Forgotten Bikes of India #3 – Vespa 150 from the 1960s

I was pretty excited when Piaggio decided to reintroduce the Vespa in the Indian market. At that point of time, I was looking out for a daily driver, a scooter that can take me from point A to B without any hassle. I decided to visit the showroom and test ride the new Vespa. Typically, we Indians have a tendency to ask for an opinion for anything and everything. 10 opinions and 20 user reviews later, I was almost convinced that I should go for a Vespa. Finally, I decided to go and have a look at the scooter. One fine Sunday morning, I decided to visit the Piaggio showroom near me and take a test ride. On the way to the showroom, I saw a white scooter which left behind a puff of blue smoke. I being a huge fan of the vintage bikes, couldn’t help but follow that old beauty.

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I politely asked the owner to take the scooter aside so that we could talk and I could have a good look at it. The owner of the scooter was an old guy who bought the scooter new in 1960’s and that scooter was indeed the Vespa 150. The Vespa 150 had a powerful 150 cc 2 stroke engine mated to a 3-speed transmission. A peppy little engine and a beautifully sculpted body made the Vespa 150 an instant hit.

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I did go to the Vespa showroom, but the thoughts of the scooter I saw earlier that day didn’t leave my mind. Finally, the truth dawned upon me, I was more interested in the older Vespa than the new one. I started searching for a scooter online,and I also asked some of my close friends to search for one.

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The scooters that were for sale were either very expensive or were without proper paper work. Without losing hope, I kept searching for an year, but then decided to give up on the search. One Sunday evening me and my friend were discussing about our bikes and all of a sudden, he asked me “Dude, you were searching for a scooter, right?” to which I replied “Yes I was looking for one”.
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Listening to my reply he said “I am selling my Vespa and I want you to have it!”. These words filled my heart with joy and as soon as possible I decided to buy it. I was excited to buy that scooter as it was the particular model I was searching for, the Vespa 150.
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I paid him the money and brought the scooter home. This Vespa needs a complete engine overhaul and a fresh paint job, but I don’t want to rush anything, as this is a special project for me. As soon as I gather all the original spares for the scooter, I will go for a full-blown restoration. I am waiting eagerly for that day when I finally take my Wasp out for a ride, hopefully it will behave itself and wont sting anyone!

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Words by Aseem Joshi, our resident expert and vintage motorcycles fanatic,
Automobile Engineer by profession and a die hard vintage automobile enthusiast.
Aseem still rides his dad’s 35 year old Yezdi that gives him more joy than any modern bike could ever give him.

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Pics Credit – Yogi Chhabria – YC Design Motorcycle Restoration and Hassan Elyas

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