School me on Original Taillight Housings/lenses
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Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:38 pm quote
I'm particularly interested in what an original taillight for a '59-'62 VBB looks like vs the repros out there. B

Seems like original units in good condition are a rare part to find? I understand some had an orange acorn lens for a brief period? I also am lead to believe from my research here that some repros - even the expensive ones - are of a questionable fit, so I'd be interested to hear of anyone's good repro fit units.

I've checked out Google, but I couldn't find any definitive pics, so I'd be interested in any pics you may have or original taillights. Bonus points for real vs repro side by side comparison pics .

Thanks in advance.

Cheers
Cam
Hooked
1958 Allstate Super Cruisaire 2005 70cc Yamaha Vino
Joined: 23 Aug 2020
Posts: 220
Location: Philadelphia
Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:30 pm quote
I thought, but not positive on this one, that the GS's had the yellow on top lens and the VNA VBB types had the red lenses on both.

I could be wrong though.
Moderator
VNB VSC VBC VSX
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 4698
Location: Hustletown, TX
Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:40 pm quote
So, most 59-62 VBB should be the red acorn with chromed metal IIRC. I have seen a few of the yellow accords on top, but no idea if that was an aftermarket thing, or market of manufacture thing (UK, Motovespa, etc), or model thing as noted above.

Do be careful with the repops. The cheap repops are chromed plastic and depending on where they are made can be total garbage. The associated rubber gaskets too can be ill-fitting.

Search for an OG if ya can, if not call Diamond Dave at Scooters Mercato and ask him to suss you out a quality repop and not indian or SEA garbage. It will be worth the extra change.

Last edited by Birdsnest on Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 3058
Location: Nashville
Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:44 pm quote
The original tail light on the VBB was, like Birdsnest said, a chrome housing with a single-piece red lens over both the tail & brake lights, and a chromed shade separating them.

I have the original SIEM housing for my '63 GL and it looks to have the same design, but I haven't done anything crazy like measure it to see how it compares.
bodgemaster
63 GL, 76 Super (x 2), 74 Primavera (x 2), 06 Fly 150
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 5653
Location: So Cal
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:09 pm quote
Couple of pics for discussion purposes.

Chandler, interesting your GL has an acorn light. Mine has the squared off style.

E84FE90F-64B5-4B67-AF83-A1FFE0570503.jpeg

14795E68-59E0-4655-A3FD-548005BA2352.jpeg

Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:45 pm quote
Thanks for the replies. SoCal - thanks for the pics. The two lights look quite different. I'm considering the '62 in the pic below and the tail light looks odd in that it has a 'lip' around the chrome shade so I suspect it's a repro.



Also, what year did the license plate area below the light get flattened? I've seen both the continuation of the body line (ie no flat part), and the flat part like in the pic. I prefer the non-flattened look, but hey, it mostly gets covered up anyway...but I'll know it's there!

Is there any good, well regarded, books on VBB restoration? I haven't seen it, but I suspect Vespa Tecnica doesn't include info on things like the abovementioned items, but I could be wrong?
Enthusiast
Joined: 14 Jan 2018
Posts: 65
Location: no matter where you go, there you are
Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:49 pm quote
Round tail vs square tail
Looks like 62 was the transition year from round tail to square tail. VBB1T vs VBB2T. Early 62 were still VBB1T.

C8B58891-A8FB-4E07-8C54-3E0A8F3B7C4B.jpeg

06FD754F-C10C-470C-A406-E1393DEB6F13.jpeg

Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:14 pm quote
Re: Round tail vs square tail
markosmarkos wrote:
Looks like 62 was the transition year from round tail to square tail. VBB1T vs VBB2T. Early 62 were still VBB1T.
Excellent, just what I was after, thank you. What book is that in?
Molto Verboso
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
Joined: 16 Apr 2011
Posts: 1612
Location: Siam
Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:14 pm quote
Nevada51 wrote:
Thanks for the replies. SoCal - thanks for the pics. The two lights look quite different. I'm considering the '62 in the pic below and the tail light looks odd in that it has a 'lip' around the chrome shade so I suspect it's a repro.



Also, what year did the license plate area below the light get flattened? I've seen both the continuation of the body line (ie no flat part), and the flat part like in the pic. I prefer the non-flattened look, but hey, it mostly gets covered up anyway...but I'll know it's there!

Is there any good, well regarded, books on VBB restoration? I haven't seen it, but I suspect Vespa Tecnica doesn't include info on things like the abovementioned items, but I could be wrong?
Thatís a very odd looking light.
Moderator
VNB VSC VBC VSX
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 4698
Location: Hustletown, TX
Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:19 am quote
Indeed, that is an odd looking bird.

Is that a makers name or mark on it anywhere?

Siem for example embossed their name on some of the plastics and stamped their logo on some chrome.
Moderator
VNB VSC VBC VSX
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 4698
Location: Hustletown, TX
Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:21 am quote
PS - sorry about the Scooters Mercato suggestion... I didn't clock that you were in Australia.
Hooked
'61 Cushman GS150, '62 GS160, '74 Rally 200
Joined: 20 Sep 2017
Posts: 106
Location: Seattle, WA
Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:10 am quote
According to the Vespa Tecnica book for 1956-1964, the acorn style tail light was introduced on the 1958 GS150. The original GS version had an orange top light, but also a more elongated, stylized shape. That's the only scooter I can see that had an orange top light.

In 1959 the acorn was added to the 150, with the same elongated shape, and a solid red lens. The acorn we're all most familiar with was introduced that same year, 1959, but only on the GS150.

The 150 and 125 got the new acorn style in 1960. Interestingly, in 1960 for the 125 the acorn casing was not chrome, but was painted to match the scooter color. Seems that was only done for one year, and only on the 125.

The acorn was phased out after 1964.
Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:51 am quote
Got to love this forum. Thanks SEA, sounds like I'd better get Vespa Tecnica.

Cam
Ossessionato
1979 P150X, 1983 P200E, 1988 T5, 1995 PX200E, 2011 Yamaha Fazer 600 S2
Joined: 02 Aug 2015
Posts: 2167
Location: Veria, Greece
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:39 am quote
Although what everything was said is correct, I would also like to remind you that depending the market, some models had unique characteristics for the specific market. So your tail light could be the correct one for your country. As mentioned check the lens for any markings / manufacturerís name...
Style Maven
74 50s x3 78 P200 x2 84 Cosa PK50XL2 58 AllState 68 Sprint 80 50special '66(?) Super125
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 8048
Location: seattle/athens
Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:35 pm quote
To add to the confusion:

IMG_20210219_012043115.jpg
Original unpainted aluminum acorn tail light with replacement Bosatta one piece lens and missing the original 'brow' piece on a '62 VNB

IMG_20210219_012127150.jpg
An older style acorn for a two piece lens that may be the same as the GS 150, but this one came on a '58 VBA and had no lenses.
I used a glass '49 Dodge lens below, and the original top lens may have been red as well.

IMG_20210219_012329248.jpg
Dirty, but quality polished cast aluminum repop with the brow piece and nice Seim lens with the separate center reflctor w/ its own stainless bezel.

IMG_20210220_163003646.jpg
Quality cast repop vs cheap plastic

Addicted
86 T5, 71 Sprint, 63 GL
Joined: 30 Oct 2014
Posts: 625
Location: Oak Brook, Illinois
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:17 pm quote
I have what is left of what I think is the original tail light from my 63 GL, and a repop I got from sip. The quality of the original is apparent, but there isnít enough left of it to save it.

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

Ossessionato
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 3058
Location: Nashville
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:55 pm quote
I went out to the shed today and my recollection of the light on the GL was wrong. It's not an acorn after all.

SIEM 4380

PXL_20210220_192543010.jpg

Style Maven
74 50s x3 78 P200 x2 84 Cosa PK50XL2 58 AllState 68 Sprint 80 50special '66(?) Super125
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 8048
Location: seattle/athens
Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:38 am quote
Here's my old GL, correct style tail light, but this one's not original.


And the original light on my Euro Sprint, similar but has a lovely brow at the top.

Ossessionato
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 3058
Location: Nashville
Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:56 am quote
I have the brow on mine, which is good because I like the look of it

PXL_20210220_192545925.jpg

Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:14 am quote
Great input everyone, fantastic to have a go-to collection of pics for future reference so many variations! Voodoo - love that original unpainted aluminum acorn tail light with replacement Bosatta lens.

Safis - I did wonder about local market quirks. This is supposed to have been in Australia since '62, so maybe...but it looks repro to me.

Cam
Hooked
'61 Cushman GS150, '62 GS160, '74 Rally 200
Joined: 20 Sep 2017
Posts: 106
Location: Seattle, WA
Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:55 am quote
As SaFiS said, there were some unique accessories in different markets. Obviously, in the US we had some odd looking tail lights (and turn signals). Not sure how many variations of tail lights existed globally, but for what it's worth, here are the different acorn lights I mentioned in my previous post.

Acorn Tail Lights.png

Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:15 pm quote
SEA wrote:
As SaFiS said, there were some unique accessories in different markets. Obviously, in the US we had some odd looking tail lights (and turn signals). Not sure how many variations of tail lights existed globally, but for what it's worth, here are the different acorn lights I mentioned in my previous post.
Great reference SEA, thanks for sharing.

Off topic, but it's interesting that they all have license plates on them as I didn't think they needed them in Italy back in the day? That said, I think I gleaned that from Wikipedia!

I've just ordered Vespa Tecnica; pricey once postage to Australia was factored in, but it seemed like a necessary purchase.
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