Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ballad of the Steampunk Vespa: Part 1 The Vespa

That's right folks, the Steampunk Vespa is finished! Above you will no doubt observe that the Dragon is one happy mutant. Some might even say maniacally happy.
I'm really pleased by the paint job, and how all the pieces came together. I think the funkiness of P200e's 80's stylings actually take on a sci-fi 1880's facade quite well. But first how it came to be.
The 1980 Vespa P200e was purchased off ebay from an individual in Colorado. He'd been a member at ebay for several years had good feedback, and wasn't a powerseller. I could tell from his ebay history and feedback that he was the kind of guy who used ebay like the classifieds. He seemed honest, and was the second owner. He'd started fixing it up and was going to have move overseas before he could finish. He said the issue was that the scooter needed some surface rust dealt with, and needed to be painted. It only has 516 miles on it! The first owner laid it down early on, and was too scared to ride it. Seemed like the perfect gamble, I paid $1300 for it. He threw in a new Sito plus exhaust for another $50.
Shipping was a nightmare and it took almost three months for me to recieve the scoot. I think the seller charged me like $450 for air freight, but I think he may have ended up spending more than that for shipping and handling. The scooter had to be crated, and his first two tries were rejected by the frieght company. He was very communicative about the process, and I was understanding about it. I had to rent a U-Haul to go pick it up at SeaTac, and had to con Lukas into driving the U-Haul, since I didn't have my automobile license at this point.
If you're getting the feeling that this project has been an exercise in patience, you'd be correct.

Anyway here are some better shots of the cosmetic challenges I faced:

The rust was particularly bad on the floorboards. It looked like the poor scoot had sat uncovered outside for years.
This is how the glovebox looked. The seller had started on sanding down the rust but hadn't finished... so it was returning.

Treating the rust with a rust convertor. This was cool stuff!
Coming up next: Painting... where I briefly toy with the idea of a rat-bike Vespa.

1 comment:

Lachrymosa said...

can i just say...that thing is gorgeous...drooool. I want to know how to make it...