Go Moggie, go!


Another classic Salvage Squad tonight: they were renovating a 1930's Super Sports Morgan. This is was a lovely speedy little three-wheeler racing car, with a 1000cc motorcycle engine and a wood and aluminium frame. The owner, Iris, was a fantastic character: a 78 year old woman who is crazy about fast old cars and bikes. At the start of the programme we saw her zipping along — sans helmet — on a vintage Norton motorcycle. I don't think I've ever seen anyone riding a bike in such an elegant manner. She wanted the old "Moggie" (as she called it) restored for her, her daughter and her granddaughter to drive.

It turned out that she got interested in bikes during the war, and then worked in the motor trade for many years, selling the bikes that the Canadian soldiers left behind when they went home. It struck me that there must be a whole generation of women who heard the siren call of the spanner and the greasy rag during the war -- and, ironically, loved the freedom that it gave them.

This week's engineering snag came when they couldn't get the chrome bezel off the re-conditioned speedometer to fit it back in the dashboard fascia. They tried all manner of twisting methods to try to get it off. For one glorious moment, I thought that after Axel and the expert had been straining away at it for ages, Claire would walk in, pick it up and with a flick of the wrist get the lid off and hand it back to them. They would then mutter something about having having loosened it for her. Alas, she didn't, and they bodged it by enlarging the fascia hole.