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 14, 2006
I'm not alone
Yesterday, I was a Vespa wimp. The scooter is running fine, but I didn't drive it. It was raining and I just couldn't bring myself to ride through the rain in a suit. I don't have anything to keep me dry.

I'm glad to know that I am not alone. The following email came into my box from David in Australia. Do I ever empathize!
Hi Jonathan,

I've just read through most of your vespatude site, I can relate to a lot of. I too have an asian vespa however my story's a bit different. I actually lived in Thailand for a couple of years and soon after arriving there I wanted transport and saw lots of beat up vespa (often carrying unimaginable loads) zooming about everywhere - its the first time I actually discovered vespas and piaggio. So soon after arriving I bought one. I was told it was a 1966 150 sprint, it had been through the resto process about 5 years earlier and so the haphazard bodywork was starting to show, it still looked ok, it ran pretty well, and it was cheap.. so I bought it.

Apart from crashing it on day one (not my fault, and a story in itself), it was a great commuter through the busy Bangkok streets for two years with only a few minor mechanical problems (points, kick start, brakes and suspension). Now it was too hard for me to part with it so I arranged to ship it back to Australia with grand plans to fix up the bodywork and ride it over here.

Alas thats where the story gets interesting. I decided to strip it back to bare metal and repaint it - first mistake.. ignorance is bliss.... after sandblasting it I discovered welds all over it - it looked like pieces of 2 or 3 different frames were welded into one and the leg shield looked like it had been crushed and rehammered back into shape. Well what can you do... several layers of bog had hidden it from me originally so I just threw more bog back on and tried to forget what I had seen.

Fortunately the engine has been ok with few problems but I had dramas putting the bike together again - same deal as you, wrong or missing screws/bolts, no grommets etc.

So three years after I decided to rebuild it, its almost on the road. Currently getting the rear side panels painted and I have to sought out the electrics which are temperable at best and a real annoyance! - my problem is the lights are really dim (even with high revs), the headlight won't light up, and the horn doesn't work when the lights are on..?

But even though its cost me a lot of money and it bares the scars of spending most of its life in asia I don't think I could ever part with it.

anyway, good reading your website, your sidecar looks great too.


I wonder if he were to get his flywheel remagnatized he would find that his lights and horn would work better. Also, it probably is a six volt system. One thing is sure, the electrics can certainly a "real annoyance!"

I'll be driving the Vespa today. It is supposed to be sunny with a high of 81 degrees. Besides, the Bimmer has to go in the shop to get new rubber. Heebie will be fun and useful today!


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