Since I bought Hanoi Jane, I've been on the lookout for a rusty/rescue Vespa project. I've restored a couple of cars, including a body off nut and bolt restoration of a 1960's Triumph, and there's something about doing a rescue rebuild that makes a vehicle truely yours.
I had a line on a quite rusty Super, but it was 3000km's away, and disappeared before I could get some serious details on it. Other than that, it's been slim pickings for a year or so.
A few weeks ago, a 50s smallie bobbed up on eBay. (It's pretty well know to a couple of locals on here.)
The eBay photo's showed a shed load of rust, more patches (mostly riveted in) than floor, rusty 4 stud wheels, a box of random parts, and a broken headset. Truely inviting
A rusty non-runner, it was going for more than it should, but Ginch's One Smallframe thread had me thinking, so I threw the minimum bid at it. Winner winner, chicken dinner. The seller was pretty generous, and deilvered it to Melbourne, so it turned out to be an ok deal. I'd love to have got it for less, but I reckon it was fair enough with delivery.
I'm the proud owner of a second Vespa. Well, most/some of one.
Got it home, chucked in a brace, put it on the hoist, and had a good look.
Fair to say it's proper fucked. The floor turned out to be a combo of rust, holes, riveted in plates on riveted in patches, and a lot of gap bridging orange paint. I had entertained thoughts of making it into a rat-rod, and celebrating the rust, but there's just too much, and the temptation of shamelessly coping Ginch's tech build means it'll need a proper rebuild of the chassis and body. The fact that Scooter Centre ships as many parts as you can buy for a fixed fee of 27Euro helped that decision.
The plan then is to to build a 50ss themed tourer (without the faux tank), with a "fun" power plant, that will also be nice and nimble in city traffic. The body will get a full rebuild and stiffening up, and the suspension will get a going over. At least till I run out of funds.
Hopefully, I can restore her to new or better condition, and build something thats "mine".
So today was initial teardown day at my buddy Mat's factory, and onto a workbench it went.
Pretty much everything orange is rust, rusty, or orange paint standing in thin air somehow.
Ditto the base
It's more hole than donut at this stage.
So it's time to cut. I wanted to salvage the horncast, so we carefully sliced around it
Then Mat and I cut one side each with the plasma (Meet Mat!)
Which left me with what remained of the floor still attached in the 8 or nine places there isn't rust.
So in went the ear plugs and out came the air chisel, till whats left of the floor and leg shield came off, and the spine was freed up.
Top half of the spine is good, but the bottom half is awful
Time to decide if the centre spine is repairable, or if I pull it out and replace it. It's got massive chunks missing, and lots of rusty sections, but carving it out and doing a full replacement will be a serious chore.
Going to be a long road, but this should be fun.
Last edited by Gt6MK3 on Fri May 18, 2018 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total