The Famous Five – from scrapyard to Italy | FEATURE
The scooters and their riders (from left to right) were as follows
- Martin Lloyd (Mart): Owner and landlord of the Crown and Anchor pub, astride The Green Meany, a 1965 SS90, running a Polini Evo top end built by Atoms producing 15 bhp
- Mark Tatum (T): Old Bill astride Stax, a 1962 S2 LI 150, running a 200cc Mugello top end, 60 stroke crankshaft, Cyclone 5-speed, engine built by Chiselspeed producing 15.5 bhp
- Mark Grieves (Jaws): Property developer/civil engineer astride Tinkerbell, a 1965 S3 LI150 special, running an SS 225cc top end, 62 stroke crankshaft, Cyclone 5-speed, engine built by Chiselspeed producing 30 bhp
- Tim Wilson (Timmy): Design engineer, astride Troll, a 1971 S3 150 Spanish Silver Special, running a 200cc Mugello top end, 66 stroke Chiselspeed crankshaft, Crimaz 5-speed box, engine built by Chiselspeed producing 20 bhp
Gratefully accompanied by Mark’s neighbour, Gerry Hall, who kindly drove the backup van carrying spares, tools and an extra scooter – just in case!
With seven months between the date the trip was agreed and the departure date (July 8th 2018), all set about getting their scooters ready for the trip. Jaws and Mart were both confident that their bikes were good to go, but T and Timmy both had a lot of work to do to get their trusty steeds roadworthy.
T had completely rebuilt the chassis for his scooter ‘Stax’, but with two weeks to go before ‘D Day’ his engine was still in bits in the kitchen. Timmy offered him his spare Mugello engine which they ended up fitting one night in his living room, just in time for him to do a shakedown ride and feel reassured about the build.
Timmy had decided to rebuild and restore Troll but was running to a very tight schedule and was reliant on the skills of numerous others to finish it, most notably his long-suffering friends Andrew at Primus Quality Coatings who would be doing the paint job, and Martin from Chiselspeed who would be doing the engine.
If all else failed Timmy would always have Tarby, his blue and black 1959 S1, running a 205 Honda engine he built, with a cyclone 5-speed box and a stage four tune from Ian Frankland, producing 15 bhp (with a good mag-side bearing…). Tarby was to be the backup scooter. It could have done with a new flywheel bearing, which Tim hoped to fit before they left, but as the deadline approached and with work on Troll continuing right up until the 11th hour, it was decided that Tarby might survive with a dodgy mag side bearing after all – providing she wasn’t caned!
8 pm Thursday 5th July 2018, Crown and Anchor pub, Bromley
With only two days to go the scooters and riders assembled for a pre-departure photo shoot at Martin’s pub with MERU charity staff and supporters. MERU kindly supplied 6 Bugzi-Saurus teddies to be strapped to the bikes and van as mascots for the trip. Martin strapped his to the front rack on his scoot, and there it would stay for the duration, along with his colour-coded petrol can, all green and mean!