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American Rolls Royce (Ghost, PI & PII)


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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

I spent the last two days driving twin PII’s around Southern Florida, both are low mileage Brewster bodied cars. Both are fresh Restorations. The PII’s are much more sensitive when it comes to shifting the crash box VS the PI.  It took me over an hour to be able to shift it silently, definitely not for the beginner learning how to drive a stick! The four speed doesn’t seem to improve the drivability of the car, I’ll take the PI three speed if I have a choice. The PII chassis rides much better than the PI. They steer and stop the same.

When you Master PI shifting it is like BUTTER and I have to say an IMPRESSIVE gearbox, near silent in second and third, and .....   I have not driven it much, as dad has been driving it - Dad masters it at about the 7th shift.  I wonder if perhaps a warm up thing and getting oil thrown around in it (matched to a good ear).  

 

Sidenote:  Dad can pretty much shift anything - there is a few minutes upon leaving garage that would make a sailor blush.

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2 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

 I wonder if perhaps a warm up thing and getting oil thrown around in it (matched to a good ear).  

 

I have a car like that.  The more you drive it the easier it will shift.  If it sits for 6 months, then not so much.

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The town car from the photos looks like it may be the one George Holman had in his storage shop in Springfield Mass for about ten years, I think the idea was to use it as a parts car.............about two years ago, while I was in the shop, I believe someone from England purchased it and sent it back over the pond. It was way too nice to part out. At some later date, the top over the front seat was covered over not allowing it to be opened up, no structural changes were made. The car still had a bad head on it when he sold it.

 

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Interesting evening Friday night this week. After taking our newly restored Phantom for its first official test drive, I parked it in its assigned place in the garage next to another Phantom. What made this so unusual, is the cars were ordered new togeather. A “his and hers” pair of Phantom customs. It was the first time in 80 years they have been in the same garage together. The matching belt lines make for a very unusual display. It’s almost impossible to comprehend that a gentleman spent fifty thousand dollars in throws of the Great Depression for a pair of  Rolls Royce cars. It’s the historical non tangible details like this that make the hobby so much fun. I’ll post some photos after the cars make their first appearances on the show circuit. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was an interesting RR project:  Everyone was scolding me that I had to get the chassis card to verify if correct body# to frame # to engine#  - Yep, it is a 100% number matching car.  After spending a lot of time with the car, I suspected that even though very tail end production the original owner got a 100% new car too (appears she was RR of America's nickel alloy supplier).   Sounds like she also tied to bail company out again in 1941 buying the last unfinished PIII.   I thought I would post as few people ever see this kind of paperwork and ....

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When polishing the German Silver and refinishing the woodwork -  literally has every piece of interior stamped with body number and every sheet metal stamped chassis number - I love too such as the little brass tag riveted to the hood hinge with the chassis number.

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Thanks John!    I love paperwork.  I have seen individual number stamping on a number of full coachbuilt cars.  When you are building something by hand,  the windshield frame on one car will not necessarily fit on a similar car.

 

What was the process for getting your build cards?   Would it be the same for post war English built cars?

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9 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Thanks John!    I love paperwork.  I have seen individual number stamping on a number of full coachbuilt cars.  When you are building something by hand,  the windshield frame on one car will not necessarily fit on a similar car.

 

What was the process for getting your build cards?   Would it be the same for post war English built cars?

I sent out two emails asking - one to The Rolls-Royce Owners Club and another to The Rolls-Royce Foundation ( rollsroycefoundation.org ). Within a day the RROC had sent a note that my request had been sent to the Foundation and within another day the Foundation had answered saying they had located the card and asking how I would like to pay and how I would like to receive - I chose email).  The cost was as very reasonable $60.00.  I am not sure of the current process for an English car, though know I have asked for two 25/30 Series cards and received. 

 

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On 12/25/2017 at 12:23 AM, edinmass said:

Interesting evening Friday night this week. After taking our newly restored Phantom for its first official test drive, I parked it in its assigned place in the garage next to another Phantom. What made this so unusual, is the cars were ordered new togeather. A “his and hers” pair of Phantom customs. It was the first time in 80 years they have been in the same garage together. The matching belt lines make for a very unusual display. It’s almost impossible to comprehend that a gentleman spent fifty thousand dollars in throws of the Great Depression for a pair of  Rolls Royce cars. It’s the historical non tangible details like this that make the hobby so much fun. I’ll post some photos after the cars make their first appearances on the show circuit. 

I always loved that the Pratt's took deliver of a PI on the same day as the Whitney's

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Curious if just my car or ...., but I do not have to turn the RR Spirit of Ecstasy to open the hood - it is a correct original Springfield ornament and unrestored  - of all things the original owner's initials are engraved in it too (ie. not a reproduction) mounted to clearly the original cap.  It has the tension spring under mounting stud so it does turn, but it clears by 1/4 inch, so no need to turn it.

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This is the other side.  I have like 150 plus hours in polishing aluminum.  I probably should polish the brass carburetor, but will only polish it by hand as it is one of the few cars that still retains all its machine tool marks on the brass and those would be lost if machine polished.  I did polish the starting carburetor (that is the small "contraption" on the center top of the intake manifold - it is controlled by a lever off the dash and basically is a primer to get the engine going and then once engine fires up you switch over to the large carburetor - a novelty (all be it an effective novelty) that takes a little getting use to.

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On 1/7/2018 at 9:31 AM, alsancle said:

John,  steel head plugs are all on the left and aluminum they are 50/50?  Please feel free to keep posting pictures.  I'm enjoying them.

I believe you are correct as the right side core plugs are enameled, but the ones on the left side are natural aluminum.   It has a Vintage Garage Frank Cook Cylinder head on it - a chunk of change !

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Yesterday, I had a Jedi Master formerly from Ned Herman's Vintage Auto in Cincinnati  (one of the top pre-war RR shops of the 60's-early 80's time) help me do some  tuning.  He thought I did not have the right range of mixture off the steering sector (too lean) and readjusted the high speed jet to correct.  And, he preached waiting longer to shift into first to get it out of the garage (for those unfamiliar - the starter drives through the transmission and so when you start it you never push in the clutch pedal - so once started you have a very "active" transmission and you have to let everything in it stop spinning to get it into gear (he said my waiting period was too short and I needed to slowly count to ten plus).  He also preached not an easy car to master shifting with, but when you do master it there is nothing finer.    He also criticized my double clutching - apparently too rushing in the double clutching process too and said to stop trying to "ear" it (keep right foot off accelerator) and to just let it return to idle in process. 

 

Sidenote: Friday 01/11/2018 - Had it out 2nd day in a row - shifted like butter as they say - super sweet !

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23 hours ago, alsancle said:

What do you suppose ever happened to this bad boy?  Dietrich Body on  I think a PII chassis.  Picture from the CCCA Archive.

 

 

Actually a Silver Ghost and probably not Dietrich, but looks like a Pirate so I'm not sure.

http://www.automobileweb2.net/index.php?page=silverghostconvertiblephaetondarrin&img=0

 

image01.jpg

 

 

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On 1/11/2018 at 8:02 PM, alsancle said:

What do you suppose ever happened to this bad boy?  Dietrich Body on  I think a PII chassis.  Picture from the CCCA Archive.

 

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It passed through Cincinnati, OH one year for Ault Park Concours d''Elegance (a new owner was taking delivery there) - 1996(?). It was painted entirely in white with a tan top and a red interior.  We still had the 1930 Franklin 147 Dietrich Speedster Convertible Sedan so naturally caught my eye, plus I was asked to get it running.  I had all my tools so I took off a door dovetails - it had the proper number for a Franklin Walker Bodied Pirate. L _ _ .  I was able to get a really good detail look at car and even slid underneath it with the shop light - THE BODY IS INCREDIBLE WELL ADAPTED TO THE CHASSIS.  NOTICE THE LICENSE PLATE I BELIEVE SAYS 1935.  ALSO THERE ARE SOME PICTURES OF IT USED IN MOVIES.

 

 The body could have been a Walker surplus or could have been a used Franklin body from a car that bit the dust. 

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10 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

 

 

 The body could have been a Walker surplus or could have been a used Franklin body from a car that bit the dust. 

 

Interesting thought to ponder........my bet is it was an unused body left over for some reason.........often seen on Pierce Arrows are earlier batch customs placed two and three years later.  

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11 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

It passed through Cincinnati, OH one year for Ault Park Concours d''Elegance (a new owner was taking delivery there) - 1996(?). It was painted entirely in white with a tan top and a red interior. 

 

Interesting.  I don't recall ever seeing a post war picture.   That is nice it still around.  You are supposed to be finding me the other Dietrich Royale too.

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

Interesting.  I don't recall ever seeing a post war picture.   That is nice it still around.  You are supposed to be finding me the other Dietrich Royale too.

 

 

Who says I didn"t find it? I'm just waiting for a drive in your Stutz before I lay another project on you..........

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 1:06 PM, John_Mereness said:

I sent out two emails asking - one to The Rolls-Royce Owners Club and another to The Rolls-Royce Foundation ( rollsroycefoundation.org ). Within a day the RROC had sent a note that my request had been sent to the Foundation and within another day the Foundation had answered saying they had located the card and asking how I would like to pay and how I would like to receive - I chose email).  The cost was as very reasonable $60.00.  I am not sure of the current process for an English car, though know I have asked for two 25/30 Series cards and received. 

 

That is VERY reasonable, considering a Marti Report for a Ford product is between $45 for a Maverick to $200 for a Shelby Mustang.  And Mercedes Benz charges €100 for a copy for theirs, plus proof of ownership.

 

Along with some of the others here, I've always like documentation, and if someone has their Production Order, report, etc., next to their vehicle at a car show, I'll include it, as well as the rest of the car when taking photos.  It is truly your car's "DNA".

 

Craig

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I have done it for a couple of cars and the RR Club and Foundation are great.  They have done a good job of digitizing their archive.  I have not done a Marti in years, but there were 3 levels of report, and I believe they used to give you the original copy of your invoice (not a scan).  I have them for both of my cars.  So, it is not quite the same thing as what the RR clubs are doing.

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  • 3 months later...
On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 10:17 AM, West Peterson said:

Where are the valve stems located? You can see them on the current photo, but not on the original.

They appear to be body color and match the surrounding area making them difficult to see.

 

When one enlarges the photo, the rear one appears to be just past the six-o'clock position, the front wheel at the eight-o'clock position, in line with the reflection, and the spare at twelve-o'clock.  Look hard, but they are there.

 

Craig

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The disks have a small,round sprung door that pushes in and over to get to an air line that leads to the stem on the tube. The disks were sourced from the high end car accessory shop on fifth ave in New York City, the name escapes me. The car has 9000 original miles on it, and the disks are what was on it new. Four cars built is conjecture, only two are know for sure, this car has no devider and leather buckets in the front, broadcloth in the rear. Also the only one built with skirted fenders. 28.2 K when new in 1933. Makes the twenty grand Duesenberg look like a discount model.

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On ‎8‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 10:56 AM, alsancle said:

Walt or Joe,  can you explain the differences in the heads?  I assume the later heads were an improvement?  Were there cracking issues with the aluminum?

 

Ed,  bring your Duesenberg stuff over to the Duesenberg thread and don't pollute the good thing we have going here!

"cracking "is an ambiguous word.   City Motor Services here in Melbourne ran a high end hire car service, mostly with Pierce Arrow Model 80s, with a few model 81s, and 5 or maybe 6 1929 straight eights; which they used for federal politicians travelling to and from Canberra.  At one time they also bought a job lot of excellent P1 cars from India, which apparently were fitted with very nice open touring bodies.  Sadly those had little appeal to their clientele, and drew a punitive import tax to protect the local body-building industry.  So the bodies were unbolted from the chassis, and tipped off the edge of the wharf into the Yarra river to save the tax.

First arrangement was they parked the P1s nose towards the plate glass wall of the office;  and the secretaries complained that they could concentrate for the noise of the engines cooling down.

I note the name of Sir Macpherson is mentioned as owner one Rolls Royce.   He accumulated a substantial fortune through manufacture of confectionary .  He was virtually a wholesale buyer of Packards,   but he may have liked the Rolls less,  and sold it in USA rather than bring it home to Australia.   I was told by the people who salvaged parts of his 1922 Twin Six Packard Runabout with Rudge 100mm wire wheels, that the car was ruined by a large tree that fell across the shed it was stored in.    He was very generous in spending his money for public benefit,.   Most of his employees were young women,  and he paid to build and initially run MacRobertson High School for girls in Melbourne.  There is quite a lot about him on the internet.

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The heads get porosity - RR treated them by I believe baking them in linseed oil - and then along came alcohol based anti-freeze and age.  They also corrode.  When one is going bad, besides overheating, you know the problem as there are green translucent chunks in the coolant that look like mint jelly.  The problem is well noted in the very first RROC newsletter in 1954 (ie problem has been around for a LOOOOOOOOOOG time).  I am very familiar with the problem via my RR PI (it was in the family since 1972 or 1973, and eventually had to get a new Frank Cooke replacement head.  By the way, on rare occasion a cast iron head goes bad - that historically has been quite a problem via being unobtainium.  You used to be able to get a new head via Fiennes (kind of scary they do not seem to have them currently listed) - with shipping and studs my guess is you were in the low 20K range.  Franke Cooke use to run his heads on a test engine prior to selling to you - all valves were set up too and ....

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