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.