In our global role of supporting Rolls-Royce and Bentley owners, we are dedicated to keeping these pieces of history where they should be, on the road. We take great pride in supporting customers who are passionate about restoring their vehicles.
In the enchanting city of Dubai, a captivating story of restoration unfolds. Amidst the bustling automotive scene, a dedicated customer has taken on the task of reviving a cherished Silver Shadow. With unwavering passion and a commitment to excellence, they have entrusted us with the honour of bringing this classic beauty back to life. Join us as we delve into the journey of restoring a Silver Shadow against the backdrop of Dubai's vibrant charm.
The first time I saw a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow was in 1975 when my father drove one home. I was 11 years old, and from that time on, I dreamed of owning my own Silver Shadow. I have always been most impressed, not with the prestige of the car, but the workmanship that has gone into making it.
People say ‘Good things come to those who wait’. I waited forty-seven years, and then my dream came true. Living in Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates, I made many friends in the industrial area of the city. Through the grapevine, I came to hear of an old Rolls Royce that had been discarded for at least 20 years after the elderly owner passed away.
I arranged to visit the car to check it out. Under the thick layers of dust, I saw the potential; this car could be restored to its former glory and shine once more. My offer was accepted, thankfully, and from that moment on, my mission was to restore this car.
My first step was to thoroughly clean the car with the pressure washer. Next, I inspected it, and found that it was completely free of rust! However, all of the interior had to be reupholstered due to heat damage. Therefore, I set about completely gutting the interior and storing it in my house while I searched locally for a capable upholsterer.
After the interior was stripped, I divided the restoration into electrics, hydraulics, fuel system, suspension, interior, and bodywork.
First, I looked online for the electrical wiring diagrams, which I printed out and joined together with Sellotape. The wiring was a little like Granny’s knitting, with no labels. I had to trace each and every wire methodically to find out which wire did what job. I replaced all the didoes and the voltage regulator as it was producing 19 volts, then rewired the alternator.
Thanks to Flying Spares, I replaced every component on the hydraulics. I stripped and rebuilt the brake calipers, and replaced every flexible hose. I also replaced the brake pumps, accumulators and rear rams.
I rebuilt the carburettors, then replaced the fuel lines and fuel pump. Next came the suspension. I replaced the front springs, shock absorbers, and bushes.
By this time, I had found some Nepali reupholsters. I spent many hours with them to get to know them, and was impressed by their standard of work. I ordered the leather through them and oversaw each stage of the process, since I knew it had to resemble the original work as closely as possible. These men worked tirelessly and I’m so grateful for their attention to detail. The results were stunning.
Finally, I had to concede to help with the body work as I am not skilled in these areas. There were areas to touch up, and deep scratches to be repaired as well as one ding on the right front wing to be mended.
My challenges were that, living in the UAE, we cope with extreme weather. This work has taken about 12 months to complete, and in 6 of those months, the temperatures reach well above 40 degrees centigrade on a daily basis.
Also, here in the UAE, there are no spare parts available for this work. It is only thanks to the outstanding service of Flying Spares that this project has been possible. I’m grateful to their patience with me, as sometimes I have emailed them several times a day to clarify exactly which component I needed, or to modify my latest request order.
I’m delighted to say that my car sailed through its ‘Medical’ which is the local version of the MOT. This car could easily have ended up on the scrap heap, but now, it is registered and road worthy once again. ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever,’ as the poet wrote. It has brought me great satisfaction to restore this thing of beauty and see it bring joy once more to many people."
In conclusion, there's nothing quite as satisfying as witnessing a customer restoration project come to life. Seeing the transformation from a neglected or damaged Rolls-Royce or Bentley back to its former glory is inspiring.
That's why we always aim to provide the highest quality products and services to ensure that every restoration project is a success.
(Credit: Russell Gale)
If you have a restoration project that you'd like to share with us. Please send us your project details and photos at Marketing@flyingspares.co.uk. We look forward to hearing about and sharing the amazing restoration projects that our customers have undertaken!
23 May 2023
23 May 2023
23 May 2023
23 May 2023