Saturday, 30 April 2011

Una Lambretta Cometa

Time for some Lambretta. I happen to like both the classical italian brands. Vespa or Lambretta, I can't choose. Actually, my third scooter bought was a Lambretta Luna (Lui in Italy). I marveled over Bertone's design and the roadholding. In two different ways...
Well, I sold the Luna some years ago (the only scoot I have sold). I wasn't looking for a replacement, then came an anniversary. Some friends from Finland (Suomi), from the club Keski-Suomen Mobilisti, waited on me with a - Lambretta Cometa!
This model, 75 cc and called 75 SL, was never sold in Sweden. Why they were sold in Finland beats me. It was also labelled Lubematic since it had a separate tank that automatically mixed oil with fuel.
The 75 S, Vega, model was without this device, and 7,355 examples  were built 1968-1969. The 75 SL, Cometa, in only 2,067 according to Vittorio Tessera's "Lambretta The Definitive History".
This scooter was sold to a man in Saarijärvi, a small town north of Jyväskylä in the middle of Finland. It was later sold to a scrap collector. I once asked him if he would sell it, but "ei", no in finnish.
But the guys from the local veteran car club succeded in convincing him to part with it. Thank's a million!
Now it's matter of finding time and money to restore it!

Questa Lambretta Lui 75 SL ho ricevuto a mi cinquanta compleanno, dell'amici finlandese. Molto lavoro mi aspetta...

The speedo says 5354, 500 km, 400 meters? Or over 5000 km? 
I wonder if the "Lubematic"-sticker is produced today?
The cool silencer and a rusty backwheel.
Cometa was the name of the scooter for foreign markets, Italy it was "75 SL"
A sad sight right now, a lot has to be done.
The gang from Jyväskylä in Finland who gave me the Cometa.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Giant The Who patch found

I'm not really much of a mod altough I own a M51 parka and a 1963 Vespa GS 160...
No mirrors or extra lamps. Come to music I love early reggae and Northern Soul. Plus some of the English mod-bands. And Italian "pop" from early 60's.
Today I found this patch, size 15 x 20 cm, in a flea market. Could be genuine 60's or 70's item instead of aftermarket. The photo is a little too bright, actually the colours are a bit faded by the sun,. 

My GS 160 series I, the saddle is an accessory from about 1965.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Zwei Mädchen laufen scooter

A good book is a blessing. And if the cover is magnificent, even better. These two German books was printed in 1963 respectively 1955. Jutta is definitely riding a Lambretta LC, judging by the round air intakes. Pascha, the girl in blue dress, is handling a Vespa GS or GL.
If you would judge a book by it's cover, these are Nobel Prize material.

Schafe is German for sheep, agnelli is Italian. Käfer means Beetle.
The youngsters appreciated some heavy rock'n'roll.

A scooter girl always get's her way...
Some kind of dipl. ing. on the pillion and dogs in the cart. Probably Schäfer...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Guys in Tuscany, uomi in Toscana

Can guys all over the world get together over a piece of machinery? On vacation in summer 2010 in the north of Tuscany, in the small village Gallicano, near Lucca. I displayed my interest in all things Vespa and Lambretta. One of the neighbours showed me his Vespa 50 Special from 1978.
He had to rearrange his garage to get out in the sunlight. Probably the first time in many years. We tried to kickstart it. The word scintilla was used, I lerned that it means "spark". That and very old petrol stopped the Vespa from starting. Not even the jumpstart's from Carlo's friend Adriano helped.
Later that evening Carlo invited me for some espresso and sambuca. He speaks no english and my italian is limited. Anyway, it was a pleasant evening.

Carlo checks on his Vespa 50 S 1978, first time in many years.
Questa sono Carlo è Adriano. Due uomi ho incontrato a Gallicano estate 2010. Ero in vacanza con la mia famiglia. Carlo mi ha fatto vedere la sua Vespa. Io apresi un nuvo parole del lui: scintilla! La Vespa 50 S da 1978 non ando...

His friend Adriano tries a jumpstart, all in vain.

"Vecchia benzina è debole scintilla", old petrol and no spark is the verdict.
These guys worked in small shop. Can you see the 1963 Vespa 50 in the back?
The Piaggio workshop above is nearby Gallicano, in Fornaci di Barga. Mostly they serve new scooters and motorcycles. But they also tend to old Vespas. The smallframe in the foreground, but more interesting, you can see the front fender and wheel in the back. It's a 1963 Vespa 50 getting a magnificent restoration.

Il ribello - Adriano Celentano!

"You drive me crazy", a rough translation from the song's original title "Impazzivo per te". Adriano Celentano from Milano is the grand old man of italian rock and pop. Born 1938 he started his career at the end of the fifties. This is from 1962, one year after my Vespa GS was built. I think this is very great, che passione! Other great songs from him are "24 mila baci" and "Il ragazzo della via Glück".
Look at the pelvis movements, who is Elvis Presley?
Mai, mai, mai, piuuu!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Buon compleanno, mio figlio!

Adrian, my oldest son, on his 1973 Vespa 50 R.
My oldest son on his Vespa 50 R from 1973. He got it two years ago on his 15th birthday, the legal age in Sweden to drive a moped. He was very surprised since before the birthday he never talked about having av Vespa or moped. But a good father knows what his sons need, I have two more ;-).
The Vespa received a hasty respray in a 60's original Vespa color, giallo, or orange as I would say. The Vespa was blue when I bought it. The wheels was also sprayed in creme. This article was published exactly 17 years after Adrian was born.

Mio figlio maggiore in sua Vespa 50 R da 1973. Il suo generoso padre ha dato lui per il suo 15 ° compleanno. Il colore è originali di Vespa, giallo, ma della 1964-1966. I ruote hanno colori crema. Il casco è una vecchia AGV, anche gialla, o arancia. Il padre è orgoglioso. I vespisti svedese hanno una futura! Ho due figli píu...
Questo articolo è pubblicato esattamente 17 anni dopo il suo nascita, 24 aprile 1994 00.29.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Buona Pasqua!

Just a little Happy Easter-greeting, Buona Pasqua, Glad Påsk, Hyvää pääsiäistä, Feliz Semana Santa, Frohe Ostern, Feliz Páscoa, God Påske and so on...
Remember the children's book "Olga y Jorge en Vespa" some posts ago? Now I found the picture I took of the book at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera. Here you can see that Jorge should have goggles.

Jorge looks cooler with his goggles on.
I also found the picture of the treasure under the house. Two brothers had a father that disapproved of their Vespa-interest. Restoring, fiddling and so on. They hid some parts under the staircase, in the ground of the house. 40 years later the new owners discovered the parts, aiming for the city dump. A neighbour thought of me and I collected them.
Came in handy for my Vespa 125 U.

8-inch and 10-inch wheels, cowl for GL, GS-kick, fan and cylinder cowl.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A Vespa U rides again!

After the engine was overhauled my friend Jim and I rectified som dents and cracks on the body. The steering column was fitted with new balls, a tricky task. The light switch worked after some contact lubricant was sprayed on. I didn't dare to dismantle it! They are so delicate.
The Abarth silencer was mounted and a brand new saddle cover from Mauro Pascoli was fitted (the U saddle is smaller than other Vespa saddles).
Some petrol and, hey, it fired up at the fourth attempt. The neighbourhood was covered in twostroke-smoke as the old engine coughed! A succesful launch, all credit goes to my friend Jim. A true wizard!
The first ride was marvelous besides the 55+ old tires of the Swedish make "Trelleborg". They were later replaced by new Michelin S-83, big difference...

La prima volta in una Vespa U! Meravigliosa!
Il colore non originale nessun problema. Lo vedo come un omaggio al vecchio proprietario. Una completa ristrutturazione è stata intrapresa da diversi anni.

Tanti grazie al mio amico Jim, un mago di duetempi!

Some welding necessary due to cracks in the front shield. Mio amico Jim!

Yes, of course I fitted the Abarth-silencer. No accessories on the wall!
Here you can see the original light green colour of a Vespa Utiliaria.
The former owner had a extra bicycle lamp on the front fender. I won't!

Brand new saddle cover.

I get a kick out of U...sorry!

Happy! Even without the left side cowl. Felice, senza sinistra cofano.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Vespa World Days - andiamo!

Just about a month left to Vespa World Days in Norway. It starts on the 19th of may. I'm going and looking forward to the event. Were about ten vespistis from Stockholm participating. Then there are more scooterists from other parts of Sweden. I think I'll take a light blue Vespa...
For two years in a row I traveled in Norway during holidays in the beginning of the 90's. On my Vespa PX 200 from 1983 (sold many years ago). I lived in Luleå in the north Sweden at that time. After traveling 180 km I passed the Arctic Circle. When I reached the goal, Andenes on Andöya above Lofoten, I had driven 1 000 km from my home. The distances up north are no joke! The roads in Norway are narrow and curvy, lovely for a Vespa. Camping in the wild is also allowed.

Vado a Vespa World Days 2011, in Norvegia. Un paese molto bellissima! La prima volta a VWD per me. E mi aspetto molto su i raduni e incontro altri vespisti.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

An Abarth exhaust on a 1953 Vespa?

The firm Abarth & Co was founded in Torino on March 31 1949, the company's logotype was the now famous scorpion. This was due to that the founder Carlo (born Karl Alberto in Vienna) Abarth, was born under that sign. 
The advert above is from an italian newspaper from 1951. Abarth was early on to the success of the Vespa.

Some years ago I talked on the phone with a Swedish Abarthisti. He told me that he had a very, very small Abarth-exhaust. Not even suitable for an Fiat/Abarth 600. Well, from a picture I could tell that it was for a Vespa. I immediately thought it was for a Vespa GS. When I finally got hold of it it was obvious it was made for an earlier modell of Vespa. 

So, it may look like a far east-replica but this is the real stuff. I doubt that there is someone today making this kind of exhaust for the early fifties Vespa. As you can see the angle of the pipe where the fumes leaves the cylinder differs from the 1953 Vespa, VM1. But it fits the earlier Vespa 125-model. 
And since the Vespa U has the same cylinder and piston as the 1951-1952 Vespa, this exhaust fits a Vespa U.

The big question, should I let the Abarth exhaust remain as a trophy on the wall. Or should I put this "luxury item" from the early fifties on the most spartan of all Vespas?

Questa marmitta Abarth e da 1951-1952, si inserisce per Vespa 125.  Abarth ha lanciato tre anni dopo la Vespa ha iniziato, ma visto il potenziale della scooter. La marmitta é fondo quattro anni fa a un magazzino svedese.
Anche adatto sulla Vespa Utilitaria.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Vespa in children's book

This is a very nice children's book from Spain. My copy of the book "Olga y Jorge en Vespa" is the third edition and the copyright is marked 1959, but I think it was made a couple of years earlier.
It's designed after the drawing of Olga and Jorge and the Vespa, so every page is the silhouette of the front page.
So, Olga and Jorge goes on a "raduno" (ride-out) with their friends and since it's a spanish book they have a beef with a bull!

Here they are at a competition organized by "El Vespa Club del pueblo".
And it's said: "Quién ganará el Gran Premio Copa Vespa?" (Who's winning...)
Nice drawings of the Vespa faro basso-style altough it has another headlamp on the handlebar à la the germanbuilt Vespa "Königin".

The back cover of the book is very cunningly a picture of Olga and Jorge going away...
My copy of the book is not complete. 
Last year I saw another example of this book at the Piaggio museum in Pontedera. Jorge should have a pair of "real" googles on the front, 3-D if you like. And there is a small hole by his helmet for the straps to the googles. Pity!

Un libro dalla Spagna, stampato intorno al 1958. Il museo Piaggio a Pontedera hanno un libro simile. Ma Jorge ha un paio goggles reale. Mi libro manca i goggles.

The background for the pictures of the book is a tatty Vespa VM2.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Vespa 125 U sold in Paraguay

An interest for the Vespa 125 Utilitaria takes you all over the world. This one was for sale in Paraguay in february 2011. The tank seems to be missing? The front fender is from another Vespa, seems similar to the one Allstate has. The asking price was 3 500 USD. I wonder where it went?

 Questa Utiliaria venduti in Paraguay in febbraio 2011. Manca il serbatio? Spero che il parafango non é originali. Anche strano indicatori di direzione.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Vespa 125 U - some painting

Since the former owner started som restoring I had to keep on going. The cowl for the engine side had a small crack in the middle at the bottom. I've seen a similar crack on another Vespa 125 Utiliaria. Maybe a weak spot?
After sanduíng, some filler and more sanding I applied a primer.

The gills of the fan cowl was long gone. Luckily I had spare which was found in the ground to a house that was restored. A neighbour stopped the houseowner from throwing it at the dump. According to the colour the fan cowl is from a 1951-1952 Vespa 125 (V15-V33).

The cowl painted and mounted. The cylinder cowl is awaiting paint.

Pronto! All the cowls painted. Yes, you can see the mismatch of colours even in the picture. The "old" blue colour is matte, the new is to shiny. I tried matching by ordering matting agents to the new paint but that was even worse. We'll see...

Ho avuto grossi problemi ricevendo il nuovo colore per abbinare il vecchio.

Il cofano a fan trovato sotto una casa, e da un altro modello, un 125 da 1951-1952.

Monday, 11 April 2011

A Vespa sticker from 1955

I went to a veteran fair in the middle of Sweden, Falun, last weekend. A Vespa-friend showed up and displayed a find he had just made. Aaargh, I had wanted this sticker from the Borlänge Vespa Klubb (club in swedish which I don't need to mention?). The club was run by the local Vespa-dealer C A Östberg. The club organized a rally in 1955. The sticker is from this period. The horse (dalahäst) is regional souvenir or craftmanship in wood that dates a couple of centuries back.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Vespa 125 U - lightning up

One thing that I wanted to rectify was the headlamp on my Vespa 125 U, but not in the colour Piaggio painted it in 1953. The paint had been removed by the former owner and during the years replaced with some ugly grime.

The headlight that came with scooter are at the far right, the rim was dented and no glass. The black one is a find from a fair a couple of years ago. Why it's black is a mystery, it appears to be NOS, new old stock. So I bereaved it from the rim and the glass, 95 mm by the way. In the middle handlebars with yet another lamp. Three on the same picture, a world record?

Il faro era povero, per fortuna ho aveto altri due.
After sanding and priming, the back light also got an overhaul:

Il risultato finale, un colore di Volvo.
La cooperazione tra la Svezia e l'Italia!
Colore non originali, ma bellissima penso.

It ended up like this! Once again, wrong colour, but nice I think. 
It's actually a Volvo colour.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The Vespa U comes apart

So, I desperately wanted to drive a Vespa U. The condition wasn't the best, the former owner had removed some paint, some welding was necessary, surface rust here and there. Some parts were "wrong". In 1959 it had been uppdated with saddle springs from a "faro basso", the Vespa 125 with the prefix VM1-VM2. Originally the U had foot boards of solid aluminum, no rubber. Here the owner replaced them with VM1-VM2 boards. And of course, the "wrong" colour.
I decided to make a light restoration. Keep the colour and the alterations who been there for over 50 years. Respray it in as like nuance as possible. Make an overhaul of the engine and brakes, clean the tank. Fit new tyres, cables, and saddle cover.
The work can begin. This is at my friend Jim's house. He's the mechanic wizard, I'm the head of cleaning and sourcing parts. Jim has got the tools and skills.
Working "al fresco", since Jim's garage was full and it was a couple of lovely summer days.
The fender is unique to Vespa 125 U. Fortunately the little old lady found it in her summer house along with the fork. The Vespa had been stored in two places, and not by her!
By the way the horn isn't the right one, from a later model.
The engine was in quite good shape. The piston required only a de-coking and cleaning, the cylinder was honed, the bearings had been replaced so it only needed new oil seals.