NEWS 

 

PRIORY VINTAGE CAR COMPANY WERE PROUD TO HAVE SUPPORTED 

THE BENTLEY DRIVERS CLUB SUMMER RALLY AND CONCOURS 

AT STONOR, HENLEY ON THAMES.  IT WAS A GREAT SUCCESS AND MANY 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLUB AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL THERE NEXT YEAR

 

PRIORY VINTAGE CAR COMPANY WERE ALSO PROUD TO HAVE SUPPORTED 

THE TRADITIONAL BOAT FESTIVAL AT FAWLEY HILL WHICH WAS ALSO A GREAT SUCCESS

Priory Vintage Car Company, The Priory, Britwell Salome Watlington, Oxfordshire OX49 5LB

Telephone/Fax: 0044 (0)1491 614078
E-mail: info@prioryvintagecarcompany.co.uk

NEWS 

 

 

A day out with Lloyd’s Motor Club at historic Rolls Royce specialists Priory Vintage Cars

 

On a warm and sunny Monday in mid July, sixteen lucky Lloyd’s Motor Club members arrived at coffee hour at the “works” of the Priory Vintage Car Company in Britwell Salome, one of Oxfordshire’s typically delightful little villages – “works” being a somewhat imprecise description of an elegant Georgian house flanked by a row of fine stables and three large 18th century “Saxon” barns. Two of these barns are used for Priory’s restoration and preparation work.

 

After many years in the City, Ian Wylie’s love for these treasured vehicles got the better of him and in 2000 he established “Priory”. Within 5 years the company had achieved enrolment in the hallowed Rolls Royce and Bentley Specialists Association.

 

As we arrived on site, Ian and wife Bobbie were poised in the “spare” barn, which is Ian’s personal workshop, to ply us with coffee, tea and pain-au-chocolat, or a refreshing Buck’s Fizz – just the sort of welcome you might expect from a connoisseur of vintage Rolls Royces and Bentleys – after which Ian gave us an intriguing introduction, with a brief epilogue by colourful marque specialist Richard Biddulph of “Vintage and Prestige Classic Cars”, as to what was involved in maintaining and restoring Rolls Royce and Bentley motor cars to the highest standard.

 

The informal presentation complete, Ian ushered us into the “works” proper in the second and third “Saxon” barns to kick off our tour and meet first his works manager, Patrick Glyn, who had joined Priory direct from university some 12 years earlier and now has a great depth of knowledge and experience in the field of pre war Rolls and Bentleys. Patrick is supported by two highly skilled engineers both also with many years experience, Martin Thompson (ex-McLaren) and Alan Dyson, himself the owner of the two Rolls, one of them ex. Churchill, plus two ambitious young apprentices. As we passed through, 18 year old John Morris, was working on the rebuild of a 1964 Rover 95 as part of his training and 17 year old Olly Taylor-Lane, who attends Bicester Heritage as part of his work experience, was already deeply involved in servicing, maintenance and partial restoration of a lovely 1929 Rolls Royce 20.

 

The tour included some delicious little tit-bits as well, e.g. the large multi-purpose lathe in Barn 2 was supplied to Great Britain by the United States during WW2 under “Lend-Lease” and now resides in Ian’s workshop over 75 years later. Many otherwise unobtainable parts are created from the raw on this lathe – including those required for “Priory’s” restoration of the Bovington Tank Museum’s 1921 Rolls Royce armoured car’s engine and ancillary works, including a full service, recently returned in pristine condition to the museum. This armoured car saw active service with the Black and Tans in Northern Ireland but is similar to the Great War example which appeared in the great David Lean and Peter O’Toole epic “Lawrence”.

 

 

 

Among other iconic preparations performed by “Priory” was the 1936 Bentley 4¼ litre for the Peking-to-Paris Rally in which it came First-in-Class and following which the car was returned to repair the damage done by the desert and mountainous terrain! Priory had just finished preparing her for the Himalayan Challenge, which is an even more hairy rally but sadly the owner had collected the car the previous week, so we were unable to see this elite vehicle in the flesh. 

 

 

 

“Priory’s” work in its two “works” barns allow 10 cars to be worked on and 5 others awaiting road test or further works at any given time and after a couple of hours, the fascinating tour over and much enjoyed particularly the chats with Ian’s engineers whilst working on “their” cars, we all convened outside in beautiful weather for the next treat of the day, a country drive on the road to lunch in three exquisite Rolls, Ian’s own and lovely 1931 20/25, Richard Biddulph’s exotic 1913 Silver Ghost, and a close friend of Ian’s, Richard Pascoe’s stunning 1927 “Silver Bengal Lancer” 20 HP - the latter so named as having been originally built for a senior Bengal Lancers officer (hence the silver bodywork as cars destined for India suffered severe paintwork deterioration  under the sub-continent’s relentless sun!).

 

 

 

                             

    The 1913 Silver Ghost Double Cab Limousine            The 1927  “Silver Bengal Lancers” 20HP

 

And what treat it was to prove! Elegantly carousing through the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside on a warm English summer day – as Churchill once said “this is what we’re fighting for”!

 

But all was not yet done!  Our destination pub was the Nelson at Brightwell Baldwin (don’t you just love those wonderful English village names) – a delight in every respect, great ambience, long history (it’s 300 years old), a touch of “fame” – it’s featured in the ever popular TV series Midsummer Murders, and terrific food and service. All rounded out with a return trip to Britwell Salome by vintage Rolls Royce!

 

 

 

A day to remember for all of us with very many thanks to Ian and Bobbie from their new friends and admirers at the Lloyd’s Motor Club.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Roger Earl               24/07/18

 

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