antique car restoration

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.