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The First Year and 1000 Miles


Philip Hardcastle

As I write this, the car has covered just over 1000 miles. Quite a feat for something which turned up at my place almost exactly two years previous. Squeezed onto a 4' x 8' trailer and towed up from London (7 hours!), even then I knew that it wasn't a mistake. Part of the reason I'm writing this is to take stock of what I've done so far and where I'm going next with the car. It'll never be finished.

The car had replaced a MGB GT – the second I'd owned and had bought unseen to replace the longing for the first BGT which I shouldn't have sold. However, this one turned out t be a little 'frilly' and given that I can't weld I put it up for sale and looked for a new project.

The story of the build is pretty well documented in previous PAG issues, but to summarise it was through the help of the forum that I finally got it finished and through the MSVA within the year. It would have been first time if not for the noise of my exhausts. Something I'm still struggling with to this day. More on that later. So once again thank you to Duncan, Spike, Tom, Colin, Mike etc. etc. The list goes on.

Post-MSVA road tests showed a few things:

As reported previously, I had made my own baffles which had a fairy positive effect, but relied on excess wadding which I knew would burn out sooner or later. Fittingly, it was during my 1000th mile run to see Geoff in Pickering that the remainder of baffles finally went south and I was treated to an ear-splitting drive home. Purchasing VW Beetle inserts hasn't remedied the problem and has really just added to the (not considerable) time and money I've spend trying to find something suitable. In hindsight I should have taken forum advice and purchased the PMC cans from the start. Currently I'm back to square one thinking that should get on the phone to Phil (although I have just spotted some nice looking Harley Sportster silencers on eBay for not too much…). Hopefully it will be fixed by the NYM run. If not I fear my new neighbours will not be quite as friendly towards me.

Garage interior

I moved house in the summer, which has limited my mileage somewhat. The success and subsequent completion of the Pembleton project gave me a desire for a 'new project' and ruled by our hearts and not heads, we bought a rather shabby old school house in June. Key results have been; less miles/work on the Pemb; house still shabby; bank balance depleted. We've actually got quite used to living in a building site, so we're hoping that this summer we can get out and enjoy the car rather than feel tied to the house. The other consequence of the house move was that I went from having a workshop and garage to just a single garage. You've got to make the best of things though so after a bit of paint it at least looked workable.

Autumn had also arrived:


One of the best points of Pembleton ownership is others' reaction. As other owners will know, it's not even possible to stop for petrol without someone asking what it is. Every piece of feedback I've heard has been positive. It's great to hear and really makes me want to keep on with the car. When I was driving classics there were certain groups of people who didn't appreciate the cars, something I've just not experienced with the Pembleton. That said, I'm always keen to point out that it's not a 'Kit-car' and more of a special, although I know we shouldn't bother what others say.

The other day we went for coffee in Malton and the car was parked close by. We ate our cake whilst watching two chaps argue over it being a 'real' Morgan or not. Needless to say we didn't intervene and just watched. I've never felt that having the Pembleton was second best, but it's nice that someone else thinks it looks authentic enough to be an original 3 wheeler – I must be doing something right.

One of the best reactions I received was during a trip to Bridlington for the scooter rally. If you've never been then it's worth a visit just to see Bridlington taken over by scooters and their owners. This year we attended 3-up; Chloe, the dog (Trilby) and myself. We were allowed (and encouraged) to park right at the front of the spa and could hardly get out from people crowding round! When we finally left the car, a 2CV loving attendant had positioned himself nearby and kept an eye on her(him?) whilst we ate our chips.

Writing the above has reminded me of a few things:

Dog driving

As you can see – she likes to get her head into the wind!

Malton meet

Aside from the scooter rally, we've had a few good runs. Specialist cars Malton meeting (pic below), Pickering (to see Geoff), and the seaside. These go alongside many trips over the Westwood and into Beverley for shopping, coffee or both. In August I was best man for my friends Tim's wedding and used the Pembleton as transport to the church for Tim which was a real treat. Sadly I can't seem to find any pictures although here we are leaving specialist cars breakfast meet (the dog is on Chloe's lap).

I'm currently working on a 'East Yorkshire Driving Roads' map but progress has stalled until I actually get out and drive the route. I'll keep the forum posted but I'm hoping to make it an event on the Pembleton calendar.

Looking back on the build, there's a few points I'm happy with:

There's also a few improvements I've made since being on the road which I'm happy with:

Skinny wheels

Of course, there are still things to do:

I've had a couple of opportunities over the year to acquire a 750 'Guzzi engine, although I've not bought either as I've developed a real love for the 2CV engine. I'm hoping to tidy the front up as much as possible, and presume that I'll end up with a small block 'Guzzi at some point, but it won't be until after I've got a new bathroom!

1000 miles

Here is a picture at 1000 miles - stopped on the Wolds on the way back from a snowy Pickering:


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