This is my Daughters car. It was supposed to be mine but as soon as she seen it she claimed it. She was 2 at the time.
This is it just after I got it home in 2004. I bought it from a man from Belfast who is on TV now, certain MR M Carrigle who is currently doing a TV doc of his 1080 day trip around the world.The little car is in very good condition and at the time of buying it all it needed was a good clean and a little bit of tidying.
When I got it home I stripped out the rubber floor and gace the floor pan a good coat of chasis black to preserve it.
This is it once the rubber map had been cleaned and put back in.
The seats were the next thing to get a good cleaning. I took the front ones out to do it.
Once the car was cleaned and tidyed up a little I took her to a couple of shows, It wasn't long before the clutch started to slip. It was just old age and sitting in a garage for 4 years. A very easy job to change and the best way to do it is to drop the engine and gearbox out as one then split it. I had the whole job done in 2 hours and that included cleaning the engine and box.
Engine is placed on the trolley jack but as you can see I used a large piece of wood to cushion and steady the engine.
Engine out and gearbox off.
All ready for a good cleaning.
New clutch kit
I had a brainwave about fitting a new type of power plant but was told I might have problems with the mot.
I decided to clean the engine bay instead ready for the engine to go back in.
Next job was to fit the engine, boot rack and the new picnic basket as a finishing touch. I think the car looks super now. It certainly attracts a lot of attention at the shows.
After I put the engine back in I decided to give it a service and replaced the PLugs, plug leads, Points, Distributor cap and rotor arm. Now this was away last year and the car only had one drive to a show just up the road from were I live. On the way home it went onto one cylinder and once home just refused to start. Well it hasn't went since! I had tried everything and the car was getting a spark, it was getting fuel, all the ignition parts had been changed, but it just refused to start. That was until I took the plug leads off the plugs and just left them with the rubber bit losely on top of the plug. Then it would start!!! I couldn't figure this one out and spoke to all the mechanics I know who were also at a loss. A couple of them even came round to see for themselves. Everyone was baffled. As a last resort I seen a set of plugs being advertised on Ebay for a Fiat 500 along with a new coil so I bought the both of them. I put the coil in and it made no difference. My mate Neil who was over from England had just put the timing belt on my Fiat 127 engine and as he didn't like not having oily hands decided to put the plugs in for me. "Hey presto" the car started first go and has been running great since. The only difference in the plugs is the ones in the car were about 2mm longer than the 500 ones I got from Ebay. We can only assume that because of the extra 2mm the engine had went onto the exhaust stroke before the ignition fired and the fuel had been exausted before the plugs fired? But with the lead rubber just siting on the plug it was firing in time to catch the fuel. It's the only sense I can make of it.
We took Luigi as the 500 is now called to the largest show in N.I. and as we were with the NIIMC decide to put up a theme. Ian from the Club made up a hat, eyes and a mouth for the car after the film cars. The 308 was there to. Luigi got a great reception.
Luigi following the 308.
"Ahh" doesn't he look well.
"It's a Real FERRARI in my store"
Luigi lights a blaze shouting......... "Luigi only follow the Ferrari"
27/06/08. There's local cavalcade heldevery year just up the road from our house and it has sort of became a family tradition to take Luigi to it now. This year though He wasn't for playing ball. He decided to run out of electricity and we had to keep putting the jump leads on to get him going. We made the show though and my Daughter stood guard as ever over Luigi
My friend John in his 1955 Riley RME had to keep lending us the electricity out of his car while my daughter kept Luigi running. I think she really enjoys it now because she's old enough to help out.