About Me

A rough guide to Ashley James

My family has had a passion for motorised transport for over 100 years now and my Great Grandfather Dr. Frederick Lucius Nicholls may have been the first GP to use a car for his rounds. His first car was a 1902 Stanley Steamer and his practice was in Fulbourn in Cambridgeshire. The picture shows him (at the extreme right) on May 26th 1908 at the Cambridge and Isle of Ely Motor Club meet in Croxton Park. I believe CS Rolls was also a member.

Another Great Grandfather William Wright was a Landowner at Ludham in Norfolk and he was the first in the family to own a Rolls. The picture shows the car, an estate worker and my mother with her brother and sisters.

I am a 50% shareholder in www.avihifi.com with Martin Grindrod, an Electronics engineer whose father and grandfather both worked for Roll-Royce in the Aero Engine division. I have had a lifelong interest in cars and motorcycles and have owned over fifty cars including Aston Martins, Jaguars, Rovers, Alvis’s, MG’s and seven Rolls-Royce and Bentley. I’ve also had over one hundred and fifty motorcycles, many of which I completely rebuilt, the earliest was a 1910 Indian V twin but my favourites were Rudge, Velocette, OHC Nortons, Vincent’s and later on Ducati and Aermaachi racers and currently BMWs. I also worked for some years restoring antique watches and clocks and all of this brought me into close contact with many specialists and some famous journalists. I even learnt workshop practice from an ex R-R apprentice who went on to become an RAF Warrant Officer during WWII in charge of a massive R-R Merlin and Pratt and Witney engine reconditioning Plant. Hopefully you will consider this sufficient training to enable me to produce a credible website for these marvellous old cars.

Of all the others who’ve helped me with this site I feel that special mention must go to Bill Coburn, he writes beautifully, knows ours and the later cars inside out and has produces newsletters called "Tee One Topics" that deal to a small extent with our cars and to a much greater extent, with repairing Shadows and Spirits. In so doing he has single-handed begun a movement the world over that will guarantee the survival of these great cars and make people respect them for the achievement that they were. You can download all the Tee One Topics' from this site.

We receive dozens of emails from enthusiasts all over the world who’ve enjoyed the site and encouraged us to do more. Many have learnt to use computers late in life and have found this site easy to use too. We‘ve many new friends and they have encouraged us to develop the site and some have sent stories about and pictures of their cars for publishing. People love to see these because it tells them about the pain and pleasure of old car ownership. If you love yours or you remember particular journey or experience relating to a Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Bristol or even a contemporary, we’d love to put it and pictures on this site and we can guarantee it will be enjoyed and help to encourage more to do the same.

There is a great bond of friendship between owners of old cars and, as we don’t have a message board, it is a tremendous pleasure to receive so many emails. However whilst it is easy to recommend specialists or suppliers or to put people in touch with one and other, technical queries are immensely time consuming. We are delighted to help and look forward to doing so but would ask you to think carefully before sending in request for help with matters that do not require complex knowledge. If you have simple problems they can be dealt with by local people then ask them first, but if it’s beyond them then please contact us. We’d all love to do more for you but there are only 24 hours in a day!

Ashley James

historyRead more about the Bentley Mark VI.

historyRead more about the history of Bentley and Rolls Royce.