Tuesday, 28 February 2012

1955 Vespa brochure

Front cover; "Go by Vespa instead".

This is a 20 pages "big" Swedish Vespa brochure in A6-format. The front displays that Vespa beats trams, buses and cars when you commute.
And you can even use your Vespa on Sundays! This is from the time when almost everyone worked on Saturdays in Sweden. Or take a trip to Europe, the brochure gives examples, a trip from Stockholm to Milan didn't cost more than 92 kronor for two people (including ferry fees). That's about 10 euro, well and 57 years ago...
The Vespa news for 1955 is also presented; the number 1 was the Vespa 150, with 150 cc and 6 hp. Turn the page and drool over the Grand (!) Sport, the first sports Vespa with 8 hp and 10-inch wheels, now known in Italy as the "cavi esterni" (external cables) as they had yet to be incorporated in the headset.
And the sidecar, to which there is a strange Vespa attached. Front fender from a 1951-1952 and the headlight at the handlebar. I guess that was the picture they had. But not even the same pic as here.
Last but not least, the concessionaire Como M&T Bjerke invites the potential buyers to join a Vespa Club, more than 600 in Europe at the time.

"News nr 1", the Vespa 150 (VL2-3) ranks before...

...the GS 150, "cavi esterni" or VS1.

The Vespa way of spending your free time.

The back cover, with a side car.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

TV 175 ready this spring?

The rear brake cable fitted, things missing though...

My Lambretta TV 175 was dismantled in the late 80's, and not by me...
When I bought it the former owner had assembled some things, not very accurate.
The rest was in several boxes, unmarked. So, it's been a lot of trial and error.
When me and Jim opened the front hub we soon discovered that a couple of vital thing was missing, well the hub bearing was there but one circlip and a hub seal were non-present...
Next one was the rear hub that received the brake shoes. The trouble started when we discovered that there were no clamps to join the pedal for the rear brake with the brake cable. A bit late to discover that...
Well, I found the clamps, on my 175-wreck in the yard. Today I flipped the Lammy upside down and saw grime, dirt and rust. Thought that I never get the clamps loose. Much to my surprise it went really easy. Then a thorough cleaning and the clamps are up for the job!

All the pieces are there in the front hub, and it's quiet!

The brake shoes are now fitted, and the rear hub is overhauled.

The Innocenti badge made of plastic was glued on.

I flipped the wreck upside down in order to get...

...to the gold! The pedal clamps for the rear brake cable.

The clamps looking a bit better! I like my wreck.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tail light from a Vispetta?

A custom tail light, or for another scooter?

I have fitted a non-original tail light on my 1963 Vespa GS 160, series 1. I bought the light from Rimini Lambretta Centre. I think they believed it was some sort of 60's custom/accessory light. So did I. Unfortunately it came without the rubber gasket. But an old motorcycle guy here in Sweden made one for me after I had made a template using the housing. Fitted perfectly.
The next time I saw another of these tail lights were at the Imola fair in September 2011. For sale on a vendor's table. But he was busy talking on the phone, so I could ask if he knew where it came from.
The third time was when a guy here in Sweden talked about a scooter called Vispetta. I had heard the name but Googled once again. I think the manufacturer was called Malanca, and the 50 cc scooter was built in the 60's. At least a couple of the ones I found, had this tail light! Not much is written about the Vispetta (like a cross between Vespa and Lambretta), so I'm not quite sure if this is a genuine Vispetta light. Italian readers of my blog, feel free to supply information!

The mysterious tail light on my 1963 Vespa GS 160, series 1.

A Vispetta (?) tail light at the Imola fair, september 2012.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Calessino legend lives on

Some photos from Piaggio's PR departement of the Ape Calessino. I happened to stumble on one "in the flesh" during my family's visit to Cortona in Tuscany. The new Calessino was made in order to celebrate Vespas's 60th anniversary in 2006. In 2009 Piaggio made another relaunch, now sprayed in "Arctic White" with "Bordeaux" canvas top. And a Electric Lithium, battery powered, version was available.
With the 2006 and 2009 versions 1 700 Ape Calessinos were built. And the site "Calessino Parade" is dedicated to spot them all!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Sweet summer memories

Okay, today I saw some tarmac since it was a mix of rain and snow last weekend. Seems like two months before it's time for scooter driving for me.
Meanwhile I'm dreaming of hot roads and plenty of sun. Like it was on that wonderful weekend in September 2011 at the Imola autodromo.
I have found some more pictures of Vespas for children taken at the Imola fair. In the picture above it seems to be two Vespas like the one in one of my earlier blog posts. Still don't know who the manufacturer was.
Below another kid's Vespa, also by an to me unknown maker. Beside it to the left there is a seat frame to a Lambretta Vega, or a Cometa.

Since it's still cold here in Sweden I dream of the sunny days in Imola.

Fast Rabbit from Japan

This is a Fuji Rabbit Superflow S601, displayed at the Museo Scooter & Lambretta in Rodano, near Milan.
The model was built between 1961 and 1968, the last year Fuji built a scooter.
The first Fuji Rabbit, the S-1, was built in June 1946! The company, Fuji Sangyo Co, was founded in 1945 after the second world war. It replaced the Nakajima Aircraft company since the peace treaty forbid Japanese companies to build weapons and war vehicles. The plan was to get Japan on it's feet again by supplying cheap transporation. Sounds a bit like Piaggio, doesn't it?
The Fuji company was inspired by the american Powell scooter. The front wheel of the S-1 was actually a tail landing gear from a Nakajima bomber.
The Superflow above is probably a 200 cc, and 74 694 of them was built. Look's quite a bit more advanced than the S-2 from 1947 below.
Unfortunately I've never seen a Fuji Rabbit in Sweden.

This is a Fuji Rabbit S-2 from 1947, also at Tessera's museum.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Beautiful S.I.E.M package

Everything was more beautiful in the old days, even the package for spare parts.
This headlight for Vespa SS 180 and GL 150 from the firm S.I.E.M from Turin (Torino) is a gem if you're asking me.
It's always fascinating with parts that has survived for more than forty years!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A little french Vespa

This is a little toy from the 50's. According to the extremely interesting book "Vespa Forever" by Robin Davy and Mika Hahn, this Vespa for children was made between 1951 and 1959 by the french firm F. Beuzen Sordet (BS) in Paris. Made of plastic and 11 cm in length and the height is 4,5 cm. Some even had a figure ridning the Vespa, of the "Roman Vacanzes" variety.
It was also licensed to various makers in France, Belgium, Spain and Germany.
I found mine in a shop for collector's toys, some years ago. The vendor said that he had acquired from the first owner. Unfortunately no box!
The right side of the handlebar has dropped a little, otherwise it's in good shape.
BTW, the "Vespa Forever" has the sub-title "Collectibles from around the world" and covers "everything" asscociated with Vespas, except the acutal scooters. About 270 pages in glorious colour of items longing for...

Marked with B.S. for Beuzen Sordet.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Primavera? Don't think so...

Right now it's snowing here in Stockholm. The spring seems far away.
Just got a reminder for the Swedish MoT test of my 1953 Vespa faro basso, in april.
The snowy one in the pic above is my other faro basso. Don't really know why I bother.
I got a call from my friend Jim on a summers day a couple of years ago. "I found a Vespa in scrap heap, do you wan't it?".
So I went. In the good old days the farmers in Sweden got rid of old vehicles by simply bury them on their own farm land. Some yours ago there was a drive from insurances companies, "dig up your scrap, we'll collect it". Why? Maybe the price of scrapmetal, China want's more.
Well, on the farm I spotted 1,2 Vespa in a giant heap. Among some chrushed cars, farming tools, beds, barbed wire etc.
The 0,2 Vespa consisting of handlebar, half a fork and a cut down front shield. Rusty as...
Maybe the speedo housing can be salvaged.
The "whole" is of course not that. It's a body with a rusty floor, the engine side cowl okay but the other one heavily dented. No engine, but the choke lever is there! So is the Vespa script and one chromed legshield trim.
But I think it makes our garden prettier!

The scrap heap with the Vespa "find".

The remains of the other Vespa, I left it behind...

Monday, 6 February 2012

Vroom with a view, yum!

I heard about this book a couple of years ago. Last week it arrived in the postbox. I started reading immediately.
Peter Moore is an experienced travel author, but I don't care much for his other work. This one, about Vespa and Italy is spot on. "Vroom with a view", a very intended pun, was released in 2003 and the trip took place in 2002. It all came about when Peter decided to ride a Vespa in Italy before his 40th birthday. Born and raised in Australia he acquired a longing for Italy through old black and white movies, preferably with Sophia Loren in them.
He bought a Vespa 125 cc 1961 on ebay Italia, flew from England to Milan to pick it up. With a motor cycle license but not with great experience of riding and maintaining a 40 year old twostroke Vespa.
The seller in Milan helped him lot to get the Vespa roadworthy.
The plan was to ride from Milan to Rome, dwelling in Tuscany for most of the time. Some breakdowns down the road, but nice italians helping him all the time. Yes, he gets to Rome and on the way he passes his 40th birthday!
Peter Moore has a way with words and an eye for details, I enjoyed it very much!
That I have visited some of the places that Moore ended up, in is of course a bonus for me. The obvious being Milan, Florence and Pisa. That he also visited Lucca, Garfagnana valley, Cortona and Montepulciano makes me smile!
In the beginning of his journey he stumbles on a Vespa 125 U, later having a rideout besides a Lambretta. And tells the Vjatka story when a landlady appears to be from Russia. I'm only doubtful about a 1972 (?) Vespa Super Sport. The 180 SS was discontinued in 1968. Well, that's just a "show off" remark from me...
The book also brings back memories from my first trip to Italy, in 1990. I tried to rent a PX 200 but the guy behind the counter spotted that my driver's license was for cars only. I ended up with a Vespa 50 S, but just as happy driving in the mountains above San Remo. I think I went as far as Bajardo.
Time to do it again...

Friday, 3 February 2012

The PK S weather report!

The 2nd of February 2012.

I checked the weather conditions around the abandoned Vespa 50 PK S yesterday. At 17.00 it was nine degrees C below zero and a light snowfall. The picture was taken with my mobile phone through the car window at slow speed.
And suddenly there was two "rock" groups in this post. First the mighty jazzrock/fusion band Weather Report with Joe Zawinul (1932-2007) and Wayne Shorter (b 1933) fronting. Talented Jaco Pastorius (1951-1987) handled the bass during a period in the groups lifespan. I'm stll digging "Tale Spinnin'"!
The other band I accidently mentioned is Nine Below Zero, the British blues band. Original members Dennis Greaves and Mark Feltham are still at it!
BTW, isn't "Accidents Will Happen" an Elvis Costello song?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Vintage Vespa sticker

I found this adhesive Vespa sticker in a Swedish veteran fair. The old logo, being substituted at the end of the 60's. The sticker is reflective.
On the back it says ”Prodotto Master Screen Stampa Seriegrafica” and ”Made in Italy”.