50cc Mobymatic 1964 “Project Moby”

In November 2018, Comet Restorations started to look for a new 50cc project to compliment the Velosolex which was now nearing the end of its rebuild. Having ridden 50cc Raleigh mopeds as a boy, both the Automatic and Supermatic, and realising that many were now disappearing, we searched for a   suitable preservation project. Firstly we found a Raleigh “Runabout” in its original iconic period blue from 1966. It was in reasonable condition despite being in a barn for some time, but needing a lot of cosmetic work to the frame and a few key pieces. Rust damage was quite severe. This came back from Cambridge for storage and evaluation. Investigation of the engine showed a few problems, mainly clutch and carb though the absence of a piston was a great surprise. But luck gifted us a fairly new spare Motobecane 50cc engine. In the search for the exhaust and a replacement flywheel plate for this project we came across the remains of a French Mobylette from 1958. We purchased the frame, wheels, back rack, fuel tank and given the spare engine we now had, we thought it may be a long term restoration project or we could build the “Runabout” into this frame. So options were now beginning to open up.

But in February 2019 we received news of a possible project becoming availible in Witney. The owner was moving and his 1964 Mobymatic project was being offered as a basket case. The owner used it as a test frame for engine rebuilds and while it was almost complete it had a variatic 2 speed engine. We knew of these and really it did not fit in with our other aims but we were offered a replacement single speed engine instead which would mean modifying the bottom bracket to suit. We agreed to take the project on condition that the bracket was changed. The bracket was sourced from a scrap Raleigh frame and we received the bike in a running condition, something we were not expecting. On February 6th the project was delivered to us complete with original number plates.

With no log book we were expecting to have to apply for an age related number plate from the DVLA but a quick call to check its status indicated it was in fact still current having been taxed last in 1983. So MPO 583D according to the DVLA can retain its original plate.

It would be nice to get the covers and leg shields for it and we are considering re-painting it in the same colour scheme. But this is the perfect stable mate for the Velosolex and a project we are looking forward to starting.

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