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Lucie: The vehicle

April 2011. Part 1 of 1

As the MOT was due again this month one thing that I meant to do earlier was replace the handbrake cable as whilst it passed the MOT last year, the examiner commented that it needed to be replaced by the next MOT as it was right at the end of its adjuster and needed to be pulled right up before it engaged.  Luckily I purchased a new one about 12 months ago that was for a later Reliant Regal Supervan model, the cable for each vehicle has the same part number though comparing them side by side the Mk VI cable had a shorter threaded section at the end.  At first I tried fitting it though the end was so long it was blocking the adjuster.  I didn’t want to cut it to the exact size of the old cable so I cut 1.5cm off the threaded end, tried again but when fully adjusted it was still fouling the adjuster so cut off another 1cm.  This time it fitted perfect and after adjustment the hand brake was much better engaging with the hand brake lever half way up rather than right at the top as it was before.

I was happy to announce the arrival of my new son, Harvey, last month and this month I introduced him to Lucie.  He sat on the bonnet, looked at his mum, then burst into tears.  I don’t think he is ready to help me rebuild the engine yet.

For the MOT I also had to clean up the headlights and windscreen as for the NEC Classic Motor Show last November, I had applied brown shoe polish to act as pretend dirt.  It’s amazing how hard it sets as well.  Water wouldn’t shift it so in the end I had to use some chrome cleaner to get it off.  The headlamps then looked brand new again.  I then took Lucie for a 4 mile spin and she must have been happy as she ran great, which was ironic as last month she was coughing and spluttering.  The day before the MOT I also took all the spark plugs out and gave them a clean though they actually all looked OK,

The MOT was booked for April 11th at 8:30am and now that I’ve moved house it was literally about a 20 second drive down the road to the garage. (S.R.Tomson & Son in Tamworth). Finding garages that MOT 3-wheelers is getting fewer and fewer now, so I am lucky this one is so close. After the MOT chap decided not to reverse it onto the ramps over the inspection pit (the van having next to no rear visibility), they pushed Lucie into position.  As always they inspected the vehicle thoroughly and they noticed that underneath one of the bolts that goes through the floor and through the chassis to hold the floor down had a missing nut on the end.  Luckily it was a modern bolt and so they found a spare one in a nuts and bolts tray they had.  Apart from that everything else was fine and Lucie passed the MOT with flying colours, so that’s that over for another 12 months.

I mentioned last month that I have been working on a book and that had to be completed for this month.  The book is a history of the Reliant 3-wheeler published by Nostalgia Road Publications which I was invited to write with fellow co-author Stuart Cyphus,  Looking at Amazon it looks as though the book is available from 30th July 2011.  Naturally a book on Reliant 3-wheelers has to have a photo of Lucie and so I drove her down to the local grave yard as that has fairly scenic surrounds to it.  Even when she was parked up there folks came over to have a look and as one chap was peering inside his daughter commented, “That’s like the one granddad had”, to which her father replied, “No, that wasn’t as old as this one”.

Elvis Payne.

April 2011

Go To May 2011

The handbrake for the later Regal Supervan is the same part number though much longer than the Mk VI cable.

New handbrake cable in place.

My new son Harvey (at 4 weeks old) meets Lucie.

Handlamps cleaned up from their NEC Classic Motorshow dirt.

Luice being pushed onto the inspection ramp for her annual MOT.


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