Phone shots above of nicely restored Vespa Sprint seen at Retrospective Scooters/The London ScooterBodyshop the other day, painted in the classic VBB metallic blue - the owner wanted a change after having it for years in the original Sprint silver.
Was chatting with LSB's owner who was saying virtually half the original frame was rotten and had to be cut out and replaced with welded-in new metal panels. You can see a film shot I took below of discarded, rotten metal panels..
..followed by another shot below of frame (PX, not the Sprint from above) in a jig so it can be welded back together with the new metal. If not held securely in place the metal would literally be like jelly...
...once the welding and re-construction has been completed, the frames are shot-blasted and readied for painting below. I make this sound straightforward but pattern replacement panels often need a good deal of time spent manipulating and fettling them to get the fit and lines perfect, which takes someone with the necessary know-how and skills..
Niall (Retrospective) and Dave (London Scooter Bodyshop) say that customers will choke on a sharp intake of breath, when told a fully restored scooter starts at over £5000 and that's say for a Sprint or Super, you could double it thereabouts for a GS150. Granted these can often be phone customers who haven't been to the workshops, based in North East London. Unless taking the time to visit, walk around and speak to Niall and Dave and fully understand what goes into a 'proper' restoration, people fail to comprehend how these 'cheap' Italian shopping bikes can be so expensive. As with anything in life; no matter which way you try to spin it, you always get what you pay for and as Dave mentioned, owning a fully restored scooter these days has increasingly become a luxury.
For more on the phenomenon of the £5K scooter, read on here on Retrospective's website.