The Buffy-Porson Comes Alive


Most of you probably remember the Bailila, the car Peter did after the CycleKarts to see if we could expand the concept out on to the open road. It was only partially successful; it did prove that enlarging the CycleKart concept even a small amount reduced the fun-factor very quickly. The Bailila felt just like what it was: a very small sports car, and very much a Cyclecar, but not a large CycleKart. There were, of course, other problems with the car: It really needed better tires (the experiment with fitting motorcycle tires to MG TC rims didn't work at all!), the rear springs needed changing for something softer, and the whole look just didn't quite come together. The Italian cyclecar concept didn't translate well. The Bailila got put down the hill and sort of forgotten under a layer of tarps and cast-off bits of things.
Peter's trip to Scotland and England got him thinking about the proper choice of car for the tiny Highland roads. After a period of conceptual wrangling, someone remembered the Bailila. A quick bit of reshaping on the grill and a splash of green paint and Lo: The Buffy-Porson is reborn! The British aesthetic really works with the car. The 500cc Vee-twin engine sounds more apropos, the hack-and-slash style of the car is much more British than Italian, the ride is more fitting: In short, the car works this way. The quick test of the new concept was such a success that Peter was very much encouraged to forge ahead.
Quick test of paint and grill, but still with the old motorcycle tires...
Proper tires have now been fitted, along with a fix for the rear axle (found to be turning on the spring, thus applying the rear brakes. The fix took three days of welding and struggling, wherein Mike discovered a technique for rendering steel absolutely crystalline! No use has yet been thought of for self-shattering steel.) The new tires demand much better fenders, so that's the next project. The whole Anglicisation of the car is changing the way it's considered, and is necessitating little changes here and there. The new tires have made the car feel much more reasonable on the road. New rear springs are still in order, and will be one of the next steps needed, but we're fairly certain that the Buffy will make this summer's events.


On a completely different note: Mike has learned how to braze and is in the process of making a gas tank for his motorbike. It turned out a bit warpy, but there it is. If another tank is done for some reason, it'll probably be straighter, but for the time being we'll stick to our first efforts. The idea is to make it work without gas-tank-sealer; we'll see how successful the whole thing is...

Exploring the arcane world of Harley-Davidson parts for vintage-looking fuel caps and headlamps and other fiddly-bits has been interesting. A good source of little fitments, but it's odd how they can manage to make their completed bikes look so strange...


Off to the next Buffy-Porson page!