Thursday, 30 September 2010

More Spanish!

Continuing on from my last post here are some more pics of my Spanish MotoVespa scooters...

MotoVespa 125 Super (Circa 1973)

This scooter is the Spanish equivelent to the Italian Primavera model, it contains a slightly different headset and a legshield mounted toolbox.
This model was a big seller in Spain and can still be picked up fairly easily.

My one has a front disc conversion and a slightly beefed up engine, I still have a few finishing touches to put on the scooter, the original legshield badge is very difficult to get hold of here in the UK!

The funky spare wheel carrier is bespoke to the Spanish Smallframe models.

Spaniards in the works

I'm a big fan of Spanish MotoVespa built scooters, I love their quirkiness plus the fact that they can be purchased a lot cheaper than some of the Italian models!
In my opinion the quality of Spanish scooters is exactly the same as Italian, there is barely anything between them in terms of build quality.
Here are a few of the MotoVespas I own:
MotoVespa 150s (series 1) circa 1963

This scooter still wears it's original paint with it's lovely patina and original Spanish decorative badges, this model had 10 inch wheels as standard in basically the same frame as the Italian VBB model, my one had a PX Polini 210 engine in it when I bought it, I've since changed this to a T5 engine which gives a bit more clearance around the barrel which was a a tight fit with the Polini engine.

This is one of my favourite scooters, I love the look of it! Notice the rare Spanish rear carrier, this extends out until it's about a metre long!

Amongst good company on the way to this years Isle of Wight scooter rally.

MotoVespa 150s (series 2) circa 1964
This scooter has the later 1960's style frame with the caged steering bearings and dispenses the control cable channels of the earlier model.
The handlebars contain the trapezoid headlight from the Italian GL model, the front mudguard is also similar to the GL model.
The main feature of this scooter is the bulbous GS160 style side panels, these look awesome!

At the Veteran Vespa Rally in Tring.

Scaling the Grosslockner (highest mountain in Austria!)

Free time=Vespa blogging

Howdy strangers,

Blimey, I got home from work this evening and thought to myself that this was the first day in months where I actually have a free evening, no errands, no band practice and no massive work worries!

The summer was brill and I managed quite a few Vespa related events including:

Driving down to Italy for a Piaggio factory tour with some of The Vespa Club of Britain going via the Mauro Pascoli shop/museum in Ravenna which was brilliant.

Veteran Vespa Rally in Tring (UK)

Beatsugar Amiens (France)

Vespa world days 2010 in Fatima (Portugal) this was excellent.

Isle of Wight rally, this was good but I always end up feeling slightly disappointed by it and look forward to the Euro Rallies much more.

Here's a pic of me and my girl Faye at Vespa World days Fatima Portugal.
Over the summer I've put together a monster engined Vespa cut down for my mate, started taking Faye's ET4 apart (it was hesitating when pulling away) and worked hard getting a couple of my Spanish scoots road worthy.
Now the dust is settling on the summer I now have a chance to really get started on the Rod model! Yay!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Strip down photos #1 - Floor boards.

Here are some photos during the strip down of the scooter, I think I probably should have taken more but I was running to a tight schedule and didn't always have the camera to hand in the thick of things, I aim to improve on the picture taking for future work.

Overview of the floorboards

Note how the floor runners are placed and the little black box (red line) - I believe this is an after market brake light switch.
Also, the floor runners look to be very similar to the Italian equivelent model of this era with end caps, later Douglas Vespas adopted cheaper floor runners without seperate end caps.
Another point of note is the rear brake pedal, once the cable has been removed you can pull the pedal straight out, in this case it needed a lot of WD40 and wiggling before it came loose.

I used a flat bladed screwdriver, a small punch and a hammer to remove the rivets holding on the floor runners being as careful as I could not to damage anything.

I'm keeping every part that I take off of the scooter because there is no guarantee I can get every replacement part I need and some may need to be fabricated at which point I can use the original item as a reference.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Work so far

The first task for the restoration of the scooter is to strip everything from the body so that the frame can be repaired and eventually repainted, taking everything off the frame of the Vespa is easier said than done due to 58 years of British weather rusting all of the fixings and making them a pain to remove.

I also need to try keeping as many original fixings as I can because they are mostly British imperial sizes and cannot easily be replaced by Italian equivilents.

Another important thing to consider is making a note of how things are bolted together, I've tried to take a number of photos so that I know exactly where each piece goes when bolted back together.

Friday, 19 March 2010

The at the deep end!

Hi there, welcome to my blog which will cover step by step the restoration of my Douglas Vespa Rod model.

First off I'll give you a bit of background on who I am and information about my particular scooter.

Who am I?
My name is Roger Green and I live in the South of England, I'm 27 years old (as of 2010!) and have been riding scooters (mainly Vespas) since I was 16, I've rebuilt a number of Vespa and Lambretta scooters and consider myself to be fairly competent at rebuilding them but by no means an expert!
Vespas for me are an obsession, I love everything about them, the shape, the smell, the sound, and the simplicity of them, also the way Vespas were intertwined in the social fabric throughout the 1950's and 1960's - a way of getting people mobile cheaply after the devastation of World War 2, all this stuff fascinates me.
Some people like fast cars, football and drinking.......I like Vespas!

So why do a Blog?
Normally even the word "Blog" sends shivers down my spine because it makes me think of middle class students writing "blogs" about their travel trips abroad or people spilling their minds about how they had beans for dinner or how wasted they got last night..... it all just seems a bit pointless to me really, I don't care what you had for dinner or where you went skiing.
Although saying this going against all my "Blog hate" here I am writing a blog!
The main reason for this is down to my numerous internet searches for Vespa, because sometimes when searching I came accross a few Blogs from other Vespa owners showing a step by step guide of their restorations showing how they worked on the scooter and why they did things a certain way, this seemed to very much lend itself to the Blog format because it's quick and easy to update and the ongoing format clearly shows how things are progressing and also has functionality to allow links, videos, photos and all sorts of other helpful tools in Blog postings.

I thought this would be a good way to show the restoration of my Douglas Vespa because there is not a lot of information out there about these scooters and some parts are very hard to come by, hopefully this blog will help people in a similar situation to mine.

The Scooter:

This particular Rod model came up on the off-chance on the Scooter Trader website, I wasn't specifically looking for a Rod model but it was always in the back of my mind that if a good one turned up and I had a chance to buy it then I would because they are a beautiful looking scooter and have historical significance to anoraks like myself because they were the first Vespa model to be built by Douglas motorcycles in Kingswood Bristol, UK.
The scooter was 99% complete and needed a full restoration, and after numerous phone calls with the seller we came to a deal where both parties were happy, and I ended up swapping my Douglas 92L2 and a P200 engine for the Rod model.

NOTE: I'd actually started stripping down my 92L2 and created a blog for it ( before the Rod model came up, Gavin (the seller of the Rod model) is continuing the blog where I left off and you will be able to see the progress of the 92L2 and it's P200 engine conversion.
The scooter was picked up from Wales on Sun 31st January (listening to Andy Murray get a whooping from Roger Federer on the radio during the drive up to Wales!)

From what I know, the scooter was stored in a munitions factory in Bridgend for the last 40 years! There are numerous coats of paint over the original metalic green colour, and although these layers of paint don't look too pretty they have helped save the scooter from rotting away in the damp Welsh climate.

I'd describe the top coat as Nazi uniform grey! :) maybe it was a military colour paint? If it was stored in a munitions factory then that type of paint would be fairly easy to come by.

The scooter will be a difficult restoration due to the rareness of the machine and the fact that the frame needs fairly extensive repair work but I'm prepared and ready for the challenge ahead!