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I dearly want a RR, but I'm in an area where service is basically unavailable. My mechanic (and I) can do the basic stuff, but I'm frankly scared to death of facing the expense and time involved in troubleshooting and repairing the hydraulic/electronic issues possible with an SY/SZ, and I'm not that thrilled with the styling.

This has led me to start looking at pre-1958 models (Silver Cloud I, Silver Wraith) with an inline 6 and ordinary suspension/brakes. I absolutely love the styling (especially Hooper), I don't care if I look like a chauffeur, I actually prefer a manual transmission, and I'd be perfectly happy with right-hand drive.

I realize parts cost could be astronomical, but I'm pretty confident I could handle repairs locally - and I'd rather do that than have to ship an SZ 400 miles and wait weeks for an unknown verdict when something breaks. I also realize that overall finish and appearance will be a bit shabby on cars in my price range, but that's also fine with me.

Bearing all this in mind, does a pre-1958 "semi DIY" RR make sense - or am I crazy?
 

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You're not crazy for wanting a Rolls-Royce or Bentley of any era.

What I will say you're crazy regarding, though, is picking that era without having driven any car from it. The first thing you really need to do is to get out there and drive as many examples as you can from the era(s) you wish to consider, both great ones and "basket cases" so you get a feel for what "correct" versus poorly maintained feels like behind the wheel and on the road.

You then pick the range(s) within which you wish to purchase based on how you like driving them. Many EPW cars are not particularly comfortable for the driver and can be quite cramped in front. You have to determine how the various cars fit you and go from there.

Although the older cars are, without doubt, simpler machines that are easier for a DIYer to maintain, everything up through at least the early SZs is within reason to maintain for the DIYer provided you're able and willing to take the time to pore through the appropriate documentation, and ask questions here, before you undertake a given new project. Of course, that really applies to any project on the older cars, too.
 

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Harpo, my first Bentley was an S2. I did love that car. It rode well, plus it was RHD and I enjoyed that. BUT there were complications. The brakes are odd. the rear are both hydraulic and mechanical. There is a servo that operates off the transmission. The spark plug wires are a total bitch to replace. Power steering ram leaks, and knee action shocks. Oh, and most do not have air conditioning. That is the Silver Cloud/ S series cars from 1955-1965. I WOULD BUY ANOTHER ONE! They are great cars and not too hard to work on. Beware Rust. Complicated bodies to repair.
Happy hunting
Mark
 

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Sir, You are not crazy, but while there is time come and join the crazies while you have a chance. You do not want to be left out of this great group.
 
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