There is a 5 minute conversation you might have about a car and then there’s the 2.5 hour version. This is a story of a 2.5 hour version.
a promise to do or give something
a promise to be loyal to someone or something
the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something
I was directed to the next available spot in the line. The show wouldn’t open to the public for another 2 hours so it was wipe and shine time. The neighboring cars all checked in so it was hello and what have we here? A 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom II Shooting Brake. Excuse me come again? A 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom II Shooting Brake.
I cleaned the 55 and then set out to see the other cars before the show opened. This show had a little bit of everything from a ’52 Jag in race livery to a tuxedo black & white ’59 Vette, to a 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom II Shooting Brake.
A shoo31ting brake was a rolling framed device that you placed 2 or 4 horses in and proceeded to march them around in order to brake them in and get them used to being hooked up to a wagon. These devices evolved in to vehicles used by aristocracy for hunting. Hook up the horses, load up the dogs and let’s go hunting from the “shooting brake.” Fast forward to the 192o’s and Sir Something III needed a car that would get him around the estate be it for hunting or picking up the Duke of Earl at the train station. We call them station wagons. You may also know them as Depot Hacks, SUV’s, Carry-All’s, or Woodies. The wooden features carried over nicely because this rig was going to be driven off road at times and loaded with dead critters with a bunch of holes in them. If you had a Rolls or a Bentley for date night you couldn’t strap a stag to the fender nor could you take the wifey out for dinner in a Woodie. The sweet spot of car manufacturing in this era was when a finely engineered motor, chassis, etc was handed over to a coach builder. The coach builder would finish the car for whatever the owner needed be it a slick roadster, a chauffeur driven town car, or a shooting brake. Here at my feet was a shooting brake and it was a nice one. I had no idea how just how nice it was until I went through the photo album and interviewed the owner…who is the builder…the restorer…the fabricator….the data base….the handler…the mechanic. My lucky day. A certified expert on Rolls Royce automobiles and he’s not going anywhere for 6 hours.
Mr. Carey found this car in a state of decay after several well meaning owners passed it around until several years of good storage. The car had the wrong fenders, it needed a complete restoration, and Mr. Carey committed to the car. Rolls-Royce’s tend to be well looked after for their heritage and their position on the food chain of collectible cars. The Rolls-Royce was the first collectible car unless someone can convince me otherwise.
These photos will do a adequate job of conveying what Mr. Carey has done all by himself over an 8 year period. Oh and by the way he didn’t restore the entire car himself – he sent the block out for honing and then he paid a guy to upholster the front seat. Two steps. He’s got more time in the German Silver grill than a lot of folks have in an entire car.
I asked Mr. Carey if I could inspect and appraise the car at no cost as long as he graded my work and let me blog about it. I did a good job determining the value of the car and he was impressed at how close I got to its insured value. I learned a lot about Rolls-Royce’s and the experience reminded me of the commitments we make to ourselves, to one one another, or to a car. We may not have an epiphany or a dramatic fist slam followed by “I will succeed” We can make silent deeply emotional commitments with clear conviction and a vision of the results. It’s a calm feeling even though the journey will be messy at times and the one’s nearest to us won’t get it.