Stuart Owen

The Evolution of the Custom Scooter

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Lambretta and Vespa scooters dominated the British two-wheeled market back in the 1950s. Originally seen as a vehicle primarily for transport, the scooter quickly grew into something very different. Perceptions underwent a radical shift and machines once disregarded as a functional and mundane became a way of life for their owners. Subcultures such as the Mods and scooter boys grew up around the scooter, a focal point for fashions that have continued to develop. Soon each owner was customizing their scooter according to their own tastes and desires as far as their budget would allow. The age of the scooter as a status symbol had arrived. From the early days with chrome mirrors and lights in the 1960s to the extravagantly painted murals of the 1980s, owners were using their scooters as canvases upon which to express themselves. Rivalries sprang up and as competition between owners grew, so too did the outrageousness of their creations. Today the custom scooter scene thrives and is a strong as it ever has been - with fresh creations showcasing the talents and imaginations of their owners like never before. More and more people are reminiscing about the iconic scooters of yesteryear and the movement shows no signs of waning. This book goes right back to the beginning to look at how it all started, the different styles each decade produced and the most famous machines ever built.