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Author Topic: Modestine  (Read 73947 times)
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DavidLaver
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« Reply #270 on: 27 June, 2013, 12:55:07 AM »


Just back from the RAC summer drive in and can report Modestine looked splendid and made it away under her own power.

The feature I'd not noticed before was that the bumper irons telescope.

David
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David Laver, Lewisham.
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« Reply #271 on: 27 June, 2013, 01:27:38 PM »


Here she is again - the header photo in a Veloce Today article:

http://www.velocetoday.com/fulvias-at-goodwood/#more-49915
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David Laver, Lewisham.
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« Reply #272 on: 27 June, 2013, 02:13:34 PM »


Just back from the RAC summer drive in and can report Modestine looked splendid and made it away under her own power.

The feature I'd not noticed before was that the bumper irons telescope.

David

Super evening at RAC Woodcote with Modestine attracting lots of attention. Good to see you there David, sorry we didn't get to chat.

Telescopic bumper shocks (see pic) always attract comment as does the massive sliding pillar front suspension and the shield shaped headlights. The wood frame hood people find irresistible not to touch!

I attended as the gust of the late Prof Peter Moore's wife Elaine who is restoring his Dilambda and judging by the photographs on her ipad it will be a truly magnificent car when finished.

Robin.


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Robin Lacey 3222

1932 Dilambda
1969 Fulvia S1 1.6HF Fanalone
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« Reply #273 on: 19 November, 2014, 05:17:53 PM »

Very little to report on Modestine's summer activities. Sliding Pillar Rally just down the road from us at Eastbourne, the AGM in Cambridge and lots of local running about. No serious problems!

However, although unable to make the Lancia Club France rally in person she was there in spirit it seems. On the rally plate! Reported to me by Mike Benwell and Daniel Poitier arranged for a plate to be sent to me.

Some of you will have seen that I did advertise her for sale a while back but no serious takers so she stays with us for now.

Robin.


* Dilambda LCF Rally 2014 2 3 001 [30%].jpg (265.32 KB, 1094x821 - viewed 190 times.)
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Robin Lacey 3222

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« Reply #274 on: 19 November, 2014, 05:56:39 PM »

That is what I call a compliment !!
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Dilambdaman
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« Reply #275 on: 07 July, 2015, 09:44:24 PM »

Modestine has been running rough and had poor brakes for some time now so not seen much use but with a wedding to do I gave her a good service and she's fine now.

Lovely summer day for the wedding and she was much admired. Plan to take her to France for the month of August and enjoy motoring on their wonderful roads. Smiley

Pictures are of the bride on arrival at the church with her father and she and the groom are sheep farmers! Roll Eyes

Robin.


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Robin Lacey 3222

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« Reply #276 on: 07 July, 2015, 09:48:40 PM »

Wonderful Robin, thank you for sharing


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Frank Gallagher
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« Reply #277 on: 22 January, 2017, 02:58:12 PM »

"Tempus Fugit" and even more so it seems as we get older. Where does the time go? Idly browsing through 'The Forum' I was astonished to find that it's 18 months since updating the Modestine story. I noticed to, that I started this thread in May 2008 some six years after purchasing her and two years after getting her to 'Turin 100'. So, I'll start the catch up with a post on the first four years, fill in the next two and add the last eighteen months.

Robin.
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Robin Lacey 3222

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« Reply #278 on: 22 January, 2017, 03:09:17 PM »

Excellent Robin, reread the VL article you wrote at the time,  I must go reread this thread also, thank you!

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« Reply #279 on: 22 January, 2017, 05:05:48 PM »

Text from Viva Lancia May 2007

Born Again Dilambda - phoenix like from the ashes.      
by Robin Lacey


I’ve been interested, the uncharitable but possibly more astute would say obsessed, by Lancia for over thirty years and in that time have owned various models of Fulvia, Flavia, Beta, Thema, Delta and Appia. The oft recurring dream was to own a pre-war model, preferably a Lambda but fate decreed something even more wonderful than that (well in my humble opinion!) a Series 2 Model 229 Dilambda, and this is the account of my first four years with ERF 294.

For those of you (and it has become evident to me that includes a great many Lancisti) who know little about Dilambda (incidentally pronounced Delambda), can I respectfully direct you to the Lancia bible, ‘La Lancia’. There you will find all that you need to know and perhaps the one thing above all to register is the fact that the Dilambda was the only Lancia produced using the shield shaped headlights, a dead give away as far as model recognition goes.

Research has revealed that she was sent to the body shop 12th February 1932, completed and road tested 4th March that same year. The next five years are a mystery until being first registered ERF 294 in England 10th March 1937. Early photographs suggest that she carried  a Pinin Farina saloon body and was, I know, owned by Mrs Ruth Telford Einzig who lived at Ashurst Wood near East Grinstead  in East Sussex. I well remember seeing said lady driving it around in the 60s usually accompanied by several large dogs and she is listed as a LMC member in the 1969 Register of Members of which I have a copy. In 1974, Philip Glynn, also living in East Grinstead, purchased the Dilambda and used it as daily transport for his veterinary practice visiting our then home at Horsted Keynes in it on several occasions to tend to my wife Margaret’s horses.

1978 and the car was looking pretty sad, so Philip decided to embark on a total restoration, stripping it down to the last nut and bolt. The body was sent to a friend of mine who had a joinery workshop in Haywards Heath where the timber frame was repaired. A couple of days before Philip was due to collect it an arsonist struck, the workshop was reduced to ashes and the body lost forever. The project was shelved and around that time the dismantled remains of the car were offered for sale. Ian Kemp (who some LMC members will remember) and I went to view but decided that it was a far bigger job than we had time for. In the event no one purchased it and Philip put it all into store intending to resurrect it at a future date.

Fast forward over 20 years to 2002 and Margaret and I were invited to attend a Riding for the Disabled event at which Philip was in attendance. I enquired after the Dilambda and having first expressed surprise that I remembered the car, he told me that in 1998 he had had it restored as a rolling chassis by a Rolls Royce specialist but was baulking at the not inconsiderable sum required to have a body constructed. Ronnie ‘Steady’ Barker had been to look with a view to fitting the James Young Saloon body from his Dilambda to Philip’s chassis as a short cut to restoring his car but in the event had decided not to purchase. Having just sold our dry-cleaning business interests I found myself unusually in funds and talked Margaret into going to have a look at the Dilambda with a view to purchase.

Not unnaturally, I fell in love with this 4 litre V8 giant and Philip, having decided that he was happy to see her go to me, a deal was struck. Driving home I was in 7th heaven believing that I had sold the idea to Margaret who had been rather skeptical about the whole thing from the start and all afternoon had played Devil’s Advocate to extraordinary lengths. She delivered her coup de grace when she announced that she would support the purchase but only when I had found a body for the Dilambda. In her book, having one made was completely financially unrealistic. What value a sensible, clear thinking wife, un-afflicted with the desire to rescue every and any vehicle carrying a Lancia badge?

I soon discovered that we were no longer in the 60s when vintage car bodies could be found at will and although spreading the net far and wide the result was a big fat nothing. I remembered that Morris Parry had built a splendid body from scratch for his Astura so gave him a call. Helpful as always, he talked me through the 15 years of toil he had been through to produce his masterpiece and I quickly formed the opinion that this was not for me. We were about to sign off when he said that he had seen a body from a 1930 Talbot 105 advertised in the VSCC Newsletter and dug out the telephone number for me. I rang Richard Heelis in Derby and sure enough he still had it and a viewing was arranged.

When my son Jonathan and I first saw the body, a Carlton Carriage Co. drop head coupe, he formed the opinion that his father had crossed what had always been the fine line into insanity where all things Lancia are concerned. He was already struggling to become attracted to the Dilambda rolling chassis but this pile of bits was a bridge too far. However, after making a few measurements and deciding that, given a fair wind, it would fit our car, the cash burning a hole in my pocket was handed over and the ‘pile of bits’ loaded into the trailer I had sensibly brought with us. Back home and with a little persuasion the various parts of the body were hung on the chassis and through my rose tinted spectacles there appeared a vision of the finished car, something which I was going to need to recall many times over the next three years in order to feed my, at times, fading conviction that the dream was attainable and further, not be deflected by the detractors who constantly expressed doubts that the task would ever be completed..

Around this time I discovered a picture of the late Arthur Keeling’s Dilambda in the 1st edition of Weernink’s La Lancia. Incredibly it had a Carlton DHC body very similar to the Heelis one I had bought. It took six weeks but eventually with the help of Will How and the Italian Lancia Club, we tracked it down to a private collection near Venice. The owner, Sig. Umberto Genovese very kindly allowed me to view it which helped us get some idea as to what we should be aiming for.

First job was to get a near side rear wing made as the original was missing. Telephoning various panel shops resulted in the realization that firstly, it was going to be inordinately expensive and secondly a long wait was the order of the day, so busy were they. One such call was to Ian Pitney who asked if I would be interested in contacting his father who was retired but liked to keep his hand in with the occasional small job. I readily accepted and met John Pitney who it turned out had had a lifetime’s experience in the trade having worked for the likes of Hooper and Sidney Allard before setting up on his own and eventually training his two sons. I took the off side wing to John who produced a nearside replica in five days and for a very reasonable sum. He was interested in seeing what I was up to and delivered the wing so as to have a look. He later told me that he was incredulous at the task I had set myself and decided that he had better help out. This resulted in him making the two and a half hour journey from his home one day a week for months and months until we were ready for painting. I will forever be in his considerable debt such was his dedication to see the job through.

Apart from the body there was the question of getting the engine running, something I kept putting off thinking that all would be well as it had been totally rebuilt. Big mistake! It just would not fire. Bob Seaney (local to me Lambda owner at the time) came over a couple of times and made the astounding discovery that a rodent had somehow got into cylinder bore 5 and built a neat little nest! It was duly removed but still the engine would not start. Paul Atkinson visited with Gerald Batt in tow and Paul checked and reset the valve timing but had run out of time before we tried to fire her up. When eventually I did try it was still to get a fat nothing. Much, much later, March 2006, when I returned to the engine it was to employ the services of a friend who has a classic car workshop specializing in Aston Martin who found that the firing order was completely wrong. It had been set according to the workshop manual we had for the car, which lied, incredible! Back to fist principles and reset and she fired immediately. What a relief and more to the point absolute music to the ears. With the engine starting on the button all the stops were pulled out to get her finished for the centenary celebrations in Turin 1st September 2006.

John Pitney made a couple more visits to fettle the panels and late July the car was taken to Ross Keeling’s paint shop in Ilford. Ross is Les’ (Lambda owner) son and Arthur’s (owner of the Dilambda with the Carlton DHC body referred to earlier) grandson. Nice touch this! Ross, knowing my desire to get the car to Turin 1st September completed the job in record time and to a very high standard. Back home with it and barely a month to go, my son Jonathan and I worked day and night to complete the assembly.

Months earlier I had purchased an industrial leather sewing machine, six full leather skins in dark brown bought for a bargain £150 off Ebay, a copy of the Haynes Manual ‘Classic Car Interior Restoration’ obtained, the dining room converted into a trim shop and Margaret charged with the job of trimming the whole car. The finished job gives the impression that the upholstery is original and has been lovingly cared for for years, a glowing testament to her skill and dedication, for the work was not without its difficulties.  

Ten days to go and I get to drive the Dilambda for the first time, a visit to the MOT tester. Absolute euphoria, an unforgettable experience, not least as I had not appreciated that the gearbox layout was the reverse of normal and I was trying to start off in third instead of first gear! Got that sorted out and with the pass certificate and an ear to ear grin I was bowling home when what appeared to be a little man with a large hammer was trying to exit the crankcase. A big end had run – utter despair.  

The Turin dream lay in tatters, I was too exhausted to overcome yet another set back at the eleventh hour. Well, for a couple of hours at least! Tracked down a workshop in Croydon who would re-metal the bearing next day while I waited, so set about stripping the engine – why is everything so huge and heavy on a Dilambda? Two days later with Jonathan’s help we are running again BUT, no oil pressure. Eventually find that the oil pump had been poorly assembled before we bought the car and was only making intermittent contact with its drive.

Just one week to go with a myriad of ‘final’ jobs to complete, the decision is taken not to attempt to drive the car to Italy, not least because there is just not enough time to get the hood fitted. A trailer is hired and a suitable tow truck borrowed from a friend. Our progress is being closely monitored by Tony and Shelley Seiler in South Africa who are coming over to join us for the trip. They arrive the day before we are due to leave just as I drive the Dilambda home from the workshop. Exhausted, my sanity is again in serious doubt as I have invited Morris Parry and his group of eight for an evening meal before we set off together in the morning for Italy! However, it made for a great start to the Turin adventure.

The journey to Italy is a story in its own right so full of incident was it but we made it and the feeling of elation driving the Dilambda into the Ar-sen-ale will never leave me. However, the euphoria was short lived, as on the very next morning the gear selector fork broke. Club President Paul Baker came to my rescue directing me to friends of his who operate a small backstreet specialist workshop. I spent the next three days with them (they speaking no English and I no Italian) whilst they moved heaven and earth to repair the gearbox and get me and the car to the final parade on the Saturday. I’ll save the full story for another time, suffice it to say, that I owe Domenico, Giovani and Elio of Fasano and Andreo Gianetti  of L M Gianetti Engineering an eternal debt of gratitude.  

The Centenary parade through Turin and the display in Piazza San Carlos was the culmination of an exceptional three year journey, the icing on the cake being the award of one of the fifty rosettes which allowed us to be presented on the podium during the afternoon. Super too that Jonathan and his wife were able to fly out to deservedly share the glory.

Back home and although still shaking the car down, we made the AGM at Gaydon and received the ‘Oh Dear Trophy’ being deemed to have made the best recovery from a mechanical disaster, a fitting conclusion to our trials and tribulations.

It would be unforgivable of me not to acknowledge the unstinting support Margaret has given me. I have been at best, difficult and at worse, downright unreasonable in my obsession with ERF 294, it’s every bit as much her Dilambda as mine. John Pitney is deserving of grateful thanks for the bodywork and Ross Keeling for the painting, son, Jonathan, for the many, many hours of work put in and his wife Andrea for indulging her profligate father-in-law by allowing her husband the time away from home and family. My thanks too, to my friends in the LMC who encouraged and helped in so many ways,  with special mention for Will How, Bob Seaney, Gerald Batt, Paul Atkinson, Morris Parry, Brian Hilton and not least, Paul Baker.  Keith Bowley of Ashton Keynes Vintage Restoration Ltd. generously threw me a lifeline when the new tyres that had been on order from Michelin failed to materialize by loaning me the set from the ‘Steady’ Barker Dilambda he is restoring. Many, many thanks Keith, can’t wait to see the finished Barker Dilambda. Tony and Shelley Seiler were supportive throughout, better traveling companions you could not find and if I’ve forgotten anyone please, please forgive me.

The future? Lots still to complete and I intend to use her as much as possible, including the Sliding Pillar Rally and conveying one of the teams in the Grande Parade des Pilotes at the Le Mans 24hr race. Would I do it again? Probably not but never say never!
« Last Edit: 23 January, 2017, 12:31:42 AM by Dilambdaman » Logged

Robin Lacey 3222

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« Reply #280 on: 22 January, 2017, 05:23:29 PM »

I must say that it was a great lift to click 'recent unread messages' and see Modestine pop up!!!

Then to read the saga of her restoration to the road and the crazy trip to the centenary celebrations!!! That is as mad as James Parry and his Augusta doing it!!

Thank you Robin and I hope all is presently well with the Lancias.

                                   Andy
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« Reply #281 on: 22 January, 2017, 05:59:12 PM »

Just spent the afternoon, at intervals, going through the full thread, wow!

If I wore a hat Robin, I'd take it off to you, your son, the family Parry and all the Lancisti who provided support, knowledge and succour during your trials and tribulations with Modestine!

Respect to one and all.

P
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« Reply #282 on: 22 January, 2017, 10:47:48 PM »

Robin,
At the time you gave me a preview of Modestine in the early stages of the bodywork, I must admit I thought you were bonkers, but so dedicated, then to see her for the first time in all her glory with the body painted in Turin, it was fair to say I was stunned at what you, ( and Margaret) had achieved, Since then I've followed all your trials and tribulations, and often wondered how you found the strength (or the funds!) to go on at times! while your award and place on the podium was well deserved.
I look forward to further episodes Smiley Smiley
I did however note that your story has fallen foul of the word police that stalks our written words for indecencies, and see that the lovely military building in Turin known as the Ar sen ale has been altered into the bottomnale Roll Eyes
Brian Cool
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« Reply #283 on: 23 January, 2017, 12:33:59 AM »

Hi Brian,

Thanks for pointing out the word alteration - unbelievable! Roll Eyes

Robin.
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Robin Lacey 3222

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« Reply #284 on: 23 February, 2017, 09:03:46 PM »

Hi Robin,

I really enjoyed reading your epic restoration of Modestine, definitely a labour of love & a credit to you. Do you have any pictures of the chassis, bodywork & interior as they were being restored?

Cheers, Rob
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