There is seemingly nothing that YouTube channel Live With Creativity enjoys more than restoring lost causes on two wheels. We know this because we’ve watched—and continually been amazed by—a number of their videos. They’re mostly small-displacement bikes and/or vintage Vespas, and if that’s your jam, then you’ll probably find a lot of satisfaction in watching, too.
Most of the time, it seems to be about the potential to see what a given bike could be, instead of only seeing the sorry state that it’s in. Not everyone has that particular skill set—but it’s apparent that Live With Creativity does. Take this 1962 Vespa, for example. Has it been living outside for the past 60 years? We’re not sure, but it definitely doesn’t seem as though it’s seen the inside of any type of climate-controlled building in at least a couple of decades.
It’s dirty, it’s rusty, and what was once a cute little basket up front by the rider’s knees is now all full of fallen leaves. Not the pleasantly rustling, autumnal kind, either—more like the dry, desiccated husks of autumns past, with nary a hint of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, or mace to be found. (The horror!)
The same rules apply as with most project bikes that come along in (mostly) one piece: Take it apart, assess what you’ve got, clean it up, refinish and/or replace what’s needed, and then put it all back together. Your difficulty in accomplishing each step in this process will, of course, vary with each and every project—as well as the particular combination of time, effort, and money you’re willing to spend on it.
For the most part, this 1962 Vespa isn’t in as terrible a shape as it might look at first. Most of the rust is of the surface variety, except for one part of a fender that the rust has eaten a big chunk out of. LWC calmly cuts out the damaged piece, then welds in a new one. After stripping off the old paint, then carefully smoothing filler over all the pits to prep the bodywork for refinishing, it’s time for a coat of epoxy primer. Then a couple of coats of paint, then some lacquer, then some wet sanding and polishing—and my, doesn’t that blue look nice?
Bodywork is only half the battle, though. The whole engine also needs some TLC. Same deal here: Take it apart, clean it up, put it back together, and refinish both for aesthetics and protection. In the case of both the engine and some of the other pieces, LWC chooses powder coating for some applications, and paint for others. Either way, we get to see the entire process in a handy time-lapse, squashing weeks and possibly months of work down into a single video that’s under half an hour long.
The finished product looks as good or better than the day it first rolled out of the Piaggio factory. How does it run? The kick starter works just as it should, and the test ride looks and sounds like a pretty joyous experience. If you love a good rescue story, you should probably just subscribe to this channel already.