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The Resurrection of #142


David Gardiner

Wotcher David; the car the forum's been hearing about for a while has now travelled to W Wales. 2016 has been hard work. Living in NZ there aren't many 3 wheelers about and probably no more 2CV's either so at the start of the year I was chewing over the merits of shipping a Morgan project to England to sell, to fund buying a Pembleton to bring back. Then my Dad died. Suddenly summoned to England in March, I made a snap decision and left the bits with a freight forwarder rather than leave it all for another year. They eventually arrived but I won't use him again.

In the meantime I was dealing with Dad's estate and helping to settle Mum into her new solo life. In spare moments I was advertising the Mog bits and hunting a car. The bits eventually arrived and duly sold and I bought this car at auction. However I didn't get time to organise shipping before I left for home, which was just as well as it turned out because I'd only been home 3 months when Mum died too. I wouldn't have been in NZ to receive it.

So back on the 'plane to England, and now I have to sort out the estate, yes, but also the family home. Suddenly our pied a terre has gone, I have furniture I'd like to keep and nowhere to put it My Pembleton storage has vanished as well. I was faced with making an instant decision on shipping all sorts of stuff to NZ which I wasn't sure I really wanted until friends came to the rescue and anything that seems important is now in store in West Wales awaiting a more measured assessment. This includes the car. It's very frustrating. I want to get on with it but all I seem to do is drive it around the country in vans and buy bits for it.

If you find yourself in this sort of situation I recommend putting off as many serious decisions as you can until life has stabilised a bit if you can possibly find a way to do it.

The car is #142. Sitting square in the middle of a long series of unrecorded cars. Strange that a great run of them is off the radar. It has the feel of a rush job. The only change from standard I can see is they cut a corner by missing the glove compartment (shame! I remember how much stuff you can shove in that!) I suspect it may have been built in the same sort of race with officialdom I had with the Hornet, to get it roadworthy before SVA became a requirement. It was sold on in 2003 and then fiddled about with but not driven since. The second owner died and his heirs had put this and a couple of other interesting cars in the auction. All had had their steering wheels removed; the auctioneers suggested this was some sort of thief deterrent. The fiddler had started fitting lots of dials and generally poncing it up; all this is sort of 'half wired in' but clearly he lost interest (or health) some time ago; nothing is finished, and the alloy is very 'floury'. I suspect the soft grade of sheet was used to build it; it seems very easily bent. That should ensure it always looks rather second hand! It's in sorry state but I like my specials stripped to the bone so half of fiddler's work will just get junked and a simple wiring loom is within my skills.

I'm sure I can make a useful car with it. One day it might get "Hornet II" painted on it but there's a long way to go before it qualifies. I did find time to drop the 'box and motor out (that made the next van loading session easier) and I left the box at a W Country expert to be rebuilt as a 'long' gearbox so that is now done. A nice surprise was to find a lightened flywheel fitted. I don't know where that came from as there's very little else that qualifies as more than 'basic' about it. I also have a set of BMW R60 barrels and Ural pistons which are hopefully the components for an economical 650cc high comp motor. When I finally get to it I'll report on that further. As I say, frustrating... Some of the indicators were missing so I bought some cute LED ones, you know the sort of things, and so on. I need to find a nosecone and either a pair of clocks or perhaps I keep the huge '50's Ford speedo and try and find just a rev counter that looks of about the same period.

In theory this car is to go to NZ (much easier to register an old kit car than a new one over there) but it depends how things mature. Either way I hope I'll finally be able to spend some time on it this coming summer. Auction pictures attached. Somehow it looks worse than these now...

#142 ebay picture
#142 four ebay pictures

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