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Coachbuilding is the art and science of producing bespoke bodywork installed on a pre-assembled chassis with the art as timeless as the motor car itself. Mass production has practically extinguished the practice; however, coachbuilding lives on with Rolls-Royce at the forefront of its rejuvenation. 

With greater than a century of experience and modern-day Bespoke capabilities, the marque has redefined the coachbuilding movement. Rolls-Royce has long been used to being able to commission all parts of their motor cars’ features and specifications. Now, more than ever, Rolls-Royce clients are looking for opportunities to go beyond Bespoke and define the physical form of the motor car.  

Coachbuilding Origins

There were only around 8,000 registered motor cars in Great Britain when Charles Rolls and Henry Royce met in 1904. It was a modest number compared to the half a million horse-drawn carriages at the time.

Sir Henry Royce

Within 20 years, the coaches and carriages that had ruled the roads for more than a century have practically vanished. The motor car was no longer a novelty nor exclusively for the wealthy, it had matured into the universal means of private travel. 

In the early days of the automobile, manufacturers commonly produced only mechanical elements. The ‘rolling chassis’ were sent to specialist coachbuilders who would then attach the bodywork according to the specification of the customer.

The Honourable Charles Stewart Rolls

There were some coachbuilders who simply shifted from creating horse-drawn carriages, while others capitalized on the opportunities presented by the motor car.  

The pre-Edwardian car bodies were constructed similarly to the horse-drawn carriages. It soon became apparent that the methods and materials that were well suited for the pace of the horses could not keep up with the speeds of the motor car which were now traveling up to 40 miles per hour.  The art of coachbuilding demanded a more scientific approach to adapt. 

History of Coachbuilding with Rolls-Royce 

In the early 1920s, mass-market carmakers commenced establishing in-house coachbuilding so engineers could address distinct issues from an automotive application like torsional stress and vibration.  

For the next few decades, Rolls-Royce and other luxury marques nevertheless remained outsourcing the coachwork to specialist houses. 

Rolls-Royce Coachbuilding
Source: Bonhams

Rolls-Royce clients could still have their rolling chassis transferred to the coachbuilder of their choosing. The coachbuilder would then design and build a car body from the specifications given by the client, much like ordering a dress from a Paris couturier or a suit from a Savile Row tailor. 

Up until the 1930s, most coachbuilders kept the tradition of assembling a wooden frame, normally in ash, wherein aluminum or steel body panels were either welded or pinned. The process helped the coachbuilders produce essentially any shape.

The design of the coach bodywork was commonly based on the customers’ requested fittings and interior space.

As their experience grew and new materials for coachbuilding were discovered, coachbuilders had to adapt their practices, with the later frames shifted to metal tubing or angle-iron. 

The traditional way of coachbuilding lived on until the introduction of the semi-monocoque construction, with sub-frames for the mechanical components.

Rolls-Royce
Source: Bonhams

The new process made it impossible to do anything more than the simplest adaptations to the body design. For Rolls-Royce, the shift did not occur until October 1965, when the Silver Shadow replaced the Silver Cloud series. 

For Rolls-Royce, though, coachbuilding continued. The Phantom VI, which was constructed on a separate chassis, was still in production, although in reduced numbers until 1993. The coachwork was fulfilled by Rolls-Royce subsidiary, H. J. Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd.

The Priniciples of Body Design 

Theoretically, a coachbuilt Rolls-Royce could be any shape that the

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By: Sports Car Digest
Title: Exploring Rolls-Royce Coachbuilding: The Legacy & Future
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/rolls-royce-coachbuilding/
Published Date: Sun, 30 May 2021 03:05:57 +0000

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Motor

Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame

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custom triumph tr6 matchless frame 625x417 1

Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.

Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.

 

The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.

This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.

Custom Triumph TR6 with Matchless frame

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000

 

 

 

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The Swan Song of the V12

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The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.

Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.

Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.

The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.

The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.

The 6.5L F140 GA V12

The 6.5L F140 GA V12
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.

The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.

It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.

Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.

Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.

M279 E60 LA Twin Turbo V12

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By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000

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Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!

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In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.

Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.

I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.

Shoei NXR2 helmet reviewRead More

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000

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