This is the story of my '64 Vespa 150 - how it became mine and how it has given me a new vespatude.  I'll be recording the neat places I visit, the different things I do to make the Vespa my own, and - oh yeah - those reactions I get from both friends and strangers.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005
Eighteen days
I learned yesterday that my Vespa is supposed to arrive on October 17 to a warehouse here in Greenville. I'm not sure exactly what warehouse. The shipping company is Phoenix International and they tell me they'll give more information closer to the arrival date. The bike is on a boat right now and will be off-loaded in California. It will then be brought overland to Greenville. At least I won't have to worry about the boat sinking in a hurricane!

I've been reading that more and more people are buying scooters. I even saw a piece in The Greenville News this morning (it isn't on their online site - here is the source of their piece). Two reasons for the upswing in sales: 1) gas prices and 2) the fun of owning the scooters. I started with later when thinking about purchasing a bike - plus the convenience of being able to get around a college campus and a crowded downtown area. Now, I'm seeing the side benefit of the better gas mileage.

The downside is that you just don't see scooters around Greenville. Well, you do, but they are typically mopeds driven by someone you are sure lost their license or had their car repossessed. It will be very interesting to see the responses I get. Judging by how people respond now when I tell them I am getting one, I think the reaction will be mixed.

Sitting at lunch last Sunday, I had to endure the ribbing of my wife's brothers and her sister-in-law. "Just make sure you don't go to any biker bars," they said. "Well, now I know what to buy the redhead for Christmas! One of those Kaiser helmets. I can't wait to see her sitting in the sidecar with that thing on!" Of course, the redhead has already announced she will not be seen in the sidecar with or without decorative headcovering.

Hey, I expected it. That will be part of the fun - cutting across the stereotype. Besides, with gas prices the way they are, they can laugh at me as I go all the way to the bank.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
The redhead ain't too sure...
My lovely wife isn't so sure about the Vespa. It isn't so much the cost of the bike or the fact her husband has gone and got some new toy (though those things to factor into the situation), it is that she is embarrassed. She has it in her mind that we are talking about a moped. Around where we live people don't normally drive scooters unless they have lost their license - at least that is the perception that some people have. I'm trying to show her that it isn't the case with something as classic as this '64 Vespa.

I'll grant that the side car adds a new twist! However, the side car can be removed. Then again, you might find a scooter in Greenville - but a scooter with a side car? It will certainly be a head turner.

I think that once is all said and done, she will like it. The kids are very excited. They can't wait to go for a rid around the neighborhood in the side car. I can't wait to take them for that ride.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Almost on the boat
I had hoped that the Vespa would be on the boat by now. Turns out there were some delays and the bike didn't get trucked out until last Friday. Today Bram sent me a picture of the scooter being packed into its box for shipping. Looks like I'll be able to drive it right out the box!

Here is the truck driving away to take the bike to the port. Now it will just be a matter of waiting...

Thursday, September 08, 2005
The transfer arrived at Jakarta
I'm one step closer to having my Vespa being placed on the slow boat from China. The wire made it to Bram and he is getting ready to fumigate the shipping container and have it trucked to the nearest port for shipping to the USA.

The pictures I am posting are the actual pictures of the scooter. I'm getting pretty excited but I have a LONG time to wait. Once this thing gets on the boat, it will still take nearly 40 days to get to the states.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Vespa pic
Well, here it is.

I wired 50% of the payment today. Once it is received the bike will be packed up to send. Of course, it could takes days for the transfer to go through.

I have found Bram to be a very responsive person and he is willing to answer all the questions that I have put to him. Communicating with him has put me more at ease.
Well, the Vespa is mine
Well, I am now the proud winner of a 1964 Vespa Super with side car.

How did this happen to me?

As time starting running out on the auction, I contacted the next highest bidder and told him what my high bid happened to be. I told him all he had to do was bid one dollar more than myself and the bike would be his. I was not going to go any further.

He didn't do it.

I learned later that he thought that I was the seller trying to drive the bids higher. Nope. I can assure him that I am not the seller. It appears that now I am the buyer.

Can't say that I'm unhappy about it. It certainly isn't something I really set out to do. It has just kind of happened.

So, why didn't I just refuse to honor the bid?

1. You can't just refuse to honor a bid without giving a really good reason for doing so. eBay has strict rules for retracting a bid. Trying to discover the reserve price isn't one of them!

2. Deep down inside, I really like the bike. Especially after all the fuel I just put into my Suburban today! It will be nice to just let that thing rest in the carport until the whole family needs to go somewhere together.

Right now I would describe my mood as "in shock."


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