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OTHER FIENNES COMPANIES:
WORLD-CLASS RESTORATION

Pre-War Rolls-Royce

Pre-War Rolls-Royce Restoration

EXPERT KNOWLEDGE
AND SKILL COMBINED

Precision craft is everything and it flows through every stage of a Pre-War Rolls-Royce restoration project, whether it’s the in-house manufacture of a new cylinder block or the complex restoration of a chassis. For over four decades, we’ve been committed to the provenance, preservation and on-going maintenance of Pre-War Rolls-Royce vehicles. It’s a level of dedication that’s seen us win a plethora of awards such as the Spirit of Ecstasy at Salon Privé, two awards at the legendary Pebble Beach and multiple top awards at the RREC Show.

Pre-War Rolls-Royce Specialists

Renowned restoration skills

Highly Specialised

Panel craft

Our panel craft specialists are renowned for their handcrafted re-creation of bodywork for some of the rarest vehicles. A front wing can take 2 weeks, a full body 12-14 weeks – but here, time is not of the essence – craftsmanship is.

Master Craftsmanship

Carpentry

Our world-class carpentry extends across projects as complex as a full rebuild of a car frame, to the delicate mirror matching of veneers for dashboards and interior trim. 

Award-Winning

Paintwork

The colour of a car is an inherent part of its heritage and personality, so it’s vital to any restoration. Our specialist craftsmen are experienced in returning a car back to its original colour or finishing to a new colour of the owner’s choosing. 

World-Class

Mechanical Engineering

From complex bottom-up restorations to gearbox rebuilds, our world-class mechanics and engineers bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to any project. Whatever Rolls-Royce vehicle you own we have the skills to help. 

There’s beauty in the detail

UNDERSTANDING ROLLS-ROYCE MODELS

Here is in-depth knowledge from our Technical Director Will Fiennes accumulated from over 45 years’ experience working with Rolls-Royce models. Will is probably the leading authority alive today and we are pleased to share this with you.

Silver Ghost

Production commenced in 1907 and continued, with many detail improvements, until 1925. The general arrangement of the large 6 cylinder engine was to become a Rolls-Royce hallmark for some 28 years, featuring twin cylinder blocks mounted on an aluminium crankcase and a separate gearbox. During the first World War many Ghost chassis saw action at the front line, fitted with military coachwork.

PRODUCTION NUMBERS:

6173

YEAR:

1907-1925

ENGINE:

6-cylinder, capacity 7036cc. Side valve, exposed camfollowers and valve springs. Twin cylinder blocks with non-detachable cylinder heads on a 2–piece aluminium crankcase. 7-bearing crankshaft with vibration damper from 1911. Pressure–fed lubrication by gear-type pump. Oil capacity 8 pints with 11 pints in a reserve tank.

CARBURATION:

R-R 2-jet type with automatic air valve. Initially cold start aided by priming cup, from 1921 changed to a starting carburettor.

IGNITION:

Dual system, each firing 6 plugs. Independent trembler coil and magneto.

COOLING SYSTEM:

Fan and centrifugal pump. Thermostat from 1921.

FUEL SYSTEM:

Initially gravity tank under front seat. Tank moved to rear in 1909 with pump driven off the gearbox, and off the distributor drive from 1919. Autovac from 1924.

TRANSMISSION:

Gearbox a separate unit. 4 speeds with direct drive top (3 speeds 1909 – 1913). Cone clutch. Open propeller shaft replaced by torque tube in 1911.

SUSPENSION:

Front, semi-elliptic. Rear, initially platform, replaced by cantilever in 1912. Friction shock absorbers from 1908, then Hartford friction type from 1921.

BRAKES:

Initially rear wheel brakes only, internally expanding operated by the handbrake and externally contracting on the propeller shaft operated by the footbrake. From 1913 the footbrake acted directly on the rear wheels also, and from 1924 front wheel brakes were added, operated by a mechanical servo. The servo motor was driven from the gearbox.

STEERING:

Worm and nut.

CHASSIS LUBRICATION:

By oil gun, 99 points weekly.

Springfield Silver Ghost

Production commenced in 1907 and continued, with many detail improvements, until 1925. The general arrangement of the large 6 cylinder engine was to become a Rolls-Royce hallmark for some 28 years, featuring twin cylinder blocks mounted on an aluminium crankcase and a separate gearbox. During the first World War many Ghost chassis saw action at the front line, fitted with military coachwork.

PRODUCTION NUMBERS:

6173

YEAR:

1907-1925

ENGINE:

6-cylinder, capacity 7036cc. Side valve, exposed camfollowers and valve springs. Twin cylinder blocks with non-detachable cylinder heads on a 2–piece aluminium crankcase. 7-bearing crankshaft with vibration damper from 1911. Pressure–fed lubrication by gear-type pump. Oil capacity 8 pints with 11 pints in a reserve tank.

CARBURATION:

R-R 2-jet type with automatic air valve. Initially cold start aided by priming cup, from 1921 changed to a starting carburettor.

FUEL SYSTEM:

Initially gravity tank under front seat. Tank moved to rear in 1909 with pump driven off the gearbox, and off the distributor drive from 1919. Autovac from 1924.

TRANSMISSION:

Gearbox a separate unit. 4 speeds with direct drive top (3 speeds 1909 – 1913). Cone clutch. Open propeller shaft replaced by torque tube in 1911.

SUSPENSION:

Front, semi-elliptic. Rear, initially platform, replaced by cantilever in 1912. Friction shock absorbers from 1908, then Hartford friction type from 1921.

BRAKES:

Initially rear wheel brakes only, internally expanding operated by the handbrake and externally contracting on the propeller shaft operated by the footbrake. From 1913 the footbrake acted directly on the rear wheels also, and from 1924 front wheel brakes were added, operated by a mechanical servo. The servo motor was driven from the gearbox.

STEERING:

Worm and nut.

CHASSIS LUBRICATION:

By oil gun, 99 points weekly.

Phantom I

The replacement for the Silver Ghost was initially called the New Phantom, but became known as the Phantom I after the introduction of the Phantom II. A little larger and naturally more modern car than its predecessor, the chassis and engine design were similar to the Ghost but with a detachable cylinder head. This was equipped with pushrod-operated overhead valves. The gearbox remained a separate unit but now with a plate clutch instead of the earlier cone type.

PRODUCTION NUMBERS:

2212

YEAR:

1925 – 1929

ENGINE:

6 cylinders, capacity 7668cc. Pushrod-operated overhead valves. Twin cylinder blocks on an aluminium 2–piece crankcase. 7 bearing crankshaft with vibration damper. Single detachable 12-plug cylinder head, initially cast iron (CR 4:1) with all plugs on the nearside; aluminium from 1928 with 6 plugs per side (CR 4.2:1). Pressure fed lubrication by gear type pump. Oil capacity 12 pints.

CARBURATION:

R-R 2-jet type with automatic air valve and starting carburettor.

IGNITION:

Independent magneto and coil, each firing 6 plugs.

Cooling system:

Vertical radiator shutters operated by hand. Fan and centrifugal water pump.

Fuel System:

18-gallon rear tank and Autovac. Direct-acting gauge on tank superseded in 1927 by a Hobson Teleguage on the dashboard.

Transmission:

Separate unit 4-speed gearbox with a single plate clutch. Torque tube. Right hand gearchange. Rear axle ratio 3.47:1 (from 1927 optional 3.25:1)

Suspension:

Leaf springs. Semi- elliptic front and cantilever rear. Friction shock absorbers initially, changed to hydraulic at the front 1926 and the rear 1927.

Brakes:

Internal expanding 4–wheel operation with independent handbrake on the rear wheels. Mechanical servo driven from the gearbox.

Steering box:

Worm and nut.

Chassis lubrication:

By oil gun.

Springfield Phantom 1

From 1926 - 1931, Phantom Is were also built for the American market in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. Like the Springfield Silver Ghosts that preceded them, these cars were originally the same mechanically as the English built versions, but eventually left hand drive and centre gearchange were introduced. They differed mainly by their use of American coachwork and locally sourced electrical equipment. Technical specification was similar to the Derby Phantom I, and this is what's listed here.

Production numbers:

1225

YEAR:

1926-1931

Engine:

6 cylinders, capacity 7668cc. Pushrod-operated overhead valves. Twin cylinder blocks on an aluminium 2–piece crankcase. 7 bearing crankshaft with vibration damper. Single detachable 12-plug cylinder head, initially cast iron (CR 4:1) with all plugs on the nearside; aluminium from 1928 with 6 plugs per side (CR 4.2:1). Pressure fed lubrication by gear type pump. Oil capacity 12 pints.

Carburation:

R-R 2-jet type with automatic air valve and starting carburettor.

Ignition:

Independent magneto and coil, each firing 6 plugs.

Cooling system:

Vertical radiator shutters operated by hand. Fan and centrifugal water pump.

Fuel system:

18-gallon rear tank and Autovac. Direct-acting gauge on tank superseded in 1927 by a Hobson Teleguage on the dashboard.

Transmission:

Separate unit 4-speed gearbox with a single plate clutch. Torque tube. Right hand gearchange. Rear axle ratio 3.47:1 (from 1927 optional 3.25:1)

Suspension:

Leaf springs. Semi- elliptic front and cantilever rear. Friction shock absorbers initially, changed to hydraulic at the front 1926 and the rear 1927.

Brakes:

Internal expanding 4–wheel operation with independent handbrake on the rear wheels. Mechanical servo driven from the gearbox.

Steering box:

Worm and nut.

Chassis lubrication:

By oil gun.

Phantom II

The series beginning with the Silver Ghost continued in 1929 with the Phantom II. A development of the Phantom I, the new car continued to use the by-now familiar style of Rolls-Royce engine and chassis design, improved and updated to compete with luxury cars from other British, Continental and American manufacturers.

Production numbers:

1672

Year:

1929 – 1935

Engine:

6 cylinders. Capacity 7668cc. Pushrod-operated overhead valves. Twin cylinder blocks on an aluminium 2-piece crankcase. 7 bearing crankshaft with vibration damper. Single detachable 12-plug aluminium cylinder head. Pressure fed lubrication by gear type pump. Oil capacity 16 pints.

Ignition:

Independent magneto and coil, each firing 6 plugs

Cooling system:

Engine driven pump and fan. Radiator shutters initially manually-operated; from 1931 controlled by a ‘calorstat’ mounted in the radiator top tank.

Carburation:

R-R 2-jet type with automatic air valve and starting carburettor. 1933 single jet semi-expanding type carburettor. 1935 choke size increased.

Fuel system:

20-gallon rear tank and Autovac with engine-driven vacuum pump. Hobson Telegauge on the dashboard with hand air-pump.

Transmission:

4-speed gearbox in unit with the engine with a single plate clutch. Open propeller shaft. Right hand gearchange.

Suspension:

Leaf springs, semi-elliptic front and rear. Hydraulic lever arm shock dampers, equipped with Ride Control from 1933. Continental models had stiffer springs, auxiliary Hartford dampers and later Hartford Telecontrol dampers.

Brakes:

Internal expanding 4 – wheel operation with independent handbrake on the rear wheels. Mechanical servo driven from the gearbox.

Steering box:

Worm and nut.

Chassis lubrication:

Part oil gun and centralised lubrication. Full chassis ‘One-Shot’ lubrication introduced 1931.

Phantom III

In 1935 the series of large RR cars continued with the introduction of the Phantom III. This new model departed from established Rolls-Royce practice having a superbly-refined and complicated V12 engine and independent coil spring front suspension. The car had outstanding performance. The engine in effect was two 3 1/2 litre cylinder blocks mounted on a common crankcase; however a major departure from previous designs was that the crankcase and cylinder blocks were now integral, being made in aluminium with separate cast iron wet liners. Similarities in design can be seen when comparing the Phantom 3 engine with its larger aero-engine cousins.

Production numbers:

710

Year:

1935 – 1939

Engine:

60degree V12. Capacity 7340cc. Detachable cylinder heads, 24 spark plugs. Overhead pushrod operated valves. Single camshaft. Hydraulic tappets (solid from 1938). 7-bearing crankshaft, 2 conrods per crankpin, with vibration damper. Pressure-fed lubrication via filter and heat exchanger to 3 relief valves that supplied oil at different pressures to crankshaft bearings, rocker shafts and timing gears. Oil capacity 22 pints.

Ignition:

Dual coil, two distributors with twin contact breakers in each. Centrifugally governed timing.

Cooling system:

Engine driven pump and fan. Thermostatic controlled radiator shutters.

Carburation:

Down draught, twin choke type with economy jet and accelerator pump.

Fuel system:

Dual electric pumps, 33 gallon rear mounted tank, no reserve but warning lamp on dashboard.

Transmission:

4-speed gearbox, separate unit from engine. Synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and top. From 1938 top was an overdrive ratio. Single dry plate clutch mounted in unit with engine. Open drive propshaft.

Suspension:

Independent coil spring front suspension incorporating adjustable hydraulic dampers. Semi-elliptic rear leaf springs, hydraulic dampers. All dampers automatically adjusted to suit road speed but could be over-ridden by driver.

Brakes:

Internal expanding 4 – wheel operation with independent handbrake on the rear wheels. Mechanical brake servo driven from the gearbox.

Steering:

Marles cam and roller steering box.

Chassis lubrication:

‘One-Shot’ chassis lubrication system.

Jacking system:

Integral hydraulic jack on each wheel operated from within the car by a hand pump and lever.

20hp

This first small Rolls-Royce car became an instant success and is easily distinguished by the horizontal radiator shutters on all but last few produced. It had a 6 cylinder 3 litre engine with a monobloc cast iron cylinder block and crankcase, and detachable cylinder head. It was better suited to lighter coachwork than the Silver Ghost and later Phantoms. The 20hp chassis series A – E are not clearly defined in the Technical Data published by Rolls-Royce. If you need to find out the chassis series of an early 20hp chassis please let us know.

Production numbers:

2940

Year:

1922 – 1929

Engine:

6 cylinder monobloc with detachable cast iron head. Capacity 3127cc. Overhead pushrod operated valves. 2-part aluminium crankcase. 7-bearing crankshaft with vibration damper. Pressure fed lubrication with relief valve feeding rocker shaft and timing gears. Oil capacity 10 pints.

Ignition:

Coil with standby magneto standard from 1924. Semi-automatic timing advance.

Cooling system:

Engine driven pump and fan. Horizontal thermostatic radiator shutters.

Carburation:

2-jet type with starting carburettor and automatic air valve.

Fuel system:

Rear mounted 14 gallon tank with Autovac. Direct-acting gauge on tank. 2 gallons reserve from 1928.

Transmission:

Gearbox in unit with engine. 3-speed with centre gearchange. 4-speed with right hand gearchange from 1925. Singe dry plate clutch. Open drive propeller shaft.

Suspension:

Semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear. Friction shock dampers, hydraulic from 1926 front, 1928 rear.

Brakes:

Initially rear wheel only, internal expanding drum, separate independent shoes for foot and hand brakes. Front wheel brakes from 1925 with mechanical servo motor driven from the gearbox.

Steering:

Worm and nut.

Chassis lubrication:

Oil gun. Part centralised lubrication system from 1929.

20/25

This became the best selling Rolls-Royce car up until World War 2. The engine was of 3 1/2 litres capacity with a cast iron cylinder block and head on an aluminium crankcase. The small-horsepower chassis was now powerful enough to carry large saloon and limousine coachwork.

Production numbers:

3827

Year:

1929 – 1936

Engine:

6 cylinders, capacity 3699cc. Separate cast iron block and aluminium crankcase with detachable cast iron 6-plug head. Overhead pushrod operated valves. 7-bearing crankshaft with vibration damper. Pressure fed lubrication with relief valve feeding rocker shaft and timing gears.

Ignition system:

Independent coil and standby magneto systems. Centrifugal advance with hand override.

Cooling system:

Engine driven pump and fan. Temperature controlled by radiator shutters: hand operated with temperature warning lamp, thermostatically controlled from 1932.

Carburation:

2-jet type with starting carburettor and automatic air valve. From 1934, single jet expanding type.

Fuel:

14 gallon rear tank with Autovac. 18 gals from 1932. Hobson Telegauge. Electric fuel gauge from 1932.

Transmission:

4-speed gearbox in unit with engine. 1932, synchromesh 3rd and top. Right hand gearchange. Single dry plate clutch, 1936 Borg and Beck type. Open drive propeller shaft. 1936 Hypoid spiral bevel final drive introduced.

Suspension:

Semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear. Hydraulic dampers, equipped with Ride Control from 1934.

Brakes:

Internal expanding 4 – wheel operation with independent handbrake on the rear wheels. Mechanical servo motor driven from the gearbox.

Steering:

Worm and nut. 1936 Marles cam and roller steering box

Chassis lubrication:

Oil gun and part centralised system. ‘One-Shot’ centralised chassis lubrication system from 1932.

25/30

A development of the 20/25, the engine capacity was increased to 4 1/4 litres and for the first time the Rolls-Royce carburettor was replaced with a proprietary Solex instrument. The 20/25 was also available for sale in 1936.

Production numbers:

1201

Year:

1936 – 1938

Engine:

6 cylinders, capacity 4257cc. Separate cast iron block and two-piece aluminium crankcase with detachable cast iron 6-plug head, deturbulated from 1937. Overhead pushrod operated valves. 7-bearing crankshaft with vibration damper. Pressure fed lubrication with relief valve feeding rocker shaft and timing gears. Oil capacity 14 pints.

Ignition system:

Coil ignition system with standby coil mounted together. Centrifugal advance with hand override.

Cooling system:

Engine driven water pump and fan. Thermostatically controlled radiator shutters.

Carburation:

Stromberg downdraught carburettor with accelerator pump. Exhaust heated inlet manifold.

Fuel:

18 gallon rear tank with double SU electric fuel pumps. Electric gauge. Low fuel warning light.

Transmission:

4-speed gearbox in unit with engine. Synchromesh 3rd and top. Right hand gearchange. Clutch, Borg and Beck type. Open drive propeller shaft.

Suspension:

Semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear. Hydraulic shock dampers equipped with Ride Control.

Brakes:

Internal expanding 4 – wheel operation with independent handbrake on the rear wheels. Mechanical brake servo motor driven from the gearbox.

Steering:

Marles cam and roller

Chassis Lubrication:

‘One-Shot’ centralised lubrication system.

Wraith

The ultimate pre-war small horsepower Rolls-Royce, the Wraith was more refined than the 25/30. It had an improved engine with a crossflow cylinder head and independent front suspension, similar to the larger Phantom III. However production was curtailed by the intervention of World War 2 and it therefore remains a comparatively rare car.

Production numbers:

491

Year:

1938 – 1939

Engine:

6 cylinders, capacity 4257cc. Monobloc with detachable cast iron 6-plug head, deturbulated from 1937. Overhead pushrod operated valves. 7-bearing crankshaft with vibration damper. Pressure fed lubrication with relief valve feeding rocker shaft and timing gears. Oil capacity 14 pints.

Ignition system:

Coil system with standby coil mounted together. Centrifugal advance with hand override.

Cooling system:

Engine driven water pump and fan. Thermostat. Fixed radiator shutters.

Carburation:

Stromberg downdraught carburettor, fixed jet, with accelerator pump. Water heated inlet manifold.

Fuel:

18 gallon rear tank with double SU pumps mounted on the chassis. Electric gauge. Low fuel warning light.

Transmission:

4-speed gearbox in unit with engine. Synchromesh 3rd and top. Right hand gearchange. Clutch, single dry plate type. Open drive propeller shaft.

Suspension:

Independent coil spring front suspension incorporating adjustable hydraulic dampers. Semi-elliptic rear springs, hydraulic dampers. All dampers automatically adjusted to suit road speed but can be over-ridden by driver.

Brakes:

Internal expanding 4 – wheel operation with independent handbrake on the rear wheels. Mechanical brake servo motor driven from the gearbox.

Steering:

Marles cam and roller steering box.

Chassis lubrication:

‘One-Shot’ centralised lubrication system.

Jacking system:

Integral hydraulic jack on each wheel operated from within the car by a hand pump and lever.