Classics Monthly - - Interchangeable parts -

This is prob­a­bly the most dra­matic ex­am­ple of how the car in­dus­try sources its parts. Roll­sRoyce was fa­mously loathe to rely on ex­ter­nal sup­pli­ers in or­der to main­tain its rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity, even man­u­fac­tur­ing its own nuts and bolts un­til well into the 1970s. But as the mo­tor in­dus­try changed it had to start lean­ing on oth­ers. The Sil­ver Shadow fa­mously used sus­pen­sion and brake tech­nol­ogy li­censed from Citroën (but made by Rolls-Royce), but the last link in that fancy brak­ing sys­tem came from very hum­ble stock – the sales rep’s favourite steed, the MkIII Ford Cortina. Yes, both the Cortina and the Rolls-Royce use the G16 front brake cal­liper (and the stan­dard-fit pads) from in­dus­try sup­plier Gir­ling, the only dif­fer­ence be­ing that the Sil­ver Shadow uses two cal­lipers per wheel rather than one. This state of af­fairs con­tin­ued into the early days of the Bent­ley Turbo R. But even al­low­ing for the fact that the Crewe car has twice the num­ber of pads as the one from Da­gen­ham it’s still pos­si­ble to buy a pad set for half the price if you source ‘Ford’ ones rather than ‘Rolls-Royce’ ones.

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