Gentle and Fair – Reworking the Rear Wing of the 1951 Riley RMB

With a car as intricate and flowing as the 1951 Riley RMB, it’s important that our in-house metalwork craftsmen at Bridge Classic Cars apply all their skills and knowledge to ensure each flow, curve and line are exactly right on the car.

Highlighted in this post is the extensive work our fabricator James has done on the rear wing of the Riley RMB. Much of the original material had pitted in places, and in some places to the point of allowing holes to grow in the metal itself especially along the rear flange. This piece has been replaced before as can be seen by the various patches and pieces along the length of the panel.

Carefully and with much reserve, James began to remove the affected piece from the panel. Removing only what needed to be and keep as much of the original piece as possible. The new section would have to be entirely handmade for this wing but that is no problem for our fabrication shop.

James measured not only the length but the thickness of the piece that would be needed to replace the original flange. Then, using the English wheel, James skillfully began to give the piece its shape and form. Constantly offering up the new piece and referring to the shape of the original. A combination of shrinking and stretching key areas of the panel allowed it to blend into the original piece.

Then, it came time to join the two parts together. Slowly and precisely James TIG welded the parts together at strategic points, allowing the piece to cool at the correct rate and distributing the heat in such a way as to minimise the warp caused to the panel from the process. Once completely married up, James then began to finesse the join.

Using a planishing hammer and a selection of dollies, James began to smooth the joint between the two panels together until there little to no signs they had never been together their entire lives. That is craftsmanship…

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