Very long time between posts! My OHS business took over my life for about 3 years while I completed a site safety management contract for a NZ log exporter.

Then....another VW came along.
Meet Bertie.
1967 Bug.
I luuuurve her!! :)

The SS180 project got pushed down the line while I searched the globe for a few missing parts to "de-asian-ise" her completely. I am 98% there! Just need the air box and I am ready to go. I will put her back together this Winter with the offending fibre glass air box and will continue the search.

Scooter projects on hold..sidetracked by a 72 VW Super Beetle called Gretchen

 Gretchen came into my life in December 2012, I trucked her down from Canberra to give her a new life in SW Victoria.
In her past life in the ACT she was known as "The "Goose" due to the distinctive horn honk you get from an old VW. I asked my old Granny who was sadly on her death bed at the time "What's a good strong German name Gran?" ... "Gretchen" she replied.
So Gretchen it is..

Not a particularly well thought out purchase for SW Victoria as she has no roof!
The vinyl soft top doesn't block out a lot of water or weather so she really is a seasonal car.
I backed her into the shed last July and started to fiddle. I have renewed rubbers, missing parts, knobs, seals and hoses, new windscreen, wipers and added a motor to the bottle to get rid of the tyre pressure system. 
I've put on a new carb, air filter and got rid of the points (yeeha) we've retrofitted the wipers and water to the dash with nice new chrome switches, I have a push button ignition now and currently trying to fit a new steering wheel, still to go on are the 4 new CV boots, tie rod ends, new shockies, bump stops and steering damper bush, as well as door rubbers, engine seal rubbers, deck and bonnet rubbers...oh..and a new radio :)

The biggest challenge has been trying to figure out the "spaghetti wiring" under the
So no scooter projects on the go while I'm distracted with the veedub, nearly got her back on the road after many long months in the shed.

 Saw this gorgeous 1972 Superbeetle in Mount Gambier SA a few weeks ago, my VW and this one came off the assembly line just 3 months apart, mine in April, this one in July so at least I know what mine should look like ;)
Same colour too as the previous owner of mine didnt go to much effort when the respray happened.

  I mean for crying out hard is it to remove the rear light cover and paint it properly?? Grrr. 
So I have a challenge on my hands but it's going to be a long winter & hopefully I'll have a good looking little bug when I finally roll her out of the shed around October.

More Asian Scooter Horror Stories

The Asian Scooter Chop Shop owners are doing OK it seems.

Over the last few months I've been helping a few clients figure out what model scooter they actually have bought and am assisting them to decide if it's worth spending more money looking for parts and fixing Asian bodge jobs.

I hate to hear of beautiful old scooters going to the scrap heap because they are beyond repair after their "Asian Restoration". It started as a hobby to help people find the parts and point them in the right direction but it has to be one of the most disheartening hobbies a person could have. Every week I get a call from someone asking for help with their newly purchased Classic Vespa from over the waters. Faked GS's, other scooters with a decent old 50's 150cc engine but totally faked body and bits to make it look like an old 'wide body'.
It makes my heart sink every time I hear the stories of how much people paid in good faith only to get their dream scooter and discover it's a pile of poo.

In the last few months I've come across a fake GS in Perth, a fake 'wide frame-handle bar' model in Melbourne and a very very bad resto job discovered underneath the shiny paint, many panels all welded together.


My heart bleeds for the people who own these scooters. What can they do other than either cut their losses and scrap them after spending $3000-$5000 on a "classic" or hang the expense and try their hardest to find the parts no matter how long it takes.

I'd assume most people don't have the extra money to spend on something they've discovered is a shiny turd. Even if they did have the money, try to find someone to help you after you've muttered the words " Asian Imported Scooter". They won't want a bar of it. Most of these shops now have a clear disclaimer on their websites regarding their inability to deal with your Asian scooter.

You'd also imagine that after this soul crushing discovery you'd have a very bad taste in your mouth and would be more likely to roll the scooter into a corner of the shed and leave it there.

So one ponders....exactly how many unregistered un-roadworthy old "Frankenscoots" are actually out there in old sheds across this land, and for that matter, all across the planet.
I know of a guy who has a 'naked' one in his living room for his daughter to play on, useless for everything else as the VIN # is missing...cut out and another patch put in. Game over!

What will happen to these old beauties? It makes me sad to think that there's so many little Asian chop shop business completely decimating the classic Vespas of the world, 'restored to death' as I have often put it.

Don't be totally disheartened though, the parts are out there to fix them up, takes a lot of research and looking and asking and most of all..patience and money!

My own SS180 project is a very very slow one as I'm still on the hunt for a couple of parts to replace the Asian modifications, if anyone has an SS180 Carb box and air manifold elbow thingy I'd be keen to hear your price.

Goodbye Beautiful Lola

See ya later Lola, it's been a hoot of a scoot!

Well the time had finally come to clear out the shed, a couple of my scooters just had to go. Being self employed is great but not having the time to get the scooters out was starting to get me down, just seeing them sitting there was making it worse.
The decision of what to keep and what to sell was fairly easy. The GTS is my main mode of transport these days, for the short trips to the shop, the long trips into the country and every other trip in between. My SS180 is still very much a work in progress and my favourite old scooter & therefore 'Sophia' just had to stay. So that leaves Francesca and Lola.
Lola was my first classic Vespa and it was kind of sad to have to let her go. Francesca (or Fat Franki as I often call her) is on the market too, she's been fun to play with over the last few years but she's just not getting used and I am so sure someone will love her.

So...Lola went to her new owners today, Sue and Darren are going to take her to Western Australia for her new life. I am sure she'll be loved and looked after but I have to admit, I felt a bit sad this afternoon to watch her loaded up and driven away. 

Sellers remorse? 
What's the ONLY thing to do in this situation? 
Yep...go for a good long scoot!
I came back with a smile on my face and I feel a whole lot better about it.

Thanks Bella ;)

Fat Franki up for Sale

Time to clear out the shed, I have decided it's fun to have the Vespa collection but not so much fun with no time to dedicate to them so am flogging 2 off.
First to go, on ebay as we speak...
Fat Franki, I'll miss you but someone else will love you!

An update on James Story

An update on James' Story

I bet she gallops now James!

Regular readers of this blog will remember James' story.
(click here to read the initial story)

He fell in love with a Vespa in Bali and had to have her so he imported her back to Australia and went about his new life as a classic Vespa owner.
Sadly he had a few headaches with her initially but here's his latest update. Warms the cockles.....

"Things have been going great. The scooter is running like a top!
Absolutely no issues at all. Have been on many club rides - took it to the National Classic Scooter Rally to Dalesford which was a fast and long ride with 300 scooters and she rode like a champ. Just got back form the Mods Vs' Rockers on Sunday which was a hoot. Motor wise - have done a few mods, Hotwing Vintage 226 pipe, Pinasco 177 kit, pot matched and inlet extended, 24/24 Si carb, Ducati 1.8kg Flywheel, corsa clutch and Mazzuchelli race cut crank. Body has held up fine. No suspicious bumps, cracks or blisters. Absolutely no structural concerns, I have put this scooter through alot, heavy bumps, braking as speed and if anything was going to go wrong it would have a year and a half ago. I ride this scooter every day, its my transportation to work. She never seems to missed a beat - except for the odd cable or spark plug of coarse - general scooter stuff"

Check out those mods! :)
You go James! (& now you can.....a lot faster too!)

Where's the last 12 months gone??

The SS180 Project Takes Off.....again!

Well the last 12 months have flown by, I have only just stopped to take a 'breather' and it's something I could get used to! I'm having a little holiday before I finish my Diploma in OHS as that will be full on for a while.

As the weather warms up I'm getting more excited about the prospect of getting my SS180 up and running for summer. I am also slowly coming to terms that my lifestyle doesn't allow me the time to enjoy all scooters in my collection so will downsize from 4 to 2. I will be keep the SS and my new GTS which has become my daily scoot due to the pure ease and reliability of the ride. I love it.
It is possible to enjoy both classics and twisties as they each have their own uses in my eyes.

There's so many scooter sites out there where the hardcore classic scooter owners spend a lot of time slagging off the new scooters and their riders as having 'sold out' somehow. This has always puzzled me.

Surely it's about the feeling of freedom you get from scootering, the whole experience, the rush of being on the scooter and out for a lovely ride - not about the type of engine under you?

So, personally I quite enjoy the options of having both.
The classics come out on a sunny day for a glorious ride around the bay or for a leisurely trip through the countryside for a picnic.

The GTS300 comes out for the quick trip to the shop where I know I can jump on and go with no hassles, no last minute cable checks or oil top ups, it's easier than the car for the dart up to the butcher, a drop off to the post office or my favourite, a lovely 110kph cruise on the open roads in pure comfort and safety.

So now I am trolling through the buckets of parts I have for the SS to make sure I now have all the bits I need to put the engine back in.
Higgo is going to fix up a few things for me first like the cases, there's the odd hammer and chisel gouge in there from trying to get seals in or out!

There's also a tiny little hole about 5mm in one corner of the case, Higgo will weld this up for me. This little hole in itself would have made the scooter hard to start surely? No wonder the previous owner was so frustrated with her.

We'll also fix the gear selector rod hole behind the gear selector box, this has been made wider for some reason or maybe just shagged out due to age?

I'm not sure how long this project will actually take to finish, there's no rush for it as long as it's done properly. It's been fairly easy so far to find the parts I've needed. BG at GPS Imports in Melbourne has had some ripper parts there for me. I nearly fell over when I called to ask if he had an SS180 front hub assembly in stock, (as mine had just crumbled in my hands) holding my breath with all fingers crossed....."Yep, got one here" OMG! :)
I did some shopping at SIP and Beedspeed overseas and found lots of little it's time to get the 'explosion' drawings out and see if I do have everything for the rebuild.
The next installment will show pics of the cases and hubs etc being fixed, welded and milled. Higgo seems to think I'll be able to do the milling myself with some guidance so we'll see...gulps!
His collections of mills and lathes is amazing so there's nothing that can't be done.

Last month we did a job for a guy in Canberra, his flyside key way was well and truly flogged out and was ready to go in the bin. Others had told him to scrap it.

Higgo filled it in by welding it up, milled it all and re-cut a new key way all for under $200!
It fits like a glove with no movement at all and we think it will run better than it ever has :)

What do we have here?

I've had an email from a mate in Indonesia who has come across these old girls in a shop workshop/shed and wants to know if I want them??? Hmmmm?? What to do? ;)

Looks like a couple of old GS150's to me, and the gold handlebar model with farro basso lamp..? Not sure??

I'm awaiting prices on stripping, crating and shipping first before deciding what to do but not much known on their history so that can be hard.

Another barn find story, my mate who does my machine work and welding etc is also a pilot. He met up with a guy recently who is in rural victoria for summer as a water bomber pilot but his summer project between fire calls is to get an old Rally 200 going, one he found recently in a shed down here and bought for $100. Yes, that's right. one hundred dollars!! :0 He changed the sparkplug, added fuel and kicked her over, off she went!! I've been helping him out with parts so maybe he'll be kind to me when summer is over and I might get a cheap Rally.

Which brings me to the next thing, time to get rid of some old Vespas I think! I'll probably flog the 150 Supers, keep the SS180 and GTS300 and just go back to the buying and selling rather than buying and keeping! :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL, Safe Scootin' for 2010.

More new scooter pics


I just can't get enough of this new scooter.
I had a great summer cruising the South West in the sunshine and thankfully we had a good long scooter season which just ended on the 22nd April. My scooter season 'guage' here in the SW is when the day temps drop to around 15-16 and the rains start. (Which is a shock from the mid 20's-mid 30's we had been used to for the previous few months)

BRIDGEWATER BEACH.....Another of our 'best kept secrets'...sshhhh!!


One of our "best kept secrets" Shhhhh!!!

PORTLAND South West Victoria.

Victoria's Birthplace! ;)


Vespa GTS300ie......It's Scooter-licious!!

Meet Arabella.

I took the plunge and bought myself a brand spanking new scooter this week. I have been eyeing off the new 2009 Vespa 3oo Super for a few months and decided to just go buy one! :) Life is waaaay to short to not reward yourself from time to time. Gotta say...she is absolutely gorgeous and a complete pleasure to ride. She has way more pick up and power than I imagined and it is very easy to look down at the speedo and see it at 80 without even trying...

I called Warren at Peter Stevens in Geelong and assumed I'd be choosing from white or black, after reading somewhere that the red models would be limited and hard to find. when he said..."or would you like a red one?"..I nearly fell off my chair! So it was meant to be :)

This morning was particularly windy and I went for ride around the coast to test her out. I was being knocked around quite a bit by the strong coast winds but managed to keep a fairly good even line in very difficult conditions, I was very impressed with this as if I was on one of my old scooters I would have been in the dirt. She climbed very steep hills with ease and never missed a beat, actually feels more 'zippy' to me that some of the big road bikes I've had.

She is Scooter-licious that's for sure!