Part 2: Nosferatu – 1980s classic recreated on a budget | FEATURE
Creating a tribute to one of the 1980s classic custom Lambrettas on a very tight budget is keeping Jer Crew busy this summer. He’s learning new techniques and bodging things in the great Scooterboy tradition. His back yard custom project goes full steam ahead to get Nosferatu part two – ‘Nosferadeux’ ready in time for Llandudno next month. If you missed part one you can catch up here.
All the pieces; bits ‘n pieces. Get ready for the next exciting instalment of our adventures in mestoration, sorry, I meant restoration.
Who knew the profile of a GP side panel matched the drag coefficient of a stealth bomber? Twice now I’ve turned my back on a freshly sprayed panel only to hear the gut-wrenching clatter as the wind flips it over on its cardboard spray booth like a piece of buttered toast, grrr! Still, it needed another coat anyway.
I got the runs
Dammit; patience Daniel San, remember thin coats – not sodding sheets of clear coat that slides off into rippling waves, double grrrr.
In-between the various coats of paint and associated masking off and seemingly endless drying times, I set about the jumbo jigsaw puzzle of assembly. Like most chaps, we have an inbuilt encyclopaedia of everything built into our brains so an assembly manual is not required (as if!). So with a bulging shed of parts I had to get organised. Empty fizzy sweet tubs to the rescue and with a tight focus on technical accuracy my easy reference filing system comprises: shiny bits, rubber bits, spinney things, a box of black parts, speedos (not the swimming ones, they’re in a special drawer) things for stopping, stuff that works with electric trickery and a couple labelled ‘hmm not sure’
It’ll come in handy one day
A cunning purchase of a ready labelled fixing kit solved the ominous problem of sorting through my tubs of reclaimed nuts and bolts with the ever-present Whitworth thread that ‘almost’ works. How many times have I tried this one? Why don’t I fling it in the bin? These are life’s great questions and 42 is not the answer, nor is CBT, well not for me anyway.
Of course, much like Private Pyle, for me the assembly does not happen as second nature and regular reference to the raggedy parchment that is my owner’s manual is needed, along with frequent phone calls to more cleverer mates as to ‘how hard to hit it.’
Note: Remember the torque setting for the back hub = very tight!
Christ, how many afterthought fixings are there! The headset bottom alone has in the region of twelve thousand moving parts – well almost 50 at the last count.
Now I know you can get a lot of parts as newly made but with an eye on the pennies and a drive to re-use as much tat as possible, I’ve resisted the urge to splash out too much. Where many of the parts used would normally have hit the bin we’ve employed a make do and mend approach, well these are austere times after all.
Case in point, the back light surround was in a rough condition, including the usual split sides and lack of silver reflector; here Gorilla Glue and flexi plastic spray have done wonders (and I haven’t resorted to my trusty hot-glue gun once, honest)
The only concession to my frugal mantra being a new bearing for the motor, oh okay and seals and (most) gaskets.
Come on with the power tools
As a nod to the 80s, the panels had to be cut (besides the engine side has a habit of splitting by the kick-start anyway) so out with the Dremmel. There was a time when I would have used tin snips (apologies to my once trusty Rally 200 that fell victim to my over-zealous snipping) but now the cut wheel rules. Oh, how I wish I had a panel roller so it could be as neat as the beautiful self-named ‘Grand Prix’ of the same era. Alas, even the skills of submarine Steve couldn’t help this time. Panel cut and edges carefully ‘hidden’ with eye-tricking fogging to give the desired effect. All achieved with the help of a steady hand and blue language.
This was a pivotal moment for the panel paintwork. I had been scratching my head trying to size up the lettering for the panels and choosing a font type then working out how to curve it if I bought a set of vinyl decals. Then my trusted pain guru put me onto spray mount, eureka! So with a Stanley knife and a can of magic mount the arts ‘n crafts team set to work. Big up to Donna and Sadie for keeping calm and printing, cutting, placing and masking whilst I did the glamour work with the air-brush. Now, this is our first time attempting a full spray job and even with a few blow throughs on the paper stencils, I reckon we’ve done alright.
The original legshields have been flatted back for fresh clear-coat (and a secret ingredient) and the rusty inside profile ground out and skimmed for a new green coat with some more pinstripes, more, why not?
Next time; the murals bite back and the final assembly commences…
New products always in development…