1951 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, #WME14. The well balanced design makes
this an impressively elegant motor car. Hooper's craftsmen created the
coachwork from aluminium panels.
When Rolls-Royce started to produce motor cars again after the end of
hostilities the company did not compromise on their pre-war standards:
only material of highest quality was accepted and ayn work performed
painstakingly careful. There is good reason why Silver Wraith that are
properly serviced are considered to be indestructible. Nowadays though
there is a difference between cars which do run and those performing to
Rolls-Royce's standard. On a car that is some 60 years old there is no
guarantee that never a part due to wear might cause repair or a unit
needs to become substituted.
With exceptional care this Touring Limousine by Hooper – that had been
garaged 'mothballed' since the 80ies – was serviced before from 2010
onward the car was used occasionally for tours again. The chassis after
thorough 'dry-ice-cleaning' became treated with rust-proofing and new
paint. New flexible tank-pipe and the petrol pumps were fitted because a
certain percentage of ethanol is added to modern petrols. This is an
ingredient that can attack rubber that was produced in the past and thus
can do harm to petrol-hoses and petrol pump diaphragms. The radiator's
core and the water pump were exchanged for new units and the engine
compartment was up-dated.
1951 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, #WME14. Front suspension after
'dry-ice-cleaning' and 'Brunox'-treatment.
An increasing problem with cars from the early post-war period is one
that forced to change the cylinder heads on a considerable number of
pre-war cars: electrolytic corrosion. Infant signs were found when the
cylinder head was taken off and checked. Not too serious such could be
repaired. However by coincidence an exchange unit was acquired and that
was fitted to the engine of #WME14. During such action all the
coolant-passages of the engine were cleaned and thus for the foreseeable
future there will be no risk of thermal stress. As the carburettor had
been taken off anyway that was overhauled, too, with a complete set of
new gaskets. The old cylinder head – repaired and pressure-tested – was
stored as a spare part. There might be need for that after another 60+
years will have passed?
Further examples of the care that was imperative to keep this car in
fine condition: The tyres although showing full profile and no external
signs of wear became changed due to their age; 5 new white wall tyres
and matching hoses were fitted. Each and any of the hoses of the coolant
system was substituted by a new one. This included the hoses that feed
the car-heater, a separate unit with a two-stage blower mounted under
the front passenger's seat.