Love and hate were in the air, like pollen from a flower Somewhere in April time, they add another hour
I guess I'd better think up a way to spend my time Just when I'm ready to sit inside, it's summer time Should I go fishing or get a friend to hang around It's back to summer, back to basics, hang around
Getting drunk out on the beach, or playing in a band And getting out of school meant getting out of hand
Was this your celebrated summer? Was that your celebrated summer?
Then the sun disintegrates between a wall of clouds I summer where I winter at, and no one is allowed there
Do you remember when the first snowfall fell When summer barely had a snowball's chance in Hell?
Four speed manual transmission, engine was swapped for a 2.8L. Comes with several boxes of extra parts, and a spare set of wheels with studded snow tires. This car is driveable but the alternator output is weak. Requires a couple minutes to warm up in the morning. Shifter is loose and the gears are a little tricky to find. You have to stand on the clutch to shift gears. This is really a parts car - unless you truly want a project.
This Mercedes has no seatbelts in the back, and the ones in the front are of the airliner lap-best variety. There are safer cars out there for sale. Cars with thick slab like steel pillars cocooning you from the outside world. Cars with 7 airbags. Cars with airbags for your knees. They have fancy GPSs that will tell you where you should go; they have systems that will brake for you, before you even notice that the car in front of you is slowing down.
This Mercedes has none of those things. This Mercedes barely even has brakes. This Mercedes doesn't even have a conventionally operational heating system, or a radio. There are no power windows, locks, or mirrors. This car does not have seven airbags.
And those other cars, Their horns make cute little beeping noises, so considerate to not be rude. They don't have horns that sound with the arrogance and fury of some long dead Mongol warlord. They don't come with apocalyptic snow tires, all spikes and brutal tread. You cannot fix those cars on the side of the road, using a wrench as a hammer. Those cars will never force you to think, never allow you to exercise your own ingenuity. In those cars you can't stand up illegally through the sunroof from the back seat, and watch the moon with the cool night air blowing through you air.
Richard Nixon once said "Human existence is in the struggle." You could buy a car that will try and hide you from all the dangers of the world, but it won't save you; all the alarms, all the air bags, and the low sodium lattes in the world won't save you. Some day you will die. But at least you can die with the wind in your hair.
1. Sky Ferriera - "Animal (Miike Snow cover)" 2. Belle and Sebastian - "A Century of Fakers" 3. Fun Deficit - "Believe (smashing pumpkins cover)" 4. Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution - "It's a Wonderful Life" 5. Kings of Convenience - "Love is no big truth" 6. The Sundays - "Here's where the story ends" (live on french radio) 7. Styrofoam - "Couches in Alleys" feat. ben gibbard 8. Fun Deficit - "Love Won't Wait" 9. Blueboy - "So Catch Him" 10. Youth Group - "Forever Young" 11. Fun Deficit - "Van, by yourself" 12. Defiance Ohio - "Road signs always look better looking over your shoulder" 13. Hauschka - "Heimat" 14. Club 8 - "Spring came, rain fell" 15. The Radio Dept. - "A Token of Gratitude" 16. Small Factory - "If you hurt me" 17. That dog. - "Being with you" 18. Fun Deficit - "Karla"
Here's a podcast for you, a mix. I made this to put my songs in a lovely context. This mix is road songs and love songs about not being in love right now.
1. Sky Ferriera - "Animal (Miike Snow cover)" - I love this girl's voice. She's only 17 years old and she sounds like Cat Power. 2. Belle and Sebastian - "A Century of Fakers" - One of my favorite belle and sebastian songs. "If you ever go lardy or go lame, I will drop you straight away." 3. Fun Deficit - "Believe (smashing pumpkins cover)" - I've been listening to a ton of Smashing Pumpkins lately, inexplicably. I just love them and I've always loved this song, so I decided to cover it and it ended up sounding a lot like the Radio Dept., 4. Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution - "It's a Wonderful Life" I just saw Streetlight Manifesto play live and this is them acoustic. They're so relentlessly positive. I can't listen to it enough.
5. Kings of Convenience - "Love is no big truth" Not really sure if we should listen to Billy Corgan and The Pumpkins for love advice, but I listen and believe in the love advice from Kings of Convenience. 6. The Sundays - "Here's where the story ends" (live on french radio) Brad says this is one of two decent songs they'd play at the department store where he used to work. I love this song and I love the girl's voice. The lyrics are fantastic and the song is just two chords. 7. Styrofoam - "Couches in Alleys" feat. ben gibbard - This song is an open letter to Jack Kerouac. I recently proposed to one of my friends she start a band of all open letters, like this and Leonard Cohen's "famous blue raincoat."
8. Fun Deficit - "Love Won't Wait" - A new song I wrote in one day. Written for my new album, but not written about me. A response song to Radiohead's "True Love Waits." 9. Blueboy - "So Catch Him" - love blueboy. Sarah Records twee from 1995 10. Youth Group - "Forever Young" (alphaville cover) I love the Jay Z song sampling this, but this cover speaks to my indie aesthetic. Classic. 11. Fun Deficit - "Van, by yourself" - a response song to Small Factory's "if you hurt me" - reference to a car, sensitivity, and a sly joke and lack of seriousness at the end. 12. Defiance Ohio - "Road signs always look better looking over your shoulder" - I saw DOH about a month ago and I loved it. I try to pitch them to my friends as the "Arcade Fire of the Gutterpunks" but I'm still the only person I know who likes them. Maybe they're more like a "yelling Weakerthans." 13. Hauschka - "Heimat" - beautiful prepared piano. Jaw-droppingly beautiful. 14. Club 8 - "Spring came, rain fell" - I love her voice so much and when I listen to this I imagine she's only singing to me. 15. The Radio Dept. - "A Token of Gratitude" - I love minimalist love songs. All it needs to say is "Do I love you? Yes I love you. But easy come, easy go..." 16. Small Factory - "If you hurt me" - Simple and emotional, what I like. "If you hurt me I'll be angry and I'll be sad." 17. That dog. - "Being with you" - the radder girl-weezer from the 1990s. I feel like I'm their only fan now. 18. Fun Deficit - "Karla" - With all the songs about love lost, this is the song in which I get the girl.
I've always loved VWs and other European things, but lately I've been really interested in Japanese cars. Here are the ones I love:
Toyota Celica - first generation. Every time I see one of these I like it more and more. My neighbors a block away have one under a tarp. I passed one every day going to work. They look like Mustangs in 2/3 scale. The headlights look awesome. This car just looks fantastic.
Miata - first generation in British racing green. I've always liked Miatas. Ever since I read Kafka on the Shore I wanted one bad. They're rwd. They're dirt cheap. I'm not crazy about convertibles but I love this small car.
Nissan S-Cargo. A freaky psychedelic reinterpretation of a Citroen 2CV delivery van. It's name means "Small Cargo." Also it means snail in french. This car rules.
Nissan Pao. Another one made at the same time by Nissan at their Pike factory. This looks like a Mini, a Renault R5 and a VW Squareback, but made cheap and awesome. This does retro right. This car looks like it's made out of plastic, but it looks 200% better than any new car sold in the USA*. I wish I could rock one of these now.
Toyota Land Cruiser circa late 1970s. How could you not like the original Toyota Land Cruiser? This vehicle is so boxy and awesome. The rear windows are so fantastic. One time in Costa Rica I got picked up hitchhiking by a Land Cruiser like this full of nuns. I've wanted one ever since (the Land Cruiser).
After I graduated college in 2005, I took a road trip from my parent's house about an hour west of Albany, all the way across Massachusetts, to Rhode Island on my poor-running 125cc Vespa. Here I am mid-trip stopping for lunch in one of those college towns sort of in the Berkshires. I wish I could remember where it was. It might have been Northampton or Amherst. I wasn't really paying attention to where I was. I remember I had directions written on masking tape on my speedometer. I didn't keep track of how many miles, but there's no way it could have been less than 500. I went to a scooter rally in Rhode Island and rode a 50+ mile ride that Saturday. So, the entire trip was most likely more than that. I had a great sandwich for lunch at some organic food co-op type place. I put my camera on timer on a picnic table and took this shot. The shirt says "Geneseo" something or other, one of my many free Geneseo shirts I picked up as a student there. Those Pumas I'm wearing wore out and got thrown out after I used them while washing dishes in a restaurant about 2 years ago. The Vespa and helmet currently sit unused in my garage.
This is how it looks now. It's disassembled and ready to be restored, like it needs to be.
This is the same model and color of Sting's Vespa in Quadrophenia.
The engine is in decent shape. It started and idled fantastic when I bought it, but VIOLENTLY leapt out of third gear. So, I dropped the engine and installed a new cruciform. I put it back together and it still jumped out of gear. I lost interest.
It has the original 6V FEMSA electronic ignition. This is the European specifications model, with no premix, higher compression head, bigger headlamp.
A previous owner rode this scooter from Seattle to Sturgis and back. While in Sturgis he had the scooter signed by many motorcycle luminaries like Arlen Ness and Mike Corbin. The article was reportedly in V Twin magazine, but I don't have a copy.
Includes some Rat fink stickers. Includes new pieces like a brand new correct Euro taillamp. Cowls are straight!
Clear Oregon Title. I bought this at a yard sale 3 years ago and have not done anything with it except buy new parts and disassemble it. It is in pieces in my garage in NE Portland. This bike needs and deserves a full restoration. I was quoted $1500 on a full paint job.
I have all the rare Rally 200 bits, like the cowls, and the glovebox.
Price is $1600 OR BEST OFFER.
Please no hatemail on my price. They are not popping these out in Pontedera anymore.
Will consider total/partial trade for a Stella, Ruckus, other Vespa, or Lambretta, BMW or VW car. I'm a gearhead and I like those sort of things.
The worst part is some bad rust on the floor. I wish I could weld and repair this, but I can't so I'm letting it go.
I'd prefer not to ship this Vespa, but if you pay me for boxing and shipping, I could ship it anywhere. I have shipped scooters in the past.
Here's a picture of both of my Vespas. I might sell the white P Series too. Email me if interested.
This is what the Vespa looked like the day I bought it. This will be a great Vespa for the right person. I am sad I can't give it the attention it deserves.
Today I got the bright idea in my head that my VW is looking a little too drab and dirty. I love my Volkswagen for its "original ganster" hoodride type patina. But, there's no need for it too look completely shabby and neglected. Thus, I marched off to Autozone and picked up a can of Rustoleum Clear coat. I cleaned the bus with just some rags and water, getting all the imperfections and oxidation off. I just painted the passenger door, because here it started to rain and I ran out of daylight. Here's the result. Notice the contrast between the door and the front end that didn't recieve cleaning or paint.
Here's the hoodride looking a little bit more dignified. Note the muddy tires, from a little urban mudbogging I did this past week (driving the VW off road is great!). Click on the picture to see it in bigger detail.
Here's a picture of the VW from a few months ago when I was getting the back tire patched. Notice the blotchyness of the front door.
I'm perpetually unsure of what to do with the front of the bus. I popped out huge dents up there and scraped off lots of bondo. I prefer just looking at the bus from the sides, because the front end does look terrible. One of my friends comments that it looks like it's been through a warzone. Maybe I'll tackle that sometime soon. In the meantime, enjoy this requisite dreamy TtV shot I took of the VW not so long ago.
It's been a year since I last rode anywhere on my Vespa. For some reason only I understood at the time and I have no idea of now, it was last January and February 2009 when I got into riding the Vespa constantly. I rode it carefully around patches of ice to work and back. Then there was an unfortunate incident involving a very negligent owner of a BMW X3 and a disenchanted breakfast date, and my interest in the Vespa completely faded. I no longer self-identified as a "scooterist," but rather as "just some dude." I looked at it every once in a while, pushing it out of the way in my garage while riding my Lemond and driving the Fun Bus. Gradually, I forgot about the Vespa for a while, using it only to keep my Westfalia mattress off the garage floor. However, recently I've remembered the scooter aficionado I used to be, and I decided I wanted to start riding my Vespa again.
So today, on a break from work, I got started. I knew the Vespa wouldn't start, and I wanted to go through it to make it roadworthy. The first step was draining all the gas from the gas tank. I removed the seat and took out the gas tank, found my spare gas can and checked to see if the flow looked good. It did, and I put the old stale gas in the Volkswagen, which is by far a less picky eater. After that I took the carburetor off and disassembled it. I don't know why anyone ever refers to cleaning out a Dell'orto as "rebuilding it." It has fewer than 20 parts. I took each piece off, sprayed some mystical "carb cleaner" spray can at it for a few seconds, and then put it back together. I went with a 110 main jet, and realized for the first time ever that my idle jet says "60" on it. I don't think I even knew that one existed (it's under the pathetic little filter on top of the float). Then I put that together and put it all back. I put the rear mixture screw at its customary starting position of 1.5 turns out from all the way screwed in, and I put the idle adjuster at its position of all the way in until just before the throttle slide kinda starts to slide open.
Autozone down the street had two NGK B7ES spark plugs, which they sold me for a meager $4.98. Then I got fresh gas and a bit of two stroke oil and the cockroach of a scooter fired up on the third kick. It even idled in a hearty way only a two stroke single cylinder can do, casting a pulsing glow on the rainy driveway. I rode it in a small victory lap down the street and back in to the garage.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Vespa. It's built from pieces of other Vespas to the point where the most original features are scratches, dents, and rust. It's been a steady accessory through girlfriends that have come and gone, through apartments and places that are now only memories. It hasn't really been a trusty companion, as it's broken down all sorts of times, but never as much as you would expect. I have gotten sick of it a whole lot of times, but then put it away. Then I realize the problem was likely something very small, and it will only take a few ounces of effort to fix.
The major problem with my particular Vespa is that the fork is still bent. Luckily, I have line on an original replacement fork. Parts have been disconcertingly hard to come by, for some reason. I don't know why. The Italians stamped out tons of Vespas back in the day. It's not like it's a Citroen SM or something. It's supposed to be a common deal. Local scooter torch bearers P Town Scooters told me I would have to order a new fork from SIP in Germany, which would set me back somewhere in the multiple hundreds of dollars range, they guessed. So I called around a week or two ago, inspired by my Volkswagen's increased gluttony for fuel, among other things, and got a line on one from a reputable longstanding scooter shop, many states away. I realized I missed talking shop with scooter people, rattling off that I was looking for a 16mm fork, but I would consider a newer 20mm style one. Hopefully that fork will get here soon and I can get the scooter buttoned up a little bit more.
The great thing about owning old vehicles for a long time is that every year they are more rare. More people are giving up on their old vehicles and going with some sort of more sane alternative. My Vespa was around 25 years old when I got it, and now it's around 30. Every year it's getting older, and a little bit more classic.
Volkswagen Bus  (aka the Fun Bus. new ignition system may 2009, new carb November 2008! owned since ~Autumn 2006)
Vespa P150  (like bedbugs, very difficult to kill. Has taken me from New York to Ontario, across the Berkshires, and to Rhode Island. From Portland has taken me to the pacific ocean, to Washington, all over town.)
Lemond Poprad [~2003] (baby-sweet bicycle bought as a present to myself in November 2008. now with 100% more flowers on the handlebars)
Gary Fisher Mamba  (now with SID air shocks! The only vehicle I've ever bought new!)