JRK 592 - 1951 Rod Model

January 2019, Rod Model at  Wessex Scooters  for some TLC.

January 2019, Rod Model at Wessex Scooters for some TLC.

I photographed this very early Douglas Rod Model at the beginning of the year in January, at the new premises of Wessex Scooters, located between Newbury and Reading in Berkshire.

Roger Green of Wessex Scooters, told me that it was built at the Kingswood, Bristol factory in April 1951 and is number 495 off the line, making it the first few weeks of production and without the "Vespa" scroll legshield badge - only the early ones did not have these.

Vespa script badge was absent from early Rod Models.

Vespa script badge was absent from early Rod Models.

I won't repeat the full story behind this British built Vespa, as you can read it in Issue 12 of Scooternova magazine, back issue available to order - here. Suffice to say, the scooter is now in the hands of VVC member Mick Biddulph, who acquired it recently from a chap called Alan Hodson; having sat on a trailer under a tarpaulin in Alan's back garden since 1981. Alan had bought it in 1977 from a previous chairman of the VCB.

JRK 592 sat atop this decaying trailer for nearly 40 years..!

JRK 592 sat atop this decaying trailer for nearly 40 years..!

MIck (standing) with Alan, having retrieved the Rod from Alan’s back garden - with some difficulty!

MIck (standing) with Alan, having retrieved the Rod from Alan’s back garden - with some difficulty!

JRK 592 and its 'sister' bike, JRK 593 (incidentally owned by another well-known VVC member), pictured together on an early VVC rally - photo from Eric Brockway's Vespa book. If you look closely, you can see OYD 25 in between the two bikes, which was/is in the ownership of a certain VVC collector.

JRK 592 in middle of picture, OYD 25 to right and JRK 593 after that.

JRK 592 in middle of picture, OYD 25 to right and JRK 593 after that.

Rod Model OYD 25 photographed in 2014 with my film camera for my book..

OYD 25.JPG
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This piece was originally intended for the VVC JOURNAL, but space has again got the better of me, fortunately we have the added outlet of the VVC website's News Page. You can view the full Rod Model album of photos I shot on 35mm film - here,

Wessex Scooters, I understand, did a sterling job of re-building the engine and Mick's Rod is now back on the road, where it belongs and is hopefully making up for the previous 37 years! If you need your Vespa wideframe sorting out, you know who to turn to.