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Dick's cars: MR2 Overdue service completed August '22

Dick Longbridge

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As with many of the members on here, I tend to read and comment a lot, but haven’t done much in the way of my own shite related posting. The onslaught of miserable teenage goat bummers (©Bollox2019) has encouraged me to share a little more, rather than look at the screen and shake my head. As my fiancée once told me, Dick is for sharing. Or something.


Updates are likely to be sporadic, and not necessarily ‘car project work’ per se. Sometimes it may just be the odd photo.

Anyway, now the disclaimer is out the way, and without further ado, I’ll start with this.


I bought my Lambretta just over ten years ago. I’ve had a few over the years, and even dabbled with the dark side, or as they are sometimes known, Vespa.


Collection of this scooter involved a fucked Transit, and a day trip to Stoke from sunny Cornwall. Breathing in diesel exhaust fumes which permeated the van through the rusty gaps under the back doors was becoming tiresome by the twelfth hour of driving. We managed it though, and the scooter was well worth the journey. It’s an Italian 1967 SX150, with a 186 Imola kit, plus various other trick bits. It was originally Verde Mela - a rare Innocenti colour - which is basically apple green. Unfortunately the previous owner stripped every last trace of it from the frame, and repainted it in a Peugeot metallic. Not something I could ever bring myself to do, but it looks good all the same.


I had plenty of fun with the scooter, and even made it to the Isle of Wight rally on it (I’ve done this a few times on previous scooters). However, as with many of us, life and house got in the way, and it’s sat in the garage under a cover for way too long.


I hadn’t fired it up for well over 12 months, so decided to drag the old dear out into the sunshine, fire her up, and give her a blast around the estate. I did a quick video of getting the scooter started - no sound because time lapse - startup was a bitch as the fuel was really stale, half evaporated and leaving the oil/ratio mix completely oil heavy. You can make out when it eventually fires up in the video - wait for the smoke around the back end!


I’ll end by adding the startup video. I’ve got a load more photos somewhere on the external HDD, including some of my previous Lambrettas. I'll have to dig them out when I get chance.




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Is it true that the Lambretta (or was it Vespa) engine was originally a slave engine used for starting an aircraft aero engine ??



First I’ve heard of it? Innocenti used to make scoffold tubes in the 1930’s, and then moved into scooter production - I know that much...


Nice one. Good job it wasn't facing the other way or you'd have been gassed M8.



I love the smell of 2 stroke, but even I couldn’t quite get over the smell of every layer of clothing I was wearing, after going back into the house.

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did that push bike have rod operated brakes ?

Well spotted :) Rod (stirrup) brakes indeed, probably on a bike from the Raleigh stable judging by the Sturmey Archer gears and Dynohub. Rod brakes are a thing of joy and no-one should be awarded an engineering qualification without being able to describe how the rear one works ;)

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I've got a lot of RESCEPT for anyone thats got a classic scooter stashed away. Being fat, northern, with a good taste in music it's the one piece missing from my child/adulthood that I rue. Never could afford one and I surely never will. I love looking at them though. Like fine art in motion. Ta for sharing and deffo get a noise vid up.

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Glad you posted this. I'm getting more and more attracted to the idea of getting an old Italian scooter to mess around with. Look loads of smelly fun.

They're quite expensive though. Luckily I can now weld, so I should be able to pick a bit cheaper one up...

Do it! They take up bugger all room in the garage and there are still a few lovely, original Italian imports appearing here for sale, for sub 2k. They aren't SX or TV, but they'restill Italian Lambretta.

Better than money in the bank...



did that push bike have rod operated brakes ?



Well spotted. It's my 1963 Raleigh Superbe. It was stored in my parents garage for 25+ years, before they finally had enough of tripping over it, and dropped it off at our place. I bought it in my mid teens, and have stripped and repainted it twice. Looks pretty forlorn now, but I'll never sell it. I did have twisted thoughts of turning it into a fixie, but I was threatened with removal of my gentleman's area when airing the idea on here!



Well spotted :) Rod (stirrup) brakes indeed, probably on a bike from the Raleigh stable judging by the Sturmey Archer gears and Dynohub. Rod brakes are a thing of joy and no-one should be awarded an engineering qualification without being able to describe how the rear one works ;)



Great work, Clouseau! You know your shiz.




Let’s hear it running plz



Not home yet, but will get a short video up in a bit...


More please, I like your style.



Cheers fella. I didn't know how my thread would be received, but was going to post, all the same. Sick of reading moaning twats on here, so thought I'd make a positive move, rather than stamp on the computer screen.


I've got a lot of RESCEPT for anyone thats got a classic scooter stashed away. Being fat, northern, with a good taste in music it's the one piece missing from my child/adulthood that I rue. Never could afford one and I surely never will. I love looking at them though. Like fine art in motion. Ta for sharing and deffo get a noise vid up.

Thanks matey. Shame whyaye land is silly-far from Cornwall, otherwise you'd be getting a play around on a Lambretta. I'd love a S2 as well, as they are pretty much the perfect design, in my eyes. No chance the fianceé will allow further toys for now, though. My SX would benefit from tyres, clutch and a few other bits before she's half decent for Prince Phillip's wife's tarmacadam once again. It will be sorted though.

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I see a lot sold with conversions to 180cc or something. I guess the stock 125cc is pretty woeful? Also I assume you need a full bike licence, rather than CBT, before you can legally ride one?

Honest answer, I've lost track of cc and CBT. I did my CBT twice before I'd had enough of driving around cones on a Sunday morning with a load of Lynx-laden spotty teens, whilst nursing my own steaming hangover.

I think it used to be ok to ride a 125 on L plates with CBT, but anything larger necessitated a test. I took my test as mine was built as a 150, but has ended up as a 186. I'm very glad I took my test - don't need to worry about futureproofing things.


As for engine conversions, the 180s were probably originally 150s, rather than 125s. Mine has a really decent exhaust, carb and gearbox setup, so acceleration feels more like a powerband. Nothing like a normal* Lambretta ;)

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Sporadic posting or not, I am enjoying it so far, including the intro.


I have only ridden a scooter for 50 yards in 1970, a Triumph Tina.  Nuff said  :-D .  Lambrettas and Vespas used to give my CZ175 a run for its money on straight roads, less so on bendy bits, except for a 'kneeler' very hot scooter ridden by a fearless looney.


I have not totally ruled out selling my Reliant and buying a scooter.  It would have to have a sidecar because age and arthritic crippledom give me problems when anything with two wheels stops.  I cannot straddle a motorbike (or anything else, for that matter).


Anyway, post when you can, even if it's just to report a trip to the local supermarket or a plug change.

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This is my Old Italian:




Looks clean. Bran fnid? Not taxed for a day or three, I see. I always quite liked the Vespa Rally, but ultimately fell for the charms of Lammies.


Sporadic posting or not, I am enjoying it so far, including the intro.


I have only ridden a scooter for 50 yards in 1970, a Triumph Tina. Nuff said :-D . Lambrettas and Vespas used to give my CZ175 a run for its money on straight roads, less so on bendy bits, except for a 'kneeler' very hot scooter ridden by a fearless looney.


I have not totally ruled out selling my Reliant and buying a scooter. It would have to have a sidecar because age and arthritic crippledom give me problems when anything with two wheels stops. I cannot straddle a motorbike (or anything else, for that matter).


Anyway, post when you can, even if it's just to report a trip to the local supermarket or a plug change.

Will do. The thing with a scooter is that unless you don't mind shite weather, you're going to be soggy 80% of the time if you rely on it as a daily. At least the Reliant has an actual roof!

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The Reliant is only used to satisfy my masochistic tendencies.  Getting soggy on a scooter should do the job equally well.  I have still got my motorcycling waterproofs.  Despite being made from some sort of heavyweight PVC material and being over 50 years old (2nd hand when given to me in 1970), the plastic is still supple, unlike many modern plastics which fall apart after 10 years.

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Looks clean. Bran fnid? Not taxed for a day or three, I see. I always quite liked the Vespa Rally, but ultimately fell for the charms of Lammies.


Been in the family since the early sixties, and not seen the road since the late 70s. It does run now, but still a work in progress... it's such a long story I've been thinking about giving it it's own thread!

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Right. Video sorted.Unfortunately it's only a couple of seconds of tickover from last week. When the weather's less shit, I'll drain off the stale fuel, get some decent 2 stroke mixed, fire her up and get some better footage.

At least this video picks up on the volume of the exhaust setup. It's not shy.


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Feu Orange - remember them? I remember reading a thread on the blue a few years back when I was active on there, and couldn't believe the prices they were fetching.

After work today I popped into the Aladdin's cave of shonky tat that is Poundland for some poor quality adhesive. As I traipsed around, I spotted this gem. It's obviously different to the orginal, but it smells bloody lovely, is large, and has a peely foil thing on the back of the orange bubble to release the carcinogens. No pins required.

I've lobbed it into the MR2 and it's already made it smell like the Robinson's juice factory.

Result for a mere pound. Go buy one!


Disclaimer: Chickens are not included. They're part of my Los Pollos Hermanos air freshener (long since pongless) hanging behind the fake feu.



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  • 4 months later...

Damn you, sentimentality. Owned this old scruffbag for just over four years now - personal record in 25+ years of driving. Toyed with the idea of selling a few times, but have concluded I still love driving the car, and can't handle the idea of letting someone else drive her off into the sunset, never to be seen again. Let's hope tomorrow's MOT isn't too bad. Fingers crossed!


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Changes going on here at Chateau Richard. My 1967 SX150 (with Imola 186 kit) and owned for 11 years is going up for sale in the next few days. I'm also going to be flogging my 1963 Raleigh Superbe after 30 years of ownership. Not got any photos yet, but both are shown briefly in the video above. Just a basic heads up if anyone was specifically interested. 

Proper ads in the next few days - wing me a pm if you need more info in the meantime. 

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  • 1 month later...

Not been on here much recently due to life being hectic. I did end up selling both the Raleigh Superbe and the Lambretta though. I reckon I undersold both of them in hindsight, but such is life. I prefer having the money in the bank and ready for rainy days/childcare. 

MR2 has been abandoned on the drive for the last couple of months as I've enjoyed driving the Z4 too much. Long term one will have to go - I currently prefer the Z4 as a daily driver, but have a huge sentimental attachment to the MR2 as I've owned it for so long. 

Difficult one.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fifteen year old Z4s are quite delicate. They're ridiculously good VFM in many ways, and despite several early teething problems, mine's now become an enjoyable daily driver.

I do find I'm often wondering what the next issue the old diva will throw at me though. 

The latest is the speedo deciding to remain at 85mph. It stayed that way for a a few days, then gradually crept up to 'flat out', where it now rests 24/7.  

I've done a 'secret menu needle sweep test' which appears to confirm the speedo is indeed borked.

I've uploaded a video for your entertainment. Replacement speedo binnacle next, I guess...

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15 hours ago, SiC said:

Dry solder joints on the back?

Possibly. I’ve tried digging around tinternet for similar issues, but the general consensus seems to be that the clocks all work, or they all die simultaneously.  Mine seems to deviate from that rule. I guess I’ll have to take the clocks out when I’ve next got a holiday and have a look at the back for any signs of deterioration. I bet it won’t be that simple though?!

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I guess I should keep this thread updated a little more regularly. I sold the Z4 six months ago. It was a pleasant twelve months of ownership after I'd fixed the few early teething problems, it behaved impeccably. However, it pained me to see the MR2 laid up and sinking into the driveway so decisions had to be made. Ultimately, the Z4 always felt like it was a sniff away from a large repair bill - spares are pricey for them and it was a complex car in contrast to the simplicity of the MR2. 


With the Z4 gone, the MR2 was pushed back into daily use. It was pretty good at MOT time despite sitting around for so long, but is starting to look tender underneath. I intend to tackle that this summer - it's clear if I don't sort it before next winter, it's going to deteriorate pretty rapidly. 

The rear tyres were advised due to cracking at MOT time, and I admit to ignoring the issue in the meantime. Foolish really, as one let go on me driving to work yesterday. They were Chinese deathrings too - I'm impressed with how long they've lasted considering they're seven years old, and have done a lot of sitting around. At first I just thought the roads were really greasy, but soon realised the wagging back end was an issue with the car, not the roads. 

I slapped the eighteen year old previously unused spacesaver on (bit gutted about 'spoiling' it!) and headed to work successfully this time. The handling is bloody awful, but at least I can get to work in the meantime. I've sourced a pair of Avon ZV7's through Tyreshopper which are going to be fitted at National Tyres on Saturday. The price was really good; let's hope they're on site and ready to be fitted when I arrive there. Has anyone else used them? 

Here's how the car sits currently...


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I've got Avon on all three cars. Zv7 on both my slk and civic(1 falken).  Zx7 in rx350

They are decent value, quiet, grip well in all conditions.

BUT i will not be buying avon ever again. Signs of perishing at 2 years old, start cracking at three years plus.

I've also owed a mk3 on 2005, toyo proxes t1 I think was the tyre of choice on mr2roc. I had fallen ziex or something all round on mine and they were decent.

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  • Dick Longbridge changed the title to Dick's cars: MR2 Overdue service completed August '22

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      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:

      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
    • By mat_the_cat
      Thought I should probably start a thread, given that a few people have suggested it. For my sins, my first car was a 1985 Hyundai Stellar. Bought back in 1997, when the sun still shone, I had more hair, and the world was generally a better place.
      This may be the earliest photo I have, I think from 1998:

      Anyway, I drove everywhere in it, and clocked up over 100k miles before I was given an Alfa Romeo 75. So I took the Stellar off the road for some much needed TLC. Made some progress on it - Rebuilt all the suspension, fitted a rebuilt Cortina* rear axle, Princess 4 pot front calipers and Capri vented discs etc - before a couple of house moves and renovations put it on the back burner.
      * before anyone says they are identical underneath, there are some differences. I fitted a replacement axle fairly early on in my ownership, only to fit that not only was the propshaft flange the wrong size, the UJ was totally different so I couldn't even fit a new yoke. Finding a company on the day before New Year's Eve who could cut off the end, weld a new UJ on and balance it wasn't too easy, especially one that was accessible by push bike!
      Anyway, late last year I found some renewed motivation, and have been working on it when time and money permit. Here is what it looked like in October:
      OMG barn find?

      Front suspension OK at first glance...

      ...but it has turned out the calipers had seized (so are away being rebuilt) and all the (brand new) ball joint boots had perished:

      Quite a bit of welding is needed too, but I had a setback just before Christmas when we were burgled and my welder stolen

      Crusty roof rail

      I've cleared some of the crap away from it now (it's not stored at mine - I'd love to own somewhere that big!) so might be able to get more photos. Currently working on the rear brakes, and disappointed to find that the shotblasted rear axle is now starting to rust after two coats of POR15 and 7 years storage under cover...

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