16 September 2016


Well, what a busy summer we have had!  Our little Morris Z van was finished in May in time for our trip to the Shetland Classic Car Show and Tours and we had a wonderful time.

Signwritten and ready to go
The van went to a traditional sign writer in Dundee to have our name, etc, hand painted in gold onto the lovely blue paint.  A few test runs and a voluntary MOT test later and we were ready to load her up with luggage and picnic baskets for our trip north.

We headed up on the A93, past the old Devil's Elbow and over the top of Glenshee towards Aberdeen on a lovely sunny day, accompanied by our friend in his 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25.  We stopped for a picnic (traditional wicker hampers and all) on the way down towards Braemar and then arrived at the ferry terminal for our crossing to Shetland.  We docked in Lerwick early on a chilly Thursday morning in the mist and drizzle to be welcomed by the organisers ready for our first tour.  The little van slowly made her way up the long drag out of Lerwick and we headed off to Scalloway for a visit to the marine college to hear about developments in using seaweed as bio fuel, and have a go in a bridge simulator for a large ship.  After a delicious lunch of Cullen Skink, accompanied by some traditional Shetland fiddle music, we decided to head to our hotel in the north.
Heading north with the 20/25 in front
Exploring the wee roads
The following day dawned bright and sunny so we, along with the 20/25, decided to go exploring North Roe and all sorts of little roads heading back south slightly, before turning to the west and discovering a lovely cafe at the caravan site at Eshaness with amazing views of sea stacks.
Lunch stop at Eshaness
Stunning scenery and sea stacks at Eshaness
Saturday and Sunday was the Classic Car show at the Clickiminn Centre in Lerwick.  We all headed down fairly early and put the vehicles in their allocated places, then went to feast our eyes on the other exhibits.  It was quite an eclectic show with modern muscle cars alongside an early Bullnose Morris; vintage motorbikes and a steam car; and everything in between.
Polished up and on display
(Photo credit Izzy Milford)
A great variety of vehicles on display
(Photo credit Izzy Milford)
The van comes under scrutiny from some of the visitors to the show
(Photo credit Izzy Milford)
We returned to the mainland on the Sunday night ferry, arriving in Aberdeen on Monday morning for our run home, having had a great time and the little van running beautifully without any problems over the 500 miles we covered.

A huge thank you must go to the organisers for such a lot of hard work to give us all a super few days in Shetland.

Homeward bound
(photo credit Izzy Milford)

11 November 2015


We have been looking at various vans to take on as a project for a little while and, in May 2015 we came across a rather nice Morris Z van in Wales.

We used one of our trusted transport companies to collect the van and deliver it up to us in Perthshire for work to begin on transforming it for Milford Vintage Engineering.

It was in a fairly good condition upon arrival, but we had decided to change its livery to our blue with gold sign writing.  We started by stripping off all the fittings, ladders, roof panel, glass, etc, before sending it to the body shop/painter we use, Gordon Needs.

Stripped out
Off to the body shop

As he got stuck into the project, Gordon discovered that the sills had been filled/patched with fibre glass.  Our philosophy is to "do it right" first time and not have to revisit work in the future, so the body was removed from the chassis so that the sills could be replaced along with sections of the lower body.

Going back to bare metal

Whilst the body was off, we took the opportunity to overhaul the chassis, including shot blasting to remove the rather garish yellow paint.  It was then painted in a couple of coats of primer and then black gloss.

Ready for steam cleaning

Ready for the body to be refitted
The springs have been stripped down, cleaned up and rebuilt, the axles have been stripped, cleaned and re-painted.  The brakes have been stripped, overhauled, new pipes run and then rebuilt and the steering box was overhauled.  Once the chassis work was completed it went back to the body shop and the van body was refitted.

Springs are stripped down to
 individual leaves

Springs will be removed for overhaul

Springs back on chassis

Brakes have been overhauled (master cylinder visible)

The van is being re-painted with numerous coats of primer and colour coat with a cream interior and blue exterior.  The wings and radiator grille are black.

Body in primer
Some of the panels in primer

The interior has been given a fresh coat of cream

Body is now in colour coat

Front wing

06 August 2015


We have finally got our new website live after many months' development.  Head over to www.vintage-engineering.co.uk to have a look.

There are still some more photos to go into the gallery but have a look around and let us know your thoughts.

20 March 2015

1934 ROLLS-ROYCE 20/25

This car used to belong to the owner's aunt before leaving the family for a few years.

Following its arrival last spring, work on this phase of the 20/25 restoration is almost complete.  (The owner is thinking about tackling the body and paint work next year, after using the car for the summer).

One of the final tasks has been the front seats.  As you can see from the photographs, the leather had discoloured and torn after 80 years of use.

Now we are just awaiting the return of the wheels following painting and new tyres then it will be time for road testing the car.

Although the base has already been removed, the wear on the seat
is quite apparent

Finished article back in the car
(note that the 'mark' under the steering wheel is only a shadow)

13 March 2015


We have an old favourite back in the workshop this week - the 1902 Arrol-Johnston dog car.  Ian has been looking after this old girl for nearly 20 years now and she continues to be used regularly.

A quick wash to remove the road dirt ready for work to begin
You can see that the rear seat base has been removed to allow access to the engine

She is in for a service and for some work on the fuel system before heading up to the Grampian Transport Museum to be part of one of their displays this year.

Ian explains the lubrication system to Arnoult

Arnoult start to refill the engine with fresh oil

22 January 2015



This is one of our regulars.  The car is used extensively and serviced at least a couple of times a year depending on the miles covered.  It regularly goes abroad, driving from Scotland all the way, covering thousands of miles.  The past few years have seen trips to Croatia, Portugal and Ireland, to name but a few, but this year it is heading for a trip "down under".
Water pump stripped for servicing
We collected the car just before our Christmas break and have now carried out a full service which picked up one or two potential problems including a small leak in the elbow of the water pump, and the early signs of a points failure in the fuel pump.  Thankfully these have both been sorted out before they caused any major failures and the car is now getting cleaned and prepared ready for collection.
It is being shipped from Felixstowe and will arrive in Melbourne ready to join the Bentley Drivers' Club in Australia for a tour from South to North right the way up to the Cairns area.  We have put together a comprehensive spares kit, just in case, but hopefully this will not be required.  We often accompany cars and their owners on trips such as the Veteran Car Club's London to Brighton, but unfortunately we were not required this time.

16 December 2014


Here are a few photos of the Rolls-Royce 20/25 engine as we were building it back up. 

It is now back in the car and running well on test.  We will put a few miles on the car before it is returned to its owner and then it will come back to us for a 500 mile service.

Crankshaft damper

Crankcase with crank on right and main bearings, etc, in foreground

Pistons and con rods about to be checked for weights/balancing
Front of crankcase with distributor drive going into position

Timing gears in position

Close up of crankshaft oil feed pipes

Cylinder head with valves, etc, ready to be fitted

Crankcase awaiting cylinder block

View inside the sump - the oil level float/indicator is clearly visible
at the bottom of the picture

Cylinder head and block back in place

Crankshaft damper now fitted

Engine cradle refitted

Engine being craned back into position

Engine back in and connecting up the ancillaries

All connected up and running