2018 RREC Annual Rally
For the fourth successive year, the club Annual Rally was held at Burghley House this June, and it was a good one! The weather was particularly kind, which always seems to help attendence figures and put people in the best of moods. Last year, we celebrated our 30th anniversary, and this time we had a successful time, meeting old friends and making new ones, buying and selling cars, enjoying the evenings back at our hotel and generally having a good time. If you didn't manage to see us there, we hope to see you at the 2019 event, if not before!
21 Gun Salute Rally in Dehli
If you find yourself in Dehli on February 17th & 18th, make sure you pay a visit to this significant event incorporating vintage & classic cars, Concour's d'Elegance, Performances celebrating Indian culture and heritage, etc.
One of our Directors Ian, and his wife Ros, will be at the event and would be delighted to meet up with you.
The website is here: http://21gunsaluterally.com/
RREC Diamond Jubilee Rally 2017
This year's RREC Annual Rally at Burghley House, Stamford, was a great success for us for a whole range of reasons, not least that the weather was kind! As well as being the club's Diamond Jubilee anniversary, it was our 30th, which we celebrated with a gathering of friends, customers old & new, colleagues and acquaintances for a photo shoot and a glass of bubbly. In fact, we got through over 100 bottles of the stuff!
The atmosphere at the event was uplifting and positive throughout, and many commented that attendance was up, with over 1,000 cars being exhibited.
We sold several cars at the event, acquired several more, and had plenty of positive chats, both commercial and social.
If you didn't join us there, we hope to see you in 2018, which will be here before we know it!
Our 30th Anniversary at the R.R.E.C. Annual Rally.
As usual, we will have our stand at the this year's event, at Burghley House, Stamford, from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th June, but this year, as the R.R.E.C. reach their 60th year as a club, we will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the formation of The Real Car Company ,with a larger marquee, about 20 odd of our cars on display (including a couple of interesting 'barn finds') and we will be arranging a photo shoot gathering of friends, acquaintances, colleagues and customers old, new and future! So if you fit into one of these categories, please come along. This will be on the Sunday, at 12o'c midday. For the whole weekend, you can reach us on our mobiles, Ray on 07717 123123 and Ian on 07742 252526. We look forward to seing you there.
Thirty Years of Trading
We started The Real Car Co in 1987 alongside our existing business (exhaust systems), with just a 20/25 and a 4 1/4 Litre Bentley! In less than a year, the stock had grown, momentum was building, and in less than a year we felt confident that we could make a full time business of it. In May 1988, we moved to part of the premises that we now occupy, and by 1991 had taken over the whole site. So 2017 is our thirtieth year, and we still enjoy what we do here as much as we did at the outset. We are selling approximately 100 cars a year, and in total have handled about 2,500 since we started, the vast majority of them being Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
Onwards and upwards!
Visit by the 20 Ghost Club
On a lovely, October day, we were privileged to be descended upon by a lovely array of early Rolls-Royce cars and their club member occupants, livening our day and hopefully providing enjoyment to all concerned. The club were touring North Wales, and popped in to see us as part of their itinerary.
The cars, about fifteen in all, varied in date from 1910 onwards, all of them pre-war, made a spectacular sight, we were very pleased to see them and of course we very much enjoyed meeting the friendly bunch of people that made it all possible.
We were also pleased to help out with a few running repairs to several of the cars, to help them on their way.
Great cars, lovely people - come again soon!
Beaulieu Autojumble 2016
Slightly earlier in September than usual, we had a good time at the Beaulieu Autojumble, meeting friends old and new, having fun, buying and selling spares, and acquiring cars as well.
Unfortuantely, we 'lost' our usual site, where we have been for many years, and this year we were rather a long way from the centre of the action, but hopefully you all managed to find us. We hope to be more central again next year, but so far we are not sure exactly where we will be.
We hope you can join us there.
Burghley House 2016
Since 1990, we have had a stand at the R-R.E.C. Annual Rally every year without fail, and this year was no exception. Despite less than favourable weather, we had a good weekend, having driven down 200 miles from North Wales with four of our cars (including a truly unique 1939 experimental Bentley) on the Thursday, and sixteen being transported down, more arriving the next morning, giving us a total of twenty four Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars on display. We had plenty of visitors on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, meeting friends old and new, with some good chat, good fun, and several cars sold as a result of the show. We are booked in again for 2017, and look forward to seeing you there!
Brexit and exchange rates.
Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, it won't have escaped your notice that the Pound Sterling is weak, and that overseas buyers are in a strong position at the moment to buy in the UK. You can buy your Pounds now, and 'strike while the iron is hot', or if you prefer, negotiate a deal with us in a foreign currency.
As I type this (July 1st) the US Dollar and the Euro are both about 10% stronger compared to immediate pre-referendum rates. As an example, a £50,000 car that would have cost about €67,000 a week ago, is down to approximately €60,000 today.
We are open to ideas, but please talk to us if the idea of benefitting while the opportunity is available attracts you!
RREC Hunt House Seminar
We were recently asked to help with a seminar at the headquarters of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club, The Hunt House in Northamptonshire. Huw, our parts man, assissted Steve Lovatt from Ristes Motors, with talks and advice on Derby Bentleys and Small Horsepower Rolls-Royce cars.
The weekend was a sucess, enjoyed by all, and something similar may well be repeated at a later date. You can learn more about the semnars on the RREC website http://www.rrec.org.uk/
A 7,500 mile Trans-American Adventure.
A customer of ours, Mel Andrews, bought a 3 1/2 Litre Bentley from us, and set off on an American rally. Here is the story in his own words.
Growing up in California my parents had the typical large American cars - a Buick and then a large Mercury station wagon (what else, with three boys and a German Sheppard). But when I was a teenager they got a sportier car, a big Oldsmobile convertible. It had lots of power, but drove like a boat. My older brothers had a 1965 Mustang which was fun to drive and had lots of power but it did not corner very well.
When I went away to university, I got my fist real glimpse of European sports cars. Several friends had them, an MG, an Austin Healy, and a TR 3. At the end of my second year in college, I bought my first car, a TR 4. It didn't have great power, but it cornered nicely. It taught me the pleasure of driving. I took numerous drives on the windy roads in the hills behind campus. And as I took longer drivers, I was taking road trips, before I know they were "road trips".
A couple of years after college I went back for post graduate work, which led to a career, marriage, children, and the TR4 (and my wife's Fiat) gave way to a sporty sedan, then a 4-door sedan and finally a station wagon. The wagon was a Volvo, which actually handled quite nicely. And then in the American way, hauling kids to sporting events and ski trips, we had our share of Chevy Suburbans too.
When the boys went off to college, I got my first Porsche and more time to drive for pleasure. During this time I can't really say I thought about vintage or older cars. But then during a guys driving trip to Europe, I went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and they were honoring the Rolls Royce marquee. One display of cars in particular caught my eye. It was Rolls Royce cars from the 1920s through the 1930s. And the cars that really appealed to me were the drop head coups of the mid 1930s.
At that time my driving endeavors went another direction; I started racing 1960s Porches in vintage racing events. That has been a great experience, and I appreciate the opportunity to do that. My business partner on the other hand stared collecting older cars, a mix of pre and post war cars. But he always got cars to drive, not to just sit around, which I really appreciated. While I liked a lot of his cars, nothing particularly struck my fancy. But more to the point, I did not know in what environment I would really drive an older car. It wasn’t practical for the freeway dive to work, and I didn’t just want to drive it for a weekend outing to breakfast.
I then saw some literature on rallies, and endurance rallies in particular. I saw pictures of 1930s drop head coups driving through the Mongolian desert, alpine terrain or through the narrow roads of Scotland. And I said to myself, “I could do that”. And so my investigation into vintage cars began.
My research had two aspects to it. First I was investigating cars: what was available, what their attributes were etc. And simultaneously I looked closer at the different rallies that where available and deciding what was of interest. On the vintage car side, a pre-war Bentley quickly moved to the top of the list, because of its heritage and reliability. But I also considered a Lagonda and a Talbot (the later 1930s vintage after Lago purchased the French subsidiary). In thinking how I would use the car, I decided I did not need a car to do a rugged, long distance rally, or a small car that might be more suitable for just a shorter weekend rally. But rather a car that was comfortable for longer distance trips with enough room for luggage and supplies, but most important a car that would be a pleasure to drive. I was never considering a car for speed rallies.
So when I came across a 1936 Bentley 3½, Vanden Plas style tourer , I purchased it. I liked the drop head coupe and the lines of the car - it had the right feel. I had seen a 1938 drop head coup, 4¼ liter here in the states, but is did not trigger the same response. Within a week of making that decision I learned of ERA's Trans American Rally scheduled for June of 2015, and entered that.
I had great time on the Trans America rally and ended up driving about 7,500 miles. The car was a pleasure to drive and performed well. While the car was in good running order when I got it, I still had my mechanic go through it thoroughly to make sure it was in top condition for a long trip. I would not say I turned it into a “rally car”, but it is certainly in excellent running condition. If on the rally, if we got into conditions of a rough road or very sharp, turns, I juts back-off the speed a bit to make sure I did not damage the car. But that did not keep me from enjoying the experience. The nice thing of keeping the car in excellent running condition is that I can get in the car at any time, and take off on an extended trip, with no real worry about the car performing. Two things struck me in this experience: one is the car loves to be driven; the Bentley is a well engineered car. And secondly, is where ever I go people love to see the car being driven.
The car is now on its way back to England, where I will drive in three rallies in 2016. And having family and friends who live there, there will be driving trips through parts of Britain and the continent I would not generally see. I in another 80 years I hope someone is having as much fun with the car as I am.
When a 1934 Lagonda Rapier project car arrived recently, judging by the smile on his face, Joe was obviously very pleased to help with its unloading!
The car had just come in from the USA, and had emerged from its shipping container, which it had shared with a Derby Bentley. We always prefer to bring back two cars at a time, and have the container delivered directly to our premises, for reasons of security and cost efficiencies, and what's more, it's fun to see the cars blink in the sunlight for the first time after several weeks of incarceration!
Not another Barn Find!
The last owner bought this car in the mid 1960s, used it for a short while and then put it away in a decent, dry garage, where it has remained ever since until now. It was an 'unknown' car in Rolls-Royce circles, so an exciting find.
It is a 1928 20hp, GKM70, originally bodied as a James Young 'Weymann' Saloon, but re-bodied in the thirties by Southern with this attractive Drophead Coupe. It really is particularly unusual to find a car with a rare and desirable body like this in undistured, original condition.
Crying out for gentle restoration, retaining originality as far as possible.
The Real Car Co on the BBC
This month (January), the BBC are re-running our radio programme which was first broadcast in March 2015. It was aired on Radio Wales, on January 7th & 9th, but can still be heard online, on the BBC iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer
Here is a link to the programme details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b054q70v
Another 'Barn Find'
We have recently bought another 'barn find' 20/25, this time a 1935 James Young Sports Saloon, chassis number GAF58, which has been in storage for about thirty years, and which has been with one owner since the early 1960s. We always love to find unmolested cars of this type, and they always attract lots of attention - often more than the pristine, restored versions do. We are presenting the car, just as found, complete with dust of ages, and aside from coaxing the engine back to life, which we have done, it is offered just as it is.
Coincidentally, we have also just acquired GAF62, just a few chassis numbers away, and they are now together again (temporarily), probably for the first time since they left the factory, eighty years ago.
A Rare Barn Find
Rarely does a car such as this turn up in 'barn find' condition, but this is one of those occasions. The car is a 1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Barker Drophead Coupe, GWN25, which as been with just three owners from new, the first for just a couple of years (in Argentina), before the car returned to the UK in 1939. This time, it stayed with the new lady owner until 1971, before being sold to the USA, where it remained with one gentleman until this month (Oct 2015).
Many years ago, the engine was removed and dismantled, and that's how it is today.
We always get great pleasure in finding original, unmolested, unspoilt cars, and this one is no exception, being extremely solid, shabby and correct throughout, it will make a rewarding, enjoyable project, and represents a very rare opportunity. The majority of these cars with coachwork such as this (as opposed to the more-frequently found saloons, limousines, etc) are either already restored or were lost, dismantled, scrapped, etc many years ago.
We love it!
Beaulieu Autojumble 2015
We had our usual stand at the Beaulieu Autojumble again this year, three of us taking details and photos of all of our car stock, together with a selection of parts, mascots, books, etc. We had a good time, helped by the excellent weather, met friends old and new, bought and sold cars, bought and sold some parts, had fun, and generally had a successful & enjoyable weekend.
As well as our VW Transporter van, we took our new Land-Rover Defender (bought while still available, as they are going out of production at the end of this year) to transport parts and paraphernalia, and both of them did the job admirably.
Pete seems to be enjoying himself unloading!
The guys from 'Car SOS' were filming a scene for one of their upcoming shows alongside our stall, so we took a couple of quick snaps!
We look forward to seeing you there again in September 2016, the dates being Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th, which will be here before we know it!