Thursday, July 19, 2007

AmeriVespa 2007: More Concours and Random Pics

Here's the winner for "Best Custom Modern Manual Vespa", "La Lone Sirena Vaquera"or the Cowgirl Mermaid Diva Scooter. Hmmm... Cattle wranglers and mythological creatures and scooters... and brass even... the universe is definitely strange.

Ooooh, Pretty!

and a closer look at that cowl art. Congratulations, Dawn Brocks, that is definitely one beaut of a scoot!

While there were a few scooters that are heavily mechanically modded and intensely custom painted, many of the entrants leaned towards emphasis on one or the other. Take for instance the Franken-Scoot pictured above. I have to admit, I almost overlooked this radical custom job, due to a newbie's fascination with the superficial aspects of the scooters. However, I was fortunate enough to meet Dave Pettet the owner/creator of this monstrosity. And I do mean monster!
This beast started life as a meek little ET2, 49cc automatic 2-stroke which Vespa discontinued a couple years back. The engine apparently died, so Dave got the deliciously mad-scientist-like idea of transplanting a 172cc Gilera Runner into the chassis. This required a lot of modification to both body and engine... such as installing a radiator into the legshield, and cutting ventilation holes in the legshield. Dave said this was a process he approached with much trepidation, as he needed to maintain the structural integrity of the legshield. I got to talk to Dave at length about his scoot, which he has been working on for two years, and level of mechanical engineering he has put into it is staggering, and obviously a lot of it was over my head.
Eventually he hopes to take the scoot to Booneville to test it's ultimate landspeed. The engine has not been fully broken in, and Dave has yet to have it at full throttle, but he's had it up to 70 mph at somewhere between half and three-quarter throttle! Sheer madness!

Speaking of odd scooters, here is the ride which won "Best Oddity":

This awesomely dieselpunk gem is a 1957 Peugot. I can not describe how sweet it was to see this rare piece of scooter history in person.

Very reminiscent of the Heinkel... see:

OK, this stout German beauty, wasn't in the Concours... it was just out in the general scooter parking... as was this one:

here's another peek at that:

Speaking of Germans, there will be more about the German Invasion of AmeriVespa next time....

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