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Why Fiennes Engineering
began making parts

Article by: Hannah Gannon in General - 26 January

The story begins with one man and his passion for classic cars starting with a 1936 Riley Merlin. Will Fiennes purchased the car whilst still a student at Oxford in the mid-sixties and maintained it himself. This led him to join the Riley Register and, with his engineering aptitude, he soon became their “spares man” and was making a small income to supplement his academic life.

With a realisation that he would rather make a living out of classic car restoration than be employed by a corporation he embarked on his own Fiennes Engineering business in 1976 and, five years later, moved to premises at Clanfield Mill in Oxfordshire to provide mechanical engineering support for Clanfield Restorations who ultimately became part of a larger Fiennes Restoration business covering restoration, engineering and coachbuilding. 

Will had seen that many fine pre-war Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars would be sadly written off because of a lack of spare parts and the inability, or lack of inclination, of Rolls-Royce to resolve the problem. The only option was to make new parts, reclaim or reverse engineer them which Will started to do with 20hp Roll Royce cylinder heads. From those humble beginnings, the scale and expertise grew to the point that Fiennes Restoration became the world leaders in production of parts for pre-war Rolls Royce and Bentley from original blue-prints to equivalent or better technical specifications. Furthermore, if a part couldn’t be made from these archive drawings they would reverse engineer or reclaim them to keep those classic marques going. Underpinning this was the most authoritative database in existence for Rolls Royce and Bentley chassis numbers and parts references that Will uniquely compiled over time and all this led to an extensive catalogue of several thousand parts being made available to private and trade customers either from stock or capable of being manufactured.

New Parts

It’s no surprise that parts and restoration go hand in hand with one meeting the needs of the other that in return highlights the need for parts. Now, under the umbrella of the Fiennes Group this relationship is strengthened with parts production and reclamation being provided by sister company Fiennes Engineering to support the needs of other sister companies Fiennes Classics and Fiennes Performance. 

Today Fiennes Parts supports more marques of all ages and is the home of a continuously growing catalogue of thousands of parts making us a trusted and unique world-class destination for private and trade buyers.