There’s something about Vespa scooters that attracts us like no other lover. Err…sorry, but we can’t help but jump into a Beatles song when we see these 2-stroke metal-bodied scooters. Vespa scooters seem to have a character and an image that’s purely their own and one that takes us back to simpler times, like when Rock n’ Roll was simple, clean and fun.
We became friends with actor and TV host Eppie Quizon while we were participating in the Petron Xtra Mile Challenge Media Edition in January 2007. We offered to sponsor and help restore Eppie’s 1997 Vespa PX 150E that was his former favorite daily ride. After he crashed it and crumpled some of its metal body panels, the Vespa languished in a corner, forlorn and forgotten.
We picked up the Vespa a month later in February 2007 and worked on it as our budget allowed. Initially, Eppie really wanted to have it restored and make it look like the blue-and-white scooter that Jude Law rode in the movie “Alfie”. But when he couldn’t wait any longer, Eppie agreed to trade his battered PX 150 E with two of our newer scooters – a 2007 Blaze HUBS 110 and a 2012 Genuine Scooter Company Stella 150 – plus a brand-new helmet. We inadvertently got ourselves our own Vespa.
Once the PX 150E was ours, we got some inspiration from a couple of Maisto 1:18 scale model scooters that were sitting on our display shelf. We could ditch the battered metal front compartment of Eppie’s old scooter, change the horn housing and nose section, and make it look like a 1969 Vespa 150 Sprint Veloce. After all our ‘97 PX 150E is still a 150cc 2-stroke scooter like the ’69 150 Sprint Veloce and all we need were some replacement body panels and some red paint.
The other option we considered was to retain the compartment, change the horn cover from the current square one to a round chrome one, paint the scooter Rally red with white stripes, and make it look as close as possible to a 1972 Vespa 200 Rally. After all, our ’97 PX 150E has electronic ignition like the transistorized “electronic” one being flaunted on the ’72 200 Rally.
We consulted some of our friends who are die-hard Vespisti (Vespa fanatics) and they said that what we envisioned for our PX 150E can be done. To turn it into a Sprint Veloce, we just need some of the body parts, a good metal fabricator, and a panel beater that can massage our ’97 Vespa’s panels to imitate those of the ’69. The same thing needs to be done to turn our PX 150E into a Rally replica. We just have to find the right period-correct parts and the correct size of the white stripes.
In the end, we felt that turning our late-model PX 150E into a tribute or replica of older Vespa icons is like making a copy of the Mona Lisa on an aged canvass. It’s may be accurate and close but it’s still a copy, not the original. So, we decided to paint our restored PX 150E in two-tone black and white as a tribute to the King of Philippine Comedy, the late Rudolfo Quizon, more popularly known as Dolphy, father of Eppie Quizon. We believe that it was more fitting and appropriate.
After we finished restoring our Vespa, we would like to try and find a Maisto 1:18 scale model of a Vespa PX 150 like ours so we can paint it like we did our actual scooter. We can’t wait until the quarantine is lifted and the Corona virus has been eradicated to find one. Wait…What, the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) has been extended again until May 15th?! Oh, well… we’ll have more time to clean our display case of model cars and motorcycles!
To go back to other stories of different scale model cars and motorcycles that we have posted, please click “The Rack” button on the header bar near the top right of your screen (if you’re using a PC, laptop or tablet), or type “The Rack” on the Search bar if you’re using a mobile phone. Tomorrow, we’ll feature another Italian two-wheeler. Ciao!