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Colin Tench
Posted on Saturday, 07 April, 2001 - 13:14:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

We have a luverly new 1969 Bentley T and no garage!!
Does anybody know if one of these all weather cover things is a good or a bad idea. Some say that the subtle movements in windy conditions will slowly scratch the paint. Others say that it's better than the rain and falling leaves. We are in England, but this is the best forum thing I've found so far, and I did live in Sydney for a bit once, so I can speak the language.
Many thankyounesses.
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Mernon Lollich
Posted on Saturday, 07 April, 2001 - 13:15:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I found the cover more a bother than a help, except for long-term storage inside. Moisture is a problem, for one - you need to dry the car before covering (not easy to do in the rain with no garage). The car must be clean, for another, as any movement - wind, etc. will surely scratch the finish if dirty. I live in a very 'British' climate - northwest California near the ocean and the Oregon border. My cover has spent the last four years in its bag, gathering dust in a corner of the garage!
Sorry to be of so little help.
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Jim Bettison
Posted on Saturday, 07 April, 2001 - 13:16:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I agree with what Mernon has said. A cover is better than no cover (mostly) but nowhere near as good as a garage. If you must get one, it should have a flock inner - about which there is good news and bad news. Good news is that if you keep the cover fairly taut (big rubber bands) it will minimise scuffing (but scuffing there still will be); bad news is what Mernon says - it traps moisture. Put "teacosies" over sticky-out bits (mascot, etc). Save up for (even a tiny) garage.
By the way, I'm in South Australia - relatively dry and warm (central California) so don't have the problems of you guys.
Good luck.
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Colin Tench
Posted on Saturday, 07 April, 2001 - 13:17:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Well! That was impressive.
A reply in 24 hours. That was most helpful Mernon, and pretty much as I expected. Funny thing is that we are probably off to Tahoe in jan, unless we go to Montana of course. It must be quite wondrous to drive such a car in such an amazing part of the world. We'll just have to polish the car before we go.
Thanks alot
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Richard Treacy
Posted on Saturday, 07 April, 2001 - 13:19:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Actually, I don't agree with Mernon on this one, and have used covers with great success since 1976.

My first was an indoor dust cover type made of cotton. OK outside in fine weather, but annoying in the rain. I am sure that rain is better than a soggy cover. I was a student at the time, and only had an outside car space, and used the cover at all times. The cover is easy to fit once used a few times. I used snap-on joiners: old baggage snap-on straps sewn to the lower mid bases of the cover, with a weight to toss below the car. This kept it safe from the wind, but you need a plastic hat for the Flying B. Garden pegs on the corners are an easy addition to hold the edges down, but better was an elastic loop to hook around the overriders.

Since 1978 I have used an excellent one made in Australia by Kenko: not much use to you, but these thin synthtics are watertight but breathe. Being very light, scratching is even less a problem. Watertightness is good in prolonged English rainy spells as it stops the interior becoming damp if there are any slight water leaks (SS windscreens are notorious, but easily resealed). I have never suffered scratches. I have my R-Type parked in a garage in Canberra with this cover on it.

I also use one on my recently bought Turbo R as I am back to a reserved outside car spot here in Zurich. Garages are like hens teeth and crazy expensive. I bought the cover in the US last month, and it is similar to the ones on Oz, and I'm sure they are available in the UK.

Another thing: an RR is disguised by a cover attracting less vandalism and theft.

Anyhow, that's my bit !

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Peter Markham
Posted on Saturday, 07 April, 2001 - 13:20:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Having just bought one for Australian conditions and having experienced the English equivalent (remember the ice scraper in winter!) I would suggest that you research them on the Internet then go out and buy one. The ones with inner liner are the best and slight scratch marks buff out easily but rust, mould, acid rain, hail and of course, SNOW are not so easily dealt with.
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Jeanne Eve
Posted on Saturday, 07 April, 2001 - 13:22:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Am a few days late replying to you but I would like to add the advantages for the use of a car cover. We had one made in Sydney especially for our Phantom V for occasional use, e.g. the 1997 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge.
The essential requirements were light weight and minimum storage space- rolled up like a sleeping bag. Ours had sides made from stretchy jersey with a thinly padded section for the top,(for hail, frost and snow) which ran from bonnet to boot. Corners had elastic, similar to a fitted bed sheet, which slipped under the bumper. Extra 'socks' were made for the mascot and for us, the flagpoles. The disadvantage was that the padded section does not dry quickly enough when wet especially when travelling, however the jersey sections can be shaken dry. There has been no scratching. There has been no deterioration or tearing from being out in the sun or from general wear and tear, unlike the thin woven commercial covers we bought for another R.R. We always put our cover in the boot when travelling long distance. Takes two people less than half a minute to put on car. Others may like to consider this if they are participating in the 2004 World RR.rally. Be happy to send photo over.
Regards, Jeanne
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Bradley Clinch (
Posted on Friday, 26 July, 2002 - 02:41:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi all.

I too suffer the dilemma regarding a cover for my 1979 SSII. Or should I say, finding a practical way to protect the upholstery and lacquered timber surfaces within the car from those damaging UV rays.

I live on the Gold Coast in Australia and have a garage, but... at work there is no protection from the elements for the vehicle.

Although I was fortunate to get a beautifully made Rolls cover (complete with 520mm x 290mm RR logo) with the purchase of the car, for reasons mentioned below I prefer not to use it. It is still neatly folded in it's original bag and it clearly has never been used... and I feel it is destined to remain that way.

For anyone wishing to purchase one of these, you may like to know that it was manufactured by "Specialised Car Covers", Concours House, Main Street, Burley in Wharfdale, Yorkshire. England. LS29 7JP. Tel: 0943 864646.

The comment by Richard Treacy, that a cover has an added advantage of disguising the car, I too believe would reduce vandalism and theft.
This being one reason I prefer not to use the RR logo cover that I have as it's a bit like advertising the fact.

I have tried over the car inconspicuous (and quite expensive) covers available at the local auto accessory shops, which demonstrated the need for a tailor made cover, and have consequently (until I come up with a better alternative) been temporarily using one that I bought for my SIII Daimler Sovereign, which is allegedly 100% breathable.
It is very lightweight, and although I have used it on a few windy days without evidence of scratching, I can feel in my bones that the car does not like it a great deal.
Okay, maybe I'm paranoid... but I've had previous experience with covers, which advises me to look for a better alternative.

Also, the car still gets rather hot inside, and it's a pain to fit over the car even when it's not windy.

Personally, my main concern is UV rays, avoiding any abrasion of the body and single-handed ease of use.

Something which conforms to my specific requirements above is a set of neatly fitting reflective solar inserts which can be positioned on the inside of all the windows, exactly as many aircraft have fitted when parked out on the tarmac.
In WA we used to have them custom made by aircraft upholsterers at a very reasonable cost.
Here on the Gold Coast I have approached one aircraft upholsterer so far, enquiring where I can buy this sheeting by the metre, as it would be very simple to make some patterns (and the result would probably be a more precise fit than one may expect if the job is left to someone else!), cut them out and sew a border around them. The response was that he buys windscreen covers from Supercheap or other auto accessory shops... and cuts them down!
But I'm sure this solar reflective sheeting must be available elsewhere as the inserts I am familiar with are made of thicker sheeting than those I have seen at the auto accessory shops.
When I find a supplier I shall make a note of it here.
Any information regarding a supplier of this type of material would be most welcome.
Well that's my alternative for this climate.

Additionally, another assisting protective system of which I am interested, which would give some protection whilst driving the car and for those short durations where installing the inserts would not be practicable is window tinting.
Can anyone (without cringing) advise regarding this?

Thank you.
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Jim Bettison (
Posted on Friday, 26 July, 2002 - 21:30:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I'm in S Aust, and I have been through your dilemma. I think that you have identified the issues very well, and the answers you are seeking come easily in consequence. Mind you, that's not to say that you will like these answers...
I agree that a prime consideration is to keep U-V off any organic materials (particularly synthetic ones)in the car - which means nearly everything. Paint, pigments, varnishes, PVC and other films - endless. The best way to do this is to keep the car in the dark (except when driving!) and that means an opaque cover. Light-weight translucent covers will allow some U-V through (remember a few years ago there was a scare because it was found that school-childrens' shirts transmitted a huge proportion of incidentU-V?) Most glass transmits most of the U-V (at all wavelengths) that falls on it. Perspex and polycarbonate absorb most of that U-V (over 98% if I remember correctly) and tend to be sacrificial - you will see pieces of these compounds that have been exposed to sunlight for a long time becoming "crazed". (In fact, if you have valuable artworks and colour photos they should be behind Perspex or polycarb to preserve the colours.) Since you can't put the car in a box, I think the only answer is a dark, opaque, car cover. Sure, the car will get hot but in my judgement that's a lesser problem. Regular (annual) treatment with Connolly's Hide Food (no relation to Billy) on leather is something that can be done.
Now for my second comment to make your day. What is the allowable darkening of side windows allowed in Qld? In SA it's only about 2% of transmission. (No comparisons on the SA - Qld subject, please!) However, it's a common misconception that shading film keeps the car cooler. What in fact happens is that the film takes the incident short-wavelength infrared from a visible of near-visible source (e.g., the sun) and re-radiates it as long-wavelength IR - which has the characteristic of being much more penetrating of, for instance, fabrics ... like your clothes. I am told that the human eyeball is very sensitive to short I-R and so the presence of shade film may make the vehicle seem to be cooler ...
In short, I think there's no substitute for a good shady garage and a good set of Ray-Bans. Which makes my closing sound rather smart-ass.
Good luck.
Jim B.
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Bradley Clinch (
Posted on Tuesday, 30 July, 2002 - 23:00:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you for your comments Jim.
Sure, the ideal resting environment for any vehicle would be a dark garage, but... I still have to find the best substitute for when at work (and during various excursions)
I agree than an opaque cover would be the best alternative for all-round protection from UV light and I have looked at several covers recently. The leading contender to date is a StormGuard Autotecnica (XL of course) at $154 from Kmart, which appears superior to any other I've seen at any of the auto accessory shops. This cover is vented, waterproof and flock-lined, which I expect would make the car rather hot, but give it the best protection. I can always incorporate a ventilation system of some kind. Obviously fitting this sort of cover when the vehicle is wet is a no-no, consequently I still wish to make a set of reflective inserts for those Francis Langford days (Stormy Weather) and for when fitting a cover is just not practicable... i.e. Too windy, too brief a sojourn, etc.
As for the level of tinting allowed in Qld, I'm not aware of the percentage but do know that one is permitted considerably darker than I had expected (based on a window tinter's recent affirmation, verses my previous NSW experience from several years prior... from a time when all that was permitted was very mild tinting from the centre pillar rearwards).
These days a very satisfactory level of tinting is permitted. At least in Qld this is the case... I guess we may need it here a bit more... or at least a bit more often. (That's the extend of my comments from which you advised refraining!)
Tinted front windscreens are also approved.
I understand that there are some considerable quality differences between tinting materials available today of which further research is now required.
Anyhow, thanks again.