1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25HP Park Ward Saloon - barnfind project

1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25HP Park Ward Saloon - barnfind project

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andyfeaver

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Friday 4th March
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gary71 said:
Great project Andy, Guess the XJS might have to depart now to make space to take it apart?

Would be good to see it in person, and always happy to lend a hand to an old colleague smile
Many thanks Gary! I do really need to move the XJS on to give myself a bit more space...... but it would be a real shame to see it go. I have really enjoyed it over the last 7 years or so, getting it running right and enjoying the delights of the 6.0 V12! The Jaguar world has been very kind and welcoming - with most of its adventures recorded over on the Jaguar Enthusiast Club forum. Like you have with the 911 crowd, there is little that isn't understood by someone out there!

And you are always welcome for a visit - a cuppa and some tyre kicking. Would be a bit like the old days in the office, talking project cars over a brew!

If anyone hasn't seen Gary's restoration thread on his 911, I urge you to check it out. That car has been with him through thick and thin and he takes excellent photos!

classicaholic

1,169 posts

47 months

Friday 4th March
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You seem to have a big garden, you need a coach house for the Roller, dont sell the XJS!

j4r4lly

383 posts

112 months

Friday 4th March
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This will be interesting. Really looking forward to seeing your progress.

I don't know much about pre-war cars, but I do love the sense of history, the life they have lived or at least, the lives of those that it has been owned by for all those years.

The picture of it sitting in the garage is quite emotive, almost as if you can see it thinking - I'm safe and someone's going to take care of me again. Silly I know, it's just a pile of metal, rubber and leather, but I think all of us who love classics tend to develop a bit of an emotional attachment to whatever we drive.

Sometimes it's a real love hate relationship and the cars like to test our resilience and of course our bank accounts!


lockhart flawse

1,954 posts

212 months

Friday 4th March
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Awesome - you're a brave man! Looking forward to following your progress.

andyfeaver

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Friday 4th March
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Happy 90th Birthday!

Earlier this week, my barnfind project Rolls-Royce 20/25 celebrated her 90th birthday. With this in mind, I went back to have a look at some of the history that I have been able to uncover.

I started by contacting the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club, who were able to furnish me with a full set of chassis build records. The Archive team at the RREC are excellent and I hope to visit them in due course to delve deeper into the car's history.

The chassis cards tell us that the car was supplied (presumably as a stock car) to Jack Barclay's in 1932 and then sold to Mr E I Bruce Harvey, Esq (of The Bath Club, Dover Street, W1). Bruce Harvey's given address provides a few clues to the man's background and situation. Wikipedia tells us that "The Bath Club was a sports-themed London gentlemen's club in the 20th century. It was established in 1894 at 34 Dover Street. Its swimming pool was a noted feature, and... It was one of the few gentleman's clubs that admitted women. The club building was hit by bombs during the Blitz in 1941, and the club never wholly recovered. After the bombing, it was housed by the struggling Conservative Club at 74 St James's Street... and it finally closed in 1981."

From my research so far, I believe this to be the same man who became Col. E I Bruce Harvey DSO MB of the 225th Parachute Field Ambulance, assigned to the 5th Parachute Brigade, which was part of the 6th Airborne Division. A decorated war hero, landing on D Day (6th June 1944) and serving with distinction both in France and finally in Norway at the end of the war.

Below is an image of Bruce Harvey receiving his DSO from General Montgomery in 1944.



He is the first of the 9 previous owners of the car - and there are a few real characters in the line up!

If we have a closer look at the car that Bruce Harvey bought in 1932, we can see that he had bought a 20/25HP chassis (chassis no. GBT47, engine P2T), fitted with a four light Park Ward saloon body (SO3563). It is interesting to note that Park Ward was the coach builder with very close links to Rolls-Royce - so much so, that these "small horsepower" cars (as the 20HP, 20/25HP, 25/30HP etc were known) were considered for fitment of "standard" bodies, in an effort to streamline the production process. You could, of course, order a chassis and then commission a coachbuilder to make a body to your design, but in Bruce Harvey's case he clearly wanted something a little more "off the peg". I am sure I'll return to the details of 20/25 chassis and body development in due course, but this update is all about the car as it left the dealer in 1932.

The car is listed as being finished in Blue and Black, with Blue Celestra leather and "untarnishable" fixtures. In the original order, modifications were requested to the bonnet to be 3 inches longer than standard, with the body modified to suit. However, this request was withdrawn on 27th May 1932 - clearly something had changed, perhaps Jack Barclay's simply wanted the car in stock a little quicker.





There were a couple of notable features requested - the first is a sprung steering wheel, the other is for the fitment of an electric clock. There is some confusion here, as the build sheets also call for an 8 day clock (typically a Smiths mechanical clock with a winding bezel), so perhaps 2 clocks were to be fitted here. One nice detail is that the electric clock was to be packaged up with the tool kit for onwards transportation to Park Ward for final fitment. With a luggage rack fitted to the rear, Dunlop Silent Tread tyres fitted all round and a blind to the rear window, Mr Bruce Harvey had a fine motor car to conduct himself around the streets of London.

The chassis build cards provide a very detailed picture of the car as it left the dealer. On record we have every part number of the key assemblies, as fitted in the factory:





Spring rates and chassis geometry:





and even a power curve for the engine on the chassis dyno as it was signed off at the factory!:





These details will be invaluable as I go over the car to establish its degree of originality and what might be missing! I have been amazed at the level of information that is available from the original build of the car. I still have much to find, especially on the body and its original specification, but this has been a great start.

Finally, I started this post talking about birthdays, and the chassis cards tell us that the chassis was "Off Test: 29/2/32". As there was often some delay between finishing the chassis and fitting the body, let alone shipping it to the dealer for retail, I understand that most consider the "Off Test" date as the day the car was "born". So there it is, the car is now 90! Happy Birthday old girl!

Thank you for all your positive comments so far.

Take care

AF


Trevatanus

10,768 posts

127 months

Friday 4th March
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No idea if it helps, but Ages Past near Reading have a 1930 model ( I had this as my wedding car) which could be used for any references you might need?

https://www.agespast.co.uk/wedding-car-and-coach-h...

wolfracesonic

5,522 posts

104 months

Friday 4th March
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ALL cars should have ‘untarnishable fittings’! Would that be brass or the new fangled stainless steel I wonder?

austinsmirk

4,945 posts

100 months

Friday 4th March
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I’ve a friend who has one. In fact the other drunken night we were all sat in it, in his garage ! A surprisingly tight thing in the front and certainly actually not very car like: still feel a carriage with a motor in it !!

A very interesting thing though , good luck with it all. I’d imagine in this condition an absolute bottomless pit to restore alas.

KP328

1,620 posts

172 months

Friday 4th March
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What a great project, potentially have it running for it's 100th birthday?

Tom W

97 posts

144 months

Saturday 12th March
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Brilliant thread Andy and I admire your car history! I’ve got a far less exotic Jag 4.0 XJ8 which I’m rather fond of in similar shade of silver.

Hopefully see you round Mark B’s one of these days.

Cheers, Tom W

andyfeaver

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Sunday 13th March
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Thanks Tom!

And I didn't know that you shared the same Jaguar "issues" as I do! :-)

That looks lovely - and has some of the best XJ wheels on it.

Hope to see you soon!

AF

Mr Tidy

17,113 posts

104 months

Monday 14th March
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I love all that early history you have tracked down. thumbup

Lord Flashheart

3,632 posts

170 months

Monday 14th March
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Good morning. This is the first time I've seen your thread. Wow. I must consider myself extremely fortunate to have inherited what looks to be a doddle of a refurb! I truly hope you're able to get her on the road once more, as that would make for an epic story and PH thread. And, assuming there is another Feaver in the house, they are willing to support you in your venture. Lady Flashheart has made it quite clear that 'Florie' will not see a penny of her money!

andyfeaver

Original Poster:

20 posts

3 months

Monday 21st March
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Hello all,

Many thanks for the positive comments - it really encourages me!

With some free time this morning, I thought it would be time for another update - this week's update is titled "Automotive Archaeology!"

Before starting on any restoration work, I felt that I needed to really understand where the car was starting from. I wanted to try to identify what was present, what was missing / damaged etc and so make a start on a parts list of "things to find" as well as the restoration items. In many ways, it was going to be like trying to complete a complex jigsaw puzzle - except without a picture to guide you or even all of the parts! It can be quite tricky to work out what was fitted somewhere, when all you have are some holes and a tatty bit of wiring loom!

The first step was to empty the interior of the car and work through the jumble of seats, trim and parts which had been piled inside. Challenge no. 1? I couldn't get any of the doors to open. 2 were missing all door handles, 1 was bent and one simply wouldn't turn! So out came the parts through the windows...





As the car had no functioning roof and had sat outside in a snowstorm, the interior had got rather wet. This gave the garage a rather odd smell of damp wood and leather.









Some of the items piled inside the car the obvious - I think I could see 2 front seats, maybe something of the rear bench seat, but then there were plastic bags of unknown content! Note the puddle of water sitting in this one!





In this bag I found the remains of the car's Wefco gaiters. These leather covers went over the leaf springs on the front and rear axle, with the aim of keeping dirt and water out and the lubrication in! It's a very good example of how 1930's technology worked differently to today's approaches for lubrication and sealing. The leather was in remarkably good condition considering it had been in the bag for a long time. As well as the gaiters, I found the door pad leather trim for the driver's door - whether it can be saved, or only used as a pattern for a new part, remains to be seen. I will do my very best to reuse as much of the original as I can. I am certainly not looking to create some sort of Pebble Beach Concours car here as I feel that this removes too much of the car's history. Only where things can't be reused will I look for replacements.



The next layer of "stuff" (hence the comment about archaeology - it really was like a dig!), were two nondescript bits of plywood with bars attached. They were soaked through and had begun to delaminate. After some head scratching, it was clear that these were the floor boards for the area under the front seats - the bars being the seat runners. The level of preservation was excellent - the paint on the boards, the flocking around the edges of the board to stop them from squeaking etc - all these details will help when replacing them.







The next layer were the seats - the front seats were pushed rearwards to be inline with the rear doors, the rear seat squab where the front seats should be and the rear seat cushion buried under this!



As the doors didn't open, these had to be manhandled out of the driver and passenger door windows..... and now I wonder why my back is playing up!





In the rear of the car, once the seats were removed were this little group - namely, another bag containing what looked like wood trim, a very faded and corroded rear number plate and lamp and ..... a disposable coffee cup. Which had mould in. Nice.





The first bag I tackled was the one containing the wood trim..... and what a great bundle it was. It had clearly been carefully wrapped as part of perhaps a plan to start a refurbishment. A couple of lovely details came out of this - firstly each piece of wood had the car's Park Ward body number (SO3563) hand written (in a lovely copperplate script) on them and the wood itself was wrapped in newspaper - dated to 30th January 1966 and part of an old calendar - dated to 1969. This all ties in really well with the story of the car being found by the previous owner's father in a scrap yard in Barking in 1968.... presumably he started the restoration job when he got the car home, but sadly never finished it.















Finally, once all the interior had been removed, it was possible to see a little more of the condition of the body and the chassis. It was filthy dirty but all seemed to be in remarkably good condition.







The next job would be cleaning it out... but to do that I would need to get the doors open.

I am sorry that I can't get the photos orientated correctly - any guidance gratefully received!

(Edit - 31/03/22 - all sorted)

Take care,

Andy


Edited by andyfeaver on Thursday 31st March 10:20

Krikkit

23,806 posts

158 months

Monday 21st March
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Great update, thanks!

Not sure what's up with the pictures - if I chase them through to thumbsnap they re-orient the right way around.

I use imgbb to host photos instead of thumbsnap integrated into PH most of the time, but it's best done from desktop not mobile.

Lord Flashheart

3,632 posts

170 months

Monday 21st March
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If you need any specific area type photos, don't hesitate to ask me. They could potentially help you to recognise some of the parts and where they should go.

jwwbowe

389 posts

149 months

Monday 21st March
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Nice OP, normally not even the slightest bit interested in anything pre 1960s but this looks like a really interesting project, just don’t kick that lovely XJS out of its garage for it though! Amazing those records have survived. Good luck thumbup

gary71

1,844 posts

156 months

Monday 21st March
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I can smell those photos from here Andy smile

Gallons Per Mile

1,614 posts

84 months

Monday 21st March
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Fantastic project! I can't wait to see how you get on with it biggrin

Macron

7,611 posts

143 months

Monday 21st March
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My word, this has legendary thread status written all over it, magnificent stuff!