Kirk’s Project Vega One35 – Part 2 | FEATURE
Part-time SLUKER, Kirk St Moritz has been keeping himself busy over the last couple of months. It’s helped that the beer fridge in his garage packed up a few weeks ago. His Vega CP One35 project started out as the battered frame above but is now starting to take shape. If you want to catch up part one of this series you can read it here.
Significant progress has been made on the Vega One35 project since my last check in with SLUK… but I’ve also been busy building two other high spec scooters for other people in the meantime. Also, I’ve been rather busy with the day job so I haven’t had much of an opportunity for trying to create some drivel to feed you for internet scooter gratification! So I’m doing this while sunning myself in Tenerife after escaping the cold and dark (actually lovely winter sunshine and light nights) of a northeastern British winter.
We’ll start with my engine, this was a near complete but seized motor, which after initial inspection appeared to have spent some significant time languishing at the bottom of the sea, river, or a pond!
Upon opening the sidecasing I was almost swept away by a torrent of water which had managed to obtain residency and in turn emulsify the gearbox oil on which it had sat for some time. This meant that I had a casing full of a gloopy brown substance which had a similar smell and texture to that of my Pet Pug Bert’s shite after an upset tummy!
It was clear that this motor was going to give me significant trouble trying to strip it to its bare casing, which was actually all I really wanted to keep, save for the layshaft and a few other bits.
The crank and top end were seized solid and no amount of heat, penetrating fluid or hitting the bastard with a hammer was going to be enough to free it… and so it became that I had to break out the angle grinder and drill to free the barrel, piston and crank from its once sub aqua prison!
There had been slim pickings when I was searching for a donor Vega engine casing, but Carlos the Bender, or Swiss Tony as he’s also known came up trumps with this, the one and only casing I could find after I’d failed to locate one anywhere else in an extensive search. Seems they are very thin on the ground. In fact, Carlos became a bit of a one-stop shop for a lot of rare scooter parts for this and other projects… so cheers you bender!
I stripped and cleaned the rest of the casing but unfortunately the seal plate screws beat me… so it was off to Mr Broadhurst for his engineering know how to remove them and a couple of other snapped screws. Mark also put the casing through his media rumbler for good measure and the result was a semi-polished finish. Nice and clean to start the rebuild.
Next on the agenda was the frame and bodywork repairs. For this, the metalwork went over to a mate of mine who has fantastic fabrication and panel repair skills, his paintwork is ace too but we can’t mention that. Gavi repaired the frame which had lots of random holes drilled into it in a non-specific pattern. He also strengthened the stand cross member and also patched in the legshields where they were rotten. He added some extra captive nuts to fix the rear mudguard, a far better solution than the pitiful self-tapping screws fitted at the factory.
As always, Gavi did a top job, so from there the frame and bodywork went to Stuart in St Ives (SWM paintwork) for the application of some super smooth paintwork and graphics.
In keeping with a couple of other scooters I’ve built for myself I chose a rather nice Porsche colour for the paint in Miami Blue. It’s a flat colour but quite vivid and I felt it would suit the souped-up Vega down to the ground. The graphics were supplied by Dean at Casa Performance and were the official graphics for the CP One35 kit and the all-new Vega5 Cyclone gearbox. So once all parts had been blasted and etched Stuart got on with applying the luscious shade of blue.
Whilst all of this shiny paintwork etc. was going on my thoughts turned to some of the other defining details of this project. I had seen over the years photographs of Vegas in race mode with Norman Ronald and others of the same era at the helm. I wasn’t a massive fan of the ape hanger styling of the handlebars and decided to take a leaf out of the racers book and shorten them.
I decided that the height of Lambretta GP bars were just about right so this meant a reduction of 75mm in length. I felt that this would not only give the scooter a sporty look, but also I wanted the controls updating to bring them into line with the additional upgrades of the larger carburettor and the 5-speed gearbox.
The bars on a Vega do not lend themselves stylistically to a simple cut and shut job… and so it was off to the master of alloy manipulation for a makeover. Again Mark Broadhurst was the only man for the job but he’s a busy man and it took a little persuasion to get him to agree to do them. But he likes a challenge and it certainly became just that!
The end results are stunning and you’d be forgiven for thinking these were Innocenti factory prototypes.
Coming up in part 3…
As I’m writing this the Casa Performance lads have just completed their epic trip on four Luna line models fitted with the CP One35 engines testing them to destruction, covering 1500km through very testing conditions.
So now they’ve been tested they will go into full production. There are a number of other upgrades from the lads which I will cover in the next instalment as I begin building the engine and the scooter itself.
So keep your eyes peeled on SLUK. So long for now…
Kirk St Moritz
Part 2 Vega gallery
New products always in development…