On the 29th of September S.S. Scooter stepped off the plane at Fremantle with the guys and girls from the Ardly Normal Scooter Crew. All 24 of us were anxious to get to the shipping yard to unload our classic scooters from the 20 foot container. The ‘Squadron Leader’ of the Ardly Normals, Oly Ashworth, has spent the past 12 months not only organising the shipment but also accommodation and flights for all of us, and it all was pulled off with military precision. Without Oly’s dedication, commitment, efficiency and his expecting wife Mazza’s patience (congratulations guys) we could not of been there. So a big thank you from all of us.
I had already been missing my SS90 and my wife Fiona could not wait to ride her 22hp VNB street racer on the streets of Fremantle. The SS90 fired up perfectly and Fiona was screaming down the freeway when I encountered my first hiccup. My scooter was starting to misfire going up the bigger hills. But I got to Fremantle safely and had a few beers with the crew to acquaint ourselves to the local brew and forgot about the gremlins that were lurking inside my machine.
The next day we met at the E Sheds on the docks of Freo and a couple of hundred scooters were there to greet us. All I could see were beautiful classic scooters and familiar faces I knew from previous rallies. All I could think was “Wow the boys in Western Australia sure know how to restore these classic machines”. I set off with all the excitement I had when I was a lad going on a run. But only 20km in, I knew there was a problem. My SS90 was misfiring all over the place. I knew it was electrical, but I didnt wanted to miss out on riding the beautiful coastal roads we were on. I knew the smallest hill would kill the day, and it did. With a cough and a splatter the SS90 wound down to a complete stop. All I could do was wait for the back up van to pick me up. With the gracious Carol at the helm of her husband Phil’s van we loaded up the scooter. From the window I could see all the beauty of the Western Australian coastline and I was determined to get her on the road for the next day.
With the help of Ron from Casa Lambretta, Jimmy in back up van and Evo and Roberto from the Vespa Shop, I got the tools out and diagnosed an imminent condenser failure. I quickly replaced and rewired the plate but I knew that I’d had a bad run of condensers recently so I did not hold my breath. No Spark… Dud condenser… I knew it… It must of been the batch made on the Friday before the Italian summer holidays! At 9.45am I got her going, just in time for the ride up to the hills. What a ride! I was in the midst of the Paradise Lost Scooter Club’s street racers,beautifully restored Lambrettas and Vespas, riding up through dense bushland that showed the scars of raging bush fires from a hot summer the year before. My SS90 was blazing down the road keeping up with GP200’s and Fiona was screaming down the road giving the RB240’s a run for their money.
That night the Do was even better than the night before. It was held at a venue used to be a aircraft hanger called the Fly By. The Paradise Lost Club could really put on a great event. On the morning of the Show and Shine we were all feeling a little worse for wear but another 80km ride was in order to a small German brewery in the Swan Valley. At the event S.S Scooter had fun selling our t-shirts, hats and other merchandise and had the opportunity to meet more wonderful people from the scooter community from all around Australia. We were also honoured in taking out the Best Unrestored Vespa with my SS90.
With the rally drawing to a close the Paradise Lost Scooter Club had another ace up there sleeve for the evening’s celebration at Devilles. Ska and garage bands, a volcano in the middle of the dance floor and Go-Go girls fired us up to dance the night away. A huge thank you to the Paradise Lost Scooter Club, not only for hosting one of the best scooter rallies I have been too, but for their generosity, friendship, hospitality and showing us all what a great Australian scooter club can be.
I cant wait until next year’s Classic National on the Gold Coast hosted by the Borderline Nuisance. I have already started on the next projects. My nitrous Vespa Sprint is being rebuilt, faster and badder than ever and a Vespa PE restyled in GS body panels is already underway. Hope to see you all there next year, and be sure to check in with S.S Scooter Engineering if you need any assistance with your classic scooter.