The Far East may sound like a strange place to source classic Italian scooters but they are there in abundance thanks to their use, particularly in Vietnam by the military in the late 60s and 70s. With a lifetime in engineering Graham Anthony is the man behind Scoot Sixties ltd, a new company based in Sevenoaks, who restore and import what are effectively brand new Vespa scooters, albeit registered on age related plates for extra authenticity.
Anyone with any doubts over the Far Eastern workmanship has only to see the end result to have their opinion swayed. The finish of the paintwork is as high as imaginable while every nut bolt and bearing has been replaced with top quality items. “Each scooter is hand picked by myself so I can ensure they are in pretty good shape before any restoration work begins” Graham stated “I have a degree in engineering and have always been involved in mechanical projects and recently decided to get involved in this project after several trips to Vietnam to assess the potential. There is countless examples to choose from, literally every street corner in Vietnam has a Vespa repair shop to cater for their use over there, and it’s a relatively simple task to source the best available scooters to carry out a full restoration on.”
“Each one is stripped back to the bare metal, and completely refinished using modern paint materials, before the fully refurbished engine, using genuine Vespa parts, is refitted, ensuring that the engine and chassis numbers remain intact and matching. Every part of the vehicle is renewed to ensure a totally reliable 60s machine that I am more than happy to offer a full warranty on.”
“The bulk of the work, paintwork etc, is completed in Vietnam to the highest of standards and to keep costs down to a more practical level, while the finishing off and setting up is all done here once the scooters arrive in the UK. This arrangement is working well as the standard of workmanship I am experiencing from the Far East is very high indeed. The electrics are also updated to a more reliable 12-volt system, this gives a much improved engine starting and overall electrical performance, while the capacity of the cylinder is also increase to a more powerful 150cc.”
“To finish the job off a high quality stainless steel sports exhaust is fitted creating a huge leap in performance and enhancing the look too, as do the white-wall tyres, glove box and rear chrome carrier. The end result is a fully modernised and reliable machine that can easily be used as a day-to-day machine while still retaining the classic look and feel of a 60s Vespa. We also add larger diameter wheels rims for extra road holding, while improving the power of the drum brakes, all in all the end product incorporates most of the modifications that owners of classic scooters end up carrying out anyway, especially if they want to use their machine as a practical form of transport, so we offer a great saving by supplying the machine most people want to end up with but without the hassle and expense of doing the work themselves.”
Within the next few weeks a retail shop, based in nearby Bromley, will be fully open, not only selling these fine machines, but also offering a whole range of accessories, period clothing, and parts for those wishing to enhance their own Vespa.
Vespa Restoration Gallery
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