Sunday, 25 March 2012

Basket player gets a Vespa lift

Springtime! Ah, that time of the year when wild geese fly to the north to nest, daffodils are reaching for the sky with yellow rays of their own and foxes are howling in the evenings...
Eh, sorry, wrong blog.
Springtime! Ah, that time of the year when fathers gives their sons a lift to the basketball court. Preferably on an old Vespa, like a 1961 Gran Sport.
Life has returned to the cold place the inhabitants call Sweden!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Lambretta 150 D try-out

The Blacksmith Scooter Club in Eskilstuna, 100 km's west of Stockholm, had their scooter premiere today. Here in Stockholm we have to wait until the 5th of May.
I took a small trip around the neighbourhood on my 1956 Lambretta 150 D. It went well, although I'm wondering if there still is grime and rust in the petrol tank as I said a couple of weeks ago.
It's a blast riding, but a bit scary with all the gravel on the tarmac, left overs from when the streets were covered in snow.

The lovely filler cap!

The saddle springs should be chromed.

25 601km's since 1956-

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Vespa as service "car"

A wonderful picture from the midfifties (thanx for scouting Paul S).
It's a Vespa 125 VM2 from 1954. There is a logo on the lid to the bagage compartment. Belonging to the Swedish state telephone company "Televerket". The sign above the spare wheel says "Tjänstebil", meaning service car as they didn't have signs saying "service scooter".
The registered owner was Kungliga Telestyrelsen, förrådsbyrån, bilavdelningen (The Royal telecom board, the storage agency, car department).
The elegant man in his uniform seems to be proud over his vehicle!
The Vespa has some accessories, the spare wheel with it's mounting and the crash bars with the "parrot stick" for the ladies riding sidesaddle and the windscreen. It was in service until May 1959 when it was sold to a private person.
In the background to the left there is two Volvo cars, one PV 56 from before WWII and one PV 444 from the early fifties.
The picture comes from the technical museum in Stockholm (Tekniska museet).

Monday, 19 March 2012

Map from Vespa Club d'Italia

A nice map from 1957, issued by Vespa Club d'Italia. Maybe for french Vespistas, "Italie" and "carte routiére" points in that direction.
"Carta stradale" is the italian word for road map, me thinks.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Record cover Vespa tracked

I've tracked the owner to the Vespa on the far left.

Maybe you remember my blogpost about the EP record with the american vocal group Delta Rhythm Boys? In short: the owners of the record company also was concessionaire for Vespa.
Since the registration numbers were visible I have tried to find out who owned the Vespas on the record sleeve.
To the far left is a Vespa with the number "A13447", in Sweden the model was called Touring (with the prefix VGL1T). It was registered on the 4th of June 1957 to the concessionaire Como M&T  Bjerke. In September the same year it was transferred to a young student, Sten-Åke Hilbers in Stockholm. Since he was living in the county, not the city of Stockholm, it got a new registration number; B12681.
Sten-Åke is alive and kicking, 75 years old later this year:
- Yes, I remember that old Vespa. I was doing my military service at the time, and received 1 200 crowns as "pay". So with some savings I could afford the price of 1 850 crowns (approx 170 euro) and a helmet for 42 crowns, Sten-Åke tells me over the phone.
His parents had forbid him to buy a motorcycle since one of his cousins was sadly killed in a crash on a motorcycle. Sten-Åke had the white helmet sprayed in the same blue hue as the Vespa.
- I remember that the clutch wire went bust frequently, especially if I had put on my best clothes. I also recollect that I thought that the Vespa made a lot of rattling and clanking in the morning when I went to my work. When I went home it was much more quiet, says Sten-Åke before he adds:
- At the the time I was working at a machine shop, at the end of the workday I was practically deaf!
Sten-Åke used the Vespa as an everyday vehicle, never participating in the Vespa Club scene.
In 1963 the scootering days were over. Sten-Åke bought a used 1958 Ford Anglia in February. The Vespa was used as trade-in. He got 500 crowns for it, the Anglia cost 2 500:-. 
Funny thing, the deal was struck with the firm "Göta Motor", a Lambretta dealership. Run by Lennart Bergelin who was also owning the Lambretta concessionaire in Sweden (Bergelin was himself a succesful tennis player and later he was the manager for Björn Borg). I'll come back to Bergelin in another blog post.
The Vespa was sold in April to one Arne Törnblom, but I haven't been 
able to locate him.
In October the Vespa was either stolen or involved in an accident. 
A note from the Police points in that direction.
In December it is registered as being owned by an insurance company.
Finally, in May 1967 it's no longer in the register, maybe scrapped?
And, I can't tell you which one of the Delta Rhythm Boys who sat on 
Sten-Åkes Vespa! 
Now I have two more Vespas to track down.

Clever double exposure made by Sten-Åke himself.

Same again, using a Kodak Retina 1b camera.

Sten-Åke's Vespa second from right, Lambretta LD 125 to the left.

The reciept, Vespa and a helmet.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Old key ring from Pirelli

Just bought this old key ring from Pirelli. It will suit my Lambretta TV 175 nice. Especially as I have found some Pirelli 3,50 X 10 tyres for it. Fairly new and made in Brazil, well you can't be choosy...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Rabbit for sale in Argentina

My Argentian connection Raùl sent me this picture of a Fuji Rabbit 150 cc for sale in his country. The asking price is 8 500 pesos, or  €1 200. Then you have to ship it if you live outside Argentina...
Nice one! 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Hobbyroller, Manhurin or NV?

Stefan Zenker on his NV-70, single saddle.

I happened to stumble on the nice picture above. From a family history published on the internet. The young man sitting on his NV 70 Hobby, yes it's a badge-enginenerd DKW Hobbyroller. A 70 cc big engine with automatic gearing.
The occasion is the graduation day from college for Stefan, before going to the university. This happened in May 1958. Stefan had got the scooter two years earlier through an uncle. The uncle had promised Stefan, then 8 years old, a motorcycle when he was old enough. Stefan always remembered the promise, and when he was 16 the uncle, a teacher, bought the NV Hobby from one of his students. After giving the NV to Stefan, the uncle bought one for himself.
- There was always trouble with the transmission, had to fix it several times. I used to have a spare belt where ever I went. Once I went to a workshop and got the reaction "Shit, one of those", Stefan tells me when we get in contact.
(Here I liked to say that no one in Sweden during the late 50's used the expression "shit").
Stefan also remember that the pull string, instead of a kick start lever, went bust the day after the graduation.
In Sweden the DKW Hobbyroller was sold by Nymans Verkstäder (NV) as the NV 70 Hobby and the NV 72 Hobby, the first with a single saddle and the latter with two saddles. NV was at the time one of Sweden's leading manufactures of bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles.
The DKW Hobbyroller was also built under license in France, by Manhurin, the french arms company. They in their turn sold it in the UK, first through the Frazer-Nash company as the Manhurin Hobby. Then by around 1960 by the Diana Conncessionaires as the Manhurin Concorde.

Mighty celebration when Stefan graduated from college.

Stefan's relatives is in the old Mercedes behind him.

An early ride in the autumn of 1957.

Manhurin Concorde in the UK.

The Swedish firm NV from Uppsala had the NV-72 and the NV-70.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

La primavera, finalmente!

Vespa GS 160 1963.

Yes. spring at last! Today it was sunny and about 10-11 degrees C here in Stockholm.
I took out my Vespa GS 160, don't think I started it last year. Some fresh petrol, and it fired up! But the clutch was stuck, so I rode around the block again and again. When the engine got warm the clutch plates loosened. So, time to order a MOT.
Next in line was the Lambretta 150 D, which also requires a MOT before I can ride it legally. This was trickier. The spark (scintilla, I like the italian word) was there, maybe the petrol is a bit slow-flowing, and the filter is dirty. Replacing the filter can solve it, but the petrol tank might need a thorough cleaning.
Anyhow, it was great riding again!

Lambretta 150 D 1956.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The accessory saddle to my GS

Found at a veteran fair in Sweden.

Five or six years ago I found this battered saddle at an veteran fair. Of course I bought, not knowing which Vespa it would suit. Then one year later I acquired my Vespa GS 160, mark 1, from 1963. The saddle had been upholstered in a non-original fashion, so I immediately thought of my accessory saddle.
I choose some vinyl from one upholsterer but gave the mission to another. The light blue is slightly lighter than the original. On the other hand, the old vinyl is approximately over 45 years old.

I judged this as beyond repair, although original is nice.

Even the seat frame was blue, and got an respray.

Done! Slightly líghter blue than the original, the dark blue is spot on!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Roman goddess and Gemla

I can't find any information about a "Lambretta Club Citta' del tri colore". I acquired this "lucky charm" some years, but no clues from the vendor. It's very well executed so it must be at least from the 60's. About 35 mm in circumference. Does the inscription "Victoria" incline that this was awarded to a winner in the "Moto Rally Internazionale Reggio Emilia"? I don't know...

The mod geezer below, with no arms, is from the Swedish toy maker Gemla, established in 1866. This three-wheeler of wood is from the 50's. The front fender is missing here. Well, is it a Vespa or a Lambretta? I have faint recollection of seeing a yellow one like this, marked "Vespa", I have to check with a friend.

Friday, 2 March 2012

A scooter stroll about town

Spirou? On some kind of Lambretta...

The kids are on leave. Forced them off their electrical devices and in to the Old Town in Stockholm. Buildings from the 13th century and lots of restaurants and tourist traps. And the royal castle.
In one shop I found the yellow scooter above. With the cartoon character Spirou riding it. Lambretta LD-ish apart from the front fender up front. At the back more of an Iso Milano (or Diva or Piccolino).
Rather big, about 20 cm high, and well executed. A limited edition at a price, approx €230...
Below is a Vespa 50, outside a small salumeria/restaurant. Not a customer's, I think it's there for a strategic purpose. Well, I at least discovered the shop.
Last but very least, a rather tacky t-shirt with a cat and kittens on a Vespa!

A Vespa 50 outside a deli/restaurant.

Yes, it's a t-shirt! Cute?