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Lucie: The vehicle

February 2010. Part 1 of 1

After realising last month that the air jet was missing off my carburettor help was soon at hand when Ray Pound (a fellow Mk 6 owner who owns the superb blue Regal Mk VI pictured under my van on this page) made a large detour on his trip to the RAF Cosford museum to drop off an air jet for me.  Sadly I wasn’t in at the time and I found it in an envelope after arriving home from work.

That weekend I went round to the garage and fitted the jet to the carburettor on Lucie.  I primed the fuel pump, pulled out the choke and turned the ignition key and she fired up second time. I was delighted, we (my girlfriend Caroline and I) then took Lucie for a 10 mile drive and she was running great again with just a slight hiccup here and there which has been suggested could be a bit of condensation in the fuel tank. On the drive we stopped at the housing estate where Reliant once stood for a quick photo and Lucie sat there ticking over quite happily.

February is a nice time to get a letter from the DVLA telling me that the vehicle tax on Lucie has expired as unlike the letter they send telling me the vehicle tax on my Jaguar has expired, when they tell me about the tax on Lucie I enjoy the fee payable to renew it - 0.00.  All vehicles manufactured in the UK before Jan 1973 are classed as “Historic Vehicles” and as such once reclassified as a historic vehicle, they can enjoy free vehicle tax.   I applied online and a shiny tax disc arrived two days later.

It was also during February that I had an email from Chris Barrie (aka Rimmer in the BBC Series Red Dwarf).  He mentioned that he was shocked to see what happened to my old Reliant (Ole Blue) and after learning about Lucie commented “Still, it is good that you are back on three wheels again - and in something of a rarity.”

It was quite strange that having just got Lucie running OK again thanks to the air jet that I should then come across a brand new old stock carburettor on the Internet at Carburettor Hospital Ltd.  I contacted them as there were two types whch confused me, one with an 18mm choke and the other with a 21mm choke.  Thanks to members on the R3W forum I soon discovered that the right one had 26I-21 stamped inside the venturi.  This it turned out was the 21mm version.  With this knowledge in hand I purchased a new carburettor.  However, when it arrived, whilst being the same carburettor the top was different to the one I have as where it attaches to the air filter it was flat with two screw holes.  This isn’t a problem though as when I fit it, I can just take the top of my old one and swap them around.

Elvis Payne.  February 2010.

Go to March 2010

Thanks to Ray Pound, a replacement carburettor jet.

Lucie in Regal Close; where the original Reliant factory once stood in Two Gates, Tamworth.

The best tax disc ever when you see the amount payable 0.00.

New Solex AIC 26 carburettor.


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