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Old 06-24-2009, 06:58 PM
 
29,149 posts, read 51,359,559 times
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NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Grim economy be damned. How glum can you be when surrounded by stately, polished automobile royalty?

There's little to celebrate elsewhere in the car world.

Rolls-Royce devotees undeterred by recession | Lifestyle | Reuters
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:02 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,830 posts, read 20,248,846 times
Reputation: 6500
Oh yes...In 1976 I almost bought a 58 Bently that had been used as a taxi in England. It looked real nice with a new headliner and soft seats. The engine purred quietly and I was about to make the final decision until I happened to look at the outside roof. Heavens...it was a sunroof that had been covered with a new one piece headliner on the inside. That turned me off real quick.

Last yr saw advertised For Sale a 1990 Bently with only 39,000 miles owned by a DR. The price was cheaper then some of the new cars on the mkt at that time. If I were in the mkt for a nice car...definetly would buy the Rolls.

One thing about a RR is that the people that own them...take care of them.

Steve

Last edited by Steve Bagu; 06-24-2009 at 08:04 PM.. Reason: Small correction
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:04 AM
 
11,451 posts, read 48,439,045 times
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Having worked on a large fleet (50 +) of these cars for 25+ years, various vintages from the 30's through to the 1980's ... all privately owned, but managed by an aftermarket dealer who warehoused, maintained, detailed, and provided chauffeurs on request for these pieces of automotive art for their owners ... I wouldn't say that they're well maintained on the whole despite lots of money being spent on their care.

Nor would I call them reliable or even competent automotive transportation.

I had one client who had nine of them, all 70's and 80's models ... who drove them to his downtown office private garage each day. He built a garage/workshop at his house to store them where he lavished much time and energy on them. It was a rare day that he had his choice of which car to drive ... it was more a matter of which one was actually running well enough that he thought he'd be able to make the 15 mile commute. These cars were maintenance hogs of the highest order, and frequently suffered from "lot rot" just sitting in his garage from day to day. He got to be very friendly with a flat-bed tow operator in town, who retrieved his cars many times when he tried to use them as daily drivers. And most of his cars were flawlessly "nice" in the cosmetic department.

I can't recall how many times the systems, such as the interlock between the hydraulic systems to keep the car from being started (safety item, no brakes if the hydraulics weren't working properly) would be intermittent or totally fail ... or the hydraulics would leak at a suspension valve. The fellow used to buy the RR special hydraulic fluid by the 5 gallon pail, not the little 1 liter bottles for convenience. Being a bit smaller than him, I had a fair number of times where I got to crawl under one of his cars to jumper the starter so it could be started and moved onto his 4-post lift where hydraulic repairs could be accomplished. The collection included just about every then current model of Bentley and RR ... spurs, corniche convertibles, etc. For insult, he got more reliable service out of his Maserati 4-port and Lamborghini Espada ...

I had many trips to the mountains, where folks who would come in to Aspen or Vail for one of their infrequent visits to their vacation homes would have a breakdown or trouble of some sort with the RR that they kept in Denver for the Stapleton-mountain trip and use of the car while at their house. I had many times where they insisted that I pick them up at the airport, drive them up to the mountains, and stay as their "guest" ... with lift tickets and being well fed ... with them until they left a few days later. Others would keep the car in Denver, but fly the family directly to Aspen ... where I was to meet them with the car, transport them to their house ... and then was left on my own to find transportation back home until they needed me to bring the car back to Denver. An OK trip during the summer months, but a real concern about road damage from rocks and debris when driving during the winter months.

Happily, I saw a lot of these folks change over to Rover products when they moved a bit more upscale ... and I didn't work on these vehicles. Rover opened up a dealership in Aspen, which took the mountain market ... and a lot of money from those folks.

For the most part, RR's are an automotive tour-de-force type of purchase. For example, does a fully machined internal engine part perform better than a common stamped steel part as was used in a comparable American built luxury car? I'd put Packard's engineering and manufacturing (along with a host of other domestic high-end cars) up against RR any day of the week in the older models. Cadillac and Lincoln also provided far more reliable, cost-effective, and durable cars than this marque ... with comparable "luxury" (and air conditioners that WORKED!), and better handling and braking than the RR.

I've also been tempted to buy one of the 50's era Bentley spurs with the 6 cylinder motor ... as a "pastime" car. But between the parts cost and the labor effort to keep it running ... reality has set in every time. It would rarely get any road mileage put on it .... and we're not even up to the cosmetic issues with the car. I get more fun per dollar with old MB's and BMW's .... and they are reliable and durable cars.

For the folks with the affluence to put this much money into a RR, of course, it doesn't matter. And it does help keep a lot of techs in pocket change and contributing to their retirement, college, or boat funds.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:11 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,830 posts, read 20,248,846 times
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Believe the Rolls used Mineral Oil and NOT Brake fluid like other cars. New of a shop that spent $2000 to repair a Bently brake system after adding good ole brake fluid to the system.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:59 PM
 
11,451 posts, read 48,439,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bagu View Post
Believe the Rolls used Mineral Oil and NOT Brake fluid like other cars. New of a shop that spent $2000 to repair a Bently brake system after adding good ole brake fluid to the system.
Absolutely right, DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid in the hydraulic system would destroy the seals very quickly.

The correct fluid was a special RR spec fluid, not too far different than the hydraulic fluid used in BMW active suspensions. Pricey Stuff! It ran the RR suspension as well as the power steering and the braking system.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:42 AM
 
3,144 posts, read 7,919,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Absolutely right, DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid in the hydraulic system would destroy the seals very quickly.

The correct fluid was a special RR spec fluid, not too far different than the hydraulic fluid used in BMW active suspensions. Pricey Stuff! It ran the RR suspension as well as the power steering and the braking system.
Yeah... I worked in an RR/Bentley resto shop for a couple years and this braking system was another one of unnecessary... over engineered systems that are found on these cars. A cam driven pump storing up incredible amounts of pressure in these grenade looking balls filled with mineral oil, the brake pedal would simply relieve pressure from the grenades and send it to the calipers..... all that just to create a specific brake pedal feel, which in reality feels identical to that of my Cadillac braking system that uses the age old vaccuum boost technology which by the way is also lightyears more reliable and simpler.

You guys ever get a car in with an exploded grenade? I have heard horror stories of those things blasting off notable portions of the front end... its so stupid.
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