Thornycroft differential rebuild

Aug 17, 2016

It was in September 2014 when a gentleman called Grahame Dutch got in touch regarding a restoration project of a 18HP Thornycroft he was undertaking.


For our part he required a complete manufacture of a differential

(as you can see below, a fully destroyed diff).


Grahame had managed to get cast new housing halves using the broken parts glued together as patterns, establishing accurate centers for the wormwheel and bevel gear arrangement. After months of work and site visits we had done a complete replacement of all bevel gears, wormshaft and bronze wormwheel (as you can see above this was in three pieces). Due to unforeseen problems with other parts beyond our control, the whole project took a year to complete and it was with great pleasure we handed over the fully working mechanism, to then receive a message from Grahame’s people that it worked perfectly and the car was now back up and running.


Eureka! Celebration all round!  Engine throbbing, Wheels turning and Grahame Dutch jumping up and down with joy!

Thought the two most important supportive men in the resurrection of ‘The Beast’ should know that Grahame is ready to take her on the road for a real test.  To date he has been running her around the workshop but she is now ready to truly ‘GO’.

Grahame is of course most conscious that others within R&N gave hard work and time to the agonising process of her resurrection, so grateful for all support.

Thank you all and do enjoy this newsflash.

Kind regards

Sandy (on behalf of Grahame)”


We later received an email of thanks from Grahame himself:

Dear Trevor,

I have not forgotten all that you did in connection with the Thornycroft.  Your dedication, confident hard work and determination are much respected and appreciated.  I recall with warmth the R & N Team in support of the task I presented to you.  I am bad at remembering names but Antony is in my mind along with Steph and the cakes! 

 Although I had certain anxieties with regard to the rebuilding task, I enjoyed all my frequent visits and I am grateful to you for allowing me some input.

I had wanted to make a surprise visit in the Thornycroft before Christmas to convey my best Christmas wishes to you all but the weather was so much against me at that time it just never happened.  Only now has the weather improved but the novelty of a long test drive has diminished having done a number of local runs around my immediate neighbourhood;  including one to the sea side.  You are certainly not forgotten and I will come your way by prior arrangement since I would hate to miss you as now the Thornycroft task is out of the way I have no doubt you spend time knocking that small white ball about….although so many courses are waterlogged. 

Many thanks for the 2016 calendar and very good wishes to all at R & N and have a very good year.

Best regards


I should have mentioned the axle performs perfectly in total silence and generating very little heat so I am very well pleased

So it was with great pleasure when Grahame came to visit us in the brilliant sunshine driving the Thornycroft herself in August 2016 along with his head mechanic Ian and a bountiful amount of cake to celebrate his beautiful car being back on the road.

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