Words Tony Matthews
Photography Tony & Carmen Matthews (www.tonyandcarmenmatthews.com)

Nothing prepared us for the day that Shane Lynch told us he would be customising a 1970’s classic Rolls Royce. We remember seeing the instagram post on his account last year and that something special was coming. What would he be doing? A full restoration? perhaps add a fresh new coat to the exterior? but then again, we are talking about Shane Lynch here. An awesome dude, who is not afraid to be himself and standout from the crowd. He is a petrol head and motorsport god on the track driving for Japspeed and loves custom motors, so if it would be customised, what would it look like?

Well, as you can see from the photos, he has definitely shocked the world and I can see so many purists with jaws wide-open and not sure where to look. Shane has a love for old customising motors, since he was a kid as he used to work as an apprentice at his father’s garage. Yet the way that the Rolls Royce came into his possession, was an unexpected circumstance with a funny twist.

Each year, Shane would participate in the Cannonball Ireland road race, where he drove previously in a 911 Porsche and a supercharged F150. Shane was in the race with the F150 when the Police just didn’t like it and it gave Shane too much attention and so it killed the buzz of the whole race for him. So he couldn’t go fast anymore and so he thought ‘What can I do next?’ He loves Cannonball and didn’t want to give up such a great race, but as he is known around the world, he is always getting the attention from the press. So in order to avoid getting arrested, his fellow Cannonballers suggested that they all buy classic Rolls Royce like in the movie Cannonball and chill through the race.

To Shane, it sounded like an awesome idea, so he went out and purchased one and the others didn’t. So that meant he was stuck with the Rolls with no purpose…as yet. So for a while, he just drove around the UK and he loved it! It was a dream to drive, relaxed and proper posh all in one package. The fact that listening to classic music while he drove, was just so cool to Shane and a far cry from listening to rear tyres screeching on the drift track.

As Shane grew more fond of the Rolls, he started to spend some money on it and it was at that point he understood, why so many of these cars are just left to rot in old barns. He quickly saw that to repair one, was super expensive, even for small parts such as brake lines, which gave him a bill of £3000! But as he loved it so much, he spent more money to make it better to drive. Then one day whilst driving, he has the cool idea to add some air ride suspension to it! So after searching online, he found a bolt-on kit from a company out in the USA. However, all the parts were definitely not bolt-on and so Shane wasn’t too chuffed that he had been ripped off.
So he went to a local garage to see if the parts could be modified to fit the Rolls. It took three months for the kit to be modified and to fit it to the car, as it’s not that easy to work on a Rolls Royce. The front struts were the most difficult as you need a special tool and as they are compressed so much, you have to be very careful when removing them.
“It’s compressed that much, that it will take your head off straight to the moon”

As the garage started to try to take parts off, it was too difficult due to needing the special tools. So Shane had no choice but to take it to Rolls Royce in the end. It was one hell of a job to do to fit the air ride suspension and as the car is heavy, the front just about raises up. Shane was happy though, as he got the look he wanted with the drop and could roll in something abit more custom.

Then he got contacted by a TV Show called Supercar Megabuild by National Geographic, that wanted to build a drift Bentley with Project Kahn, who happens to be a good friend of Shane. Shane loved the idea and went to see the production company to discuss the project. After hearing their budget, it was clear that it wasn’t enough to build this drift Bentley. So Shane offered his Rolls Royce to be the car of the show. He told them how he wanted it built and the guys at Project Kahn went away and created what you see in these photographs.

They truly bought Shane’s vision to life and he was so pleased to see the end result. But like any car you build, you are curious as to how the general public will take it. For the purists out there, we are sure that this is like the end of the world for you when you see it, but Shane had a vision as to why he wanted to showcase a custom Rolls. You see, as there are so many of these cars that are left to rot in barns, Shane hopes that people watching the show and see the car in the photographs, that it will inspire them to go on a hunt to find them.
You can easily pickup one for around £5000, get some air ride suspension and a cool set of wheels, and you will roll around with one of the coolest cars on the road and one that is a classic. Not only that, being in the UK and wanting to own a V8 motor, which normally would be imported from the States, you don’t have to when you have one of these British V8’s.
So what Shane now has is a dark drift track destroyer, VIP, luxury drift car and it’s the only one of its kind in the world. and for us, this has to be one of our all-time favourite custom builds, one that breaks all the rules and puts the art of customisation right at the forefront.
Video about the build,