Thursday, September 27, 2007

Time Capsule

Some guys get all the luck! Check out this SS in "original" condition. Ain't she a beaut? Congrads to Gary. We're envious.

Here's the history according Gary:

I've always wanted an SS, and it was really just a fluke finding this one, I was looking once in awhile for one or a GS160. Going over the classifieds on Craigslist, an older woman was selling an original SS and had it listed as a 64 which seemed odd since there were so few made, and this one had the round headlight and that tractor taillight. Fearing that it was some type of clone I held off on contacting her. I then visited javaspeed in RI to see if they could help me find a larger frame Vespa (I'm 6'1 and 200lbs), they are about an hour or so from me, and when I mentioned that "64" was available and I was considering it, they knew the bike since it had been on display there for awhile and also serviced there, but at the time it wasn't for sale, as the woman whom owned it was planning to retire and move to Italy with it (at the time).

The guys there told me if I passed on it to let them know, I had no idea these were so desireable until rather recently, and reading around the net, somewhere I guess there is a top 10 list for Vespas and the SS is on that list. I just never knew it seems everyone is looking for one. When I called around various shops looking for price points I couldn't believe the prices these things were fetching. From what your blog seems to be indicating, you will probably end up being ahead given their appreciation, hard to imagine in the vintage vehicle business, but that seems to be going on now.

Anyways, the woman I bought it from owned it in dry climate controlled storage for 30 years. She admitted to only driving it once for about a minute as it was to be her retirement vehicle. Took her the last 2 years to realize the dream wasn't practical I guess as she is rather comfortable here. A bunch of folks have tried to get it from her before, lowballed her on the price and such, and she wanted it to go the right person. I'm a very low pressure guy, I know its hard to let go of things that we bond to, like the VWs, everyone I've sold was hard to part with, when a person is ready they look for the right person to sell it to. So with some of that and a ton of luck this one came my way.

After looking it over I found out it was indeed a 67, no rust anywhere, all original paint, a few minor cowl dents and some scratches but very few, its literally a mini time capsule. I'm only upgrading a few things on it, and I'm taking off the perfect seat since I want it to stay perfect, getting an aftermarket from the Richmond scooter shop, that way I won't feel guilty sitting on it. I've only had it a few weeks, got it started finally this weekend, not idling, will only run partially when the choke is out. Carb was rebuilt 2 years ago but I have to pull it and rebuild again no doubt and double check all the jet sizes, as the idle adjust and mix adjust had no effect at all on the engine. There are a few other oddball things to do, and I've got problems in the gearbox maybe, but luckily here come winter time its something I can take my time on and know by spring it will all be rideable. I just found a local place that does midweek rides and such, apparently there is a rather big scooter scene in Boston, this place is called, talked to him, so at least I've got someone that can help me dial it all in.

I love resto work too, so undoubtedly I will be looking for something rare to do myself someday, much like my early VWs, I can do just about all my own work, so something like a 160 project would be amazing to do at some point. I figure though I'm just lucky enough to have what I have now and probably spent my good luck points on finding this SS.

Anyways, heres some pics, if you want any closer up of something let me know, will try to help you with what I can. Its just incredible I thought that your SS was only the 48th after mine. Enjoy the pics!



Sunday, September 23, 2007

Restoration: Seat Foam

Many of you may need to restore/rebuild/re-foam or create from scratch an authentic SS180 seat. Note that this seat is unique and does not resemble other Vespa seats. Make sure to review previous posts on the subject on this blog since I BUTCHERED I original stock seat and I was so pist at myself for doing so.

The photos below were sent to me by Mark Lee and show you in detail the flip tail build up for the tail end of the seat. NOTE: my flip piece was actually black (very dense and stiff foam -- almost rubber like, but not quite) and looked like the skid plate used on skateboards in the late 1980s (remember those?). Mark believes he is missing that part and will therefore need to have one made.

What ever you do SAVE all of your original foam and try to re-use what you have and very CAREFULLY study what the stock seat looked like. See previous posts. Work from there when restoring your seat and be very specific with your reupholster. If you have the stock foam it will cost you about $150-$175 to have it recovered correctly.

Final Parts Request for Quote

Today, I sent out my parts list to be quoted by the shops I have had good experiences with and with any luck I should start getting quotes back within the next 30-60 days. At the moment, we don't have the necessary money, but hopefully we will soon.