VVC 58_Layout 1 - Veteran Vespa Club

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VVC 58_Layout 1 - Veteran Vespa Club
Veteran
Club
JOURNAL
SPRING 2014
No. 58
VETERAN VESPA CLUB EVENTS 2014
A change in
content
2014 sees the 50th Anniversary of the club and the many events that we
are either organising or supporting are listed below. Let’s hope that we can
see all our members at a couple at least of them.
• 5 April 2014
VVC 50th Anniversary - London to Brighton
Run - open to all Vespa models
Organiser Paul Carr.
For information email:
[email protected]
• 15-18 May 2014
VVC Spring Rally – Swanage, Isle of
Purbeck, Dorset. BH19 3DG
FULLY BOOKED-ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED
Organisers Bob Box & Rich Rawlins, email:
[email protected] or
[email protected]
• 12-15 June 2014
Vespa World Days, Mantova, Italy
See www.vespaworlddays2014.it
FULL ENTRIES-NOW SOLD OUT
For details of possible LIGHT ENTRIES, without
Gala Dinner, email Robin Quartermain:
[email protected]
• 10-13 July 2014
VVC 50th National Anniversary RallyPulborough, West Sussex. RH20 4HP.
ENTRIES ARE NOW OPEN
Set in the South Downs near Brighton. Camping is
available on site and there is a link on our website
for local B & B’s in the area which should be
booked ASAP.
Please book through the VVC website shop or
contact organisers Roger & Veronica Smith, 01323
491417, or by email:
[email protected]
• 18-22 September 2014
VVC Autumn Rally –Eskdale, Lake District,
Cumbria. CA19 1TA
FULLY BOOKED - ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED
Organisers Chris & Rosie Wainwright
Email: [email protected]
• 18 October 2014
Annual General Meeting & Dinner-Angel
Hotel, Leamington Spa, Warks
Further details and booking information are
available on our web site “Events Page”
immediately they become available, see
www.veteranvespaclub.com
218
VVC Journal No.58
Not a big change, granted, but
none-the-less one that is an
actual measure of the change in
the role of a magazine such as
this. The formerly separate club
gear and clothing pages have
been merged into one. The
reason that this is significant is
because it means that pretence
that any meaningful sales can be
generated directly through a
magazine like this has been
finally discarded. Such things
have long since followed the
path of “For Sale &Wanted” and
migrated to our website. Our
new combined page – while of
course incorporating the facility
to purchase – really is only a
taster inviting you to explore
further on that site.
This is not the first time that this
subject has been broached in
these pages, but this latest
development serves to
concentrate the mind on the
need to consistently develop the
magazine. In the last fifteen years
or so, it has evolved a style that
fluctuates between social history
and future projections, with the
odd excursion into the present
day. This is in marked contrast
with just about every other
scooter club magazine –whether
national or local – that tend to
survive on a diet of rally reports
and articles about repairs and
rebuilds. Plus, in some cases, a
touch of geezer and/or 'lifestyle'.
Personally, I like the idea of the
magazine being different
because it reflects the fact that
the VVC itself is a bit “different”.
A milestone
reached
At the last AGM it was the usual
story of a successful year’s
events and a sound financial
basis being maintained. But
also, the membership had crept
above the 500 mark – actually
507- for the first time. The
amazing thing is that it took forty
three years – until 2007 – to
reach 250, and only six years
subsequently to double that
figure.
Finally
Don’t forget that our 50th
Anniversary London to Brighton
Run is on April 5th. Everybody
is welcome to take part. See you
there.
Ashley Lenton
Technical help
Contact Peter Brunskill:
[email protected]
Website
You may advertise items For Sale or Wanted on our Website
Forum in the For Sale & Wanted section. To have your bike
featured on the Members Bikes page see details on that page.
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
219
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
THE 2013 VETERAN VESPA CLUB
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
For a second year, the AGM was held at the Angel Hotel,
Leamington Spa, and as usual it was followed by a dinner.
The meeting itself was opened by our Chairman, Roger Smith, who
welcomed thirty seven members.
The main points were as follows:
Hi Ashley,
I’ve just read your article in the
latest VVC Journal and found it
very interesting. I bought my
GS150 VS5 to restore it to its
original condition but I also
wanted to ride it. When I rode it
prior to restoration I was not
impressed with the battery
ignition, brakes, suspension, 6
volt electrics and the total lack of
power from the engine.
I then had a dilemma, do I
replace all parts with remade and
NOS parts or do I try to make
some improvements that will
make it suitable for current road
use? I decided that the brakes
and suspension should be
renewed with remade and NOS
parts but that wheels, tyres,
ignition and electrics should be
improved. Okay, the brakes are
poor but it doesn’t go very fast,
especially at the moment as I’m
running it in. However, I’m
suffering with the handling as the
suspension struggles with the
current road surfaces. There
seems to be potholes everywhere
nowadays!
I’m so pleased with the 12 volt
electrics and electronic ignition.
It starts first time every time and
I can see where I’m going at
night. I feel safer with the S.I.P.
220
VVC Journal No.53
local use. My solution has been
to buy a P200E – even an early
one coming with more power,
better handling and electronic
ignition as standard, so there’s
three areas of potential difficulty
significantly diluted to start off
with. Of course the other side of
the coin is that a bit of sixties
style has been lost along the way,
so that’s my personal
compromise. But every other
solution also includes
compromise.
Shown here are electronic
ignition and tubeless tyres as
installed on John’s VS5. I was
quite surprised at the difference
in profile between the tubeless
rims and the standard item. But
in any case, SIP have
emblazoned their name across
them, thus eliminating any
illusion of originality! But where
safety is involved, how much
John Bailey does this matter anyway?
At the end of the day, other than
There’s been quite a lot of
interest in this article (Originality general agreement that old
standard spec Vespas are no
v Practicality –an Evolving
Dilemma), and it’s interesting to longer really suitable for fast
roads, a consensus as to the
see how different owners
best way forward has yet to
approach the same problem. In
my own case, I have gone as far emerge. In this era of
experimentation, all views and
away from originality as I am
experiences are welcomed.
really comfortable with, so my
GS has also been relegated to
Ed
rims and tubeless tyres. I’ve
also added a GPS/GSM tracker
and a 12 volt DC LED daytime
running light where the old pilot
light used to be.
That said; I know that once its
run in I’m going to find the
cruising speed too low to keep
up with current traffic on runs
where the speed limit is above
40mph. Lorries and cars towing
caravans will be coming past on
A roads. A more powerful 200cc
engine, up-rated suspension and
servo disc brake at the front
would make it more practicable.
I have decided to stay on 30 and
40mph roads where I can and
take it to events in the back of a
transit.
I have a solution; I’ve just bought
a Series 1 Li150 which I will be
completely customising. That is
okay as it’s a Lambretta!
• The membership had grown to 507, an all-time record once again for the club and
something of a milestone. This compares to last year’s figure of 470.
• The Treasurer reported that our finances were still strong, with expenditure a bit less
than income this year.
• Bob Box stood down as registrar. The Chairman thanked him for his contribution
over the years. Colin Bangs was appointed in his place.
• Chris Wainwright was awarded the President’s Trophy by Frank Brookes this year in
recognition of the efforts he has made in gaining sponsorship for our events.
• Eric Montague was inducted into our Hall of Fame.
• Next year’s AGM will be October 18th at the same venue
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
221
some parts of the city. The
constables using the machines
also reported favourably on the
suitability and usefulness of the
‘Vespa’.
Pictured here are the riders and their machines TKC 812 - TKC 817 under the watchful eye of Sgt Leslie ‘Nosmo’
King on his Triumph Speed Twin TKD 205, at the Police Training School, Mather Avenue.
Note the use of uniform flat caps! Approval for the issue of crash helmets was not given until 17 December 1957.
The helmets were black Corker helmets with ‘Police’ painted in white on the front.
LIVERPOOL CITY POLICE
& DOUGLAS VESPAS
Early in1954 the force was facing a critical shortage of manpower,
and with a deficiency of 500 men and without any reasonable
expectations of improvement in the police coverage of the city, the
force had to take immediate steps to solve the problem.
The answer was to increase the
mobility of the foot constables
on beat duty by providing them
with lightweight motorcycles. It
would mean that they could
cover ground more quickly
especially in the outlying
divisions.
A variety of machines were
considered including motor
cycle combinations, although
these could hardly be described
as lightweight. The solos
selected were: Lambretta
125cc; Francis Barnett 125 and
150cc; B.S.A. Bantam 125 and
150cc; the Velocette LE 192cc
‘Noddy Bike’ used successfully
by many forces and favoured on
222
VVC Journal No.58
The machines, all model 42L2s,
painted the same dark blue
(described as Royal Blue) came
with Stadium mirrors,
rectangular type, 2” x 4 ¼”,
parking lights and model D
windscreens. The series were
registered UKF 417 to UKF 461
and were used in the outlying
divisions
1957 saw the need to improve
the versatility of the Vespa and it
was proposed to fit the
machines with wireless. Douglas
agreed to provide machines
suitably prepared for the fitting
of British Communications
Corporation 2-way wireless
equipment incorporating Miller
A.C. generator and instrument
panel. Douglas provided a
factory demonstrator, RDG 438,
fitted with wireless for the force
to evaluate.
account of its silent operation;
and the Douglas Vespa 125cc.
for their inspection! This was
duly done and they agreed to
authorise the purchase of 6
Five combinations were
machines as an experimental
considered - Ariel 600cc VB
model with a Watsonian sidecar; measure. The machines, painted
in dark blue, were taken into use
Norton 596cc Model 19s;
Triumph Thunderbird; B.S.A. 600 on 8th September 1955 (see
M21 and the Sunbeam S8. In all photo above).
five machines were actually
In November 1955 approval was
tested although it is not recorded given for the remaining 45
which ones they were but the
Vespas to be ordered after the
Douglas Vespa 125cc was
Chief Constable had informed
selected as being most suitable the Watch Committee that the
for the purpose intended.
machines were a tremendous
The Chief Constable requested a
total of 51 Vespas to be bought,
but the Watch Committee would
not agree until one machine was
brought to the committee rooms
advantage in making up for the
serious shortage of manpower,
and helped dispel the all too
familiar complaint that
policemen were never seen in
50 Vespas with the wireless
specification were ordered. There
was a departure from the dark blue
colour of previous fleets and the
machines were supplied in a lighter
colour, Bristol Blue.
They were registered WLV 169 WLV 218.
In 1964 the force ordered 50
Vespas fitted with wireless and
windscreens and these were
registered in the BKD ** B
series. These were to be the final
fleet, as in 1967 they were sold
when Unit Beat Policing was
introduced.
This picture appears by kind
permission of John Rose – pictured
as a young constable outside his
home astride WLV 194.
Shown is the black crash helmet
worn by Vespa riders post 1957.
Note the mitt type gloves which
were standard issue to the riders of
the machines. Wireless not yet fitted
to the rear carrier.
1959 Saw delivery of 53 more
Vespas, in Bristol Blue with
parking lights and Millerton
Saddles, chrome leg shield
protectors and BCC wireless.
Some registered 450 BKD - 499
BKD.
The Vespa had been introduced
in 1955 for beat duty when the
force was 500 men below
strength and by 1959 there were
148 in use. In November 1960
a policy decision was made to
replace the machines when they
were five years old.
However when the earlier
machines were due for
replacement in 1961 it was
decided to sell 44 machines
without replacing them in view
of the improved manpower
situation. Subsequent reviews in
1962 and 1963 resulted in the
numbers being reduced to 74
and 50 respectively. It was
apparent that the future of the
scooter would be governed
largely by recruitment and
wastage figures.
BKD 33 B shown here by kind
permission of Alex Ingram
Incidentally when Liverpool City
Police and Bootle Borough
Police amalgamated in April
1967 two Lambretta scooters
operated by Bootle were added
to the fleet only to be sold
immediately along with the last
of the 50 Liverpool City Vespas.
© Tony Roach
(Tony is a Police Vehicle
Historian, and has kindly offered
to research the use of Vespas in
other forces. He did think that
the photo published in the last
issue was not, in fact, taken in
Liverpool, but more likely
somewhere in London. Does
anyone recognize the location?
As for the brilliant photo of the
line up at the training school –no
doubt about who was in charge
there! Ed)
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
223
PHOTO MISCELLENY
An especially varied
selection of pictures old
and new for this issue.
The TV series ‘American Pickers’
has gained quite a following in
this country, the general tone of
the content being very much in
tune with the current Shabby
Chic vogue. Recently an episode
was made in this country, and
visited Retrospective Scooters.
Here proprietor Nial McCart is
seen with programme co-host
Mike Wolf.
The ‘barn find’ (just how many
unexplored barns can there be
left?) Vespa is not as many
might think a GL 150, but
instead a very rare GT 125
VLA1.
This low production export
model has a GL frame and panel
work, eight inch wheels, three
gears and a GS 160 style rear
light. Is there even a single
example in this country?
Mike Barbieri entered his nicely restored Sprint in the Classic Motor Cycle Show at the NEC on his own
initiative, and the club helped out with a bit of display material. Mike reports that he had a great time, so
if anybody else fancies doing something similar in their locality just let us know.
224
VVC Journal No.58
Going back in time,
we have (courtesy
of Graham
Willmott)
a C 1960 shot of
some kind of
regularity trial
passing Pontypridd
Town Hall. Does
anybody know
which event it was?
Finally, smiling
in the face of
post war
adversity is
Edinburgh Vespa
Club C 1952,
while the three
rather windswept
VS1 riders are
from an unknown
VCB branch’s
ride to the coast
in around 1956.
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
225
TAKING A SECOND LOOK
THE RECOLLECTIONS
GS150
MODEL
It’s all too easy to take something for granted while it’s currently
available, only to find that that it’s passed into history by the
time procrastination gets translated into meaningful activity.
The world of toy and model
vehicles replicates that of the
real things, with its own array of
heroes, vagabonds, visionaries
and chancers. Just like the full
size version, in this world
products can burst asunder in a
gleam of light only to disappear
again in a flash
Around fifteen years ago a small
company in Wellington,
Somerset, by the name of
Recollections Models, began
producing a range of 1/32 scale
scooters that set standards never
to be seen again. A range of
Vespas was complemented by
an equivalent one of Lambrettas,
and one or two examples of
other makes too. The Vespas
were the GS150, SS180, 90SS,
T5 and 98 – the latter with a
sidecar option. There was also a
Paperino.
These white metal models were
hand made in small quantities,
so were never exactly cheap.
This was brought into sharp
relief after a few short years
226
VVC Journal No.58
when a deluge of Piaggioauthorised die casts from China
started appearing, and continue
to this day. These models are not
the equal of the Recollections
ones, but, on the other hand, are
a fraction of the price and
undeniably good value for
money. Recollections
themselves appear to have
packed up around ten years ago,
but they have left a legacy.
There’s no such thing as a “bad”
Recollections model, but my
personal favourite is the GS150
– available as a VS4 or a
Messerschmitt and just 250 of
each made. When you look at
these photos, please bear in
mind that they are of a model
only two inches long and made
with almost watch-like precision.
Currently Recollections scooter
models go for anything between
£50 and £100 on the few
occasions that they appear on
EBay. With the prices of the real
scooters now reaching such
heights you might think that the
time was right for more models
of this quality, but there’s no
sign of this happening. As it
stands this fascinating –but
incomplete – range is what
we’re left with. I just wish that I
hadn’t procrastinated over the
Paperino.
AL
THE SLIGHTLY
UNSETTLING
DEMISE OF THE
FAMILIAR
It’s possibly too much to
describe the imminent scrapping
of the tax disc as the “loss of an
old friend”, but none-the-less
the disappearance of an item that
has formed part of the
architecture of our hobby since
day one should not go
unrecorded. If nothing else, the
need to accommodate
something that has no natural
home on a scooter has taxed
human ingenuity for decades
–shown here is just a small
selection of possible solutions.
A few questions arise from this
slightly unexpected
development. Presumably
production of the holders will
cease –will existing ones acquire
a value? Will the discs
themselves become valued? Can
unexpired discs be simply
discarded come October? In any
event, in a small way the look of
our scooters is going to change
forever.
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
227
BUYING
VESPAS
FROM
ABROAD
– A BRIEF
OVERVIEW
Necessarily no
more than an
overview because
this is a massive
subject, the
hardest part of
which to achieve
some sort of
balanced view.
Naturally those who are happy
with their purchases feel no need
to complain about them. This
magazine has tended to shy
away from this subject on the
basis that anybody who has
joined the VVC will already have
bought their Vespa, and nobody
wants to rub anybody’s noses in
anything. None-the-less, so
many people have experienced
difficulties (to put it mildly) that
something has to be said.
A history of ‘grey’ imports of
Vespas to the UK might go
something like this:
1 Relaxation of import duty in
the EU in the early nineties leads
to a great influx of unrestored
vintage Vespas from Italy
228
VVC Journal No.58
numbers of ‘restored’ machines
appearing on our shores. Starting
with Vietnam, the supply chain
gradually expanded over Asia.
These scooters mostly had shiny
paint and bling, and were clearly
aimed at the inexperienced or
‘born again’ scooterist who
wanted a piece of increasingly
fashionable fifties or sixties style.
It wasn’t long before reports
came flooding in of disastrous
quality problems, with many
dealers refusing to even attempt
to repair these Vespas. Many
became –and continue to
become – disillusioned, and a
lot of would-be enthusiasts
quickly departed from the scene.
Yet, at the same time, a few
reputable dealers in this country
were and are providing good
quality renovations of sixties
Vespas coupled with recent –or
even new –PX or LML engines
that did indeed manage to
combine a certain amount of
style with reliability at a
reasonable price.
In order to at least have a go at
wading through this minefield,
our expert on such matters- Bill
Drake – was asked his opinion.
This is what he has to say:
“After several years of supplying
dating certificates for the
registration of imported Vespas, I
find people have very different
experiences depending on the
(mostly) and Germany, including scooters from Italy was inevitably origin of the machine.
starting to dry up, so people
some models that were
started to look elsewhere. Some Imports from:previously considered ‘rare’ in
the UK. The general condition of started to be brought in from
FRANCE
France, and in greater numbers
the frames –especially on GS
Machines made by A.C.M.A.
models- was usually much better from Spain. Although there are
have about the same level of
than on any surviving original UK some mechanical compatibility
local content and redesign as
issues, the condition of the basic
imports. A lot of people got
Douglas machines but at least all
some very good scooters at what structure of these Vespas was
the nuts, bolts and threads are
generally on a par with Italian
now seem like bargain prices
metric. The main differences are
ones.
during the nineties.
in the electrical system, lights
and saddle.
2 During the early years of this
3 A general rise in values of
century, the supply of unrestored vintage Vespas precipitated large Most machines are ‘barn’ finds
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
229
and there is usually little to fear
from the mechanical point of
view, but finding the original
local design items can be a
problem.
GERMANY
As with Douglas machines there
is a lot of debate about the level
of local manufacture but there
are few mechanical differences
from their Italian equivalents.
Local content is about the same
as A.C.M.A. and Douglas
machines. Many parts have been
remade but can be very
expensive.
German machines had a
reputation for careful assembly
from new, but of course may
have had a dubious life since.
INDIA.
Many imports from India are
home manufactured under
license from Piaggio and
generally are variations on 150cc
Italian design model VBB.
There are rarely dangerous
defects, and in the main these
machines are in reasonable
condition. The cosmetic
appearance is not as attractive as
found in some other imports and
the mechanical faults are
generally not hidden in such a
way as to deceive. This is not to
say that Indian mechanics do not
have a substantial level of
ingenuity to overcome problems.
As with all imports, close
inspection with an experienced
Vespa mechanic is advised
before purchase.
Later Bajaj built machines (not
made under Piaggio license)
had an increased level of local
content and some parts were
redesigned - but in some cases
the changes can be replaced
with Piaggio parts if required.
230
VVC Journal No.58
INDONESIA.
Many imports from Indonesia are
indistinguishable from those
from Vietnam but there are
exceptions.
A company, DAN Motors of
Jakarta, made some Vespa
models under License from
Piaggio but there is little
information available about them.
Their chassis numbers usually
omit the letter ’T’ and there is an
‘X’ in place of the star. Most are
similar to Piaggio 150 Super
models but with a distinctive
rectangular headset and ‘P’
range design brake pedal.
PAKISTAN
Due to the political situation
between India and Pakistan, the
vast majority of imports from
Pakistan are of Italian
manufacture. A great range of
models can be found and they
are frequently imported ‘as
found’. The quality varies greatly
and very often major remedial
work has been carried out and
cleverly disguised.
SPAIN
MotoVespa had a long history of
Vespa production and from the
very beginning introduced
variations from the Italian
designs. Many machines are a
mix and match of basic Italian
designs . Genuine parts peculiar
to Spanish machines are not
easy to find but in many cases it
is possible to find Italian
substitutes. MotoVespa
introduced a form of electronic
ignition , m/f by FEMSA, before
the Italian Rally and ET3
versions. Several models were
similar to the VNA model but
higher capacity, 10” wheels and
4 gears. Many of these machines
are converted in the UK with P
range engines because of the
difficulty in finding the correct
parts.
It is rare to find drastic repairs or
modifications to the chassis of
these machines.
VIETNAM
The ingenuity of the workers in
the Vietnamese ‘scooter industry’
cannot be underestimated.
Whether hiding defects, cloning
or changing the appearance to
replicate different model
characteristics, the end result is
usually undeniably attractive.
The problem arises from the fact
that the ingenuity is driven by the
need or intention to produce the
cheapest possible result
consistent with an attractive
finish. The results are generally
not acceptable to our MOT
standards and many are modified
to a degree that prevents positive
identification. Cut and shut
operations are not uncommon
and it is not unusual to find
characteristics of 3 or 4 models
in one machine
It is true that fewer UK machines
of doubtful condition end up on
the scrap heap but many in a
similar condition in Vietnam are
resurrected and sold to
unsuspecting buyers in Europe.
Buying a scooter from Italy does
not guarantee a Vietnam free
machine.
The chief objects of cloning are
VNB, VBB, 150 Super , 90SS
and occasionally 160GS
models.
Many 150 Supers become 150
GL or 150 Sprints with 10”
wheel conversions of varying
quality. Various 50cc frames are
cut down and clever copies of
90SS models result.
Buying a scooter in the UK that
has previously had a life (or
birth) in the Far East is risky but
a general rule is to insist that the
dealer should be responsible for
the registration or at least for the
Dating Certificate.
Purchasing direct from Vietnam
is most risky because when
problems are discovered,
obtaining redress or a refund is
generally impossible”.
Bill Drake
Bill was also asked about Vespas from Thailand, and his
response was that he sees few, but for those that have
passed his way the above description of Vietnamese
Vespas applies. Bill’s words are quite explicit, and
everyone should be able to make their own decisions
about where the problems are. One regrettable
consequence of the supply extending to places such as
Pakistan is that we now have to beware of a wider range
of models such as the SS and Rally.
There are various web and Facebook sites dealing with
this matter. Far be it for me to single out any particular
country, but the Vietnamese ‘Nammer Viet-bodge’ Vespa
and Lambretta Facebook site is a good place to start. In
fact other than the one of a frame centre section (a GS
160 from Pakistan) all the photos came from this site.
The Vietnamese frames come from scooters that the
owners had paid approx. £2500 for and looked
immaculate….
Really, the moral has to be to only buy this kind (i.e.
Asian resident) of scooter from a reputable established
dealer in this country. Never buy from abroad via EBay or
anything else. I was going to say that this applies only to
Asia, but, as Bill has pointed out, Vespas from places
such as Vietnam are now firmly established in the internal
European market-to which we might add the American
market as well. There is surely a lot more to say on this
subject.
AL
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
231
A NEW LIFE FOR
BITS OF OLD VESPAS
Charting the options
available for presenting an
old Vespa seems like an
endless odyssey. We’ve
already covered concours
restorations to original
specification, renovations
using modern mechanicals,
“shabby chic” efforts that
retain the original patina
and spec and “ecologically
responsible” ideas that
recycle tin cans etc as
scooter parts.
Still to be considered are totally
conserved machines where no
attempt is made to alter anything
to make them suitable for use,
and “rustorations” in which old
and tatty original parts are
deliberately used to create a
certain style.
But even that doesn’t cover it all.
There’s still the spectre of used
scooter parts forming part of the
nation’s stockpile of industrial
artefacts from which can be
sourced endless decorative
items to grace the wine bars and
night clubs of Britain. Not long
ago this idea would have seemed
completely bonkers –in fact it
still does seem a bit bonkers –
so here are some photographs to
prove that it is real.
Seen here is the use of multiple
clutch baskets for single light
fittings, and a single wheel rim
for multiple light fittings. On the
shelf behind the bar, assorted
Vespa items jostle for space with
a vintage clock and packets of
232
VVC Journal No.58
coffee. The GS head set is
perhaps the one item that could
pass muster as a stand-alone
work of art. I actually have an
identical example polished up
and sitting on a shelf at home.
Elsewhere, the passing of time
brings the unexpected into play.
Few reading this will think that a
pre-M25 map of London
represents much of a curiosity,
yet a generation is emerging that
has no memory of the Capital
without its circular motorway.
Just to emphasise that this is a
serious business, the leather
chair is one of a pair at this
venue that cost £500 each. So
what is this all about, really? It
could be nostalgia, ecological
concern or cost saving. Other
than for chairs, that is! Or maybe
just an aesthetic judgement.
But, for whatever reason, times
have certainly changed.
AL
233
CLASSIC SCOOTER WORLD
NEWARK – JANUARY 4&5 2014
Being run for a second year as part of a much
larger motor cycle show, the VVC again had a
stand at this prestigious event.
234
VVC Journal No.58
And, once again, Stuart McNeill
has to take the lion’s share of
credit for our success by providing
three of the four Vespas and
arranging everything on-site.
Stuart’s well-known Arc-en-Ciel
GS150 was complimented by his
recently restored Grimstead
Hurricane GS160. As you can see
from the photographs, they made
a striking pair. Roger Smith
brought along his 1952 Hoffmann
Rod Model, and this attracted a lot
of attention because of its rarity in
this country compared to the usual
Douglas version.
During the course of two whole
days there was plenty of time to
absorb the great variety of
elements that constitute the
scooter scene, and reflect on how
they are evolving with the passing
of time.
The VMSC was present once
again, and if the very nature of its
scope precludes any technical
cohesion, then its stand did at
least offer an unrivalled visual
feast of shape size and technical
endeavour. One of the joys is
seeing something in the metal that
for decades had been merely a
faded image in an advertisement
somewhere. Some of these
scooters are best viewed as
distant relatives. You don’t really
want them living with you, but are
none-the-less relieved that
someone else is prepared to look
after them. It’s good that some
people are prepared to take on
Diana scooters; splendid pieces of
teutonic engineering and even the
styling isn’t too bad. Rather
remarkably, the one on display
was accompanied by a sewing
machine from the same
manufacturer - and in a matching
colour as well.
As with Bognor, Worksop has the
challenge of its name to
overcome, meaning that ‘The
Worksop Mod Appreciation
Society’ does not always hit the
mark first time. But hit the mark it
did at this show; a virgin red
SS180 being surrounded on an
elevated deck by a sea of
chromium PXs, with an outer ring
of Lambrettas. The overall effect
was extremely striking and
deservedly won an award for the
best display - and then going on
to win a trophy in the overall
motorcycle show.
There weren’t all that many
standard restored vintage Vespas,
but the blue 90SS and red 50SS
really caught the eye –
emphasising just how difficult it is
to tell them apart. The 50SS won
the ‘Best Vespa’ award sponsored
by the VVC.
I have to confess to a dislike of
eighties-style custom scooters,
regarding the hero-worshiping
paraphernalia plastered over
bodywork both an insult to the
original designer and often
demeaning to the owner. But it
would be churlish indeed not to
acknowledge the sheer skill and
workmanship involved in some of
these efforts, and as age and
experience – and money –
increase so the quality of
execution goes up. The Beatlesthemed PX, and the ‘Trafalgar’
Lambretta celebrating the Navy,
were both masterpieces in their
own way.
On the Lambretta front, the LCGB
had a large stand that included a
very nice Model D racer, while the
sprint scene is still there bubbling
under the surface and there was a
good selection of models. Finally
the show was closed by Mau
interviewing John and Norman
Ronald about their IoM exploits,
and a couple of their past and
present machines were there as
well
Our stand had a steady stream of
visitors over the weekend,
including Spike and Vi, Norrie
Kerr, Chuck, Peter Harris, Warren
Jopson and many others. Thanks
again to Stuart for arranging our
stand and Mau for organising the
whole show. Hope to see you all
next year.
AL
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
235
PHOTO
EXTRA
236
VVC Journal No.58
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
237
HALL OF FAME 2013 – ERIC MONTAGUE
Eric Montague was a VVC
committee member during the
late seventies and most of the
nineteen eighties. During the
fifties, he was a member of the
South London branch of the
VCB. When he joined the VVC,
it still had only thirty members,
and struggled to exercise any
credibility in the wider
scootering circle.
Eric’s presence definitely added
a degree of professionalism that
enabled us to deal effectively
with museums and the suchlike.
A stickler for propriety, he took it
upon himself to arrange and
operate a card index system to
match offers of old Vespas with
members wanting them. Several
people still in this club benefited
from his efforts.
In addition, the Montague
residence was the storage area
for large amounts of spare parts
diverted to the VVC through the
back door of Douglas by Eric
Brockway for years before its
demise. Through this sometimes
turbulent time, Eric ensured that
there was at least some sense of
organisation within the club. Eric
Montague was also an allweather Vespa rider during a
time when such people were rare
indeed. His efforts form an
important step in making the
club what it is today. We are
pleased to recognise them by
inducting him into the Veteran
Eric being presented with his badge by
our Chairman, Roger Smith.
Vespa Club Hall of Fame.
CLUB AND SERVICES OFFICERS
President: Frank Brookes BEM
19, Ditchling Crescent,
Hollingbury, Brighton BN1 8GD
Honorary Vice-President:
Margaret Farquhar
11, Battle Court,Kineton. Warwickshire CV35 0LX
Chairman/Membership Secretary:
Roger Smith
20 Rookery Way, Seaford, East Sussex BN25 2TE
[email protected]
[email protected]
(01323 491417)
General Secretary: Paul Carr
[email protected]
Treasurer/Club Shop/Website Manager:
Peter Rose
28,Greenway, Letchworth, Herts SG6 3UG
[email protected]
Journal Editor/PR:
Ashley Lenton
13 The Promenade, Peacehaven,
East Sussex BN108QF
01273 579769
[email protected]
238
VVC Journal No.58
Club Registrar: Colin Bangs
[email protected]
Technical Advice Co-ordinator: Peter
Brunskill
[email protected]
Registration Certificate Registrar: Bill
Drake
23 Archers Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 9AQ
[email protected]
Committee members:
Chris Wainwright
[email protected]
Richard Rawlins
[email protected]
VETERAN VESPA CLUB
HALL OF FAME
1: Fank Brookes
2: Margaret Farquhar
3: Brian Freehold
4. Brian Edwards
5. Vi Edwards
6: Bill Drake
7 Chuck Swonnell
8 Mike Clark
9 Eric Montague
2007
2007
2007
2008
2008
2009
2011
2012
2013
VVC CLUB SHOP
SPRING 2014
A SELECTION OF ITEMS FOR SALE ARE ILLUSTRATED
Andover 2011
Pale Blue T-shirt
Navy T-shirt
Herts Beds Vespa Club Cog Badge
Luton VC Cog Badge
VVC Calvados Rally Cog Badge 2011
VVC Douglas 60th AnnCog
VVC Andover 2011 Cog Badge
VVC Ashfields 2012 Cog Badge
VVC Club Cog Badge
VVC Journal Binder
VVC Embroidered Polo Shirt Navy Blue
VVC Yellow Hi-vis Jacket
VVC Navy Blue printed T-shirt
VVC Waterproof Nylon Jacket
VVC Embroidered Cog T-shirt
VVC Embroidered Polo Shirt Sky Blue
£20.00
£20.00
£20.00
£20.00
£28.00
£28.00
£20.00
£4.50
£12.00
£5.00
£10.00
£20.00
£10.00
£12.00
Ashfields 2012
Douglas 60th Anniversary
Above is the current list of items available from the club shop. These may
be purchased via the club website or by post to: VVC(UK)LTD,
28 Greenway, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 3UG. Please add £2 postage
for 1st item, and £1 per item thereafter. Cheques payable to VVC (UK) LTD
www.veteranvespaclub.com
[email protected]
Website: www.veteranvespaclub.com
239

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