Friday, July 20, 2007
More AmeriVespa Wrap Up
The jaw-droppingly glorious scooter above is a 1954 Hoffman Vespa "Koenigin"or "Queen". This was a fantastic piece of scooter-history that was totally new to me. Henrik Harms won "Best Widebody Vespa" for this stunning scoot. You can find a little history about the German branch of Vespa genealogy here. With old-school widebodies, bike-style handlebars, and headlights on the fender and headset, not too mention that crazy standard chrome on the front of the cowls, this ride was really something else. Orin over at Scootin' Old Skool has a picture of this bike with the Pav trailer fully installed... (Excuse me one moment, as I clean the drool off of my keyboard.)
Here is Henrik's compadre Christian's Hoffman. Looking a little more lived-in than the gilded beauty above, it is still a wonderfully functioning piece of history. Did I say functioning? You bet your sweet saddle I did, these guys also won furthest traveled to the rally. They shipped their bikes from Europe to the East Coast (I heard Boston, and I heard NY... so I'm not sure) and rode to Seattle. What's more, they were planning to hit Canada, Mexico, and Cuba on their anachronistic wanderjahr. They have a website, America-by-Vespa, but sadly it is in Deutsch.
Here is another sweet old Wasp that was on display. Man, I dig these old fenderlights!
Great Ceasar's ghost! Is that 60 year old original paint?
And look at those lines! This baby is almost obscene!
There is beauty in pragmatic functionalism as well. This P200E caught my eye, as I strolled the parking lot. Not a shiny show-off scoot, but a hardy daily-runner, just the kind of bike I hope Quell grows up to be. The owner of this bike, Rob, put some miles in himself getting to Seattle. He rode this P from Eureka, in two days. He was obviously proud of the solidity of his little steed, and we talked for sometime about these workhorses of the manual scooter world. I learned a lot in my chat with Rob. When I was discussing my earlier problems with the fuel pipe in my carb, he insisted on opening up his carb, so I could show him exactly what I was talking about. (I noticed he had a hoseclamp holding that connection.) While the outside of this scoot might look a little "ridden hard and put-up wet," everything under that engine side cowl was pristine. The engine looked mint!
Rob also recommended that I try Blue Marble oil. He said he's used this two-stroke oil for years, and it's the cleanest thing he's come across. It burns clean, with little to no smoke, and leaves no deposits or residue in the engine. Not only does it significantly reduce his emissions, but it is also supposedly bio-degradable. Rob really couldn't say enough good about this product. He convinced me to at least look into the oil, which is generally marketed to snow-mobilers. I did some digging on the internet, and did find some independent tests with some promising results. I'll be ordering some here soon... and will of course share my personal experiences.
Speaking of down-and-dirty P-series rats, this bike the "Thunderturd," just really tickled me. Heh, heh, "Thunderturd," brilliant.
I love how the legshield is reminiscent of an old jousting shield, with an area cut out for couching a lance. Plus I'm a sucker for those light protecting grills... I'd really like to find some for Quell.
Reader Vespabelle writes:
The Thunderturd is owned by my husband Dave McCabe. It's a "fanciful recreation of a Acma Troupes Aéro Portées (TAP) Vespa which was used by the French military in Algeria and Vietnam. There's a nice write up of this bike in Collin Shattuck's book Scooters: Red Eyes, Whitewalls & Blue Smoke.
She is of course refering to this:
an image that shows up all over the scooter web from time to time. Heck, I posted it some time ago...
Still, I think I like Thunderturd better than it's inspiration...