The Vespa Ciao I have is a Deluxe, manufactured in 1980. It has turned into a family hierloom. When I was 15, my mother won it in a raffle at a grand opening of a Bank we happened to walk over to after lunch at Arby's right next door. It was the "Grand" prize. I rode it for 3 years, then my two younger sisters took it over and they rode it for 4 - 5 years. It racked up a total of 2500 miles riding around the neighborhood. After my two sister's stopped riding it, it sat in the garage at the "P"'s house for ~ 20 years, collecting dust and waiting to be riden again.
Six years ago I recieved the horrifying news that my Mom was giving her Ciao to my sister's son who just turned 15!! I did my best to talk my Mom out of her decision, but the bike was hers to begin with and she had made up her mind. I was living out of state and had little influence at the time. Holy schnikes! I figured "great, there goes a classic down the tubes with stupid stickers, spray paint, broken parts never to be replaced, and a seized motor from running straight gas!" I figured she was a goner for sure. Well, apparently the Vespa Gods were smiling upon her. The story goes that one of the ignition wires from the magneto broke and the dumb masses couldn't figure it out (they couldn't re-wire a simple table lamp - thank goodness it was an electrical issue). So the Ciao sat in the garage (which I have to say is nice) at my sister's house for 5 more years collecting dust and waiting to be riden again.
Weird things happen in life and it just so happens that I ended up through my job, moving back to my old stomping grounds. Last year my sister with the Ciao asked me if I wanted it because she wanted it out of her garage. I was more than happy to get it back, and really didn't care what condition it was in. When she brought it over, I was actually amazed at the condition it was in. Besides needing a good cleaning, the red spray painted grips, mirror, and pedals, it wasn't plastered with stickers and it looked great for being 31 years old. No dents, scratches or rust.
So now it's mine in my garage. When I got it, according to my sister, it had not been running for years. The gas tank was full of rust, and the carb was so gummed up, the rubber tip on the float needle was glued shut. I wanted to see if I could bring her back to life again, so I de-scaled the tank, replaced the fuel petcock, bought a new Dellorto 13-13, and a new clutch (the original was missing pieces?!?!) With fresh gas, the new parts, a soldered ignition wire, and years of sittling idle, the Ciao fired right up and ran great!!! Man I love the smell of 2-stroke exhaust.
The threads were showing on the rear tire, probably from the dumb masses having skid mark contests, so I just replaced that last night. The front tire is still original, but still in good shape!! I bought a new speedo cable, engine gasket kit, rings, bulbs, and a pipe to go along with the Dellorto 13-13. I'll be pasing her on to my 12 year old son (spray paint, stickers, busted parts - I know - but not while I'm still around!). He likes putting it around in the driveway - fine with me for now. I look forwatrd to getting the rest of the parts I have installed.
It's the Ciao the never says Ciao!!!! Hopefully it will continue to be a family hierloom for even MY grandkids one of these days. I'll post a picture of her in my profile soon. Ciao everyone!!