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37LC Phantom 1 Restoration Project 2020 - by Nick Clark (Page 1 of 5)
37LC is a 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 that was being meticulously restored by the late Michael Forrest. He joined the Rolls-Royce Enthusiastsí Club in 1981 and during 37LC's restoration, he produced many articles for the bulletin. Unfortunately, his untimely death meant his project could not be completed. His family sold the car with a proviso that the restoration must to be completed by the new owner. Burghley House hosted the 2019 RREC Annual Rally at which Tom Horner a North Eastern Section member decided to take on the challenge and continue the restoration of 37LC. Tom enlisting the services of Nick Clark, a long-term member of the RREC whose expertise in pre-war Rolls-Royce mechanics are second to none.
This article describes the project progressing through 2019 - 2021 with the addition of photographs taken during the various stages of the restoration. 37LC's restoration was completed in February 2021 and is now ready for road testing. Unfortunately, winter weather conditions and government Covid-19 restrictions do not permit this at the present time.
I was honoured to be offered the job of finishing the mechanical side of the forgoing restoration of the now famous 1925 Phantom 1 purchased by North Eastern Section member Tom Horner at the RREC Annual Rally in 2019.
After carefully collecting the car from the Hunt House and delivering it to Tom's family business premises in Middlesbrough, we then had to decide how to tackle the job from where Michael had left off after spending 37 years restoring this fantastic Rolls-Royce from scratch. The work done can only be described as concours, so we decided the only way forward was to continue with the quality of workmanship that Michael had already done.
Restoration of 37LC Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 by Nick Clark
My first job was to sift through 20 boxes of restored parts that had been carefully wrapped in newspaper, some dated 1980's, plus another seven boxes of paperwork and correspondence dating back to 1982 which to date, I'm only half way through reading. The contents are fascinating and a job to put down once I start! After checking all the parts I was satisfied the car was complete so the first task was to finish the engine build and get her running. The engine, which had been loosely assembled, was stripped of its cylinder head, block, carburettor and manifolds. The pistons fitted with the conrods were carefully removed from their wrappings and installed. The crankshaft damper was checked and also fitted. My main concern were the new monoblock constructed of steel that Michael had made from scratch, would the block expand and contract at the correct rate? The engine was assembled, radiator fitted and filled with coolant and a battery was fitted. The carb was filled with petrol and a temporary ignition set up and we were ready to fire the engine up.