1951 Riley RMB

One Door Closes – Update on the Doors of the 1951 Riley RMB

The doors for the 1951 Riley RMB are currently at local joinery specialists Ashbocking Joinery to have the wooden sections of the doors assessed and replaced.

As you can see from the photos, the doors aren’t in the best condition, but Darren and the team at Ashbocking Joinery are working their way through each of them methodically to perfectly recreate the frames.

Darren and the team at Ashbocking Joinery are using what is left of the original wood as templates and then meticulously interpreting any missing pieces into the design.

This is all happening alongside the metalwork which is being down by our own in-house master fabricator, Clinton.

State of Play – Close Up on the Wings of the 1951 Riley RMB

Our master fabricator here at Bridge Classic Cars, Clinton, has sent through some close-up and detailed photos of the wings of the 1951 Riley RMB to illustrate the state of the panels before our teams begin working on them.

The level of corrosion and warpage on the original pieces is clear to see in the photos and takes a highly skilled and talented fabrication specialist to get the metal to be in the right shape and fitment. This is a photo of a single piece from the 1951 Riley RMB to highlight just how much work goes into each and every restoration that comes through the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop.

Progression – Working on the Wings of the 1951 Riley RMB

The Bridge Classic Cars in-house fabrication shop is working on the wings for the 1951 Riley RMB that we have in for restoration by our amazing teams.

The car is currently with our incredible fabricator Clinton, who has been working on repairing the wings for the classic Riley. He has carefully removed rusty or corroded sections of the wing of the Riley in order to repair them and thanks to his skill and talent, completely disappear into the existing metal.

The new pieces have been entirely hand-formed by Clinton in cour in-house fabrication shop for the Riley RMB using traditional techniques and practices. As you can see, the results are absolutely fantastic.

In the Woodwork – Ashbocking Joinery Working on the Doors of the 1951 Riley RMB

Some of the coachwork for the 1951 Riley RMB that is in with Bridge Classic Cars for restoration has been sent off to a local joinery specialist to be remade in brand new timber.

The wooden components of the Riley were in a bad way. Thankfully, Bridge Classic Cars have many local specialists around us. So, when the joinery for the car was ready to be sent away to be remade it went to Ashbocking Joinery here in Suffolk.

They have entirely remade sections of the bodywork of the Riley from scratch. Their work looks outstanding! It’s always amazing to see other trades with the same approach, care and passion for their craft as we have for restoring classic cars.

A Delicate Blend – Reworking the Fender of the 1951 Riley RMB

Here at Bridge Classic Cars, we have some of the best fabricators in the business we believe. One of the best showcases of this is the incredible work that our in-house fabricator, James, has done on the 1951 Riley RMB.

James has tried to use as much original material as possible during the restoration of the Riley. Only adding in or cutting the panels if needed, or entirely remaking them if completely necessary. Take for example this wing on the RMB, it’s partly original but with new sections, entirely made by hand, grafted into it. Using years of experience, feel and skill, James has managed to recreate the flanged lower section of the wing.

Along with making the panel from scratch, it takes huge amounts of talent that only comes with years of metalworking to carefully and patiently apply his craft to grafting the new piece into the old seamlessly. As you can see, James has pulled off an incredible job!

In Plain Sight – The 1951 Riley RMB Chassis back from Acid Dip

The frame for the 1951 Riley RMB that is being restored at Bridge Classic Cars has just arrived back from its appointment with an acid bath.

The chassis had been stripped back in-house but was recommended to be chemically treated by a specialist so that our in-house fabrication team could look into the true condition of the chassis. Overall the frame isn’t in too bad of a condition. Areas of it though will definitely need attention before it is to be used again for the car.

James and Clinton, our in-house metal fabrication experts, will be assessing the frame and coming up with a plan.

Back in Shape – Metalwork for the Scuttle/Windscreen Surround on the 1951 Riley RMB

Metalwork on classic cars is a craft. A skill that takes years to master and dedication to conquer. Our in-house bodywork experts at Bridge Classic Cars have those skills, experience and dedication.

Work is continuing on the windscreen/scuttle for the 1951 Riley RMB by our in-house expert James. Last time he worked on the top of the windshield surround but this time, it was the case of the lower scuttle.

Some of the metal bracing and reinforcement had deteriorated over time quite badly. These pieces help give that stunning spilt windscreen its shape and hold it rigid, so their placement and construction are crucial.

Using the existing pieces as a template, James cut the new parts roughly into shape to begin refining them closer to the originals. Then, offering the pieces up to the panel James could work on shaping them more and more till the fit was perfect.

All of the areas underneath the remade panels were rust treated carefully before being welded in.

Coming Together – Metalwork on the 1951 Riley RMB

As you might have seen in our previous post on the 1951 Riley RMB here at Bridge Classic Cars, James has been hard at work getting the wings into the best shape possible.

James, our expert in-house fabricator, has been working on the Riley for quite some time. A lot of the panels needed extensive repairs and reworking to be useable in the restoration of this beloved classic. The rear wings are currently the pieces on James’s bench.

After James worked the repair patches into the original wing, he then had to work them carefully and methodically to ensure they met the original shape and dimensions of the car. Also, he has to make sure both sides are identical. This takes a highly skilled hand and incremental adjustments to achieve the finish you see before you.

James has blended new pieces into the originals and almost seamlessly blended new and old together through the medium of metal. Any adjustment to the piece also means that the entire panel must be checked to see if it has caused any sort of distortion elsewhere.

But, these wings are looking absolutely incredible for when they eventually meet back up on the car.

Getting into Shape – Windshield Surround on the 1951 Riley RMB

Our master fabricator James has been busy in the Bridge Classic Cars fabrication shop carefully and methodically recreating the windshield surround on the 1951 Riley RMB.

Using traditional shaping methods, James has recreated the original tops of the cowl/windshield surround. The shape is complex with many compound curves and edges but that is no trouble for our in-house fabrication shop. Carefully manipulating the metal through the English wheel and the shrink/stretcher, James managed to create the same sweeps and bends of the original.

Then with the hammer and dolly, finessing the final shape into place. Then, it was time to do it all over again for the otherside. The only way to create this piece was in two separate parts. The skill that our master fabricators have is the seamlessly blend them together.

The two halves were then welded together to create one entire panel that can be fitted into the windshield surround. Later, the welds will be ground back to create a smooth finished piece and then cut down to size for the perfect fit.

Gentle and Fair – Reworking the Rear Wing of the 1951 Riley RMB

With a car as intricate and flowing as the 1951 Riley RMB, it’s important that our in-house metalwork craftsmen at Bridge Classic Cars apply all their skills and knowledge to ensure each flow, curve and line are exactly right on the car.

Highlighted in this post is the extensive work our fabricator James has done on the rear wing of the Riley RMB. Much of the original material had pitted in places, and in some places to the point of allowing holes to grow in the metal itself especially along the rear flange. This piece has been replaced before as can be seen by the various patches and pieces along the length of the panel.

Carefully and with much reserve, James began to remove the affected piece from the panel. Removing only what needed to be and keep as much of the original piece as possible. The new section would have to be entirely handmade for this wing but that is no problem for our fabrication shop.

James measured not only the length but the thickness of the piece that would be needed to replace the original flange. Then, using the English wheel, James skillfully began to give the piece its shape and form. Constantly offering up the new piece and referring to the shape of the original. A combination of shrinking and stretching key areas of the panel allowed it to blend into the original piece.

Then, it came time to join the two parts together. Slowly and precisely James TIG welded the parts together at strategic points, allowing the piece to cool at the correct rate and distributing the heat in such a way as to minimise the warp caused to the panel from the process. Once completely married up, James then began to finesse the join.

Using a planishing hammer and a selection of dollies, James began to smooth the joint between the two panels together until there little to no signs they had never been together their entire lives. That is craftsmanship…

The Grindstone – Rust Removal On The 1951 Riley RMB

Our amazing technician Lydia has been hard at work removing the rust build-up on the wings of the 1951 Riley RMB with us here at Bridge Classic Cars for restoration.

Lydia carefully removed any rust from the material using both power and hand tools where necessary to avoid putting any extra heat or force into the panels which could cause unnecessary movement or warp in these handcrafted pieces.

This part of the restoration is taking place alongside the main bodywork being undertaken by our in-house fabricator James.

As you can see, Lydia has done an amazing job at complimenting the lines and craftsmanship put into this restoration by the team here at Bridge Classic Cars.

Grinding away that surface corrosion

Lydia has been helping with the progress of the 1951 Riley RMB. There was surface corrosion on the inside of one of the original wings round the edges of the spot welds done by James. Lydia did this with various-sized grinding attachments on a drill. A small step in the process, but a vital one, nonetheless, since we don’t want that surface corrosion getting worse or showing through the paint when it goes into that stage.

The repair process of a Riley chassis…

After coming back from the sandblasters, the chassis of the 1951 yellow Riley RMB is looking a little corroded so James is going to have to repair these sections. Lydia has begun the process by making cardboard templates of these parts, cutting where necessary to get the shaping right. These templates will be used by James to mark out around on the new metal. The original corroded metal will be removed and the new will be welded into place.

Repair work on the Riley.

James has been continuing his work on the yellow 1951 Riley. The air vent for the second panel was sandblasted last week, so could be welded into its new surrounding. James then used the finished one to determine how much metal to trim off the end. Back in July, he had to do some welding repair work on the left-hand wing. He’s now repaired the other wing. The subframe came back from the sandblasters and showed how much corrosion there was. James has started to make cardboard templates for the parts that need replacing, to mark out new pieces of metal for fabrication.

Small update on the Riley.

Here’s an update on the 1951 Riley RMB for you. It was found that there was hidden corrosion in between the layers of metal on one of the air vents. In order to get to this, James drilled through the spot welds and eased the metal apart. Lydia then went about sandblasting the main piece of the air vent to remove the corrosion and paint. She also removed existing layers of paint off the side and back of the body shell of the Riley.