stereo system in old RollsRoyce

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by RollsGuy, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. RollsGuy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 11, 2009
    I have a 1958 Rolls Royce with a simple AM radio. I would like to put a 6 disk CD player in the trunk and power it directly from the car battery which is in the trunk. Speakers wouldbe in back luggage deck and I'd like to control with a remote/wireless control. Can that be done? How? Existing systems? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    My only thougt is a IR remote extender, which will repeat the remote control signal in the back.

    Doesn't have anything to do with help, but could you include a picture of the dash? I haven't seen too many Rolls interiors (as in none).
  3. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
    Rolls Royce??? Why not just install a live band! :D
  4. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    Is your Roller a negative earth (ground)? Better make certain before you try installing a new stereo, or you'll likely let the smoke out of it.

    I've done some fiddling with a '56 Silver Wraith and a '63 Phantom V a few years back. The '56 originally was a positive earth, but was converted to negative earth along the way. Don't remember on the Phantom V; but it was negative earth when I was fiddling with it. Good luck in translating the manuals for it, and good luck finding replacement Whitworth fasteners if you happen to bugger any of them.

    The wiring in the '56 Wraith was insulated with what looked like woven cotton, with color-coded threads so that you could tell what was what. Unfortunately, nearly a half-century later the colors were rather faded. You'll likely find that the factory wiring is quite brittle due to age, work-hardening (flexing) and corrosion. The latter will make it quite difficult to solder to; best to run new wires rather than cut into the existing harness. If you find corroded terminals, you can dip them in muriatic acid (available at pool supply stores) for about 30 seconds and then rinse them in fresh water very thoroughly; they'll look practically like new afterwards. Careful that the acid doesn't get wicked up inside a wire though. The muriatic acid trick is also very useful when reconditioning ancient switches, sockets, etc. Try it with a few junkyard specimens first to get the hang of it.

    The burled walnut dash and door panels are beautiful, but be careful; they are very thin veneers, and will likely crack right off if they are abused in the slightest, particularly at their age. Drilling through the dash itself (to mount aux switches, etc) is not a good idea; such things are better placed in innocuous areas like inside the glovebox or underneath the dash; after all you wouldn't want to spoil the balance or the finish of the "artwork".

    The Phantom V had a Sony 10-cd remote changer installed in the boot (trunk) along with the power amps. The changer had an RF remote, which eliminated the need for fiddling with IR repeaters. The power amp was also mounted in the trunk, and the power switches for the amp and CD changer were in the glovebox. Since the battery was in the trunk, connections were somewhat simplified.

    Bill, here's a link to a '53 Silver Wraith Mulliner that's very similar to the '56 I was fiddling with:
    Good shots of the interior. That one's RHD; the LHD model's dash is obviously reversed.

    Note the 4th shot down in the center; privacy glass between the driver and the rear. Below the privacy glass are handgrips on either end of the "mantle". Below the handgrips are two fold-out jumpseats, in case you're taking the office to lunch. In the center between the jumpseats is a small cocktail bar; above that is an ashtray. I don't recall what the small round items on either side of the ashtray were.

    The Silver Wraiths could be ordered built completely by Rolls-Royce, but many bodies were built by a number of different coachbuilders; Mulliner, Park Ward, Hooper and others, depending upon what the customer ordered.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  5. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Neat! I wouldn't own one, because it would be a waste on me. They are fun to look at though.