Searching The Elusive
For a good part of 2008, Stephen (who rides a Vespa GT200L) had this dream that somewhere within, or not far from the Triangle area, hidden in a corner of some garage, a barn or a shed, nearly forgotten from a distant yet glorious past, protected under a layer of dust-covered tarp, there sits a vintage scooter, maybe a Vespa, an Allstate, a Lambretta, or some esoteric brand, oxidizing quietly into a nice patina-rich treasure which was about to become his…
Even though it was only a dream, Stephen was motivated enough to make the necessary trips in order to find that first vintage scooter to call his very own. Briefly, he even inspired me to look for one. I say briefly because there was one, a Vespa P200 chopper, that I really liked and it belonged to Jason in San Antonio. But, you all know the story by now–I ended up with the mp3 instead. Ultimately, I was fully aware of my lack of mechanical knowledge about the vintage scooters and being financially limited in many respect kept me from diving into some potentially-expensive and extensive restoration project. Yes, I had commitment issues with vintage scooters.
On two occasions, I accompanied Stephen in his search. A man who returned his call one time said that he was willing to part with his “Vespa” for a 12-pack of Bud (right here you readers would know that’s too good to be true). Soon after we arrived to pick up the “Vespa”, the excitement fizzled as we quickly discovered that not only was the scooter not a Vespa, it was a 90% rusted and ruined Honda Passport–a true piece of junk, with a restoration difficulty index of 11 (on a scale of 10)! On the drive home, out of a 12-pack of Bud, Stephen had to think of some creative way to dispose of this rust pile. Sure he gets a laugh now just thinking about it.
Eventually, neither Stephen nor I ended up with a garage treasure last year; but Larry in Nederland did find a classic Cushman Husky! The experience has taught us that there are hidden treasures all around us if you look hard enough, and with a little (or a lot of) effort, they could become your pride and joy! Below is a photo collection of what we’ve seen in 2008. Enjoy!–Lorenzo