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Cyclecars Still Rule OK - Part 3


Duncan Gimmond

It's now a year since my last piece on this subject and it has been a pretty hectic one.

I came back from a family holiday in early May to find a notice to quit my workshop waiting for me. This threw all plans for running the car in Puy-Notre-Dame GP Retro into abeyance as I had to find new premises as soon as possible. The trouble is that there are plenty of large and giant size workshop units available but very few small ones. After 9 weeks of frantic searching I eventually found an acceptable size and price place but unfortunately it is 8 miles from home and I have become a commuter.

I could not have managed the nightmare of the final clear-out without the help of 4 Pembleton stalwarts, Dave Parr, Colin Wilson, Sam McIntyre and Geoff Hemmingway who arrived on a Saturday morning with vans and trailers, muscle and determination. Eternal gratitude is in order.

The workshop is now up and running, fairly well organised and only one item missing as far as I know. A Pembleton weekend was fairly successful with Ade, Phil, Andy and Dave P and, having got a few counters under its belt I am allowed back to the Austin 7 special, Mathildeux.

Looking over the last article I see that I've moved on considerably since last March but it's still not finished and I can't do P.N.D. this year as my son has had the temerity to choose the same weekend for his wedding. Doh!

The bodywork is now mostly complete and has reached the 80% finished, another 80% to do stage.

Having recently finished a large pewter bar top project I now have some time to myself and hope to get the damned thing finished! The new workshop has a major advantage in that I can get the car inside and still be able to stand far enough away from it to get an idea of the overall form. At the old works it was essential to take the car outside to get a good look at it.

front view of Austin special

Having mounted the headlights and wings, the rear wings have been made to match the front ones, mounted directly to the body and they seem to blend in fairly well. Also some nacelles for the rear lights, a bit lipstick-like, but as I bought them at Retromobile in Paris a couple of years ago they have to be used!

rear view of Austin special

The changes which are in motion regarding the registration of pre-war vehicles have galvanised me into a little more action, I must get this baby on the road PDQ!. It suddenly dawned on me that the car might fail an inspection without a firewall around the petrol tank so I have had to spend a week creating this. I know, I should have thought of it earlier but - daft bugger!

rear oblique view of Austin special

I don't think the BMW badge will stay, a little bit out of place as there was never a RHD Dixi. There is still the dashboard, Vee-screen(?) aero-screen(?) interior, electrics etc. etc. to be done as well as all the other little bits and pieces which we all know take forever. Eventually though, I'm sure that Cyclecars will rule OK again!

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