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Who Needs A Garage?
Posted by: Paul
27 March 2012 2,954 views No Comment
vespa studio apartment Who Needs A Garage?

Who needs a garage? Photograph courtesy of Marian Sell.

One of the best things about heading out on a ride-out or to a rally is the fact that you get to meet new like-minded people. Case-in-point. Last Sunday’s “Step Through Sunday” introduced me to native German – now NYC-based – scooterist Marian Sell.

Marian brought his project Vespa along for the ride. A Seventies Vespa Sprint Veloce that he has just finished spending several months outfitting with an 80′s Vespa T5 (5 port) engine among a whole host of other race-tuned improvements. Following a day’s ride alongside Marian and a short ride from the seat of the bike itself, I can attest to the fact that not only does the bike look great, this baby is fast.

Following the ride, Marian turned me on to his blog where he charted his progress on the bike over several months through a series of Instagram images of the build in action. While his captions are in his native German, his photographs of the progress are so beautiful they’ve turned the documentation of his scooter build into an art-form in itself.

What’s equally impressive however is (and I hope Marian will excuse me for this) his German ingenuity. A scan through his beautiful photographs show that the whole build took place in a combination of locations in-and-around his apartment on the Lower East Side without a garage or workshop in sight.

From de-greasing an engine in the kitchen to spray painting on the roof, there’s something really fantastic about the project that goes to the heart of owning a scooter. A machine that’s maintenance is within the mechanical reach of every rider who has a basic set of tools and a desire to tinker.

vespa wheel rims Who Needs A Garage?

Freshly painted wheel rims drying on the roof. Photograph courtesy of Marian Sell.

It’s one thing to do a basic rebuild without a full workshop, heck, I rebuilt a PX a year-or-so ago inside my apartment in Brooklyn, but in my case the rebuild was mostly cosmetic. But in addition to a whole host of cosmetic upgrades, Marian has stripped and rebuilt the engine with a new crank, a new top-end, re-ported the case with a Dremel and who knows what else all inside and outside a cramped New York City studio apartment. Marian even goes so far as to use a skateboard as a cart to wheel his new engine home from the local mail depot.

For many many more beautiful photos, you can check out Marian’s blog here. In addition Marian recently began work on a sister Lambretta DL 125 project which is shaping up to be an equally beautiful documentation of progress. Marian has begun posting to a similarly fascinating visual blog, this time with captions in English.

Fantastic. Keep up the great work Marian.

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