About a dozen Vespa riders revved the engines of their Italian-designed scooters outside the capital’s post office on Sunday to kick off the seventh Vespa Tour de Phnom Penh.
Before speeding off in a pack, the Vespa owners gathered and stood around admiring the various models of the iconic scooter produced by the Italian company Piaggio.
“They are very rideable, especially around town; they are made for cities,” said Peter Steen, owner of a 1982 Vespa PX, adding that the scooter’s engine is “quirky” and “bulletproof.”
“Whoever designed it did a very good job,” he said, adding he has owned a few dozen motorcycles and scooters in his 18 years in Phnom Penh. He estimated there must be “a couple of hundred” Vespas in Phnom Penh.
The event was organized by the Phnom Penh Vespa Club to mark International Women’s Day, according to Vespa club member Tong Soprach.
Fellow club member and organizer Ben Heath added that the event was “nothing too formal” though, saying it was “a celebration of Vespas and Women’s Day.”
“It’s great, it gives us the chance to meet other Vespa owners,” Tep Khunmany said, adding, it was the first time he had attended the tour, which is organized biannually.
Tep Khunmany, who owns a 1978 metallic blue Vespa Sprint, said he had dreamed of owning the classic scooter during the years he lived in the US. “It’s very unique, the style and body of the bike,” he said.