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Editoral Ramblings


The Editor

I don't really understand where this summer has gone! We went back to Ireland in April without the Pembleton and missed having Quicksilver to enjoy during the loveley weather in late spring. We planned to fly back for a couple of weeks in July but Ryanair's strike meant we couldn't fly back on the scheduled date. I had to be back in Ireland so I agreed with Ryanair, via an on-line chat session, that they would pay for the return ferry crossing for the Pembleton - don't believe anything they tell you! When I tried to claim they rejected the claim citing exceptional circumstances. That is now with an arbitration service but I don't expect much joy. I should have captured screen shots of the chat session as some proof of their agreeing to the arrangement. I wasn't after the EU261 compensation as it seems unreasonable to get hundreds of pounds back for a £10 ticket provided they pay my, I thought, agreed alternative travel costs. Given their attitude I am now claiming the EU261 money as well! People moan about Ryanair but I have travelled many time with them and they offer a very no-frills service. It costs me four times the price of a local bus ticket in Leeds to fly 200 miles to Dublin - that's cheap.

While we were in Leeds someone rolled backwards at a 'T' junction and apart from a burn on the plastic rear bumper of her Audi Quicksilver seemed undamaged and we parted ways. Later I noticed that it started jumping out of gear when accelerating. The engine now also had a list - the top engine hanger bracket had fractured. That required the removal of the 'U' shaped bar that I made to link the two brackets together and welding things together. It all seems to be fine for now.

cylinder head and barrel

After driving over to Ireland in the Pembleton I returned to blighty with the car. While driving round in Leeds the head gasket blew yet again. I noticed the retaining nuts weren't as tight as I would have expected - maybe I shoud have retightened them after letting everything settle down when I replaced the gasket and barrel last year ..... Luckly there was no damage to either the head or the barrel this time but to be sure I lapped both on a granite flat plate. It all went together without any problems.

I was a bit surprised that I didn't get a report of the recent German Three Wheer event in Scotland. The newsletter will only work if I get news to publish! Maybe someone could write a report ..... The Citroën Club had a 30 year anniversary event in the Lakes - again a report for the next newsletter would be welcome.

Build report – Pembleton Van


Philip Hardcastle

I wasn't really planning on an update for this edition of ePAG but then I looked back through my photos and it seems I've achieved more than I first thought.

I explained that the last update was a short one as my wife was expecting our first child on the 1st September. I did however have a plan; both myself and Mrs H would finish work at the end of July, giving us 6 weeks to finish the house, do some work on the car and maybe even get a short break away before the baby arrived. This didn't quite happen as planned as I will try and explain below.

I think I left off with my gearbox hanging half-fixed in the car. I'd made some spacers and was happy with the position, except the hole I'd cut in the front bulkhead for the mount bolts wasn't very nice and would need a cover making. The main job required was to make a front mount plate. I had seen Robin's build an again decided to copy his idea – why change a good thing?! I was at my parents telling my dad about the mounting when he offered to make me one up from a bit of aluminium which he would do on the milling machine. The aim being that the mount would be one solid 'slab' rather than a plate with two wings attached. Dad is retired and lives in the garage so it seemed like an easy choice. Within a couple of days it had been made and fitted. The mounts (with the oversize bolts – there's a reason for that) were drilled and tapped to M12 so the mounting bolts screw straight in from the side.

gearbox mount
gearbox mount
gearbox mount

What I hadn't really contemplated was the starter motor. The plate is about 12mm too thick in one area to accept the starter, so as I write this I'm taking the whole mounting back out and getting a pocket for the starter milled out. Fingers crossed for a good result, but if not then I'm going back to Robin's idea!


With the gearbox on it meant I could finally get to grips the brakes. I'd rebuilt the callipers with a kit from ECAS earlier (be careful when using the compressor the push the pistons out!!!). The handbrake mechanism was, so far, the only part salvaged from my donor and cleaned up okay and was duly mounted with new cables, along with new pads and disks on the calliper. I'd panned to make up my own brake lines as I already had a new 'curly' rear line and felt it would be a more cost effective solution after spending plenty on the disks/pads etc. This was until I started looking at the cost of the flaring tool and I ended up just biting the bullet and buying the LWB kit from Bonaparte. I've since found that Alan Parkinson near me has the tool, but it's done now and the kit was easy to use. My only complaint would be that it said on the website that it came with clips to attach but I didn't get any with my kit – for the sake of £2 from eBay I bought some rubber lined 'p' clips and got on with it myself. The brakes bled up nicely and we now have a pedal!

At around the same time I also bought the ECAS neoprene gaiter set. Again I'd planned to save the inner gaiters and buy new neoprene middles and outers but by the time I'd priced up individual parts I was just as well buying the kit. Apparently the neoprene gaiters are easier to fit and to be honest it wasn't an awful job – the little cone tool did help slide them over the splines. The only additional cost here was a pair of the pliers specific for the CV join clips – but I always think tools like this are an investment as I now have them ready for next time!

The drive shafts, disks, callipers and gaiters had made a huge improvement to the front end and gave me a bit of a push. I knew that the engine adaptor plate was still on the shelf in its packaging and it would be almost time to use it.

I'd not really touched the engine since liberating it from the bike a year back. One side even had the exhaust headers still attached where I'd had to chop the pipe with the angle grinder – the studs were ceased solid and I was worried about them shearing. Finally on the bench I had a look and decided just to have a go with a long bar and hope for the best – as you can imagine the studs have sheared level with the collar, so all is not lost as there might be enough stud left to get some purchase to get it out.

Like most Guzzi engines from this period the paint was flaking off and it wasn't looking pretty. I really didn't want to open it up to get it blasted as it had only done about 10k and rebuilding the engine is last resort I think – at least it's easy to get to should it run rough. I tried a few ways to remove the paint – even some Strachem Synstrip; the most deadly of industrial paint strippers – but I think it was a mixture of wire brushes and coarse sand paper which worked best. Once cleaned up I masked it up roughly and covered in primer and top coat – not a bad finish at all has been achieved, especially considering I didn't pull it apart.


It was about this point that my plan began to unravel. Finish work: 20th July. Have Child, 1st September = 6 weeks off.

On the 21st of July he decided to arrive – 6 weeks early! So that meant a loss of some serious garage time. A few weeks in NICU etc. followed before he came home and had a sit in his first car...

baby in car

Whilst going backward and forwards to hospital I managed to build in some time on the car. Niall had been amazing at giving comprehensive fitting instructions and a bolt list when delivering the Guzzi adapter kit so I got on and ordered what I needed. There are quite a few explanations of the flywheel adapter etc. on the tech pages and mine is no different so I won't bore you with all that, but basically after a few hours of work I had a gearbox and engine mated together.

The only bit I'm still not sure about was getting the bolts tightened up – in the end I made a simple bracket to lock the flywheel/adapter against the workbench so I could get it all tightened up. Maybe I missed something simple here but I couldn't see how else I could get any torque into the bolts without it??

Next up was connecting up the important bits – the gear selector and handbrake. It was clear from quite early on that having an underslung change would mean the gear rod falling short of the linkage. Looking at early PAG editions I saw that people had either extended the hockey stick end vertically, or the main body horizontally. I chose the latter and asked my dad (recurring theme here) to turn up a bit of 10mm stainless rod with a shoulder to slide into the linkage. This was made and fitted (with a little bit of adjustment at the inside of the rod has a seam which you need to work around) and the whole thing was soldered together. I think I only added about 2” but it is enough.

gear rod
gear rod

Having the gearslide lower also means that the bulkhead now acts at the front guide. Again a quick call to reliable father (I was super busy with baby, honest!) and he made up a nice nylon block to keep it all tidy. I'm not sure about the gear knob but I want something different from standard. Ideas on a postcard please...


Next up was the handbrake. Sam had gifted me a lever which was missing the black plastic handle and to be honest I was over the moon as I'd wanted to change this anyway. I had an idea of welding something onto the front the make a vintage style pull but couldn't find anything which took my fancy until I was clearing the garage and found an old Dunlop tyre lever. A quick check it was of no value and I set to work with the angle grinder. So far so good but it wasn't very comfy. I needed a back/hand grip. Luckily I had some mahogany parquet left over from the kitchen floor so this was sacrificed for the job and worked well. A little red wax from Chloe's candle (she won't know) helped add some detail to the Dunlop sign and we were done...

At this point I wanted to think about a dashboard design. I was really proud of my last car for its simplicity and had enjoyed designing the dash layout. Also I kept telling myself that I needed to decide this now as it might affect my top bulkhead panel fitment – not really true but I got on with it anyway.

morgan dash
morgan dash
MotoGadget panel

I really like the new Morgan 3 wheeler and EV3 dashboards:

So my plan is to have a similar design to the Morgan (with two levels) but ideally with a central, digital clock which covers tacho, fuel and speedo. The Smiths ProLED look amazing but I don't think I can justify the cost. Acewell and Koso also make nice digital speedos and I think I'll end up down this path. If you'd mentioned a digital clock to me a year back I would have laughed, but somehow I can see this fitting into my build better, although there is still time for a change of heart!

Dash template

The pic is a rough template I made in ply. To the left of the central clock will be a small glove box with no front – just a net. It will only be about 6”deep. Directly in front of the driver is purposefully blank – this is because I intend to hard wire a GPS – either the TomTom Vio or the Beeline Moto – have a google of these as they look amazing and the company is run by a friend of Niall.

I've also picked up a NOS 1980's Russian Helecopter pull start switch, but that is under wraps at the moment!

final view

I've actually got a little further – A steering column mount has been made (thanks dad!) and I've used my folder to fashion a cover for the gearbox bolt mess I made. I've also got an ignition system ready to fit, but more about that next time...

New fuel pump


Mike Meakin

Pembletons can be contrary machines, particularly if you have something other than the 2CV motor and its mechanical fuel pump.

Most bike engines that we use (unless fuel injected) rely on a gravity fuel feed to the carb(s) and even with a full tank, on the bike, the delivery pressure is going to be low, plus the float valves, inevitably, can only be expected to function at that low supply pressure. With the BMW engine I have in "Bolide", that’s about 1 to 1.5 psi.

That, on its own, is not a problem. For normal "pootling about" up to 1.5 psi suffices. However, when really pulling hard, the engine needs a much greater fuel flow (but not above the pressure that the float valves can tolerate). The BMW will rev out in the gears (including 4th) to 7,000 rpm. The problem occurs when pulling hard above 6,000 – but only relatively recently. In fact since our last French visit in May/June/July 2017, when it was frequently above 40 degrees C.

The "problem" such as it was, was spasmodic. The car would drive normally, until, caught behind a 25kph local tractor with no overtaking, you come across an "overtaking opportunity" and pull out, followed by "le Monde et sa femme", only to find that the motor will only pull to 2,000 rpm. Any throttle above that and both pots die, ease off and they return. Pull off the road, switch the engine off but leave the pump running for some minutes – plenty of fuel and no overflows – fire up again and all the hooligan capabilities are back! The scary bit is that in mainstream motoring, if the glitch occurs giving you only 2,000 rpm you can gradually reach 35 mph by short-shifting, but faced with any sort of incline.......

At the time, I was running a Facet( suction) pump, located under the battery carrier, slightly below the fuel tank bottom level, so it self-primed. It had sat there for some 8+ years and given no cause for concern. Since I was carrying a new Facet, "Posiflow" 60104 suction pump, I installed that, as a replacement and as a precaution, I removed the Filter King regulator (set at 1.3 psi in 2008) in case it had been compromised by the high temperatures - we drove the 1,100 miles home without fuelling glitches.

I’ve since installed an in-line fuel pressure gauge: it shows the Facet Posiflow 60104 is supplying a consistent 1.1 psi fuel pressure. The sad thing is that when "going for it", the fuel flow is inadequate. The engine gathers itself together robustly, then suddenly "gags", but resumes normality when the throttle is eased – IMHO, fuel starvation.

Following recent trends, I thought I’d go for an electronic (no breaker points) SU type, diaphragm pump – huge flow capacity (sufficient for a 5 litre engine), but a maximum pressure of 4 psi which the float needles will tolerate, with the advantage that when float needles are shut, the pump shuts down.

My Facet is on a mount on the chassis, underneath the 2CV battery carrier, which also carries the twin-tone horns. Getting to the pump involves the removal of all that. Having removed the Facet pump (which has in-line supply/delivery) I found that the SU type Fuel flow has supply/ delivery at 90 degrees ( through space occupied by discs and frame members ) and would not therefore fit as a direct replacement, so everything had to be replaced, as it was.

Enquiries now show that the Facet Posiflow, in-line offers only partial flow resistance if inactive, so the plan is to install the Fuelflow, SU type pump as a pusher at the tank, through the lines containing the Facet, so that only the positive feed to the pump needs to be transferred. That leaves the Facet and the various, new in-line fliters "in place", should the Fuelflow pump fail, simply by transferring the power lead.

What I don’t understand is that we’ve had some 8+ years of the engine performing well, in all conditions. I have to say I’m half expecting to have to replace all of the "suitable for unleaded" rubber fuel lines, in case they’ve expanded (automotive furred arteries!) a consequence of the increased incidence of ethanol, especially in French fuel.

Under bonnet jack storage mount


Jack Salter

Not wishing to take up valuable boot space in my Super Sport storing the jack, I made the holder in the attached photos.

I am using the Alko 1500kg jack that suits Pembletons, dimensions may need adjusting to fit other jacks. The bracket is made from 2 offcuts of 50mm x 50mm angle iron (left over from fitting a third track on my trailer) arc welded to form a rectangular section and cut away to fit over the chassis member under the gearbox, secured with 2 off M5 x 60mm bolts under the chassis rail (in the photos I have used a yellow piece of tube to represent the chassis rail).

As well as drilling lightening holes in the bracket I also lightened the jack, copying the sizes and spacing from the similarly constructed Volvo 240 jack in the photo.

In the picture showing the jack in situ eagle eyed readers might notice the cut down 2CV washer bottle being used to carry a litre oil container.

jack mounting
jack mounting
jack mounting

Removing chrome plating


Niall McLoughlin


For TinTub I've purchased quite a few older vehicle parts. Lights, bezels, clocks etc. A lot of these items are chrome over brass where the chrome is heavily pitted and damaged.

chromed side light

I love polished brass. I initially tried cleaning up with fine sand paper and with the wire wheel, but I had limited success and a lot of the chrome remained. Chrome plating is very hard.

I put all the items (13 small bits in total) in a box and took it down to a local plating company to see if they could strip it. The minimum charge was £72...

So I thought I'd give it a go myself.... how hard can it be?

I set up a small plastic bucket and filled it with water. Added caustic soda (available from any hardware store, its used for cleaning drains) to it and stirred it in.

I used a scrap strip of 3mm mild steel for the anode and connected it to the negative of a car battery charger. Then hung the item to be stripped from a bit of wire and connected that to the positive, making sure they don't touch.

Use thick steel wire to hold the item in the container (a wire coat hanger is perfect) as the process just eats any thin or copper wire and drops the part in the bucket. I made this mistake and had to fish my parts out a few times.

The steel plate fizzes, indicating it's working....
The bath ready to go

The bath ready to go

After about 30mins you get something that looks like this

After about 30mins you get something that looks like this

After rinsing thoroughly

After rinsing thoroughly

And wiping with a scourer

And wiping with a scourer

bare brass items cleaned with wire wheel ready for polishing

And cleaning with a wire wheel, ready for polishing

Before making any adjustments to your set up or to check the item, always turn off the battery charger first. The gasses given off are highly flammable and you don't want to risk a spark igniting it.

I've made it sound scarier than it is, if you're careful then there's no problem. It doesn't take long to set up and uses normal household items. The bucket/plate/items may get warm, so just keep an eye on that too.

It's great fun and highly rewarding process.

'TinTub' - build update


Niall McLoughlin

First off I'd like to start by saying that progress has been slow on Pembleton MkII TinTub...

I collected the chassis from PMC on the 2nd June. It fitted nicely on the roof rack of the Shitroen (an economical, if soulless and temperamental piece of french engineering designed to make servicing as difficult as possible - who puts the air filter behind the engine, underneath the scuttle, requiring removal of the wipers and plastic panels!?)

Shortly after collection I piled it all back on/in the car and headed up t'north to Duncans workshop for folding the floor and lower bulkheads. This was the first sheet metalwork I've done, so it was good to see a true master and artisan at work and point out my amateur mistakes, a great deal was learnt and if you're thinking of embarking on a pembleton build, a trip up to Duncan's workshop should be at the very top of your "to do" list.

The floor and front lower bulkhead was reasonably painless and the paper patterns supplied by Phil were reasonably accurate. Only minor trimming here and there was required. Plain sailing was about to end here though. The rear lower bulkhead was miles out. The forward section was okay(ish), but the rear was in the region of 60-70mm out. After much measuring, marking, trimming, swearing, unfolding and refolding, we finally got to a result we were both happy with. I think this (in part) was due to my chassis being a lwb bullet tail. I suspect the patterns are for the barrel back.... I'd like to thank Duncan again for giving up a day and the use of his equipment and knowledge to help me!

Since then, work has been crazy busy with long hours 6 days a week. However, that project is now over and I'm finally back to a normal 40hr working week, so hopefully I can spend my evenings and weekends in the garage instead of at work.

The donor parts are all cleaned up and painted ready for fitting, I have a huge stash of new and old parts and other fittings I've acquired too, including some pre war CAV brass headlamps and Smiths clocks that I will be reworking.

I'm also half tempted to swap out the CW+P from my Ami Gearbox and drop it into the spare 2CV gearbox I have to make a "long box". Although I'm not sure yet. The Ami Box is slightly taller than a standard 2cv box anyway...

Another job I was dreading was cutting the rear arm inner flange. After taping, measuring (at least 5 times) and marking out, I set about with my angle grinder and very thin cutting disc. This worked well and purposefully removed less than I needed, swapped for a grinding disc and took it down to the required height.

My rebuilt 19" Austin wheels from Sam M are all painted up in citroen "wicked red" and ready to install the tyres, and I have a new rear wire wheel ready to be fitted too to my shorter AMI arm, I need to do a trial fit to see if the arm needs further shortening, a quick stack up of measurements places the rear arm at about 4mm off centre... whether this is truly enough to make a difference I'm not sure, but we'll see when I get it together and assess then, if its only one or two mm I'll probably not bother. My plan is to raise the skirt at the back and have the wire wheel on show. I don't much like the way most bullet tails are parallel to the floor (to me, it looks like an upturned loaf tin).

I've drawn up a wiring loom and I "think" everything is in place so I can dive right in.... The only thing I'm not sure about at the moment is a fuel tank. I will probably have an aluminium one made up by a local fabricator...

I've even bought a shed so I can move the lawnmower and bicycles etc into that to allow the garage to be a mecca for all things pembleton and allow more space.

More updates in the next EPAG (hopefully)




Dave Ferris

Has it really been 12 months since I last put pen to paper.

The Moto Guzzi adapter plates were made up and after a bit of adjustment (one hole out of place) all was going well. I stripped down, cleaned and painted the engine, replaced the piston rings and installed a new oil pump. My only concern was the camshaft which appeared to have been repaired in the past.

Engine was installed and carbs fitted. This is when the problems started. As others have found, setting up the fuel system is a bit complicated. Initially I started with a facet pump and regulator. This proved to be a real problem as the RH carb was flooding and I had petrol pouring out everywhere. The fuel line setup was not working so this had to be re-hashed with a fuel return via a restrictor to the main fuel line before the pump. No luck with this setup either!

Finally, having taken advice from the forum a Morris Minor fuel pump was installed with inline filter after the pump, and a simple T piece to take the fuel to each carb. At last some light at the end of the tunnel, no flooding and some signs of life from the engine.

The next problem was getting the engine to run properly. No matter what I did (ignition timing was set at least 10 times) nothing would get the engine running smoothly. Was it the Camshaft? Was it the electronic ignition system? After a great deal of checking and re-checking of connections the problem turned out to be a simple crossed wire. My coils are mounted on a tray beneath the bonnet cowl with the regulator mounted between and above the coils. To make the installation look tidy the spark plug leads ran behind the coils and underneath the regulator. This resulted in the RH lead being mistaken for the LH lead etc. A basic mistake!!

The engine now runs and ticks over but is running rich on the RH carb (is it possible for twin carbs to need different size needles and or jets?). More adjustments to do.

After all this hassle I was very near to going back to a 2CV engine. Over the last year I must have managed to drive at least 1 (not a typo) mile and have missed all the sunny summer driving.

The only other job I have managed to do is replace the PVC edging with some of Duncan’s alloy edging. Most of which I have managed to fit by using a rubber mallet and brute force.

I have not started on the seats as yet but the new shocks are under the bench waiting to be fitted.

I have also started on a 3 piece tonneau cover using single duck fabric. First using brown paper as a template followed by a cotton template which needs a bit of adjustment before the final cut out and fitting.

So, a bit of a bad year. But hopefully I may get to go to the cafe on the Horseshoe Pass before the end of the year?

Pembleton Ecosse Build Update Two


Adrian Colmar

Back in September 2017, I recounted how I got tempted into building my own chassis. In all, with the pondering, navel gazing and actual fabrication, creation of the chassis took nine months.

Many of you will understand this: once something gets into your head, it is hard to rest until it is sorted. Probably the biggest example of this was when I finished the chassis. I then took a critical look at it and decided the car was too long! As I had kept the 2CV fuel tank, it was the same length as the standard Pembleton, however, as my car waistline is a little higher, the overall effect was of a bigger car than I intended. So I ditched the plastic fuel tank, shortened the wheelbase and increased the slope at the back for the spare wheel mounting. This reduced the wheelbase and overall length by 8cm over the standard. I also raised the height of the mounting points for the front and rear suspension tubes to drop the body closer to the road without compromising the rake of the front suspension arms and therefore the castor angle. Finally, I fitted a two stage/double bump stop for the rear arm, to guarantee the minimum clearance and hopefully avoid grounding.

visitor support

As you can see, I was thoroughly enjoying the welding and found it difficult to draw a line under that aspect in order to get back to the more routine aspects of the build. Although it is slightly frustrating to reflect that, if I knew what I was doing from the outset, the cutting and welding to build a chassis would take no more than ten days.

The next step in the build was refurbishment, painting and assembly which took around six months. The de-rusting of the running gear, fettling and painting was probably the most tedious bit. The assembly of all the suspension, engine and gearbox onto the chassis was much more enjoyable. After installation of the brake pipes and connecting the fuel line to the beautiful, fabricated alloy tank, I had a driveable rolling chassis. So in April 2018, I added a pair of BSA Goldstar silencers, created a temporary wiring loom, connected a battery and fired up the Guzzi engine. It started easily and ran very sweetly which was a huge relief as I had decided to leave any major engine overall to a future date.

Driving Out of the Garage

Vertical Pedal Box

Tweeks implemented during the assembly stage included; using the 2CV half spring cans to mount and control the springs; replacing the knife edges with rose joints in rubber boots; and lengthening the suspension fulcrum arms to give more shock absorber travel/stiffer effective spring rate. I also found that by cutting a triangle out of the pedal box near the pivot point and re-welding, I could make the pedals more vertical to suit sitting on the floor while at the same time gaining a very useful 3cm of legroom.

Card Aided Design

Armed with the advice from Duncan's workshop the previous December, I started with the panelling. The four large sheets of aluminium where unwieldy to handle and store so I cracked on with stage one of the CAD process (Card Aided Design). This allowed me to do a first cut on the big sheets, creating each of the main panels for later trimming. Next came CAD stage two (Cleco Aided Design). I had never come across these handy little fellas before and found them very helpful.

It was at this point, with the detailed fitting of the various panels to the chassis that the chickens came home to roost. My side triangulation plus bracing for the roll-over hoops gave me what I wanted in terms of a passenger cell, but created havoc with the inner panels, especially the boot floor. I can now see how the minimalism of the standard chassis makes the panelwork so much simpler! However being stubborn, I pressed on with the fiddly panelling while redesigning a better chassis in my head, even though there will never be a 'next time'! I now have the main floor in plus all the back end of the car panelled

Rear panelling and Main Floor

Unfortunately, from the Pembleton perspective, the summer has passed with me obliged to do other things. However, the autumn and winter lies ahead with the plan being that my car is on the road for next season.

Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend


David Tocher

I returned to the UK during the summer what was intended to be a couple of weeks but plans had to change. I got an invitation for the Hebden Vintage Weekend because I went to the event a few years back.

There were lots of cars of all ages and types but not many motorcycles. I'd guess there were about 300 vehicles. Three wheelers were rare! I spotted a BMW, a JZR and a Reliant.

One vehicle that did appeal to me was a Haflnger four wheel drive utility made by Styr, Austria. The guy had bought a collection of parts from a number of vehicles and rebuilt one out of all the bits.

The weather was fine all day which made a change from the last time I went when it poured all afternoon.

Old Spaniel!


Colin Wilson

Some what like my long gone Springer spaniel I have returned from my wanderings looking rather shame faced, muddy and slightly contented. I thought it was time to put finger to keyboard and let you see things in my strange world.

I took up racing Citroen 2CV's 4 years ago. Bought a 2CV that had had a class win at the legendary 24 Hour at Spa. To the horror of wife and daughter, took it and them to Cadwell park on a track day, did 34 laps (getting quicker and quicker) then, ambition overcoming skill, tossed it away at the gooseneck in a spectacular triple roll, destroying the car! Family a bit shocked, but on recovery daughter noted the boot lid was not dented. However, the rest was a write off - disaster, I was hooked, bloody hell this is fun with a serious F.

You might ask 'what has this to do with Pembletons?' Well, I have built a couple of Pembletons. The first, a Brooklands 4 wheeler used by Mrs W as a method of putting our then small child to sleep; a short ride and off she went, snoozing happily.

Then my mind wandered to a rear engine three wheeler using a Honda pan European engine, a much different kettle of fish to the Brooklands. Loads of power and none of the safety of the front wheel drive, lift a wheel and it snaps back to earth when the diff lets go.

I decided, after a couple of hill climb events, that it was loads of fun but not a car for Mrs W, as was the original plan. So I sold it. It was written off in France hurting the driver but had it not had rollover bars rooted to the chassis the outcome could have been a lot worse. Talking to the still-enthusiastic intrepid driver, he mentioned someone in t’ North was building a three wheeler using an Audi gearbox. This started bells ringing in my racing head. I have competed 2 x 24 hour events at Spa in Belgium. One in a 602, lots of fun but you are constantly swamped by faster Belgian hybrids. The second attempt at Spa was with my own car, using the British BMW Hybrid formula. A more powerful car but inclined to tear the 2CV gearbox to pieces. Between four cars, we damaged 5 gearboxes at the last Spa 24 hour !

I contacted Howard Smith, who is developing the Audi gearbox for his road car. He helped with knowledge as his three wheelers ooze quality. So, I came away encouraged and with an adaptor plate for a BMW to Audi gearbox. Howard and myself are on different routes to the same end - a gearbox that gives good ratios and is seriously strong.

To keep within the spec for a 2CV hybrid you need inboard brakes. This allows use of the 2CV suspension arms and drive shafts. (racers use "Belgian arms" - reinforced kingpins for cornering loads and inevitable collisions).

Howard has opted to use out board brakes on his self -build chassis. I decided to develop inboard brakes so I set about making the disc and calliper mountings. Also adapting the race car to take the box brakes and gear change mechanism. After a few setbacks and remakes I have arrived at a working acceptable set up without stepping too far outside the 2CV original package. Obviously the proof of the pudding is in the eating at this years 24 Hour at Spa. The British Classic Citroen 2CV racing club can't see their way into allowing the small number of British Hybrids race in a separate class at their race meetings so they are for 602's only so I share a ride in one of those at the famous UK 24 hour this year at Snetterton.

We recently had a Class win at the Magny Cour 6 hour race - a great event. In a very French way, the race started a 4 pm and went on until 10 pm so finished in the dark - absolute magic. For that race we used a 2CV gearbox as the Audi box wasn't ready - a bit restrictive as on a grand prix course you are stuck with 3rd & 4th gear and at the end a gearbox that has given it's all.

For 2CV gearboxes Rick Pembro is the man, a good mate and ever helpful.

Regards to Pembleton Friends