A new lease on life for an old bike!
Yesterday was a very exciting day!! Uncle Regie from KR and Sons panel shop phoned to say that my Vespa was ready for collection!
Uncle Regie is a member of a local Methodist Church. I was put in touch with by my friend, the Revd Ronnie van Eck. He offered to respray my old Vespa for me - you may remember that I had been trying to find someone who would do it, but no panel shop was willing because it was just too much work to strip, spray, and rebuild the bike. She was badly in need of some new paint and also needed quite a few dents knocked out. After all, she is 39 years old this year!
You may remember that this is what she looked like before:
So, after meeting Uncle Regie and his team, she was taken to pieces, a colour was agreed upon (Uncle Regie decided that she would look good in the new metalic Orange that is being used for the sporty Ford Fiesta), and I patiently waited. In the meantime I had ordered new rubbers for the side cowels, new grips for the handlebars, and a new badge for the front (a total of about $15 US (about R150 including postage) from a place in India that I found on the internet... When I first placed the order I was worried that the parts may never arrive... However, they came, well packaged in perfect order, and at a very reasonable price!)
Here's a picture of the Vespa during restoration.
The paintwork is absolutely perfect! She was stripped down, the dents were all fixed up, she was sanded down and then given a few coats of paint to get up to this shiny state! The orange used on this Vespa is quite different from that on my other one. This orange shines! It has some sort of metalic finish that makes it glimmer in the sun. It looks truly awesome!
AND!!! Here's a picture of the old girl all back together with the shiny new coat of paint, all the panels and beading, and saddle fitted! The orange draws a LOT of attention! At least I am always spotted by cars and taxis as I'm driving. I can now say that I have a truly unique Vespa. She has done 36 000 miles! And, I'm sure that I will do a few thousand more.
So, she looks great doesn't she!? She still has a few problems starting.... I will have to get the engine seen to as soon as I have a few spare clams to spend. The seat also needs to be replaced and the headlight is not working as it should (I can get a dim beam, but no brights). Also the speedometer doesn't work, so I am never quite sure how fast I'm driving... So that will also need to be fixed with time. However, when she starts, and once she is running, she goes like a dream! Italian craftsmanship with a South African flare.
She sure is a great joy to me, and she saves me hours of driving by allowing me to nip through the city traffic! I can't wait to leave the office this afternoon and take her out on the road home. Thanks Ronnie, and thanks Uncle Regie... You know what the best part of the whole deal is? Uncle Regie didn't charge me a cent! Now that's incredible!!