Can anyone recommend a good Rolls-Royce mechanic in Los Angeles?

Discussion in 'British' started by Flash G, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Flash G

    Flash G Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 24, 2006
    Hollywood Hills
    Full Name:
    UPDATE: I posted this in Silver, but I’ll post here as well:

    Since it’s been nearly 6 months since I purchased “Cornelia,” ;) you boys are right... it’s time for an update.

    First, I’ll detail what I’ve done to the car... and then my ownership/driving impressions after putting about 700 miles on her.

    So so far I’ve spent around $6,000 in the last few months getting the car to the condition its currently in, and I’ll probably spend another $6k or $7k to make her perfect.


    The car had minor fuel weep around the Bosch fuel distributor, so I had the gaskets rebuilt. The driveline felt a bit sloppy, so I had the driveline couplings replaced. Also, the rear suspension felt a bit stiff, so I had the nitrogen gas spring “spheres” replaced. They wear out after 5-7 years of use. The difference is night and day.

    Those were the things I needed to do immediately to get the car in good driving condition. Also had a full fluid service. The mighty 6.75 litre engine takes enough oil to soil an Alaskan beach if it were to ever spill. I had the mineral oil topped up, power steering fluid, coolant, etc... etc...


    Replaced oxidized reverse lamps.

    Replaced glove box leather.

    Reattached the convertible top Everflex vinyl at the rear of the car to the wooden deck. It had separated over the years and drove me nuts looking at it. (This was an extensive procedure where they had to rip the rotted wood out of the base of the convertible top and recut/replace new wood, stretch the vinyl top, and re-tack the entire convertible top to the car.) This took almost a month and required a woodworker and an upholstery guy to complete.

    Convertible top frame bolts replaced and realigned.

    Windows were a bit slow, so the shop opened the doors and lubed the mechanisms.

    Sun visors were a bit warped by the sun. I had them straightened and the leather reattached.

    AC ducting sealed.

    Jumpy speedo fixed.

    Door locks, tray hinges, glovebox locks, etc... were a bit sticky. Had them adjusted and lubed.

    Full treatment of ALL of the leather in the car with Hide Food. It’s unreal how much leather they used. There is leather in places you would never see.


    Full AC service: Needs new hoses, and I think a blend flap is not working. This is next on the list, but as I drive it most of the time with the top down, it’s not a big deal right now.

    It occasionally hesitates a bit when hot starting. This is probably a fuel accumulator that will need to be replaced.

    Eventually, pads and rotors.

    High beams sometimes don’t trigger and blinkers get slow. This is probably going to be a relay that needs to be replaced. (Thanks, Lucas.)

    Valve cover gaskets have a slight oil weep.

    Professionally clean or replace headliner.

    That’s it. All in all, the car was in pretty good shape, but there are always things you can have done.

    I had most of the work done at Charles Agapiou Ltd. Rolls-Royce and Bentley. It is within walking distance from my L.A. house. They specialize in the classics, and Charlie is an affable and knowledgeable guy. (Former Carroll Shelby mechanic who set up his own shop here 30 years ago.)


    First off, I love this car. This car is a contradiction. It is stout - with a massive 6.75 litre engine, a truck-like GM transmission, massive axle and hubs, dual circuit brakes and doors that feel like bank vault doors.

    But it also feels delicate. The steering a feather light, braking is effortless, the engine makes a low murmur and the interior feels like you’re driving around town in a finely made piece of furniture... like a well-made cabinet and sofa.

    I try to drive the car at least once a week or once every two weeks. When you open the door after it’s been sitting for awhile, you immediately get that “Rolls-Royce”smell. It smells like fine wood, leather and that mystery smell that reminds you of an old gentlemen’s club.

    The car starts easily. I wait for both brake circuit lights to go out, and then I “proceed.” It takes a while to warm up, but once you get going, the engine runs like a top. It is very smooth and makes a very low-pitched murmur.

    The electronic gear selector is so delicate in its operation, it feels more like a turn signal stalk. The transmission is very smooth during gear changes, unless you’re really pushing the throttle, and then it’s a bit more noticeable. It handles the car’s torque very well. I’m not sure what the torque rating of the car is, but it feels truck-like. You have plenty of torque.

    Acceleration is adequate, but you’re not going to win any stoplight races. This car is HEAVY, and it feels heavy in everything it does. The brake feel is so delicate, it almost *feels* too soft to stop such a heavy car, but it does so effectively.

    The ride is everything you’d expect from a Rolls-Royce, but there are some surprises. The car floats over bumps like an ocean liner. It is very smooth. Like a magic carpet ride. The hydro-pneumatic suspension (nitrogen-filled springs/mineral oil leveling system) works very well. The only downside to this particular car is that because it is a convertible, there is quite a bit of body flex. If you hit a sharp bump, there’s a bit of judder in the frame that you wouldn’t feel in a Silver Spirit or any other Rolls of the same age. The heavy weight of the car and the lack of a roof or strut tower braces makes the body flex really noticeable.

    Handling... don’t ask. That’s why I haves Lotuses. I took a canyon road coming back from my house in Ventura and a few times I felt like I was going to go over the edge. Had to take it pretty slow. It handles like a battleship. The previous owner rebuilt the entire front suspension... springs, bushings, bolts and all, so everything feels “tight,” or at least as tight as a Rolls can feel. There are no squeaks.

    The car is big. When I park in L.A., I have barely enough room for the Rover and Rolls in my tandem underground space.

    Gas consumption... I knew I wasn’t buying a Prius, but wow! I thought my 11-mpg Range-Rover was rough. I’m currently getting around 7 mpg. I thought something was wrong with the car until I googled old EPA mileage ratings and found out that the ‘87 Corniche averages 8 mpg. Suffice to say, I spend a lot of time at gas stations.

    You can’t be shy with this car. People are constantly asking me about it in traffic, taking pictures with it (especially women) :cool:, or talking your ear off about it at gas stations. (A dealer actually offered to buy it from me on the spot at one gas station. I declined.) It has an amazing presence that pictures can’t convey. It *looks* like a proper Rolls-Royce. They don’t put those Parthenon grilles on the new BMW cars anymore.

    The look, presence and feel of the car can’t be beat. Six months in, I love it more than the day I bought it.

    Apologies for some of the blurry iPhone shots. My iPhone camera is dying.

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  3. jbarbakow

    jbarbakow Karting

    Mar 6, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    Full Name:
    Jeremy Barbakow
    Here’s mine. I’m in Santa Barbara if you ever want to meet up.


    Attached Files:

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  4. Flash G

    Flash G Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 24, 2006
    Hollywood Hills
    Full Name:
  5. TrojanFan

    TrojanFan F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Nov 17, 2008
    So. CA & NV
    Full Name:
    Alan at Pasadena British. Very busy but really knows his stuff.
  6. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    love her flash. always been a car I would like to own. a real rolls and timeless! the car looks fantastic!!!
    Flash G likes this.
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