antique riley restoration

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.

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!

Driving Forward – Driveshafts of the 1905 Riley 9HP in the Car

The team at Bridge Classic Cars have performed the first test fit of the new driveshafts in our 1905 Riley 9HP.

They have been fit into the antique, pre-world war 1 Riley to check for fitment and interference. Also, for the team to check the bearing clearances and ring-gear engagement.

There’s a fair bit going on at the moment with the vintage Riley at our Suffolk HQ so make sure to keep an eye on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more.

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.