VINTAGE CAR SPECIALIST
 

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

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Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1963

HISTORY

The Vintage Garage

 

At The Vintage Garage, generations of Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Brass-era and classic marques have received a new lease on life. Now under the leadership of Pierce Reid, The Vintage Garage continues this tradition of excellence in service, restoration and support.

 

The Vintage Garage can trace its lineage to the early 1950's, a small group of dedicated enthusiasts came together to restore and enjoy their early Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles.  One of these hobbyists was Frank Cooke, whose mechanical ingenuity and dedication to quality would become legendary within the vintage car hobby worldwide.   

 

                                                         Frank Cooke Wikipedia                                                                                                                                                                             It was not long before Frank Cooke's reputation led him to establish The Vintage Garage                                                           in 1965.  Frank Cooke's shop was a trailblazing company at a time when few restoration                                                           shops existed for any marque.  Techniques that were pioneered by Frank, his son Bill,                                                               and his team that included restoration pioneers such as the late Ed Lake and Bob  v                                                                   Jefferson, Sr. are now considered standard practice in the restoration of Rolls-Royce,                                                              Bentley and other fine cars.   

 

And now, more than 50 years later, enthusiasts who are looking for the finest in engine rebuilding, mechanical restorations and service/maintenance still make the pilgrimage to The Vintage Garage.  Since 2006, its 6000 square foot facility outside Stowe, Vermont been home to The Vintage Garage.  Today owner, historian and principle engineer Pierce Reid leads a team of craftsmen who are carrying on The Vintage Garage restoration traditions.

 

​The Vintage Garage also became well-known for reproducing obsolete parts ranging from hose clamps to major castings.  In fact, The Vintage Garage was first shop ever to perfect the methodologies used by Rolls-Royce for for casting new cylinder heads and cylinder blocks, saving many early cars from destruction or dismantling.  Today, as a member of the Rolls-Royce/Bentley Specialists Association, we carry on the  of practice of manufacturing new parts, ensuring that there is a good supply of quality rebuild parts available for all the pre-war models.

 

And we are still using the techniques and standards pioneered by the Vintage Garage in the 1960's and '70's, as well as integrating new technologies and methods to provide superlative mechanical restoration, maintenance, tour preparation and other services.  In addition, we have applied our craftsmanship, historical research skills into new areas such as the restoration of industrial antiques, early agricultural implements and devices, militaria including live artillery and optics, museum-quality cutaways, models and miniatures, restoration and creation of lobby and boardroom displays and the conservation/restoration of architectural antiques.  Our motto "Craftsmen Restore the Past" applies to more than just fine cars!

 

We also maintain a tradition of sharing our knowledge and information with hobbyists and with the automotive community.   Each year, The Vintage Garage contributes written technical and historical articles, displays and loans out educational engine and mechanical cutaways, organizes technical seminars and gives talks at automotive events.  This 'giving back' to the hobby has helped educate many of today's top restorers and engine builders as well as helping enthusiasts better understand and appreciate their cars. 

 

Today, the team at the Vintage Garage can assist with mechanical restorations, engine rebuilding and service as well as rapid-turnaround component rebuilding, new and salvage parts and we can handle the management of complete restorations.  For more than 50 years, when knowledgeable enthusiasts refer to a car with a "Vintage Garage Restoration," they know they have a car that is ready for decades of reliable, silent, enjoyable touring or competition.

We look forward to working with you on your project or seeing you at an upcoming event or having you visit our shop for a seminar or to meet our team!

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

PRINCIPALS

R. Pierce Reid, Owner and Principal Engineer

Pierce Reid has been enjoying and working on vintage cars his entire life. 

 

After college, he went into public relations and marketing.  During a successful career spanning nearly 20 years, he helped launch some of the most successful and recognizable companies of the early Internet days.  Between 1996 and 2005 he served as Senior Vice President of Schwartz Communications; ran a unit of General Dynamics ATP Advanced Programs; and was a co-founder and VP Marketing at Qovia, Inc. a successful VoIP telephony company later acquired by Cisco.  He also has worked as a consultant to the DoD and Pentagon in the area of psychological operations and military information operations.  Today, in addition to his work at the Vintage Garage he is a regular lecturer at Norwich University and is heavily involved in their history and military writing programs. 

 

In 2005 he began restoring cars professionally, taking on his two first projects from Bob Shafner and John DeCampi who had encouraged him to pursue his interest in restoring cars full-time.  Within two years, his shop merged with The Vintage Garage which he purchased outright in 2016.

 

Pierce began his mechanical career restoring vintage motorcycles, Porsches and several Land Rovers.  Looking for the ultimate mechanical challenge, he graduated to working on Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars in the mid 1990's, quickly establishing a reputation as a knowledgeable and thorough hobbyist.

 

He served as Vice President (Technical) Pre-war of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club.  In addition, he has published more than 200 articles on mechanical restoration, automotive history and military history.  He is widely recognized as a speaker and seminar instructor and has spoken around the world on topics ranging from Rolls-Royce restoration to T.E. Lawrence.  He is a two-time winner of the Frank Cooke Technical Manuscript award and served as Technical Editor of The Flying Lady.  In 2017, he was a member of the team of historians that discovered the identity of T.E. Lawrence's "Blue Mist" the car he drove into Damascus in 1918. 

 

His own cars include a 1925 Silver Ghost, a 1914 Model T Ford and a 1965 M151 Military "Mutt" Jeep.  He also collects and restores vintage motorcycles and has regularly rides a vintage BMD "Dakar" motorcycle in places as far away as Iceland, Nordkapp, Norway and Russia.  

 

Pierce also spent almost 15 years as a law enforcement officer, serving on the Stowe Police Department.  He is also an avid outdoorsman and a noted collector of antique firearms and live artillery.  Several of the pieces he has collected and donated now reside in the National Firearms Museum and at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va.  

 

Pierce earned a BS in Technical Communication from Clarkson University and went on to pursue an MS in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.  In 2014, he earned a Masters in Military History from Norwich University and his thesis was published in the Journal of the T.E. Lawrence Society. 

 

Doug Nelson.  Senior Engineer.

Doug has more than 40-years experience working on both modern and vintage vehicles.  A specialist in quality European Vehicles for many years, he has extensive experience in working on post-war Mercedes and other fine marques.  He was also a founding member and technical lead for the Good News Garage, a well-known charity organization in Vermont that rehabilitates cars for low income families.   Doug joined The Vintage Garage in 2012 and not only takes the lead on many Rolls-Royce and Bentley projects, but has assisted clients with marques including Mercedes, Packard, Pierce-Arrow, Buick and other vehicles that he has a knack for getting just right!  Doug is also a car enthusiast and when not enjoying top-down driving in his Porsche Boxster, he has a Mercedes Ponton and is a military vehicle enthusiast.

 

Ryan Corbin.  Senior Engineer/Fabricator.

Ryan joined The Vintage Garage in 2015 after running his own metalworking and fabrication shop.  A classically-trained artist, Ryan later returned to school to learn welding and metalworking in order to put his artistic talents to use in metal.  Today, Ryan not only handles all aspects of car restoration, but assists in a wide array of fabrication projects for the garage ranging from major components like fenders and body skins to small components for cars.  He also leads The Vintage Garage's custom fabrication services which are able to make one-of or small run components for a variety of projects and industries.

 

Nathan Davey.  Senior Engineer.

Nate began his career in restoration at age 15 as an apprentice at The Frawley Company in Parkesburg, Pa.   One of the finest Rolls-Royce and Bentley restorers in the country, Dick Frawley was not only a great restorer, but a great teacher as well.  After Dick's passing in 2017, Nate now in his '30s, moved to Vermont with his wife and young daughter.  At The Vintage Garage, Nate handles all aspects of restoration ranging from tune-ups to major engine assembly and is learning line-boring.  His years of experience at The Frawley Company made him an instant fit with the team at the Vintage Garage and he looks forward to a long and brilliant career in the field!

 

Jackson Anderson.   Apprentice Engineer/Intern.

Jack, who is also known around the shop as "Viking Jack" joined the Vintage Garage while a vo-tech high-school student in 2018.  Completing his senior year as a work-study intern, Jack got involved in many aspects of restoration ranging from simple bead blasting to re-tubing blocks and assembling/testing slipper flywheels.  Jack is currently enrolled in the Automotive Program at Vermont Technical College and will continue to work at the garage during his studies and into the future.

 

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

RECENT PROJECTS

A collection of projects we've renovated with passion

 

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

MECHANICAL RESTORATIONS

When new, a Rolls-Royce cost several times more than the median house of the era.  For their investment, owners were assured of a silky smooth, silent, reliable motorcar that could effortlessly travel long distances in great comfort. 

 

Unfortunately for many of these cars, the years, miles, lack of lubrication and unsympathetic mechanics have left the components of the cars needing significant attention.  Remember that all old cars don't "ride like buckboards" or break down at every turn.

 

The Vintage Garage has the skills, knowledge, tools and attention to detail required to make your vintage Rolls-Royce, Bentley or other fine early automobile drive like new.

 

Specialty areas include:

 

  • Complete suspension and steering rebuilds

  • Transmission, prop shaft and rear-end rebuilding

  • Installation of overdrives to reduce engine RPM's

  • Brake rebuilding

  • Rewiring using original materials

  • Generator, starter and electrical rebuilds

  • Fuel tank and fuel system rebuilds

Our mechanical rebuilds always meet or exceed the stringent standards established by Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motors over decades of building some of the finest motorcars in the world.

 

 

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

ENGINE REBUILDING

There are hundreds of shops that claim they can rebuild a pre-war Rolls-Royce or Bentley engine.  There are only a handful with the mix of knowledge, experience, tooling and attention to detail to do the job right.  For more than 40 years, The Vintage Garage has been a member of this exclusive group of specialists.

 

While there is a temptation to use a local race shop or farm the job out to a mechanic with experience in other engines, the skills do not always apply.  And there are no shortcuts and no room for error when it comes to the powerplant. 

 

The Vintage Garage can do complete, turnkey engine restorations.  But we also welcome the opportunity to work with owners who would like to be involved in the project themselves.  We are glad to tackle the technical aspects of the rebuild while helping an owner/enthusiast to have fun (and save money!) by working on other areas of the rebuild themselves.

 

Engine services include:

 

  • Removal from car, dismantling and diagnosis

  • Rebuilding of heads, blocks, crankshafts and other major components

  • Line boring of babbited bearings

  • Fitting of pistons and rods including fitting postwar rods to prewar small HP engines

  • Rebuilding of all engine ancillaries

  • Carburettor rebuilding

  • Tappet, cam, rocker and valve rebuilding

Contact us to discuss your project.  We are glad to help you understand the process and costs involved.

 

In addition, when you contact us about rebuilding your engine, we'll gladly share the names and phone numbers of other Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists who share our skills and commitment to excellence.  Rebuilding an engine is no small investment and we encourage our clients to talk to several competent shops.   We look forward to chatting!

 

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

COMPLETE RESTORATIONS

Few shops can claim to be able to do everything in-house.  Even the biggest and the best restoration specialists have to rely on outside services.  We at The Vintage Garage are no exception.  

While we have hands-on experience in ash framing, painting, body fabrication, interior woodwork and other areas, we also recognize that there are others who are faster, more efficient and more skilled than we are in some areas.

For this reason, we have cultivated very strong relationships and ties with other specialists who can undertake the work we are not set up to do in-house.   And our first-hand experience in these areas lets us competently manage your project and act as your advocate for work we send outside.

So while we may not do complete restorations in our facility, we can manage the complete restoration of your car beyond the critical mechanical components.

Among the outside capabilities we can bring to your restoration project:

  • Ash framing, skinning and body fabrication

  • Bodywork and painting

  • Trimming, woodwork and upholstery

  • Radiator recoring and rebuilding (a must with a new engine!)

  • Plating in nickel or chrome

  • Computerized Laser wheel and suspension alignment

  • other services

 

We welcome your complete restoration or just to play a role in the restoration of your Rolls-Royce, Bentley or fine early car.  Contact us to discuss the project and we will also be glad to provide references to other specialists who can help.

 

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

RAPID-TURNAROUND COMPONENT REBUILDING

Sometimes it's not practical or desirable to bring a complete car or engine to our workshops.

 

For those occasions, we work with individual owners and, frequently, with other restoration shops to recondition components on a fast-turnaround basis.

 

We have the expertise as well as the jigs, tooling, reference materials, parts and experience to rebuild many items that can be beyond capability of the home workshop or non-specialist.

 

Types of components we frequently rebuild:

 

  • Water pumps

  • Starter Bendix drives

  • Carburetors

  • Generators or starter motors

  • Rocker shafts and rockers

  • Clutch relining and parts

  • Brake relining

  • Slipper flywheels

  • Shock absorbers

  • Steering boxes and worms

  • Tappets and rollers

  • Road spring rebuilding Incl. pins and bushes

  • Front and rear axles

  • Transmissions

 

Naturally, costs can vary up and down from these estimates depending on condition, parts availability (and cost), final finish desired and car model.  We strive to give a ballpark estimate on components, but can't always be completely accurate.  Regardless, however, we will keep you informed as we progress. 

 

We strive to offer the best component rebuilding -- as fast as practical and with no surprises!   Please contact us with your project.

 

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

PARTS

Parts

 

Through Bensport Spares, we have North America's largest stock of salvage, NOS and newly-made parts for prewar Rolls-Royce and Bentley Automobiles.

 

While our focus at The Vintage Garage is on restoration, we are fortunate to have tens of thousands of prewar Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts at our location.

 

For our restoration customers, this can mean the difference between smooth and rapid progress or sitting and waiting for parts to arrive.

 

We also sell parts, shipping worldwide.  

 

Contact us at (802) 233-7510 or e-mail rpreid@pshift.com with your parts requests.

Other Parts

While we have a large selection of parts, we frequently refer our customers to parts specialists overseas and in the US.   The Rolls-Royce Owners Club (www.rroc.org) maintains a large online list of suppliers, we list here some outstanding parts resources:

 

  • Prewar Large Horsepower and Smallhorsepower parts:  Fiennes Restoration   www.fiennes.co.uk

  • Prewar small horsepower and early postwar parts: Ristes Motors   www.ristesmotors.co.uk

  • Headlamp parts, lenses and restorations:  Vintage Headlamp Restoration www.vintage-headlamp-restoration.co.uk

  • Ghost parts, Phantom 1 parts and spring Gaiters:  Rudys Gaiters  1-800-248-RUDY

  • Phantom II and Phantom III parts:  Mike Cicora, Iva South Carolina

  • Vintage Bentley Parts:  DH Day   011 44 (0) 1793 812 323

  • General prewar supplies:  Paul Beck Automotive  www.vintagesupplies.com

  • General prewar supplies:  Restoration Supply Co. www.restorationstuff.com

  • RR Coils and Bakelite Items:  River Carriage Shop   440 333 0561

  • Electronic Ignitions, PIII carb bodies, Aluminum Washer kits; Ross Courtney Terminals:  Dennison Jayne Motors   tjrr@kennett.net

  • Wiring supplies:  Rhode Island Wire  www.riwire.com

  • Salvage Postwar Parts:  Tony Handler, Inc.  www.tonyhandler.com

  • New Postwar Parts:  Bentley of Zionsville  www.albersrollsbentley.com

 
 

Superlative engine rebuilding, mechanical restoration and service since 1965

CONTACT US

Phone/Fax:  (802) 253-9256

e-mail:    rpreid@vintagegaragevt.com

Mailing address:

The Vintage Garage

PO Box 488

Stowe, VT   05672

 

Shipping Address:

The Vintage Garage

Consolidated Farms Barn

111 North Hollow Rd.

Stowe, VT   05672  USA 

Driving Directions:

Please contact us for directions via phone or e-mail

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