Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mama Mia Vespas!

Words by: June - Pics by: June & Ben

Sometimes the best things in life just come to you unexpectedly. Like a nice day out at Kampong Glam lane found us right in the middle of a scooter meetup. Or more accurately, a scooter pageant. Each scooter was modified to a certain look and style, where the sky’s the limit for creativity.

Christened ‘Mods May Day cum Street Scooter Pageant‘; this pageant was organised by the Scooters Owners Group Singapore. The winners get to take away some attractive hampers and a trophy to add to the mantel place, proudly sponsored by Kampong Glam CafĂ©, IPolish the nail spa and SMR. They had rather fun categories such as ‘Antique’, ‘Standard’, ‘Modification’ and even ‘Ugly’ (cue bruised ego) in which their scooters could compete for.

1. Categories Mods: 1st – 3rd placing + Cash for Champion
2. Categories Antique: 1st – 3rd placing + Cash for Champion
3. Categories Standard: 1st – 3rd placing. + Cash for Champion.
4. Categories Modification: 1st – 3rd placing + Cash for Champion.
5. Categories Scooter Side Car: 1st – 3rd placing + Cash for Champion.
6. Cat Lambretta: 1st – 3rd placing + Cash for Champion.
7. Best "Overall Mods" Trophy
8. The most "Ugly Scooter" Trophy
9. Best "Mods Dress" Trophy men and ladies: 1st – 3rd
10 Lucky draw Prizes

A bit of history regarding one of the most iconic scooter brands in the world; the Vespa is the mechanical brainchild created by Piaggio after the World War II and the subsequent economic downturn. With the goal of producing a inexpensive mode of transportation, Vespa scooters leveraged on Corradino D’Ascanio’s mechanical engineering knowledge of the aeronautics industry.

A slightly lesser known scooter brand Lambretta, were also in the running. Also an Italy-produced line of motor scooters, its Milanese factory and rights were later bought over by the Indian government, and subsequently rebranded as Scooters India Limited (SIL).

And boy did they give their 4-wheeled cousins a good run for their money! Lines of the Scooter brand showcased a plethora of models, ranging from some older Vespa 150 GL, Vespa Rally 180, as well as some sweet young things like the T5 Millenium and a few PX series.

Quite the popular theme was the retro style in of the era which the Vespa was first known for, distinguished by its familiar pastel colours, classical full engine cowling and flat floorboard, complete with matching half helmets and riding goggles. One could almost envision Audrey Hepburn in the movie ‘Roman Holiday’ as she rides of into the sunset, scarf and smile trailing in the wind.

I particularly enjoyed looking at these cute big curves of this pristine white one with attached sidecar. It was probably a head-turner on the roads considering it was a rare sight, and I would have loved to have taken a spin in it and take it all in.

Others opted for a more dramatic flair, adding some grunge edge with darker hues of burnt orange and forest green, front wheel guard embellishments and elongated back handles. Harley Davidson bikes are so last season, I’d have me a bad-ass looking Vespa with attitude anyday!

Of course, some of the pieces were unfortunately a little more questionable; mismatched scooter parts and just way too over-embellished that one barely notices the ride anymore. One in particular had huge ostentatious cluster of headlights that looked more incredulous than functional.

As the day wound down, winners were announced and beamingly collected their much-dued prizes. But judging from the look of pride and adoration of owners, just being given the opportunity to display their prized rides to like-minded scooter fans were, in fact a win in itself.


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