Don't read this if you don't like sad endings. Don't read this if you have issues with denial. This is NOT a bash against the Vietnamese (or any other) people.
Roughly 45 years or so ago, some scooters were made in Italy and shipped to Veitnam or near by countries. They were purchased and used as family transportion for many years. When the scooters begain to break down they were repaired very creatively and under difficult circumstances. Often without replacement parts the scooters were cobbled back together with whatever was around. This happened over and over for many years. In the end, most of these "franken scooters" were abandon and let to rot away. During this time "vintage" scooters became fashionable in the US and european countries creating a demand that went beyond the supply.
Enter the opportunist. Using the cheap and almost slave labor available in Vietnam, opportunists began hoarding these wasted scooters for "restoration" and resale abroad. Agian, using whatever was cheap and available the scooters are "restored" with tons on Bondo, JB Weld, pop cans, home made parts - you name it! So many of the parts are remade that they hardly have any original parts left. Trust me I have seen it many times! But they do look spiffy!
So, uninformed people buy them. They are happy for a short time until they break. Then after failed attemps to resovle the issues with the seller they look for someone locally to "tune-up" their Veit-bodge. This is when I get their phone call. I try and explain to them why I won't work on thier scooter - that it would cost 3 times more to repair the Viet-bodge then just buying a good vintage scooter. Most people are stunned and go into denial right away. It is not a fun conversation. How could their cute little scooter be such a thing? After, many failed attempts and many dollars spent they finally let go of the dream. They now hate what they once loved. So... they sell it! To someone uninformed and the cycle starts AGIAN! I get another phone and they say - "I just bought an original SX150 that needs a tune-up." I talk a while before I realize that it's that same SX150 Viet-bodge that has been kicked around town for the last 2 years.
Please tell people to stay away from over-seas restored vintage scooters.
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