Sunday, 18 November 2018

Fiennes Restoration Blogspot

For up to date photos and comments on the running projects at Fiennes please have a look at

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Autumn Work at Fiennes Restoration and The Historic Engine Co

                                                         Fiennes Restoration

A very original low mileage family Derby Bentley under assessment for full restoration or preservation.

New Fiennes Restoration Phantom cylinder block, pre build preparation.

Various Engine items being prepared.

A  Pre War R-R / Bentley steering box having a new worm and nut assembly.
The three start nut component has incredibly precise deposit of white metal on to a steel skeletal form

This was a very sad arrival

Historic Engine Co
Wolseley Hornet Special is now making progress quite rapidly as we aim to complete as soon as possible, more posts to follow shortly. The trim and body items are left until the very last, the bulkhead has been removed for access as the last of the wiring behind the dash and the clutch linkage is finished.

A choice of fuel fillers...

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Workshop and Workplaces For the Historic Engine Co Late Summer.

This Wonderfully original, 23,000 miles Derby Bentley has been in the family for decades. Here being surveyed at Fiennes Restoration. Everyone is keeping fingers crossed that they might see this car back on the road..

Treasures waiting outside of my own home workshop.

You may have seen the Delage a little while ago. We decided it prudent to see if we could fit a modern oil filter to the engine as it had been built but not run in te late 60's. I am glad we did, this is the second filter in a few hours of running, Mostly this is white metal machining swarf. We elected to partially strip and clean the engine and crank oilways.

I think this is one of the nicest natural, mature slightly worn cars I have ever worked on. The owner has looked after her fastidiously over the many years of growing up children, grand children and family dogs, this Triumph is near perfect inside and out. She had a bit of a "refit" (the owner is a maritine man) in the 80's using all new Triumph parts.. amazing condition.
We have been attending to the head gasket and a number of other items prudent at this time, including a new radiator and electric fan.

Not the Triumph now: The photo below shows that if you have the opportunity, check machined parts and new parts as the "buck stops" with the engine builder. There is about 30% contact when blued in this recut seat. In this case there were other issues too ..... I actually don't know who did the machine work as this is how it arrived, I am pleased to have removed the valves. 
This is not uncommon, I think the running difference is thought to be negligible perhaps, but it only takes an hour or so to lap a set of 4 or 6 cylinder valves (with exceptions of course :) )

Jacob gains a wealth of experience when he is working at Fiennes Restoration .... the place that started it all for me!

As you will see in older posts, I have a childhood interest in modelling and slot cars and American Oval racing.
Quite a long time ago I carved a "buck" of an American sprint car with thought of trying to vacuum form a body. Inspiration from W / Commander Ken Wallis and from the coach-
builders that I regularly work with, had me wondering ..... a copper body slot car, Sprint racer!
This is a WIP and has been for most of the year but it is coming to shape.
You might be interested in the models of Gerald Wingrove, his books always topped my school holiday library book list.

This model is 1/32 Scale, about 4" long (100 mm).

Wing Commander Wallis:

Saturday, 1 September 2018

iRacing : Grand Prix Legends - 2018 S3 - Round 12 - Circuit de Spa-Franc...

If you like "real world classic grand prix cars", try to sit through this video as much as possible to enjoy this race, this isn't PlayStation or Xbox, this is laser scanned Spa and cars with simulation physics modeled from the real thing as well as tyre behavior models created with assistance from the tyre companies.

The drivers are all ages, many are mature ex racing and / or contemporary racing drivers.

The whole package comes together with some very amusing close racing.....Give it a look if you can. You may enjoy it..

If you would like a go, you can buy a used wheel and pedals for under £100. The wheel gives active feedback, which with a little time, hones the missing seat of pants "feel" to your palms and your brain does the rest!
You really can feel the back "step out" or the car go light.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Turners, Talismans, Rochdales, Fibreglass Sporting Car FUN!

Last week I was very fortunate to have been given custody of a particularly rebellious orange Rochdale for the day!

Richard, the owner of the Rochdale Olympic, in his "HOT"cammy Tornado Talisman, Alan the Fairthorpe owner and myself had a great fun, 100 mile drive to the Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford... appropriate place to meet more fibreglass animals!

Despite the wet... perhaps not a bad thing at all for slower speed "sporting".... the hundred miles whisked away as fast as the rain drops dashed from the screen of this incredible, streamlined little Olympic. Not a care at the super light doors devoid of such heavy things as windows, we sliced through the Dorset air along Roman roads without the slightest buffet or wind noise. Although I did make a mental note not to park the wipers to the right as that did make an excellent water deflector.... into my lap.

It was not without some trepidation to take someone else's car 200 miles and in the rain that we had needed for so long with the consequential extra slipperiness after such a dry period.
I needn't have worried.. Richard seemed to have confidence in me as he sped ahead in his superb sounding Talisman, the sound and performance belying the 1500cc engine.
Actually, that became quite a theme for the day... The engines: Tho' they be little they be fierce!
 Almost all of the cars illustrate that, small budget, home development, smooth flowing "plastic" curves
 equal: a great fun factor!

The Olympic was wonderful, quick, agile and nimble. The clutch and gearbox work in harmony the motor spirited and willing despite Richard's remark of being a little tired. Visibility is excellent with that wrap around streamlined windscreen and yes a very clear side view helped with the absence of door windows.

With virtually no wind noise and buffet, the cockpit revels in the ambiance of an untrimmed, unmuted little sportscar, nothing unpleasant at all, I could have added another two hundred miles to the day without too many breaks. Just a quick moment for a coffee and enjoy the aerodynamic statement of the Rochdale sitting, waiting...and then back into the reclined bucket seat and the connection of me and the car as I wrench down on the four point harness.

All too soon the 100 miles was up and we arrived in time as Richard, ever full of energy, organised the parking and layout, importantly thinking of the photographs to be had, he made sure there was order but no supermarket parking, we need to see the full lines of these Ducklings who have become Swans of the Rocket age!

As you can see we had a great representation of the wonderful interpretation and freehand creation that the then new fibreglass product opened to people with vision and aspiration.
Even the nearby Camels gave a grunt of approval before turning with a spit toward the modern car herd on the other side of the field!

We finished the day with a great introduction to the Turner car and the most organised and knowledgeable group that support these exceptionally successful little cars (with competition history far beyond the company size).

Finally on to Fiennes Restoration Ltd for a small tour of their historic Rolls Royce and Bentley workshops. Thank you to Fiennes Restoration for this kind opportunity.

The return Journey was every bit as much fun as before.

 Wet or dry the Rochdale made me smile and become a very audible third party commentator: as he.. "threads through the essess and sweeps up the hill, he's got the handle of her now alright... look at him go..."

Thank you Richard and Alan.

2 stroke Berkeley


Falcon, supercharged

Buckler, in family since '61

Gilbern Gt's



Martin Body

Richard ..Respect!