When things couldn't get any better and just before the bottom of the economy dropped out in 2008, I met a very stunning lady. Yes, my wife was well aware of this romance and surprisingly agreed to the three of us living together. Of course we had to introduce her to the children, but they were still very young and it would be some time before they would fully appreciate her.
Well, six years into this relationship our 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner Park Ward, is fitting in to our family unit quite nicely. With all such relationships however, we have certainly had our ups and downs over the years but over all we are quite fortunate to have her.
It was soon to be discovered that acquiring her was going to be the easy part when in 2010 while on an outing, her engine caught fire due to my past mechanics handy work. Through an investigation it was discovered house grade wiring was used in several locations and routed loosely through the engine compartment. In short order, several wires over the right manifold caught fire which in turn cracked the two glass brake fluid reservoirs causing very expensive brake fluid to rain down on the very hot manifold. It should be understood at this point that I had no prior experience working on or really knowing what should or shouldn't be under the hood of a car.
The situation turned out to be one of the best experiences. From the cop who pulled me over who saw smoke coming from under the front fenders, to the fire department who happened to be coming the opposite direction at that moment, she was spared with only $3,000 in fire damage. It was also the beginning of my joy in discovering mechanics and automotive restoration.
While our Phantom is still in need of further restoration work, it has become a family affair and she is now nearly mechanically perfect and back to factory specifications. Next is new paint work and re-chroming — in due time. Until then, she is out on the road every week for everyone to enjoy and do what a car was meant to do!
It is also well worth the time to thank Hagerty for providing us with great insurance. While we left Hagerty and went with another company for a year who offered us a "better" deal, I quickly discovered the numerous benefits of Hagerty Insurance. Another great lesson to be had.