Electrical Overhaul

The electrical wiring on pre-war chassis generally used rubber as the insulating covering, which in turn was clad in a cotton covered sheath. The cotton covering was coloured, to indicate the function of that particular cable.

After substantially more than half a century the condition of the rubber insulation is likely to be very suspect. It may either have become hard and brittle; as soon as the wire is bent the insulation will crack and fall off. Or the rubber may have absorbed oil and petrol fumes, turning it into a soft semi-fluid covering, in which the copper conductors are no longer protected from contacting their neighbours.

The result of this deterioration is that the wiring is no longer safe. Simple electrical functions may become erratic or stop working. The car may well ‘fail to proceed’ as a result. In the worst case the car can become a fire waiting to happen.

One of the most important jobs to be done on any pre-war car in the interests of its preservation and reliability is the renewal of the electrical wiring. We can rewire your car using colour-coded PVC-covered cable. Alternatively we prefer to use a modern PVC-insulated cable but which is then covered with an appropriately-coloured cotton sheath. This has the appearance of the original wiring with the benefits of modern materials.

At the same time as renewing the wiring provision can be made for additional functions which have become almost a pre-requisite of modern motoring, such as flashing turn indicators. It is unlikely that the lighting available on a pre-war car will ever compete with a modern car, but it is possible to incorporate improvements or enhancements.

Before Sir Henry Royce turned his attention to motor cars his prime concern was with electrical machinery, ranging from electric switch-gear to substantial electrical installations such as overhead cranes. As a consequence of this knowledge and expertise the majority of the electrical equipment fitted to the pre-war Rolls-Royce chassis was designed and manufactured in-house. The same standards of excellence and attention to detail was applied to this as all other aspects of the car. However, the electrical systems were worked very hard, and the pre-war service history shows that electrical faults were not uncommon.

Modern vehicle electrical systems have moved a long way, particularly in the last thirty years. Electronics and computer systems are now integral to a modern car, and the control systems are substantially different. However we have retained the skills and knowledge to enable us to service and repair the pre-war electrical equipment. This is simple by modern standards and does not require sophisticated diagnostic equipment, but rather an understanding of the under-lying principles. We have the means to refurbish much of the original electrical equipment to keep it in full working order.