Saturday 7 September 2019


In the early fifties a private car was still something many people could only dream of. Public transport and bikes were used by those that had a longer distance to work than they could walk. Scooters became popular as they provided a good deal of flexibilty, were comparatively fast and relatively cheap. It is no surprise that I had to have at least one scooter on Nystrup Gravel.
Scooters were popular among both young and old. Here three children are enjoying the Danish summer outside Odense in 1954 on a sidecar equipped scooter. Archive: Fynske Billeder.
My model is a Welly 1/18 scale model bought on eBay from China. It is marked as a Vespa 125cc 1953 model. I suspect the model to be an earlier model as the 1953 model saw the headlamp move up between the handlebars. No matter what the model fits the period I'm modelling.

Right out of the cardboard box and onto my small stretch of smooth country road for a posed photo. The Piaggio company originally designed the Vespa to cope with poor post-war roads in Italy. Once a producer of military planes Piaggio went on to produce millions of scooters for those not wanting to spend a small fortune on a car.

Despite being a relatively cheap diecast model most of the detail present on a real 1953 Vespa is represented on the 1/18 model. Some of it a bit soft and clumsy, but nevertheless there.
My Vespa will have brake and gear cables fitted, minor details repainted and will be equipped with license plates. I presume the scooter is owned by one of the younger workers at Nystrup Gravel, having seen the Vespa's obvious sex appeal in the 1952 movie 'Roman Holiday' starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

Vespa posters on a fence in Nystrup. Perhaps a meeting place for the local Vespa club? Vespa enthusiasts will notice that the Vespa World Days poster is way out of the usual timeframe in Nystrup being from the St. Tropez 2016 meeting.

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