Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Mod Daily Rider - 1959 Vespa VNB

I acquired this beauty 2 years ago after a 13-year gap without a scooter. My last chariot was a yellow Lambretta GP200. I had bought it in 1997 for my 15-day trek across the continent. A bunch of mechanical problems and the fact that a scooter mate had ended up in the hospital after being run over by a car while riding his Lambretta LI150, pushed me to hang up my helmet for a while.
In 2003, I took a sabbatical from teaching and embarked in a backpacking trip across Asia and Australia. While I was in Thailand and Vietnam, I noticed a significant amount of those vintage Italian marvels roaming around. In Bangkok, I was surprised to see that there was a thriving scooter scene with its own café and rallies. 

In Vietnam, I came across a young man that was selling a restored Vespa and Lambretta. I remember explaining to him how unfortunate it was that he had repainted an original Silver Special. It was now two-tone, white and blue. Sacrilege! I had no idea, back in 2003, that those scooters, restored with questionable parts and unqualified mechanics, were deathtraps on wheels.

T-shirt bought in Bangkok. See anything unusual?
That trip did trigger, once again, my lust for those 2-stroke pieces of rolling art. The scooter bug had struck again! I had been searching the Internet, far and wide, in order to find that perfect Mod accessory. I ended up buying my first Vespa from a neighbor living a block away!

He had done a superb job of redoing the whole engine by putting in a very responsive 180cc DR kit and coverting it to a 12V system. The best part was that he sold it to me with most of the original sixties accessories you see here.

Original Falbo horncast cover
Original Stadium Mirror
Piaggio grips
Vigano legshield trim
Vigano crashbar

Ardor cowl embelishers

It's been my daily rider ever since. It may not be the showroom quality, trophy winning Vespa some of you have but I'm very happy with it. Let's just say that it's a work in progress. Some evidence suggests that the scooter used to be a seafoam green. The local scooter shop has brought to my attention the fact that it might not be a '59 but of a later year. The papers show that it has always been registered as a 1959. The former owner also explained to me that it was previously used by the Shriners organization in parades.
Now, it's my turn to parade around town…


  1. Really really nice!

  2. Franchement, il est tellement beau! J'aime beaucoup la couleur pas criarde, juste classe, le fun, ça matches avec tout ce que tu portes! Je veux le même depuis presque 30 ans! Un jour... Accès D est là pour ça, putain de prolétariat! ;-)

  3. Ha! Ha! Très comique! Merci pour le compliment!

  4. Great Scoot! I have a '62 VNB down here in NYC. You can check out this link to see what year your scoot is.

    I write for a blog called NYCscootering, and a little blurb about and link to your site will be posted there soon. Good luck with the vintage Vespa.

  5. Hi Patrick

    That is a stunning daily ride with some very tasty accessories! Thanks for sharing the photos.


  6. magnifique VNB !!

  7. this is my vnb bro

  8. A thing of beauty! And the photos are incredible!

  9. The last comment got it right: a thing of beauty ... and a joy forever. Awesome pics too!

  10. well done patrick a true mod

  11. upzlumbra this is the real vespa mods !!!

  12. Lovely scooter! Take care of her.