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Having recently retired and in need of a "ploy", I decided on building a special. I had previously built a variety of odd motorised contraptions/specials for my sons to use and I had long dreamt of building a kit car. Whilst surfing the net I came across a rather glamorous three wheeler. That looks interesting, I phoned my then three wheeler guru and he proclaimed it was probably a Pembleton. Google Pembleton and a whole new world lay before my eyes. Don’t tell him, but the first one I saw was Don’s Rocket but I knew I could do better than that…………. ;-)

Along the way in my hunt, Donald Maclean’s name cropped up, an erstwhile "dealer" in Lomaxs and things 2CV. A phone call to Donald and I struck lucky, he knew of a Pembleton part built only 25 miles away and gave me the phone number. Alas, no response, numerous messages left and then, weeks later, a reply. "Yes I have one why don’t you come and see it" . Teddy Hunter, for it was he who phoned, had just returned from abroad to a clogged answer machine, most of which were messages from me! Off I went. On reaching Teddy’s hoose (it is in Scotland) we went into the garage and there it was, under various bits of household detritus and bandy legged. Oh my gosh or words to that effect, what have we here! I might mention, Teddy was 78 and had been struggling for about 6 years to get the car to this state and had given up hope of getting it done. Deal done, sprog two was summoned with trailer and the work began.

On getting down to it I found quite a few potential issues so I stripped the car down and virtually started again. That was in October 2009, over that winter work progressed however the forum also crashed and I felt abandoned! By June 2010, the car was ready for MSVA, meanwhile I had contacted Colin Ferguson (who is also building a Pembleton) and he came with me to the test. I am glad he did too because, by finding the E mark on the mirrors, he ensured it passed. Elation, passed first time, I could not believe it.

Back home, prepare it for action whilst the seeking the registration. Sent off all the forms, then two weeks later a call on my mobile. "Hello, DVLA here, what did you do with the remains of the 2CV?" I said "there was hardly anything left so I scrapped it", "fine" he said "we will sent out the documents" and it came to pass he did just that! I have since found out my experience was "not typical" but fine for me, I was on the road. First trip was local just to check nothing fell off, it didn’t until my second trip which was up to see Colin, 45 miles of city, motorway and A roads on the way back clunky noises in Perth, emergency call to a local three wheeler owner and we found the drive shaft bolts loose and a few missing – builder error, not done up properly but no damage done and soon sorted and on my way.

Lots of trips followed, including Rheims France, Tan Hill, and others however I now decided I needed more power, forum chats and earnest pub discussions pointed towards a piston/cylinder upgrade so the next winter Dyane barrels and pistons were fitted. A noticeable improvement in power, mainly the ability to maintain momentum on motorway hills!

The usual events followed, navigational rallies, tours, and home grown trips with a bunch of friends. However the next winter project was decided, a power upgrade. On a trip to Northumberland, a pub chat elicited that Duncan had a spare 750 Guzzi engine as he had decided to go BMW so I struck a deal and the next project was born. Frantic activity, I arranged for a batch of six conversion kits to be made as per the forum drawings. These duly arrived and I fitted mine and by the Spring I had 750 Guzzi power, in time for the trip to Sweden to visit Bertl.

Next year, Just before Angoulême, I had fitted individual seats however on an already short wheelbase this cramped my driving position even more (I am 6’ 1") and on my way back from Angoulème I decided the car should be longer so the next winter ploy was mapped out. I decided to make it the same length as the long wheelbase model but to retain the narrower cockpit, changing that would be a step too far. The stage was set so I stripped back the body panels and floor, removed the seats, cut the brake and fuel lines and the wiring loom ready for the angle grinder. The process itself was quite simple and I had a friend (coded welder) do the necessary and then I recovered the body. I took this opportunity to further modify the scuttle and to make a raised part behind the seat to blend them in. It also gives me a flat space to put tools on! In hindsight, I took a bit much out but it is much more comfortable and I can now do long runs in comfort.

Next? Wait and see :-)