NYCS visits Scooters Originali
Take a short scooter ride into Jersey and you’ll find yourself in the company of two of the nicest folks in the business – Gene Merideth and Andrea Andrews-Kolva of Scooters Originali in Orange, NJ. Just don’t ask for a photograph, they’re camera shy. Thankfully though, they have plenty of customer’s scoots, spares, upgrades and memorabilia on hand to keep your camera shutter busy. The shop is an Aladdin’s Cave of scooter history.
Gene spent time in the UK during the late 70s mod revival which solidified a passion that led to his profession. Returning to the US in ’81 he eventually settled in New Jersey and by 1985 Gene had begun his career as a scooter mechanic and restorer.
Gene has been in business in one form or another for the past 22 years first under the name East Coast Lambretta Works, then Lambretta Restorations, and finally, since 1992, Scooters Originali as we know it today.
Gene and Andrea were kind enough to show me around the shop including a peek at Gene’s 15 year (incomplete) Lambretta F project, which makes the 6 months I spent agonizing over my PX rebuild seem inconsequential.
I also got to see Gene’s prized rally patch and two-tone badge collections. Talk about making me home sick.
In addition to the maintenance shop, the location also comprises two large storage areas of both used and new-old-stock (NOS) and new aftermarket parts for every classic scooter imaginable.
In addition to the regular maintenance and restoration work of the shop (including new scooters I might add), and their mail-order business of new spares and accessories, Gene and Andrea are also currently in the midst of the painstaking process of carefully documenting and photographing the hundreds of used parts the shop holds and cataloging them on their new eBay store. Keep an eye on the store over the coming weeks as new parts are added daily.
If you have the slightest interest in scooters old or modern, then you owe it to yourself to take a ride out to Scooters Originali and you’ll have made two new friends in the process. It’s a straightforward ride from the Holland Tunnel exit in Jersey City and takes less than 45 minutes. Here’s a non-highway route via downtown Newark: