Reborn, An Owner’s Workshop Guide for the 25/30 Rolls-Royce
“In reality, ‘Humphrey’ turned out to be a very frail incontinent gentleman in need of urgent surgery. Although he was a mover and shaker. But in the literal sense.”
It is a sad fact of life that a car once bought is never as good as first hoped, and a sold car is always better in memory than it truly was! These facts can cause the double misery of buyer’s remorse and seller’s remorse. To alleviate the former and possibly prevent the latter, don’t sell that unsatisfactory car but improve it! You may not be able to achieve as-new condition but a good, sound and usable state should be attainable by any “average owner who knows how to handle a spanner, but not necessarily which nut to apply the spanner to.”
This is Vyse’s second book and is, once more, prompted by having bought a less-than-perfect car. In fact, he calls it “very sick.” The first book, Survivor, dealt with his ministrations to a 20/25 model. Being mechanically similar to the 25/30 (chassis GRO54) covered here means that both books complement each other and in fact apply to any prewar small horsepower Rolls-Royce or Bentley. There’s also a good deal about generic topics such as leather, paint or coachwork refurbishment that have universal application.
Aside from technical and maintenance bits Vyse also covers the known history of this car. The vast majority of this work has been done by himself, and here he recounts the problems encountered and his personal solutions. Sources of supplies and services are mentioned and listed (all but one UK-only).
The author writes clearly and concisely, perfectly balancing the style of a good story and the relating of facts that a reader will need to know if s/he wishes to undertake similar rectifications to their own car. The text is supplemented by clear black and white images and drawings.
The 19 x 24 cm booklet contains two parts. The first 19 pages deal with the early life of the car, first thoughts on its problems, origins of the 25/30 hp model, and finally a history of coachbuilder Barker & Co.
The remaining pages deal with a multitude of mechanical, electrical, and trim components that have needed attention. Vyse succinctly describes locations, removal, testing, rectification and refitting, along with many Top Tips such as where to buy a kit to convert an original side lamp to also operate as an amber flashing indicator or how to balance recalcitrant wheels by “centripetal balancing” using Zircon ceramic beads inside the inner tubes. (Be warned; many of these tips will leave you with a sense of “Why didn’t I think of that?” ignominy!).
Appended are a full service schedule, list of chassis changes, and a short treatise on the correct use of the Early/Late control (for spark and ignition) and how to unstick a frozen clutch on a car that has sat for a long time.
Needless to say, the diagnoses of faults and the means of rectification are those of Charles Vyse and his mentors.
Copyright 2015, Malcolm Tucker (speedreaders.info).