Rolls-Royce technicians restore one of the company’s most important cars

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In June 15, 2021
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Rolls-Royce has restored its 2017 SRH, which came back to the company’s headquarters to receive its scheduled 100,000-metre — not miles! — scheduled service.

It didn’t need much of a hoist, as the all-electric Rolls is a handmade miniature car, used by a local hospital that lets children requiring surgery drive themselves to the operating room, rather than be wheeled in on a gurney.

The SRH — for St. Richard’s Hospital — had its paint restored and other issues addressed, after it had made more than 2,000 trips in the hospital.

The hospital originally used a battery-powered plastic Jeep, but when it broke, staff asked Rolls-Royce if it could perform the repair. Rather than fix the Jeep, the British automaker built a new toy car.

A team created the body shell with carbon-fibre-reinforced fibreglass and painted it with a two-tone finish as they would a real Rolls. The handmade seat is medical-grade vinyl over wood, hot-welded without seams so it could be disinfected, and a custom aluminum foot well lifts out for cleaning. The company also made a laser-etched Rolls Royce badge, 3D-printed dash and wheel caps, and a miniature Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. The project took about 400 hours to make, with the team donating their time.

Rolls-Royce said the restoration was necessary due to the car’s “singular working conditions,” and that it is “unaware of any other Rolls-Royce being routinely driven along corridors by unlicensed children in a state of nervous excitement.”

The car has since gone back into service at the hospital. Linda Collins, a nurse at the hospital, said using the car “helps to take the emphasis away from the procedure (the child is) undergoing, and focus on the unique experience of driving a genuine Rolls-Royce while being safely supervised through the hospital corridors.”

Andrew Ball, head of Rolls-Royce’s corporate relations, said it’s “very rare that a motor car returns to the home of Rolls-Royce to have scuffs and scrapes buffed out of its paintwork, and in this instance, we’re entirely untroubled. It shows that the car is being used and enjoyed.”

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