Monday, January 21, 2008

So here it is...

By the suggestion of fellow Vespa restorer, Jeremy, I have decided to start a blog to keep a record of the restoration process of my 1963 Vespa VBB 150. So, to start it all off with, this is where I'm at...

I have wanted a VBB 150 for about 4 years now. I owned a 2003 ET2 that I got as a High School graduation present, and I just fell in love with everything Vespa. Tragically, that Vespa was very short lived. I got in a head on collision with a drunk driver, and luckily I survived, the Vespa did not. I had it only 4 months but had put over 7,000 miles on it. That's how much I loved it.

While a new one was great and all, I really started leaning towards the classic models. The Sprints, The Supers, The GSX's, The 150's, even the Allstates. I knew one of these was what I wanted, but finding just the right one would be hard. I kind of centered in on VBB 150's as my favorite model. Something about them just really got me. A year ago, I even got one tattooed on my leg. (I know it looks a little flakey in the pic, it was still healing.)

So finally, after years of searching, I found a good example of a Vespa VBB 150 that needs to be saved without being in too bad of shape. I got it on eBay, and it showed up at my door last Friday afternoon. Within an hour of owning this diamond in the rough, I already had it taken apart and brought to the basement to prep it for the make-over it so desperately needs. The picture might make it look like a desirable fire engine red color. I hate to have to say that it is actually a very ugly magenta/raspberry color. And a very terrible job at that. This specific piece was chosen because: The actual condition of the body is very pleasent, every essential part to get it running was included, and it would make for a perfect project bike.

As you can see, there's cables spewing out the head. That is because the previous owner bought this bike just the way he sold it to me. The person he got it from started to restore it, but just kind of gave up and sold it. And the guy I bought it from already has several functional Vespas and just didn't make the time to work on this one. It was taken apart to be painted (again, poorly), and all the electronics, levers, and cables taken out and the engine half disassembled. This is how I received it from the freighters. A slightly assembled bike and a box of parts.

So as of now, the bike is disassembled, all of the body pieces are down to the bare metal, ready to be painted, the frame is in the process of being sanded down now, and the engine is partially taken apart. The only body piece I think might need to be replaced is the glovebox side cowl. It has been abused with bondo and the door won't even fit back on because the metal is so warped. The only thing that actually seems to be wrong with the engine is that the piston has seized. So I am currently working on removing the piston from the cylinder. I will have an update soon with the body pieces ready and how the piston went through.


Michael said...

seized piston, ugh. you might look into finding an oem cylinder head and piston. i started restoring a 79 sachs moped a few months ago and, surprise, it's still completely ripped apart and in boxes in my basement... arrg too many projects!!

VespaRos said...

Thanks Michael. Yeah, I'm kind of praying that the piston and cylinder head can be saved with a gentle removal, but I'm sure that I will end up having to replace them. The only thing that is such a big pain is that removal of the piston is required to finish disassembling the engine. So I might have to break out the trusty hacksaw!

Scooter Couple said...

Yah Eric. Blog looks great. How much did you pay for the bike. Know any more history?

You'll be fine with the piston. It can not be worse than mine was. The proof is in the pictures.

By the way, I'm so glad you decided to blog this. I started my blog because I could not find any others online at all in the detail I wanted and I have 100s of hours invested in research.

If you can't find it do it yourself, right!

Let's start a scooter restore blogging revolution!

I will link your blog on my site.