII's and III's, Nick Whitaker, this wonderful PII Continental chassis number 92MY rebuilt by Alpine Eagle has taken a number of awards at the RREC annual rallies.

Alpine Eagle has taken a number of best in shows at RREC annual rallies, a first at Pebble Beach and also best in show at the Louis Vuitton Paris and the Hurlingham Club, London.

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Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental 26EX

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom II Continental
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:26EX
Coachwork:Barker
Body Style:4 door 4 light saloon
Restored:TBA

Chassis 26EX - the prototype Phantom II Continental built for the personal use of Sir Henry Royce.

26EX is one of the company's most important cars; Rolls Royce had made a number of short chassis PII’s to special order and design engineer Ivan Evernden was convinced that R-R should have sporting car in the catalogue. He had approached Conduit Street (London Showroom and Sales Office) to try to persuade them that they should order it but they were not keen - so he talked Sir Henry into it!

Thus was 26EX created and Barker, in conjunction with R-R, designed the beautiful and lightweight body and it was painted with a pearlescent finish. It may have been the first!

Imitation pearls were painted with a clear lacquer, some colouring and ground-up fish scales and this was the method chosen by Evernden to paint 26EX. The appearance was striking and the prototype, Rolls Royce Continental PII arrived to a blaze of publicity.

It was the company’s first sporting car since the London to Edinburgh cars of the Edwardian era.

As can be seen from the images below Alpine Eagle completely rebuilt the car to original condition.

Before and after photos of 26EX from when it arrived in our workshops to the completed car:

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Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental by Chapron 1934 16SK

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom II
Year of Manufacturer:1934
Chassis No.:16SK
Coachwork:Chapron
Body Style:Cabriolet
Restored:1989

It is impossible for us to put every one of our restorations on our website, there are just too many

However we make no apologies for including this stunningly beautiful PII Chapron

It is just one of the rarest and most beautiful cars the company made and that we restored

Rolls Royce Phantom III - 3AZ168

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Phantom III
Year of Manufacturer:1936
Chassis No.:3AZ168
Coachwork:Owen-Gurney Nutting
Body Style:Sedanca De Ville
Restored:2006

Latest Update:

December 2014 -  currently back in our workshops for servicing, a few minor jobs plus engine and bodywork detailing

​May 2016 - 3AZ168 back with us for annual servicing along with tour preparation

 

Background:

It seems prudent to first provide a background to the launch of R-R’s most ambitious car and the subject of this article, the Phantom III in 1936.

The Silver Ghost was announced in 1906 to widespread acclaim, it was a marvellous car, it gave R-R a reputation for making the best car in the World and production continued until 1926, four-wheel brakes arriving only slightly earlier and with beaded edge tyres practically till the end. It really was overdue for replacement but the introduction of a new, large capacity model had been delayed by the need to design and develop the 20HP that appeared in 1922.

There were three pre-war Phantoms, the first was known as the New Phantom and was really just a Silver Ghost chassis with a more powerful overhead valve engine of 7668cc. It arrived with the new “balloon tyres” in well-based rims as we use now. Sadly the old chassis was too tall for then modern designs of coachwork, the steering (with the later tyres) was heavy and handling a little ponderous and, because the new bodies were heavier, it was marginally slower than its predecessor. The company realised this and quickly began work on its successor the Phantom II. Announced in ’29 this model had a lower and more modern chassis (much influenced by one in the 20) and a more powerful version of the P1 engine with a cross-flow cylinder head. It was available with two chassis lengths, the shorter was intended to improve R-R’s sporting credentials and so, after a few had been made and sold, the Continental appeared at the 1930 Motor Show. Its chassis number was 26EX, it was recently restored by Alpine Eagle and appeared at Althorpe for the 1997 RREC Annual Rally where it won a first in class. It was in the same striking Saxe blue and pale pearlescant blue as it had been sold in when new. In 1930 these paints were unheard of, cellulose had only justly appeared, so a process for producing imitation pearls by grinding up fish scales and mixing them into clear lacquer was adapted so that it could be sprayed over the base colour to give an impression of great depth.

The Phantom II was an excellent and extremely durable car and, in Continental form, perhaps the most desirable R-R of those made before the war, but it rapidly became out of date. It was not helped by the rather staid and unimaginative offerings of the UK coachbuilders either, the fact was that Paris and the US produced a much greater proportion of truly elegant cars.

Despite the Wall St. crash of ’29, the American auto industry was offering a wide variety of exceptionally good cars by the early thirties; quite a few could claim to be better and much less expensive than the Phantom II. Cadillac had a cooking V8, and luxury V12’s and V16’s, Packard straight eights and V12’s, Chrysler straight eights, Duesenberg a twin OHC four valves per cylinder straight eight with optional supercharger and so on. In Europe it was no easier for Rolls-Royce, Hispano Suiza had a magnificent 6.6L straight six and a 9.5L V12, Bugatti was making a 12.7L straight eight called the Royale that was only available to you if you were good enough. Allegedly a Chicago meat packer wasn’t and didn’t get one. Had Ettore relented it would have amounted to a 25% increase in overall sales! It is hard now to imagine the arrogance that surrounded the sale of these extraordinary cars. Horch and Maybach (allegedly more complex than a PIII) in Germany were working on V12s as well. By comparison Rolls-Royce was too expensive and rather out of date!

We should remember that first and foremost Rolls-Royce were aero engine makers predominantly supplying the Ministry of Defence. They had provided engines for the first plane to cross the Atlantic in 1920 and for the later Schneider trophy seaplanes to travel faster than any other, but by the mid thirties, car production was a mere six percent of turnover and it was losing them money. The Government was as inept at constraining costs or preventing delays to military contracts, as R-R was of understanding their importance to commercial car production. This was a period of austerity and it caused many luxury carmakers trouble by WWII but despite this precarious situation R-R began to develop a new model that would set new standards and that they hoped would return them to the forefront of automobile technology. Market research was not included in the experiment nor any consideration given of service requirements other than those the company could provide. In modern parlance the bean counters were on Planet Zog, the Government were paying the bill and they had a clear run ahead!

So it was that in 1936 Rolls-Royce introduced a truly remarkable car, one the like of which we shall never see again, the magnificent Phantom III.

Technical Description:

Unlike its predecessors the PIII had independent front suspension and this requires a completely different chassis as it has to have tremendous lateral stiffness that is achieved by cruciform bracing. A massive U channel X shape is inserted immediately behind the engine with its intersection points where the propshaft connects to the gearbox. Then across the front under the radiator there is another strong brace with the suspension on each end. In America, it would have been welded, and by another company at least riveted, but by R-R held it together with a mass of specially made ¼” BSF nuts and bolts! And this trend is carried through the whole chassis; it is wonderfully made to the highest possible standards and without any consideration for cost. The Independent suspension is licensed from GM but built to R-R standards with the coil springs and the shock absorbers encased in malleable iron castings and oil filled. Every linkage bellcrank, fastener or any part at all, appears to have been carved from some expensive solid material, finished to perfection and is just lying there waiting for some enthusiast to discover it decades later and restore it to its former glory!

The back axle, gearbox and rear suspension are conventional to the extent that anything R-R is, and the brakes the same as all R-Rs post 1925 in that they have a servo on the side of the gearbox. The PII is best described as a heavily built, conservatively designed and exquisitely finished. The PIII is a whole new experience and has to be seen to be believed; toolmakers and model engineers will be in seventh heaven whilst designers, production engineers and service personnel will need counselling! Financial people are advised against even looking!

The engine is even more remarkable and rather different from most of the time. Just like the Jack Phillips V8 used from the Cloud II onwards, the FB60 in the Vanden Plas 4L R and in much the same way as all aluminium engines are today, the block and crankcase are one piece with lipped cylinder liners, sealed by O-rings and pushed in from the top. In modern engines, the aluminium is plated or dry liners pressed in, so not quite the same but getting there.Unlike modern engines the big ends are “forked” which is complicated and expensive (and gave trouble at the time) but avoids having staggered cylinders, keeps the crankshaft as short as possible and thus helps to minimise torsional vibration. In the Phantom III one con rod (the forked one) is in two pieces and has four big end cap fixing bolts and a gap in its middle for the second rod with only two fixing bolts. The first holds a full width bearing shell and the centre rod runs on the outside of its housing. This lot has to be very accurately made and extremely carefully assembled if trouble is to be avoided.

The camshaft sits on the centre of the V and operates through conventional tappets, pushrods and rocker arms to the overhead valves. On modern engines the tappets (cam followers) are the hydraulic bit but this engine is different; R-R copied Cadillac’ V12 and V16’s in that the rockers pivot on eccentrics on the rocker shaft. These have levers on them that are lifted to remove tappet clearance by small hydraulic rams sitting in the heads under the rocker covers. They were a constant source of problems at the time because of the quality of oil then available so as one of many alterations made in a production run of 727 cars, they were made solid. The engine also suffered excessive camshaft wear and this is usually blamed on tappet problems, which may be an incorrect assumption as most camshafts of the time were wearing prematurely and manufacturers didn’t really resolve the problem until the early fifties when R-R introduced the last camshaft, with more suitable profiles, for this engine.

In the timing cover are gears for the dynamo and water pump, camshaft gears, and a large idler gear to drive two twelve cylinder distributors via 99’ of plug lead to 24 plugs! One of the distributor shafts extends downwards into the sump to drive the large gear type oil pump and on the front of the crankshaft is R-R’s controversial, maintenance intensive, torsional vibration damper. There is one dual downdraft Rolls-Royce Zenith carburettor and beautiful finned exhaust manifolds. Altogether it is a mixture of lustrous black stove enamel, matt finished cast aluminium, an array of dull nickel plated fasteners and sundry other bits that by any standards, constitute a work of art, a thing of beauty and a monumental challenge to anyone who decides to rebuild it.

The Body:

It is no secret that there had always been an uneasy alliance between coachbuilders and chassis makers. Pressed steel bodies were vastly more durable and far less expensive to produce and volume manufacturers were nearly all using them by the mid thirties. Coachbuilders were struggling to survive, were squeezed hard for low prices and they had been slow to adapt to the needs of cars rather than horses – their bodies were not durable, they creaked and rattled and it was not uncommon for doors to fly open on bumps and so on. The Carriage Trade had not helped by insisting on ever larger and more ungainly ones that ruined handling and sapped performance. As Leonard Setright rather unkindly observed: “The best of British? Barker coachwork on Rolls-Royce chassis was no worse, no more opulent or irrelevant, than that of the other famous coachbuilders. It revealed the British as a nation almost as immune as the Swiss to the real joys of motoring”

Rolls-Royce was determined to control the size; weight, quality and rigidity of those fitted to PIIIs and drew up complex and demanding specifications that coachbuilders were supposed to adhere to. They were moderately successful and some PIIIs were built with extremely elegant and well-proportioned bodies of which Nick Whitaker’s Gurney Nutting Sedanca de Ville chassis no 3AZ168 is one of the most elegant of all. It was the seventieth chassis to be built.

Nick is a marvellous ambassador for the classic car movement and a real enthusiast of the marque. He has co-authored the Complete Classics publication Rolls-Royce Phantom II & III and he runs a Park Ward Continental PII chassis no. 92MY that he had rebuilt by Alpine Eagle. It’s won various awards and is driven all over the country and across London at modern car speeds; he’s even been to Germany and Malaysia in it. 92MY was in a parlous state when found, it had been in a flood and required a total nut and bolt rebuild before it could become reliable transport and a true testament to the extraordinary skills of not only the restorers but to Rolls-Royce who built the car in the first place. I, like many club members have more lowly examples of the marque and I spend as much as I can to restore and conserve them knowing that they will outlive me and that I have a responsibility to subsequent owners not to leave the cars with insuperable problems or bodgery that may ultimately result in their being scrapped and my name being mud! The responsibility and the expense are far greater for owners like Nick of the most rare and exotic models. We owe them a great deal.

This is Nick’s third PIII, his first was awful and the second a low mileage Hi Vision Mulliner that he enjoyed immensely but decided to sell and look for a more elegant example. The Mulliner, although a magnificent car, was a little staid in appearance when compared with this Gurney Nutting (John Blatchley’s previous employer) who are regarded as amongst the most stylish of British coachbuilders.

In recent years restoration has become controversial, many arguing that preservation or conservation is more appropriate. They may have a point if cars aren’t going to be used or can be found in serviceable and original condition, most are not, they are worn out, falling apart or butchered like this one. If new owners are going to enjoy them as was intended rather than experience a series of “failures to proceed” rebuilding is the only option.

When a car is not used or is preserved in a controlled environment, it becomes just another inanimate lump of metal. It may look nice but it isn’t the same as hearing the lovely noises and smelling the beautiful smells that emanate from old machinery as it functions. Proper restorations by the finest craftsmen are joys to behold and give us a unique insight into a past that we should all appreciate and be proud of.

The Restoration of 3AZ168:

Restoration is an oft used and much abused term and, as applied to this car, this was certainly the case. Alpine Eagle has been restoring R-R & B for over forty-three years now and has consistently won the highest possible awards for its work. These include not only RREC Annual Rallies but at Pebble Beach, Louis Vuitton and many other similarly prestigious meetings as well. They take their work extremely seriously and can justifiably claim to be amongst a handful of restoration companies that are the World’s finest.

This particular car had been restored in the 1970’s and was rather butchered so it had to be completely stripped and built again! The exterior had been painted in three shades of revolting metallic brown. No panel was straight and no door fitted properly, the front had been badly trimmed in poor quality white leather and the rear seats and headlining in brown striped Dray Lon. The carpets were cheap, brown, rubber backed and vinyl bound and plywood had been fitted into the foot wells so that a single piece only was needed. Stalin gave senior party members more tastefully decorated apartments!

The body had to be removed and everything completely dismantled before building it back up slowly and methodically, having painted and plated everything that needed it, all drip plugs were re-newed as were shackle pins and bushes. The brakes, the rear suspension, the front suspension and steering were all appropriately overhauled. As luck would have it this was probably a low mileage car and much of the chassis was in good condition, just needing re-setting and lubricating as per the book had there been one. None was published! I wish we’d had pictures of it completed because it was a sight to behold.

The rear axle was sent to a leading specialist for overhaul and a higher ratio to be fitted. The gearbox proved quite sound with only a few bearings being replaced but the engine had been noisy and had to be completely rebuilt. Overheating is common and this results in failure of the “O” ring seals at the base of the liners. Therefore the liners have to be removed and the block meticulously cleaned of all sediment before work starts. In this instance the block surfaces and the liners all had to be machined to ensure the right “nip” when the heads were re-fitted. Liners and pistons were new as were valve guides, valves, tappets, camshaft etc. Luckily it had been previously rebuilt at Rolls-Royce in ’57 and had none of the usual signs of butchery. The Carburettor too, was in a bad way and required extremely expensive replacement parts. The crankshaft vibration damper was overhauled and fitted with the latest, preferred friction material.

The wiring was horrific, the car actually caught fire during the test run! Fuse holders were Bosch and the cabling modern and too thin. Everything is now as it left the factory.

The body, the trim and woodwork had suffered badly at the hands of the previous restorers too, so new doorframes had to be made as had parts of the main body. This necessitated the removal and replacement of much of the aluminium skin. Presumably as a result of R-R’s instructions on rigidity, the wood frame is double skinned, once with steel and then aluminium over the top. Despite this there was no evidence of electrolytic corrosion, presumably because felt had been used to keep the two metals apart. The wings have been extensively remade as has much of the rear of the body so that everything fits beautifully now with really tight door and boot gaps. The respray is stunningly good in Black and Damson and the interior has been re-veneered in mirrored Burr Walnut, the seats retrimmed in traditional brown Spinneybeck leather (the driver’s having been built for Nick as it would have been for the first owner) which is about three times the price of any other and the carpets are brown and good Wilton. The door handles and window winders are silver-plated and have been left original but all the dashboard instruments and controls have been rebuilt and re-plated. There were seven bodies made to this design and they were verging on flashy, however research shows that Herbert Smith had specified a more conservative interior, hence Alpine Eagle’s choice of brown seats and carpets together with fawn headlining. They have been unable to discover exactly what was originally chosen but various fittings and fixtures that appear on others in the series are absent from this one and there is some evidence to support this colour scheme. The car looks new and very nearly perfect, nothing like something made in a modern factory but very special; handmade and bespoke.

Summary:

It is hard to convey how much, highly skilled work of many different disciplines is required to rebuild any Rolls-Royce properly, let alone a PIII. Alpine Eagle admit that this car has taken longer than any previous restoration; Typically a PII Continental or Derby Bentley is completed in approximately 10 months from arrival at the factory, but this PIII has consumed a further 8! Roy Partridge points out that each time they do a car they strive to raise their standards even further and that he feels this is their best work to date. He is extremely proud of his team of craftsmen and what they have achieved. He will now sit back nervously waiting to see if it wins awards when it appears at next year’s Rallies. It will but he’ll still worry!

A significant proportion of the 727 PIII’s sold were bought by Royalty and the Aristocracy as they were better off than footballers in those days! This particular car had a less distinguished start in that it went to Sir Herbert (Piggy) Smith a carpet magnate from Kidderminster who also bought a massive House called Witley Court from Lord Dudley. He made himself unpopular with locals by closing all the footpaths across the estate, hence the nickname Piggy. It would seem that in buying such a large pile which had the largest ornamental fountains in private ownership in Europe and one the most expensive cars made at the time, he had overreached himself and as a result had to reduce staff and so was not able to prevent the house being badly damaged by fire in 1936. The drive was in such a poor state that the Fire engine got stuck half way down it! The remains, including the fountains are now owned by English Heritage and open to the public. David Chaundy whose work on his Silver Cloud II appears on my website http://www.kda132.com is a grandson of the Dudley family and was able to provide this information. See letter below.

Not much is known of its subsequent life other than that it was rebuilt by the factory in 1957 and has recently returned to the UK from Switzerland where it had been restored so badly.  One thing is for sure, it will not be cosseted but driven regularly and at good speed, Nick loves his cars and takes proper care of them. You won’t find him at the front of a lengthy queue anywhere!

A Letter from David Chaundy:

Dear Ashley

Having read your most interesting article on Alpine Eagle's rebuild of a Gurney Nutting Phantom III, I noticed with interest the 1st owner of the car was Sir Herbert Smith.

Herbert Smith known locally in the Kidderminster area as "Piggy Smith" is known to me. My Grandmother’s family were related to the Earl of Dudley in Victorian times. The Earl then owned a magnificent Palladian mansion called Witley Court. His family were Victorian multi-millionaires and industrialists. He owned several of the coalmines and iron and steel works that started the industrial revolution in England. They also owned engineering companies that amongst other things built railway engines.

The 1st Earl of Dudley after inheriting the massive Dudley fortune paid £890,000 for Whitley Court and its 10,000 acre deer park in 1833. He then employed Samuel Daukes an architect to re-model the house and stables. Joseph Paxton was commissioned to build an Orangery. William Nesfield was commissioned to design elaborate Italianate gardens. Huge 20 ton blocks of stone were imported from Italy to be sculpted into the statuary for the fountains, which remain today the largest sculpted monoliths in Europe. The costs of buying the property and the improvements to it, taking some 10 years was 1.5 Million pounds, at a time when most people earned les than £1 a week.

Witley court became a by word for luxury and extravagance. High Society was lavishly entertained there, including Edward VII. House parties of 500 people were commonplace. The house and estate were described at the time as a Palladian palace of staggering luxury. The house had over 100 principal rooms; the stables accommodated over 100 horses! It was just as well the family owned coalmines, with over 50 tons being burned each day. Hypocaust heating systems and open fires in all the rooms together with the demands of the fountain engine house, and tropical Orangery kept 2 men in full time work grading and washing coal!  The magnificent 100 foot high fountains used more water than an entire residential district. They were powered by a huge 120 HP James Watt beam pumping engine. The engine drew water from the lake in front of the house, and then forced it 1 mile up hill to a reservoir. The fall down hill through an elaborate cast iron pipe system delivered high-pressure water to the huge fountains and provided a high-pressure water supply to the house for use in the fire hydrants.

In the later 19th century foreign competition was eating into the Dudley fortune. With their lavish lifestyle continuing to burn money, it was no surprise by the end of the 1st world war Witley Court had been mortgaged four times! By 1920 the 2nd Earl could no longer afford to maintain the property with its 200 staff, villages, quarry and farms. The estate was broken up and sold in the autumn of that year.

The house and 800 acres of the estate were sold to Herbert "Piggy" Smith in a private agreement. Chairman of Carpet Trades, he had worked his way up from a carpet designer to become company chairman. Soon after buying Whitley Court he retired to devote his time to running the estate. He became very unpopular with the locals as soon as he moved in. He closed footpaths across the estate that had been used for generations and he even refused Lord Dudley permission to visit his old home.

"Piggy Smith" was by no means as wealthy as the Dudley's had been. He really couldn't afford to run the estate. Certainly he could not afford to maintain it in the pristine condition that the Dudley's left it in. He kept only a drastically reduced staff. As a consequence, maintenance slipped. The high-pressure water supply to the fountains and the house was allowed to fall into disuse.  In September 1937, during "Piggy's" absence a fire broke out in the sub terrain kitchens. The skeleton staff could not contain it, and it spread up the east tower. Extensive damage to the most magnificent rooms resulted.

With the 2nd world war looming no buyer could be found. Magnificent Witley Court was sold to demolition contractors who stripped the building. Today Witley court is a preserved as a magnificent ruin by English Heritage. The Poseidon fountain has recently been restored and is now in working order, powered by an electric pump.

Herbert Smith was born in 1872 and died in 1943

 
I hope the above information is of interest.

Best regards

David Chaundy


Suggested Additional Reading Material:

Complete Classics: R-R Phantom II & III

The Forgotten Engine by Stephe Boddice

April 2017 - 3-AZ-168 is still looking great after 10 years and several thousand miles of touring and showing; prep work was completed and she returned to her owner for an exciting tour around southern Europe with the 20 Ghost Club which was completed with ease!

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Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

Manufacturer:Rolls Royce
Model:Silver Ghost
Year of Manufacturer:?
Chassis No.:?
Coachwork:?
Body Style:?
Restored:?

This car was actually restored by another well known company, Alpine Eagle merely trimmed it.

However the photographs show clearly that the methods used were traditional and the standards are a high as any in the world today.

The car won a best in show at last year’s annual rally at Towcester.

 

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Bentley 1936 B90GA

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:
Year of Manufacturer:1936
Chassis No.:B90GA
Coachwork:Veth & Zoon
Body Style:Coupe

This is the main restoration project that we are currently working on

This car is undergoing a cosmetic and mechanical restoration

At present we are stripping and re-building the rear axle and awaiting the clutch assembly to come back from machining

The body is painted and currently having mouldings fitted up before plating.

Latest Update:

March 2012 - The engine is now installed; running-board strips have been fabricated and fitted; the rear axle and suspension overhauled, rebuilt, repainted and refitted; we are currently awaiting chrome plating to be finished prior to commencing the trim work

April 2012 - Chrome plating taking longer than expected but due any day now, everything else coming together nicely now; watch out for some end of job images

May 2012 - A small batch of the plating has now been received;  the radiator shell is currently being re–built; new side flashes now fitted

June 2012 - All plating is now returned from the specialist and it is currently being assembled and fitted to the vehicle; window frames are in and are having patterns made for new glass

July 2012 - Most of the plating has now been re-assembled, the radiator shell has also been re-assembled and fitted to the vehicle; headlamps fitted and assembled; rear lamps fitted and awaiting wiring; hood nearing completion and interior trim work underway

September 2012 - B90GA's hood and red leather interior trim has now been completed (see the latest images below); wooden cappings and the dashboard are currently in the final stages of fabrication; windows are now fitted and sealed into place

October 2012 - Woodwork now all cut to length and veneered, currently awaiting lacquering and finishing; exterior lamps and horns have all been re-wired and tested; engraving and re-lettering back and ready to be fitted; many small component parts fitted; trim plates fabricated and fitted ready for chrome

November 2012 - B90GA's interior wood cappings have now been lacquered and are currently being flatted and polished (see the latest work in progress images below); all her lamps and external wiring are all now re-connected and have been successfully tested

December 2012 - most  of the wooden cappings are now fitted; instruments and illumination fitted and all connected; all preparations for primary start of the car now complete and she is running and nearly ready to drive!

February 2013 - all cappings are now fitted and the primary 30 mile test drive has been completed; currently the car is back in the paint shop receiving a few minor paint repairs and a final cut back and polish; as soon as the car is back we will finish the fine tuning and run the car in

July 2013 - the car is currently receiving some small detailing work and road testing

October 2013 - all parts and components have been re-fitted and the vehicle nas been returned to her very proud owner

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Bentley B191MX

Manufacturer:Bentley
Model:4¼ litre
Year of Manufacturer:TBA
Chassis No.:B191MX
Coachwork:Vanden Plas
Body Style:Drophead coupé

This is the second car currently being worked on; the vehicle arrived with us after having a full service and inspection.

We are carrying out a full re-wire and a selection of other small jobs.

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