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1905 riley 9hp

Carburettor Plate

When you are working on a car that is more than 100 years old, like our 1905 Riley 9HP, it is extremely challenging to find

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Coming Back To Life

Considering our 1905 Riley 9HP likely hasn’t been started since the 1940s, classic car technician Dave has been working extremely hard to get it back

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A New Ignition Coil

Classic car technician Dave has been continuing his work on our extremely rare 1905 Riley 9HP. After recently trial-fitting the wooden bodywork, Dave has, once

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The Wheels Are On

Our 1905 Riley 9HP looks very different to how it looked when it first arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars workshop. Working from photos, drawings,

Read More »

Carburettor Plate

When you are working on a car that is more than 100 years old, like our 1905 Riley 9HP, it is extremely challenging to find all of the parts you need in a ready-made state.

That’s why classic car technician Dave has been putting his experience and skills to good use by making a carburettor plate for our ultra-rare Riley.

Our 1905 Riley 9HP is believed to be one of just 3 examples left in existence so getting it back up and running is a task we are taking very seriously.

Coming Back To Life

Considering our 1905 Riley 9HP likely hasn’t been started since the 1940s, classic car technician Dave has been working extremely hard to get it back up and running.

At more than 100 years old, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the days of our ultra-rare Riley HP running are long gone, but we are incredibly excited to say that this is not the case!

With some help from workshop manager John, Dave was able to bring our Riley back to life and managed to start it up recently.

Starting a car like this isn’t as easy as turning a key in the ignition, a lot of effort is needed to turn the crank to get things fired up and running as they should.

Long before Dave knelt down next to the car and started his effort to ignite it back into life, he spent countless hours getting it into such a condition where starting it up was even considered a feasible option.

It may have only been running for a few seconds but, at more than 100 years old, after being sat in place since the 1940s, and with only 3 of these stunning cars thought to be left in existence – those few seconds of running were more than enough to get everyone here very excited about what the future holds for our 1905 Riley 9HP.

A New Ignition Coil

Classic car technician Dave has been continuing his work on our extremely rare 1905 Riley 9HP.

After recently trial-fitting the wooden bodywork, Dave has, once again, turned his attention to getting our Riley 9HP up and running.

Dave has installed a new (and much improved) ignition coil set up into this very special classic car. With this latest addition, our 1905 Riley 9HP continues to move closer to being started up and ready to drive once more.

Trial Fitting Bodywork – 1905 Riley 9HP

Our 1905 Riley 9HP has been going through a big transformation over the last few weeks. A big step towards this ultra-rare car looking more like it should was when the wheels were fitted. This was a great opportunity to see much more clearly how our finished Riley will hopefully look.

However, classic car technician Dave has been taking our 9HP through an even bigger stage of its transformation and restoration by trial-fitting the wooden bodywork.

This was the first time in a very long time that the bodywork and chassis were together in what is likely to be their final configuration.

While it’s still not the right time for everything to be secured into place, this trial-fitting gave everyone here at Bridge Classic Cars a clear view of how special this car truly is.

Even Dave couldn’t help himself and had to take a seat in the car he has been working so hard to bring back to life.

Obviously, there is still a long way to go before our 1905 Riley 9HP is ready to leave us, but it certainly won’t be too much longer before the sound of the engine is heard throughout the workshop.

Starting the engine for the first time in decades will be an extremely special moment and it is one we are very much looking forward to.

The photos below show just how much of an impact having the bodywork on the chassis has on the car. A huge amount of work has gone into the project to get it to this stage and it is always rewarding to see it make big steps towards its finished state.

Our Very Special 1905 Riley 9HP

You can’t get much rarer than our 1905 Riley 9HP. With only 3 believed to be left in existence (including the one in our workshop), we understand how important it is to bring this truly classic car back to life.

Our team of highly skilled classic car technicians have been working hard to rebuild our 9HP and, despite numerous setbacks and challenges, progress is still being made in the restoration of this more-than-a-century-old car.

More Progress On Our 1905 Riley 9HP

Classic car technician Dave has been continuing work on our 1905 Riley 9HP.

He has recently added the wheel hub nuts and the nut locking ring. As work continues on this truly classic car, it has already come a long way since it first arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars workshop.

With quite a bit of work still to do though, the whole team here are excited to see this car back in its original state and ready to head outside for its first drive in a long time.

The Wheels Are On

Our 1905 Riley 9HP looks very different to how it looked when it first arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars workshop.

Working from photos, drawings, and a whole lot of skill, our classic car technicians have been making progress on the restoration of this ultra-rare car.

Recently, the wheels have been attached to our 9HP making it look just a little bit more car-like. While there is still a long way to go before it can be driven out of the workshop, the addition of the wheels certainly does a good job of showing how far things have come with this classic car.

The Restoration Continues

Our 1905 Riley 9HP has been in the Bridge Classic Car workshop for quite some time now. Restoration work on a car like this is extremely complex and can only be done by expert classic car technicians.

Dave has been putting his close to five decades worth of experience to good use by getting more work done on this truly unique car. If you haven’t heard the story of our Riley 9HP before, then it’s one you should definitely make yourself familiar with.

Firstly, the fact that there are believed to be only 3 of these cars left in existence should be enough to grab the attention of any classic car enthusiast. One of the remaining three is in the Gaydon Motor Museum, one is thought to be in a private collection, and we have the third in our workshop which is the one Dave has been working on.

Initially, our 9HP was missing a radiator. While we searched for a way to source something that could be used as a replacement, we were extremely fortunate to be offered an unbelievably rare Riley 9HP radiator that had been found during a house clearance. Not only was this radiator a match for our Riley, but it was actually very likely the radiator that had originally been in the car.

While we may have had some good luck with the radiator, the rest of the Riley has been much more challenging to restore. As there are only 3 left, there are only 2 others we could potentially look at in order to see how the finished vehicle should look.

We were offered the opportunity to visit the Riley 9HP in Gaydon Motor Museum which we took and were able to get a whole load of photographs that would hopefully help us rebuild this incredible car. It’s these photos that Dave has been using as a reference to try and bring everything back together in its original form.

Relying on photos and a wealth of experience shows how skilled our classic car technicians really are. There aren’t too many people out there who could take on this type of work but, fortunately for us, we have experienced technicians like Dave who are determined to get the job done.

The most recent work Dave has completed on the car was making the water return pipes from the cylinder head, fitting the front stub axles with bearings, along with fitting the anti-tramp bars too.

It’s worth repeating one more time that our 1905 Riley 9HP is one of only 3 left in existence. We have one of the last remaining examples of this truly classic car and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for it.

Like New – Painting the Rear Axle of the 1905 Riley 9HP

The paint shop at Bridge Classic Cars have prepared and painted the rear axle assembly for our 1905 Riley 9HP restoration project.

Since returning from the blasters, the paint team have been getting all of the bare pieces into the spray booth to be finished in gloss black, the same as the rest of the frame. This will be left to cure properly before being reunited with the rest of the prewar tourer.

Handmade – New Coolant Pipes for the 1905 Riley 9HP

The restoration team at Bridge Classic Cars have been working hard on recreating the coolant system on the 1905 Riley 9HP.

Our technician Dave has been busy carefully making up new coolant pipework for the 117-year-old tourer. These are being made from brass and copper, as it would have been originally. For this, Dave removed the water pump from the engine block after taking countless measurements in order to create a jig that meant Dave could more accurately solder the entire piece without worrying about it moving.

After this, everything could be test fit back onto the car. Dave remade the now long-gone gaskets by hand before the pipework was tested and then painted in the glossy black.

A New Look – Chassis and Parts of the 1905 Riley 9HP Painted

The chassis and engine from the 1905 Riley 9HP has recently been delivered back to the Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ after being blasted by local specialists.

After being brought back, the paint team thoroughly cleaned down every part before taking it into our in-house paint booth. The team then set-up the system to finish the whole unit in a beautiful gloss black as it would have been originally.

We’re excited to see the restoration of the 1905 Riley 9HP progress even further very soon!

Blasted – Rear Axle of our 1905 Riley 9HP Blasted

The rear axle and differential on the 1905 Riley 9HP is on their way back to the Bridge Classic Cars workshop after being sent away for blasting.

The process that was suggested would preserve some of the 117-year-old Patina and help to show the originality of the car.

Good As New – Restored Radiator for the 1905 Riley 9HP

Friend of Bridge Classic Cars, Carl, has been down to pick up the restored radiator for our 1905 Riley 9HP from Newquay for the project.

The radiator, which was found during a house clearance, was taken to Newquay Radiators to be restored and reworked so it’s as good if not better than new. This is a massive piece of the restoration journey for 117-year-old Riley and we’re excited to start getting everything back together!

As good as New – The Steering Wheel of the 1905 Riley 9HP Gets Laser Cleaned

Our 1905 Riley 9HP has had its steering wheel removed by the workshop team here at Bridge Classic Cars to be sent off for a new cleaning process specifically made for delicate or antique parts. The steering well was sent to Re-Go Auto Parts in Kent where the team could carry out the process.

The original steering wheel shows 117 years of ageing across the wooden and metal surfaces of the piece. With a new process of Laser cleaning, the team could be extremely precise with just where and how strong the laser was. They cleaned up the main spokes of the steering wheel with a relative high-powered pass to clean off the steel but made sure that the power was turned down when passing over any softer materials like the aluminium.

The wood wasn’t touched by the laser. This was hand-cleaned by the team at Re-Go to bring it back to as close to the original as possible.

It looks absolutely incredible and we cannot wait to get it back to our Pettistree workshop to have a proper look at it.

Preparations – Preparing the 1905 Riley 9HP Frame for Blasting

The workshop team at Bridge Classic Cars have been working on preparing the 1905 Riley 9HP for the next stage of its restoration journey.

Our technician Dave has been capping off any openings in the engine block or gearbox case after removing the entire rear axle and differential from the pre-war antique Riley. Then, Dave could move on to removing any small fixings and cappings which are too delicate to withstand the media blasting process.

The choice of blasting shot material is going to be plastic as this has been selected for the nearly 117-year-old metalwork due to not being as extreme or harsh on the material.

We can’t wait to see the frame and all the metal parts return for the car! So, keep an eye out here on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more updates very soon.

Finer Details – Rebuilding the 1905 Riley 9HP Rear Differential and Swing Arm

The 1905 Riley 9HP has had its rear differential and suspension pulled off the chassis to be moved to the workbench for the Bridge Classic Cars workshop to rebuild/refresh.

After testing last week, the team pulled the pieces from the chassis to pull apart and rebuild. The rear differential has had new ball bearings and races put in and everything cleaned up and regreased. The rear swing arms were also pulled out to be inspected and the mounting holes redrilled and cleaned for the new shackle bolts to slip through with no binding.

Finally, the team have been working on the spark plugs for the car and inspecting the correct gaps and spacing on the new adapter.

Test Fit – Testing the Fit of the Rear Axle on the 1905 Riley 9HP

The workshop team at Bridge Classic Cars have begun the process of test fitting and aligning the original rear axle into the chassis of the 1905 Riley 9HP.

Dave, one of our technicians, has been trying to get the shackles around the axle in order to test fit the mounts to the trailing arms. The shackle bolts which came with the car are believed by dave to be replacement pieces as they are of a different style and size to the single original which came with the hoards of spare parts.

But, the team have managed to get everything into place to test the operation of the chain driven rear differential.

Good as New – 1905 Riley 9HP Radiator Refurbished

The original radiator for the 1905 Riley 9HP has been with our friends at Newquay Radiators to be completely refurbished and rebuilt for the project.

This is an important part of the restoration project being down by our in-house team at Bridge Classic Cars. It looks absolutely incredible and we love to see the craftsmanship that goes into jobs like this by the best specialists we know.

Sealed Tight – Fuel/Oil Tank of the 1905 Riley 9HP Refurbished

The tank for the 1905 Riley 9HP has been completely refurbished and tested prior to it being painted and reinstalled by Bridge Classic Cars.

Although the original tank was in fairly good condition, it did require a full refurbishment. Old school lead soldering and modern TIG welding in the same piece cause their own unique problems which had to be overcome during the refurbishment.

The tank is actually segregated to hold both petrol and oil in the same unit, so it has to be completely sealed.

The refurbished tank does feature the original brass fittings.

Conserved – Restoring the Original Wooden Frame of the 1905 Riley 9HP

The original wooden body of the 1905 Riley 9HP has been sent off to our local, trusted specialist joiners to begin the work of both restoring the body and conserving as much of its originality as possible.

For a lot of our woodwork, we use Darren at Ashobocking Joinery. We have worked with them on a number of projects and their attention to detail mirrors our own. Parts of the original body/frame have been kept as they are still structurally solid but other places have been remade and expertly grafted into the now 117-year-old body of the classic Riley.

This is all part of the journey in restoring this beautiful antique Riley and getting it back on the road. In every part of the process, the team (and our trusted specialists) are using a mixture of state of the art and traditional methods to bring this rare and unique piece of history back to life.

Recreating the Past – Removing and Inspecting the Original Seat from the 1905 Riley 9HP

The Bridge Classic Cars in-house trim shop has begun the process of carefully taking apart the original interior of the 1905 Riley 9HP in order to recreate and understand the car better.

The original leather was brittle and stiff, so Brian carefully began to remove the trim pieces in order to best remove it from the car as complete as possible to use as a reference when it comes to making the new piece. Each item that has come off the car has been meticulously catalogued and stored for the restoration project even the original springs and hessian backing of the seat and all the hardware.

This is a very exciting part of the project and we’re excited to show you more progress on the 1905 Riley 9HP soon here on the Bridge Classic Cars news page.

Collection and Delivery – Collecting the 1905 Riley 9HP Radiator and Dropping Off at Specialist

The radiator of the 1905 Riley 9HP has been collected from Devon in order for it to be taken to a specialist and refurbished ready for the restoration of the car here at the Bridge Classic Cars HQ in Suffolk.

Our director Gordon made the drive down to the West Country to collect the radiator from our friend Carl who picked up the radiator from the auction house who originally found it and got in touch with us about it.

From there, Gordon made his way through Devon but stopped in Padstow where he couldn’t help but stop and stare at the stunning Caterham Superlight.

After the stop, it was onwards to the guys over at Newquay and Exeter Radiators where the now 117-year-old piece will be refurbished and restored for the car. The guys at Newquay and Exeter Radiators wasted no time beginning to assess the radiator and showing the damage and solder work previously done to the component.

We’re really looking forward to getting hold of this incredible piece of the puzzle that is our 1905 Riley 9HP.

Updated – Lamps for the 1905 Riley 9HP Updated and Refinished

The lamps from the 1905 Riley 9HP have arrived back at the workshop of the Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ and they look absolutely phenomenal. And, they’re hiding a small surprise.

Along with the lamps being sent off to a specialist to be entirely refurbished and reconditioned, we have taken the decision to have them upgraded to run much newer electric bulbs inside of the classic shells. This upgrade will be a welcome one for if the car is ever used in the darker hours of the day and also for the safety of the car instead of the use of paraffin or other gasses/fuels used to light and run the original lamps over 110 years ago.

With the shells, the finish on the refurbishment is truly incredible. It’s such a joy to see what these would have potentially looked like at the turn of the last century as this Riley left the production workshop.

A Rare Find – Finding the Original Radiator for our 1905 Riley 9hp

Sometimes there is such a thing as fate. Thanks to the incredible work of Hilary Mackay at Beech Auctions, one of the most important pieces of the puzzle for the 1905 Riley 9hp is back on its way to rejoining the car.

During a house clearance, Hilary came across an old radiator tucked away. Thanks to her exceptional knowledge of vintage and antique objects, she identified it to be pre-1920s. With the Riley mark on the radiator shell, she looked online to see about pre-1920s Riley’s and came across our project. Seeing as how there are only 3 9hp’s left in existence, it was deduced that this could in fact be our missing radiator.

With that, Bridge Classic Cars had to get hold of it.

Now with it on its way to our Pettistree Workshop, we cannot thank Hilary enough for her help and tracking us down to let us know this rare find and even rarer opportunity.

Helping Hand – Drawings for the 1905 Riley 9hp

Bridge Classic Cars have the absolute honour of restoring one of 3 1905 Riley 9hp’s left. And for that, we’ve managed to get some plans.

These appear to be copies of the original drawings made for the car. These are crucial for our lead restoration technician Dave to work from. They give our team chassis measurements and tolerances of several key pieces of the car. As with all our restorations, we do try and keep the originality of the car but we ensure the car is safe first and foremost.

With these original schematics, Dave can begin to measure the chassis and components to make sure they are safe but also meet the original specifications.

It is truly an honour to work on such a rare and unique car as our 1905 Riley 9hp.

Starting Up – Beginning Work on the 1905 Riley 9HP

Bridge Classic Cars has the honour of beginning the restoration on this incredible 1905 Riley 9HP, believed to be one of just three remaining in the world. Our in-house restoration teams have this once in a lifetime opportunity to work on this amazing project.

The rebuild and assessment of the project will be headed up by our most experienced technician, Dave. Daves wealth of knowledge and experience across all eras of classic and vintage cars makes him our strongest team member to assess the car. Using reference photos from our visit to the National Motor Museum, which houses the only complete car publicly accessible, Dave and Gordon could begin to go through the parts and components we have amassed for this very special project.

It’s a very exciting prospect of working on such a rare and unique piece of automotive history for us all here at Bridge Classic Cars. So, expect to see some more updates on the 1905 Riley 9HP soon here on the Bridge Classic Cars newspage.

In Need of a Clean – Send 1905 Riley 9hp Parts for Rebrassing

The brass parts of the 1905 Riley 9HP are in need of a clean and refurb. So, these are being carefully catalogued and packaged to be sent off to a specialist to come back as good as new.

These parts are over 100 years old so special care is needed with the refurbishment of them. Bridge Classic Cars works closely with a series of trusted and well-respected specialists for jobs such as this to ensure the best long-lasting results on the parts that are sent away from us here.

Good as New – Sending the 1905 Riley 9HP Parts Away to be Refurbished

Bridge Classic Cars have the honour of being the current caretakers of the incredible 1905 Riley 9HP believed to be one of only three remaining in the world.

The car has many unique brass pieces which make up its antique charm. These irreplaceable pieces are being documented and catalogued ready to be sent off for refurbishment for the project. The pieces will be sent to a specialist of early brass automotive parts to be brought back to their former stunning glory.

Although the car is now 116 years old, it is an amazing reference piece for our restoration teams to look back on and see how these types of vehicle were handmade.