antique riley

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.