Richard Hammond incredibly restores 1930s Rolls-Royce before returning it to museum

  • The Royal Logistic Corps Museum worked with Richard Hammond to restore a very special car
  • His restoration company, The Smallest Cog, took on a Rolls-Royce Wraith
  • And it’s the actual one used by Field Marshal Montgomery in Normandy after D-Day

Published on May 17, 2024 at 8:11 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on May 20, 2024 at 9:03 AM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

The Smallest Cog is the car restoration shop of Richard Hammond, and they got their hands on a very special 1930s Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Commissioned for the job by the Royal Logistic Corps Museum – the Rolls Royce Wraith was used by Field Marshal Montgomery in Normandy after D-Day.

It’s a car that has true historical – and sentimental – significance for many.

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Affectionately nicknamed ‘Monty’s Rolls’, the Rolls-Royce Wraith has undergone a complete strip and respray.

It was hoped that work done to the Rolls-Royce Wraith in the 1970s could be revised and the stunning car would be restored to its 1940s glory.

And the Rolls-Royce Wraith model is still going strong today, with soccer player, Marcus Rashford, taking delivery of new Rolls-Royce Wraith worth over $800k this week.

Even Supercar Blondie herself, Alex Hirschi, is a fan of the iconic and ultra-luxe English brand as she recently welcomed her brand new customized Rolls-Royce.

Collections manager at the museum, Sam Jolley, spoke about the nail-biting experience of putting such a historically valuable piece through a restoration.

“It has been quite a daunting process to watch a Museum object being stripped back to bare metal,” she said.

“However it has also been extremely interesting to see the history underneath the 1970s paintwork.

“We are absolutely delighted with the finish and grateful for the work that the Smallest Cog have put in to the restoration, ensuring the preservation of the Rolls for decades to come.”

A bit more information on ‘Monty’s Rolls’ for the uninitiated: the vehicle was manufactured in 1939.

It was to serve as the staff car for Field Marshal Montgomery when he was in France and Germany.

Significantly, it was the first civilian vehicle to disembark in Normandy’s Juno Beach after D-Day.

While the use of such an elegant car amid the horrors of war could be debated, it’s said that Monty thought a Rolls-Rolls Wraith would demonstrate reliability, power, and leadership.

Richard Hammond returned the car to the Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Worthy Down, Winchester, England, on 9 May.

Troops alongside museum director Simon Walmsley and Brigadier Mike Caldicott were there to welcome the esteemed vehicle home.

But this isn’t the end of the road for this Rolls-Royce Wraith.

“This is just the first step in the car’s journey,” Jolley explained.

“Next month we are taking the vehicle back to France to join the D-Day commemorations and to remember the role that the soldiers in logistic roles played during D-Day – including supplying ordnance, catering, and transport.

“Visitors can see the Rolls back on display in the Museum later this year.”

The restoration will be shown on Richard Hammond’s Workshop on Discovery + later this year and Monty’s Rolls will be back home by autumn.

You can find more information on visiting the museum here.

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Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.