Tuesday, 24 July 2012

feature : Vespa GS, Mod Icon


photos thanks to : vespaio


In my misspelt yoof I owned, for a short while, a Vespa GS 150 VS5 Scooter. A Gran Sport. And sporty it was. And cool it definitely was. They even have one on display in MOMA, New York.


Even at that somewhat unaesthetic period in my life, I knew that the design of my scooter was something very special. It obviously possessed Italian flair, but it also had an indefinable extra element. All in all it was the finest means of transport a Mod could possess. It gave one instant street cred.....when one could manage to stay on the thing, that is.


Buses, lorries and cars were enemies enough, but there was one other enemy that almost guaranteed a Mod and his GS were soon parted: dreaded tar and chippings road resurfacing. Being parted from one’s GS and landing on such an abrasive surface, helmet-less, with only a natty nylon mac for protection, was a very painful business, but one which we Mods stoically endured in the name of coolness.  Nothing, not the four-wheeled enemy, nor the tar and chippings enemy, could dim a Mod’s passion for the best scooter around.


As the son of a car-less joiner, oily, mechanical matters were a mystery to me; but I was lucky. I had a friend called Ray (still have), an apprentice toolmaker, who understood all that spannery, greasy stuff, so not only did my GS look great, it went great; not that it needed to go that great to blow away any heavily-accessorised upstarts that came our way. 


We strapped Mods didn’t approve of gratuitous adornments. Decidedly uncool, we thought. My GS had a spare wheel on the back, a fat exhaust pipe, a little tweaking, and that was it. Mine was the grooviest GS going.


by Richard Woollen, guest author


photo thanks to : oldscoot

photo thanks to : scootergo

photo thanks to : modernvespa

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