Fiennes Restoration is probably the most successful British engineering firm you’ve never heard of. What sounds like some antiquated back-street repair shop is one of those rare breed of companies who are innovating in the field of classic and historic restorations. Case in point – their machine shop boasts the highest number of CNC tooling machines used by an independent UK specialist restorer.
But all this hard work would mean nothing without results, which is exactly what Fiennes achieved recently earning two awards at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance and a Best in Class at the RROC National Meet in Lake Tahoe.
The unique Graber-bodied Rolls-Royce 20/25 Drophead Coupé, restored by Dr. Will Fiennes’ team at their Oxfordshire-based premises, won Second in Rolls-Royce Class, and the prestigious and lavish Lucius Beebe Trophy for the evocative and all-consuming spirit in which Fiennes Restoration returned the car to its former glory after decades of neglect.
Fiennes Restoration’s entry, which beat Phantoms and Silver Ghosts in the competition, was the only Rolls-Royce in the class whose coachwork had not been made in the US, and the first time a ‘small’ Rolls-Royce has won at Pebble Beach: small horsepower is no disincentive in a contest which values overall excellence rather than outright performance.
The Rolls-Royce-sponsored Lucius Beebe Trophy also awarded to Fiennes Restoration’s Rolls-Royce, celebrates the accurate interpretation of both an era and model’s individual essence: epicurean Lucius Beebe, who was one of the early Pebble Beach judges, cut a rather dashing figure as a journalist and author, openly celebrating an alternative lifestyle à la Oscar Wilde, in the hedonistic 1920s. His interest and passion for Rolls-Royce cars reflects that period’s extravagant and self-indulgent attitude.
‘We are thrilled to have been awarded not one, but two awards at the most spectacular classic automotive event in the world,’ says Dr. Will Fiennes, MD of Fiennes Restoration. ‘Together with the Best in Class prize, which we won at the RROC’s National Meet at Lake Tahoe just before Pebble Beach, we come back to the UK with a hat-trick of international awards in recognition of British manufacturing excellence.’
Fiennes Restoration’s work attracted plenty of admiring comments, especially for the quality of its paintwork, so expect to see more of Fiennes’ work cropping up in US concours events. The company is one of the few specialist parts manufacturers to fulfil demand for original and hard-to-find pre-war Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts – a market that seems to be booming at the moment.