Classic Driver Dealer: Hillier Hill
In 1985, Ray Hillier and Tony Hill saw that North Buckinghamshire was in real need of an independent Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist. Since both had worked as apprenticed mechanics at Rolls-Royce Hythe Road, Ray and Tony were in a perfect position to fill that gap in the market.
More than 20 years later, Hillier Hill has expanded to offer the full spectrum of Rolls-Royce and Bentley services – everything from a simple oil change to a full concours-standard restoration. It’s only recently, however, that they’ve started to concentrate on the sales side of the business, selling the cars they know so much about from their premises in Olney. Why the change in attitude?
“To be blunt,” says Ray Hillier. “We got exasperated with people buying cars of dubious quality and then bringing them to us to put right. Our theory was that if we had decent cars for sale, honestly described, people would go away with a car which was suitable for them; and they’d very often bring it back to us for regular servicing. That way they could avoid all the heartache.”
Hillier Hill works with cars ranging from Derby Bentleys, to R Type and S Type Continentals – everything from the 1930s up to and including the Rolls-Royce Seraph and Bentley Arnage derivatives. In the early days, the business undertook purely mechanical and electrical work but this soon grew to encompass all aspects of restoration and maintenance. With the availability of local craftsmen who used to commute to Rolls-Royce in London, Hillier Hill assembled a team skilled in paintwork, panel beating, ash framing and interior trimming. The business also has the latest diagnostic equipment. “Our customer base is very varied; we deal with enthusiasts and we deal with millionaires,” continues Hillier. We look at each case individually and, if we see someone with a car which doesn’t perhaps warrant the expenditure, we’ll tell them straight – and maybe suggest they get something else instead so they don’t throw good money after bad.”
So which cars would make sensible investments at the moment? “It’s my opinion that the Shadow will be the next one to take off. The bad ones have been scrapped, and finding a decent Shadow is becoming increasingly difficult. Prices are likely to gently firm up, helped by the fact that those people who saw the Shadow driving in the streets when they were kids are now in a position to buy one. When you see an impressive car at a certain age, that feeling of awe never leaves you. It’s a point frozen in time and from then on you hanker after it.”
Please click HERE to see all Hillier Hill's cars for sale in the Classic Driver car database.
For further information on Hillier Hill, please visit www.hillierhill.com.
Unit 18 Stilebrook Rd,
Yardley Road Industrial Estate,
Olney, Bucks MK46 5EA, UK
Tel: +44(0)1234 713871
Fax: +44(0)1234 713917
Email: [email protected]
Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Hillier Hill
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