Service no limits

I am Simon, I am English and I live between Roma and Amalfi in Italy. I have lived in Italy since 1990 and I speak reasonable Italian and French, plus some English!!

I love travelling and exploring, I have worked in Export Sales for more than 30 years which has taken me all over the world, and I like nothing better than travelling around Italy and Europe by car, van or motorbike alone or with friends.

I know Italy fairly well and I love to help others to discover the beauty of Italy and to avoid the many pitfalls. Many visitors love Italy but do not really know how to avoid the difficult bits, as the language and the mentality is very different from the American and North European “norms”.

I also have a small fleet of vehicles that I can rent out to the right people or can use to transport you around. You fly into Roma and wanna get to the Amalfi Coast?? I can take you. You need to transport you and/or your luggage around between hotels? Call me. You wanna try a motorcycle experience?? I can supply a touring bike with a satnav in English all ready to go. You wanna visit the Ducati or Ferrari factory?? No problem. You need a route for a 3 day visit to Sicily or Sardinia? I can supply it.

Here follow some blogs to give you a taste of the Italian experience. Thanks!!


New property comes closer

We have found and made an offer on a new property, as threatened!! This small property is fantastic and is perfect for what we need, a small working base in the Amalfi area. The property is a WONDERFUL double garage and is very recent indeed, it looks virtually new, and has all of the permissions and stuff in order too which is very unusual, so it can be used for storage, as a garage, for working or whatever. It has a small bathroom too plus water and electricity.

The location is almost ideal too as it is only 12km (about 15 minutes) from the centre of Amalfi and is in a small residential area with houses on each side. Photos and stuff to follow if our offer is accepted!!!!

Stop press: We have revisited the property today and it would appear that all is in order and we can go ahead. We aim to conclude at about the end of March. Watch this space.

Spare parts for cars and scooters

The other fiendish idea is to start an interesting sub-business with spare parts. We intend to purchase some cars and some scooters and strip them for spares, indeed we have already acquired a Honda SH125, the best selling scooter in Italy. The market for spares is an interesting one and possibly mainly in the hands of er not totally honest suppiers. We want to start an honest business with spares and repairs, we already have a Roma base and we are now seeking another in the Amalfi region so that we can operate in both areas.

Photos to follow of our SH125 and then the cars too, as we start operations so watch this space.


New enterprise!! Another arrow to our bow (or something)

Services enters one (or even two) new activities. We have purchased a lightly damaged VW van and we have started work on the strip down and on the repairs. We intend to document this work with a series of photos which will follow. This work will be carried out by a specialist who does this for a living and the idea is of course to return some profit when we sell the van, but along the way I hope to learn alot as this is a totally new field for me and very interesting indeed.

The second idea is also to start an interesting sub-business with spare parts. We intend to purchase some (VW) cars and some (Honda) scooters and strip them for spares, indeed we have already acquired a Honda SH125, the best selling scooter in Italy. The market for spares is an interesting one and possibly mainly in the hands of er not totally honest sellers. We want to start an (honest) business with spares and repairs, we already have a Roma base and we are now seeking another in the Amalfi region so that we can operate in both areas.

Watch this space!! More to come soon.

Some classic cars for sale, offers welcome and visits available for viewing, chats and coffee….

My mate Riccardo is a nutcase and a very passionate car collector and restorer. He was in the past a car racer and he competed in classic car races around Europe with various Alfa Romeos, his first love. He has accumulated a load of cars (plus some motorbikes) in his amazing workshop near Orte in Italy, less than an hour north of Roma.

His hobby is restoring his fleet of cars and he spends loads of time in his workshop. To visit him is to see some living history. I know very little about cars and even less about classic Italian cars so to spend some time with him is to share his passion and long experience. As well as the cars and bikes, he has endless shelves full of spares as well as partly built cars and he seems to know every spare part and engine, he has a story to tell for each!

Here follows some pictures and prices but note that the prices are only a guide, he is open to reasonable offers. The prices are fairly high cos he loves his cars and he seems to want to keep them all, but of course he is ready to consider serious offers. And if you wanna see the cars then if you fly into Roma (Ciampino if possible) I can always take you there for just petrol and motorway costs. So here we go with the current stock:

Number 1. Simca Rally Group 2, 1973. 18,000 Euro.


Number 2. Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. 1963. Totally original and very low miles, rust free. 55,000 Euro.


Number 3. Alfa Romeo 1900 Saloon. 1957. Totally original and no rust. 50,000 Euro.

1900 saloon

Number 4. Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAM Autodelta 1970. 150,000 Euro as is or 300,000 Euro fully restored.

GTAM 1750

Number 5. Mini Innocenti Cooper Export 1300. 1974. 14,000 Euro.


Number 6. Porsche 924 Turbo 1979 with new engine. 12,000 Euro

Porsche 924 Turbo

Number 7. Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 Group 1 track car. 1971. 30,000 Euro.


I can promise you that all of these cars are well worth seeing and Riccardo is always pleased to show folks his car over a coffee or a beer. These prices are ALL open to offers.


Restoring a truly unloved 2008 Audi A5 3200 V6 coupe

I bought a very neglected and really scruffy 2008 Audi A5 in early 2015. The car had two owners from new and was a really sad sight when I went to view her in the corner of a yard of a second hand dealer in the south of Roma. Badly scratched and damaged paintwork plus a very tatty interior, but I was specifically looking for this two-wheel drive version of the A5 with the 3.2 litre non-turbo petrol FSI engine, which was in production for only a few years. I love a large lazy engine as in my book this makes for very relaxed driving, I am not a fan of fast and furious turbo or supercharged engines.

This car would have cost over 55,000 Euro new in 2008 and was listed now at 19,500 euro, so after a quick inspection I offered 15,000 euro which was accepted after some very gentle haggling. Anything over 2.5 litres is considered a large engine here in Italy so prices are quite low, the Italian state makes you pay very heavily both to transfer the car into your ownership as well as for the annual road tax, which both go on the horsepower of the car.

I knew well that the cash I had “saved” on the deal would be needed to put the car back into decent working order. The front tyres were totally bald, for instance, which on a 265 bhp car is not a good start, so 950 Euro went on a new set of Pirelli P-Zeros. The seats of the car were threadbare (amazing!) so I found a complete new leather interior from a scrap A5, bought and fitted for 600 Euro and it even had electric seat controls!! The car was totally unloved so I also took her for a full service (for the first and last time!!!) to an official VW Audi dealer, that cost me about 700 Euro (and I even supplied the engine oil).

I found a web site for the A5 called and this helped me to gather loads of useful information advice and opinions about the A5. Well now two years into my A5 ownership (and love affair, I confess) I am happy to show my progress so here are some recent pictures. The leather interior is lovely. The bodywork still has quite a few scars but I am reluctant to spend on a respray given that the car lives in the city of Roma and so bumps and scratches are the order of the day. I have had the lovely 19″ alloy wheels refurbished and I have recently fitted a full set of Brembo brake discs and pads and also repainted the brake calipers.

The engine and auto gearbox have very luckily required only normal servicing so far. I did take quite a gamble as the car had zero service history but luckily the engine and gearbox have been bulletproof over the 40,000 km I have covered so far. I think that I will keep her for a few more years ‘cos the A5 is a lovely car and wonderful fun to drive.

Update: As it was time for the annual service, we put the A5 up onto the service ramp to have a good look underneath. Beppe spotted a very worn bush on the front suspension upper arm. So we decided that both bushes should be changed and at the same time we decided that all 4 shock absorbers should also be renewed as they showed some leakage. Some photos follow, and the car feels MUCH better!! I also opted to change all 4 discs and pads for Brembo and the car now stops better than ever. Lovely, such a fun drive.




Another amazing discovery with beautiful old cars…

Look at these pics!!! This car workshop restores old cars and also has some of his own. Mmmm. He is based in Roma and some of these cars are up for sale, for instance the Lancia Thema Ferrari which has a 3.2L Ferrari engine is up for offers and there are VERY few around.

P1040127 P1040126 P1040125 P1040124 P1040123 P1040122 P1040121 P1040120

Would you buy a motorcycle from this guy? Er well YES….I have, many many times

I first met these 2 brothers some 30 years ago. At the time I was a poor college student with a lovely Honda CB750 K6 and they were my local Honda dealers, so I popped in to fit a GB plate before setting off with a group of friends to France for a holiday. We got chatting about France and bikes, and Dave got his 750 F1 and came with us!. The rest, as they say, is history…..

They are now Yamaha and Suzuki dealers and one of the best in the UK with a wonderful new premises (which was previously a Vauxhall car dealership), and they sell a great range of clothing as well as new and used bikes and spares. I travelled over with my trusty Vito van from Roma recently to return my MT-09 and collect a lovely new blue Yamaha Super Tenere 1200, so I took a few snaps and here they are. They also have an amazing collection of historic Honda motorcycles (about 45 bikes) and Dave is always happy to show them.

The team is led by Martin (the large fellow) and his main men are Brian and Mike plus the brilliant workshop team of Chuck, Nige, Quiet Darrel and the new kid Ashley. Little Steve is just out of nappies and starting to learn (not much) and new kid on the block David has just about learned to switch on the PC…..give him time. Oh and I almost forgot Richard the Spare part. Easily done.

Some new Yamahas
An R1M, rare beast
The stunning R1M
Martin in the machine shop
Super Ten loaded…
Plus a few bits and pieces
Dave with poor Steve
Mark the sales fellow
Martin the er boss
Van ready…
Easy does it Dave
The pillar is on the left
Mike and Brian
Extensive range of clothing
More clothing
Mike explains….
Some new Suzukis
New Yamaha range
Used selection…
More used bikes
Even more used bikes
The parts counter
The shop is lovely
Some used tourers
Yamaha clothing
New bikes

Shoe and zip and jacket repairs in Roma?? Noooooo worries…..

Dont know where to go???? Dont wanna spend too much?? Scared of the cost and or quality of the repairs?? An American lady who worked in the US Embassy used to take a suitcase of shoes back to the States each year to get them repaired, and when I took her to this place she was VERY happy. Hey we can help. I know a guy in Roma who can turn his hand to everything, from shoes to handbags to rucksacks to motorcycle leathers, he has always saved the day and at VERY reasonable prices too. I can give you details of where to find his shop in the area of Viale Libia just off the Nomentana but he does not speak English, so if you like I can help…..just ask.

You want your car serviced or parked in Roma but dont know where? Here

Roma and Italy are nightmares for the unaware and the uninitiated. The car is a particular worry, as there is no space to park a car in Roma and the costs of safe off-street parking can be horrendous. And if you park on the street (if you find a space) you are always worried about damage and break ins and worse.


Well I have the solution(s). I know an excellent guy near where I live in San Lorenzo (which is very near to the central train station Termini) who has a garage for parking a car and or motorbikes at very reasonable rates, and he also has a small maintenance garage inside the car park where he sorts out everything from a new light bulb to a new engine, and most things inbetween.

I also know an official VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda garage, they service and repair the VW group range (and therefore stamp the service book and enter all into the VW computer). The owner is an excellent and reliable fellow but the costs are VW official, so of course higher than the other non-official fixers.

And an excellent mate of mine is a motor bike expert in Roma, he specialises in race bike suspension but they will also service and repair anything on 2 wheels, from moped to superbike. ALL at very very good rates and using only the best oils and components, and they give a waranty on the work carried out.

AND if your car or bike is Italian registered you will need a “revisione” or MOT test when it is 4 years old and then every 2 years. I know an excellent place who test cars and bikes and vans and charge to official published rate and I can take it for you. NO WORRIES just service!!

We do more, we try harder, we go further, we help you in Italy….

DSCN1728Dear Visitor to Italy,

Servicenolimits can help you to find all the best of Italy and avoid the many potential traps. How can we help?? Well, why not contact me and ask me what you need. For instance you would like to know more about Lazio (or Campania or Abruzzo or Umbria) or you would like to visit the Ducati Factory or the Bimota factory or the Cuma ruins. I can get you more information and I can take you there. Or you want to see a stunning collection of historic cars for sale?? Look at the Alfa Romeo above or the Lancia below, this guy has maybe 30 cars….plus motorbikes.

I can book a hotel or other accomodation. I can help you to buy some of Italy’s lesser known products and services. Try me.


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