A Question Of Balance.

As the Moody Blues once sang:

And he felt the earth to his spine,
And he asked,
And he saw the tree above him,
And the stars,
And the veins in the leaf,
And the light,
And the balance.

Unfortunately the Aprilia engine isn’t singing with the same lyrical ease as Justin Hayward.

To follow the long and winding road start here: https://www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/engine-rebuild-part-one.html

Tick, tick, tick

Another issue from the Very Long List is the ticking noise from the engine. Since I bought the car in 2006 this noise has always been there. Setting valve clearances and a complete rebuild of the rocker gear didn’t fix the problem. www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/Rocker-gear

With all the other engine problems going on I’ve started a complete rebuild, more details to follow in the future! Extracting no.1 piston reveled the source of the ticking noise, a broken piston ring. How long it’s been there I’ve no idea but luckily there was no damage to either the bore or piston.

The engine was rebuilt in the UK back in 1991: (www.narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/uk-restoration-notes/note-5,  and was fitted with AE/Nural pistons, quite different to the originals.



Starter motor

Following up from the “Very Long List” post. First task was take out the engine and gearbox, my favorite pass time!

The problem with the starter motor not engaging correctly quickly showed up when I tested it on the bench. The pinion gear wasn’t engaging fully, see the first video.

What should happen is this:

For those not familiar with the starter motor on an Aprilia it is a Marelli MCE 0.4/6R, mine is six volts, and is activated by pulling a lever under the dashboard then via a cable to another lever on the starter, none of those complicated electronic solenoids to fail, as long as the cable doesn’t break they are super reliable!

A close inspection and comparison with my spare unit reveled the cause of the problem. Someone in the past, not me, had soldered a copper button on to the contact unit and welded an extra bit onto the actuating lever, see the comparison with the spare motor. Simply put this didn’t allow the pinon gear to travel its full length and engage the ring gear correctly or sometimes not at all.

A simple job to remove the extra button, grind off the extra weld and I now have two working starter motors.


A Very Long List –

– of things to do! After the October 2017 ALR Castlemaine & Tasmanian rallies –  www.narrywoolan.com.au/alr – were ten-seventy was total rubbish the following is a tentative list of repairs/fixes needed:

1. Engine oil leak.

2. Clutch judder.

3. Rear suspension clunks.

4. Engine “ticking” noise.

5. Engine vibration.

6. Starter motor intermittently not engaging.

7. Left rear wheel hub leaking grease.

8. Gearbox – 2nd gear difficulty selecting down from 3rd.

9. Doors rattling on rough roads.

Some of the above have been addressed already, I’ll post details soon.



Lancias at Motorclassica 2017

Dropped in to the 2017 Motorclassica show at the Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne for a couple of hours.


The Australian Lancia Register had been asked to display a selection of iconic cars. Brilliantly organised by Marc Bondini and others from the committee we put on an excellent show. As is the norm with me I spent far too much time chatting and not enough time looking, in the end I only wandered around the Lancias on display inside and the collection outside before heading off to my daughters for lunch.

My photos are mostly of my three favorite models there. The original 1970 factory Fulvia 1.6HF Fanalone rally car, the stunning recently restored Aurelia B24 and my absolute favorite the beautiful 1947 Ghia Aprilia. I’d only ever seen photos of this car before and was stunned how beautiful and elegant it is, it looks even better in the flesh than in the photos.

The ALR Facebook page has more photos and things: Australian Lancia Register


Click on thumbnails for full size image.

FCA Heritage Lancia Aprilia restoration

Just to let you know I’m still here! Things have been quiet on the Lancia front over the last few months so I thought I’d steal this from the FCA Heritage site, they have actually restored a Lancia Aprilia!


The model appears to be an early 1st series the same as 1070, with the same front suspension & Lockheed brakes.

Having a close look at the photographs the workmanship on the body looks excellent, there is not much in the way of interior detail, only photos during the restoration.

Of course it’s always fun to find parts that are not original to that model. The tipo 439 stamped on the radiator plate and the rocker cover stay bracket indicate it’s clearly is from a 2nd series platform chassis.

The steering wheel is 2nd series and the differential looks like an early version but has the later pinion shaft housing, odd?

As mentioned the car was entered in the 2017 Mille Miglia. It’s listed as a 1350cc 1939 model, which looking at the body it clearly isn’t. They did finish, way down the order in 365th position, the leading Aprilia of Rossi & Bertocchi finished 52nd. Having a close look at MM photo below and spotting the red tape around the driver’s side doors they obviously have the traditional “Aprilia door opening at an inconvenient time” problem, still at bit of tweaking to be done!


(It has also been pointed out the engine featured on the dyno in the restoration photos is a 2nd series!)

ALR Christmas 2016

Sunday December 4th was the Australian Lancia Registers’ Christmas Run and AGM. Organised by Rob and Mark Alsop the destination was Mark & Sue McKibbin’s lovely property in South Gippsland.

This was the Little Blue Car’s first decent outing since the camshaft & rocker gear work see: http://narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/Rocker-gear.html  We meet at the popular Olive at Loch café, surprisingly in Loch, just off the South Gippsland Highway for a 10am coffee, breakfast and/or morning tea for the long distance travellers and late morning risers.

Everyone seemed to make it to the start with no dramas. Armed with instructions and a map we left Loch just after 11 for the 70 odd kilometre drive through the rolling hills of the once dense forested Strezeleckis, now green with grass for dairy cattle. Crossing the South Gippsland Hwy we headed north to Poowong before taking a right turn towards Ranceby, then left on the C425 (Warragul-Korrumbura Road). With the Bondini B20 leading the way 1070 had no trouble keeping up. After we turned right at Ellinbank I got a little confused as we seemed to deviate a little from the map I had, however we eventually found our way to the McKibbin’s property on time.

Before lunch we had the grand tour of Mark’s garage and his eclectic collection of cars. A 1909 Sizaire et Naudin Mono Cylinder, actually there were two with one only recently arrived, the eBay Austin 7 and his wonderful 1913 Ettore Bugatti designed Peugeot Type TTY Bébé – more can be found about it on Mark’s website: http://carcrank.org/wordpress/?page_id=1707 His Lancia Lambda was still on the boat returning from it’s adventures around Europe.

Peugeot Bebe video

A picnic lunch was had on the verandah, where Mark was a little disappointed no one used his BBQ as he had spent a considerable time giving it a special clean but it was a very warm summers day. We had the traditional no fuss ALR AGM presided over by President Robert Bienvenu, timed at 9 minutes! and then on home.

1070 went well, although with a 30 degree day the windows were wound down and she was a little noisy. A quick inspection once home and a couple of things were found, the banjo fitting for the fuel line to the carburettor was a little loose and leaking, and the front left suspension has lost oil its damping oil, again! Oh and another Aprilia gearbox had appeared in the front passenger foot well…


(click on images to view in a larger size)

Lancia Heritage


At last Fiat seem to be recognising what Lancia means, hopefully this is just the beginning of much greater things:


FCA have also just started to put their Heritage website online, click on the link below. It’s still only in the Italian only (as it should be) and in the very early days but shows great promise. The section where you can look up the history of your car will be excellent, so bookmark it now and check back to see how it progresses.

FCA Heritage


Vincenzo’s Birthday Run – August 2016

On Sunday August 21st the ALR celebrated Vincenzo Lancia’s 134th birthday (we were a few days early, his birthday is actually the 24th).

Organised again by Marc Bondini some of us meet at The Basin for fortifying coffee before we headed off around the twisty roads of the Dandenong Ranges to our morning tea stop in Yarra Junction. Here we had the joy of inspecting Stuart Murdoch’s wonderful collection of Lancias and other very historic automobiles.

My two favourites were the totally original Fulvia 1.6HF Fanalone and the beautiful Flaminia Touring Convertible. Also there was Marc’s newly restored Aurelia B20, simply stunning.

Lunch was in Gembrook at The Independent, lovely food and great company.

The observant amongst you might have noticed no mention of the blue Aprilia and lack of photos of same. Unfortunately she was sulking in the garage, a hot starting issue has kept her off the road and driven me nuts for the last 2 months, I’ll report when I’ve found the problem. As to the rest of the local Aprilias, Don Hume’s has a nasty noise in the rear, Andrew is flouncing around Europe in the Lambda and Steinfort was on a VSCC run.


(click for full size images)

ALR/VSCC Autumn Leaves Run April 17, 2016

Front cover VSCC

One of my photos made the front cover.

A combined run with the Australian Lancia Register getting together with the Vintage Sports Car Club of Victoria.

Organised by the great, and very cunning, Russell Meehan, he picked a route that incorporated some challenging twisty roads and some unsealed tracks in and around Yarra Glen finishing at the Kinglake Pub, in Kinglake!

For me the morning began at 6.30am for the 180km trip to the start at Beasley’s Nursery in Warrandyte. It was cool but clear, watching out for kangaroos and wombats we made the trip at a quick pace, the newly set up front end let us sit a comfortable 100km/h on the Bass Hwy and Monash Fwy, we arrived just before 9am. Time for a coffee and a chat and a look at some of the cars before heading off at 9.30.

Russell had found some interesting, steep and dusty little back roads to Yarra Glen for morning tea. 1070 was performing very well, she only jumped out of 1st gear on a steep rough section.

The route to Kinglake had us zig zagging down little forest tracks through dry and dusty countryside. Evidence of the tragic 2009 bush fires still noticeable in the eucalypts forests. There were plenty of corrugated sections to test for loose connections and let in the dust, I somehow managed to get at the back stuck behind a train of Lambdas. (note to self; next time we are going on unsealed road leave first!)

I think we all managed to make it to the pub for lunch, some took the easy optional sealed road route. Lunch was pleasant in the shade of some autumn trees before I had to head off for the 3 hour trip home back via Toolangi and down the C411 through Healsville, Cockatoo and Pakenham. In all I did 509km, used about 45 litres of unleaded, no oil or water. The front brakes started pulling to the right after some of the rough sections but she had no other problems and with the newly aligned front end we could easily sit on 100km/h where the roads allowed.

The route:

Stage One: Home to Beasley’s Nursery Stage one map

Stage Two: Beasley’s Nursery to Yarra Glen Stage Two Map

Stage Three: Yarra Glen to Kinglake Stage Three Map (Google doesn’t  show Gordon’s Bridge Road connecting to the Melba Hwy)

Stage Four: Kinglake to Home – Stage Four Map


If you want to have a go and follow the route here are the instructions:

Autumn Leaves route notes 2016