With the chassis still intact, the 'Phoenix' prototype was born after a five-year restoration.
It's a worst case scenario for many car enthusiasts. When finding out that your beloved pride and joy was destroyed in a devastating fire, what else is there to do but to pick up the pieces? That's what happened to Roger Fountain, 77, whose 1934 Riley sports car went up in flames in a barn blaze. Fast forward five years, and Fountain's beloved classic is back on the road thanks to an extensive 5-year restoration.
Fountain, a retired rally driver, decided to load up what burnt remains were left his Riley car and loaded it onto a trailer. He then drove to his residence in Sutterton, U.K. where he began the painstaking project of bringing the charred remains of his classic car back to life in a meticulous restoration. The good news was that the chassis survived the fire, so Fountain decided to start building a prototype with materials including wood, cardboard, and scrap metal.
The rebuild process wasn't an easy one as Fountain sought out missing parts needed to restore back to tip top shape over the course of five years. Fountain named the project "Phoenix" as the car's transformation finally started to take shape.
Having a life-long obsession with classic cars, Fountain put the word out among other enthusiasts about his project. He sought out the correct replacement parts, as well as designed, repaired, refurbished and fabricated other things for the project.
A couple years ago in 2018, Fountain learned that the DVLA had written off his classic meaning that the car did not exist anymore in the system. To add insult to injury, the surviving parts were to be destroyed in compliance with the law, but after some persuasion, an independent insurance engineer was sent out by the DVLA to inspect the car. The insurance engineer agreed that this classic could be re-registered.
Again, luck was not on Fountain's side as he almost decided to give up on the entire thing after he suffered a broken back and smashed knee after riding a horse, and after that he was was given a prostate cancer diagnosis.
While giving up was on the mind, Fountain continued on with the car, and was able to take his wife Penny, also 77, out in the car tor the first time in January of this year. Not only is his beloved car restored and back on the road, Fountain also has a book called "Phoenix" that he wrote about the whole ordeal which can be found on Amazon.
Source: Fox News
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