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R.A. Chapman Automotive specialise in independent vehicle and component inspections. We provide this service because over the years we have seen so many vehicles recently purchased that are in a very poor state of repair and although recently tested are far from road worthy condition.

The cost of repairs in these cases has been very high or has involved prolonged costly litigation. Our PRE-PURCHASE inspections avoid all this expense and inconvenience by identifying the vehicle's true mechanical and body condition before any money is paid. The usual trap with these cars is that almost all appear good on the surface and unsuspecting buyers are misled by first impressions.

With the recent influx of imported Rolls-Royce cars, this service has become even more necessary. Many of these cars are in very poor condition and suffer badly from rust. The rust problem is not confined to the body and can include damage to many mechanical parts including brakes. These cars can be beyond economical repair and have a very low re-sale value.

Reputable dealers welcome our inspection and recognise our expertise in this area. Refusal of independent inspection should be regarded as suspicious.

We do not sell cars.

Buyer's Guide

The object of this guide is to help people interested in purchasing a used post-war Rolls-Royce or Bentley by giving them practical and technical information. This hopefully will enable them to make an informed purchase based on the true condition of the car at time of purchase.

The ownership of one of these fine cars in good reliable condition should bring an enthusiast great pleasure.

Bargain or Bankruptcy

Because of the complexity and costs involved, buying a used Rolls-Royce or Bentley is a very much more risky venture than buying almost any other car.

The purchase of a sound car in good condition at a good price can be considered a bargain and will give a great deal of motoring pleasure.

The purchase of a car in poor condition can be a black hole for money and has regrettably brought many an owner to the edge of bankruptcy.

It is virtually impossible and unrealistic to find a used car without any faults. The objective is to recognize all faults at the present time, know how much they will cost to correct, what maintenance or repairs are on the horizon, and the possible rectification costs involved.

The secret is to know EXACTLY what you are buying, the true condition NOW, at the time of purchase.

Very little credence should be given to stories of famous previous owners; cost of work allegedly performed or extended warranty provisions.

The best protection is an ABSOLUTLY INDEPENDENT pre-purchase inspection by a qualified and experienced specialist who can identify every fault and record the true condition of the car before any commitment to purchase.

If the seller rejects such an inspection don't buy the car.

The fact that many of the cars sold do not carry a statutory warranty (when over 10 years old or traveled over 160,000km) means the buyer has very little recourse after purchase. It is dangerous to assume that because a car has a R.W.C that "It must be in reasonable condition". A road worthy certificate is a basic SAFETY inspection ONLY and is in no way a measure of the overall condition of the car.

Also it has been found that some Road Worthy Tests have been somewhat less than ACCURATE.

The traps when buying a used Rolls-Royce or Bentley are:

A) Most cars look good on the outside; feel and look good on the inside when compared with lesser makes of cars.

B) Many buyers are overwhelmed by the opulence and luxury of the cars. Even a marginal example will seem good to the uninitiated.

C) The cost of some cars is so low that they can be brought for the price of a STATEMAN or LTD, but of course this is only the tip of the financial iceberg if the car is in poor condition.

D) Some cars may have traveled very low mileage, but this is not necessarily a bonus, as these cars do not like to stand dormant and in many cases have deteriorated more than cars in constant use.

A thorough inspection using modern test equipment, e.g. dynamometer, infrared exhaust analyzers, bore scope, electronic brake performance testing, hydraulic pressure testing, oil analysis cylinder pressure testing, electronic alignment equipment, may assist the assessment of true condition at time of sale.

It should be appreciated that an engine rebuild costing in the region of $15,000-$20,000, with a hydraulic and brake overhaul potentially consuming $10,000, a buyer cannot afford to buy a car needing these types of repairs unless the cost of repairs is reflected in the sale price.