1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Engine Conversion & Subframe Restoration
Work in Progress September - December 2004
The Rolls at the Cleveland Autorama Car Show (Click Here!)
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Click on an image for a description of what was done to the Rolls...
Some may wonder why replace a Rolls engine with a Chevy engine. While the Rolls engine may be a great work of engineering, it must be well maintained. This engine was sorely neglected. The block was cracked and there were several noises indicating an overhaul was needed. Replacing the engine came after realizing that I could no longer drive the car for more than 45 minutes before the engine would overheat. Rolls did not make replacement blocks so a used good block would have to have been purchased, cleaned and installed. Also, the Rolls engine runs the braking system which also was in need of overhaul.
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Bottom line is that the cost of this work was at least $40,000. And after all of that work the car would continue to require expensive and hard to find mechanics to provide service. That made my decision easier. Junk the car or go in another direction. Rolls Royce already used GM for a number of parts. The transmission is a GM 400. The steering gear is GM. The AC unit is by GM. So why not the engine? The fitting to the transmission is not a problem and Berea Engineering has made adapters so that no cutting of the subframe is required to install the engine. (Frequently done in other lesser restoration shops.)
After purchasing the car I have rechromed the bumpers and grill. I had all the stainless parts straightened and buffed. The burl walnut dash and rear picnic tables have been refinished. The carpeting has been replaced. The leather seats have been restored.
Underneath, the suspension was repaired or replaced. A new exhaust system was installed
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All of the work for this conversion has been done by Chuck Barnow of
Berea Automotive Engineering in Berea, Ohio.
Mr. Barnow makes no modifications to the subframe. In fact, the Rolls engine could be
reinstalled at some future time.
Rolls and Mercedes Pictures