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The journey so far

So there I was in the kitchen with my long suffering other half Karen and my longest standing chum Ian (or Magoo as he is fondly known) discussing my dream of owning a Volvo P1800 just like Simon Templar's. The P1800 is a big car, or at least it's too big to be housed comfortably in my garage. Consequently the conversation turned to suitably diminutive alternatives, and Magoo, who is a proper engineer / mechanic type suggested a kit car.

Now I'd always considered kit cars to be plastic bodied monstrosities so I wasn't overly enthused. However, despite my scepticism, I was encouraged to power up the interweb and see what was available. Some hours of extreme tea drinking ensued and eventually an image of a Pembleton crackled into view on the cathode ray tube. That was it, I was sold and the adventure began.

My last proper car was a Bond Bug, and I would say that I'm a fan of 3 wheels; not so Karen. It was fortuitous therefore that Mr Gregory produces a four wheeled option. The decision was made, a Pembleton Brooklands should be sourced to keep me in the garage and out of the pub.

The trip to Bayton was duly arranged - lovely man, lovely family, lovely house and lovely cars. Order placed, cheque written and by February I was the proud owner of a bare chassis and a pile of 2CV bits.Oh my, it all suddenly seemed very real, and most of it seemed very dirty and very rusty. Was I up to the job? I do a great line in self doubt and the pile of bits seemed very intimidating. Ignoring my demons, I girded my loins and various other things and set too with gusto spending long evenings cleaning things and returning to the house looking like I'd spent the entire day mining coal. The dirty things became clean and the rusted solid things became un-rusted and un-solid. I appeared to be making progress.

After what seemed like an age I was ready to start assembling things, that's when I ran into problems. It's easy putting an existing car or motorcycle back together, I'd done it many times. This was different. The build manual is great but it assumes a degree of something that I sadly didn't possess. Thank all that is holy for the Pembleton website.

The forum members have been an absolute blessing. How does this come apart? How does that go back together? For every question an answer. In point of fact for some questions 5 or 6 answers, and all different. With a great deal of support I've managed to get close to putting the wheels on and taking the obligatory "me in my rolling chassis" photograph. I reckon it will happen before September is done.

Generally speaking, I'm a solitary soul and my original intention was to spend hours beavering away in the garage insulated from the outside world. The reality has been that I've met a number of top chaps both in the flesh and via email who have been friendly, supportive and knowledgeable.

Building a Pembleton has, and I'm sure will continue to be, a real pleasure. I look forward to the day (hopefully some time fairly soon) when I'll be driving the car and enjoying the destination as much as I'm enjoying the journey.

All the best to you all

Stu a.k.a. Ratchet


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