ex. Game, Music, Video, Photography

Biker gangs with a difference: the legacy of the legendary Peugeot 103

Grandpas are keeping the engines running on the classic bikes that will soon go out of production in Asia.

Ngày đăng: 16 tháng 9, 2021
Cập nhật: 7 tháng 1, 2023
Lượt xem: 320016566
Nguồn: vnexpress

In the early morning, somewhere along West Lake, an unusual group of stylish grandpas can be found having an enthusiastic discussion. At the center of their attention stands a forty-five year-old blue Peugeot 103 moped that has been meticulously restored.

Out of the blue, in the middle of the crowd of scooters and bicycles, another of the antique machines slowly joins the group, billowing out a plume of blue smoke under the admiring eyes of the other moped collectors.

In Vietnam’s capital city, mopeds and bicycles were replaced by scooters in what seems like eons ago, but for a few passionate people, these old and indestructible machines with their irreplaceable pangs of nostalgia deserve to be proudly driven around the lake.

Photo by VnExpress/Xavier Bourgois

This unforgettable – and almost mythical vehicle – appeared for the first time in the 50’s in Vietnam, mostly in the hands of diplomats or rich people. With its small 49.1cc two stroke, single cylinder engine, the iconic French moped doesn’t go faster than 45km/h, despite an optimistic speedometer that goes up to 55 km/h.

In its homeland, the Peugeot 103 has also gradually disappeared, being replaced by more comfortable scooters, but for several generations of high school students, the memory of this small motorbike is unscathed.

“The 103 was a symbol of freedom and independence! It was a dream and the reason for constant bargaining with our parents,” recalls Thierry, a French expatriate living in Hanoi who was lucky enough to own a moped in the mid-80s, the golden age of the machine, which was supplanted at the end of the 90’s by the scooter.

“A gold mine”

The nostalgic French who could afford their teenage sensation for a few hundred dollars in their country are more often than not surprised to find out the cost of these classics in Vietnam. “The price might range from 70 to 80 million dong ($3,000 to 3,500) for a model in mint condition,” says Son, a passionate 72-year-old mechanic.

Son in his shop in Hanoi's Ba Dinh District. Photo by VnExpress/Xavier Bourgois

In his little shop located in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District, this veteran has been fixing and selling antique bikes for more than 40 years. Dozens of rusted frames, engine blocks, headlights, chrome, wheels and exhaust pipes surround him, in what could be described as the old man’s Aladdin’s Cave.

In Hanoi, you’ll struggle to find someone so dedicated to these mopeds, despite the fact their engineering is relatively simplistic, but the rare owners are willing to pay the price to maintain their precious heirlooms.

“I inherited my 103 from my father,” says Hoan, a young girl sitting in front of a street mechanic’s shop waiting for her bike to be fixed.

“As time passes, they might not be the most reliable vehicles, but I have a deep emotional attachment to this one… and most of all, it’s original and old fashioned,” she says.

And it is probably the Peugeot 103’s vintage style that could save it from oblivion. Even though the Asian production should end in a few months, let’s hope the taste for elegant, vintage items among the youth of France and Vietnam will allow the legend to live on.

A Peugeot 103 Moped in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Xavier Bourgois

Related news:

> Saigon of the 1960s: The tale of Lambros

> What does your scooter say about you? Tell me what you ride, I’ll tell you how you socialize


Từ vựng liên quan

Tin tức liên quan

HCMC residents not sold on others doing their shopping
business 16/09/2021

HCMC residents not sold on others doing their shopping

economy | 318806565

Many residents as well as those shopping on the former’s behalf under the “stay where you are” social distancing restrictions are finding many glitches in the process.

 Dong Nai traffic cops accuse superiors of greased palms
news 28/03/2021

Dong Nai traffic cops accuse superiors of greased palms

news | 123246611

Two Dong Nai traffic cops have accused their local superiors of frequently letting violators off the hook because they ‘have paid the team.’

Moc Chau Milk wants to allow 100 percent foreign ownership
business 14/09/2021

Moc Chau Milk wants to allow 100 percent foreign ownership

companies | 310866555

Moc Chau Milk, a subsidiary of Vietnam's biggest dairy company Vinamilk, wants to increase its foreign ownership cap to 100 percent in order to raise funds.

 HCMC plans to remove barriers, travel permits by end-September
news 26/09/2021

HCMC plans to remove barriers, travel permits by end-September

news | 339326561

Authorities in HCMC have agreed to remove barriers in the inner area and abolish travel permits by September 30 as the city prepares to enter the new normalcy.

 Vietnamese films set new revenue records
life 27/03/2021

Vietnamese films set new revenue records

culture | 105926595

Four films have crossed the VND100 billion ($4.3 million) mark so far this year, one of them the highest grossing Vietnamese film of all time.

 Giant pandas no longer
world 21/04/2021

Giant pandas no longer 'endangered'

world | 192506588

The status of giant panda changed from "endangered" to "vulnerable".

Four murders and a bloody battle for land rights in Thailand
news 14/09/2021

Four murders and a bloody battle for land rights in Thailand

news | 310386561

Supot Kalasong was driving home one afternoon in April when he heard a bang and assumed he had blown his newly-patched tire.

Automobile sales accelerate through April
business 20/09/2021

Automobile sales accelerate through April

markets | 328776567

April’s car sales in Vietnam saw an on-year increase of 42 percent to touch more than 25,000 units, said the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

 Vingroup gets approval for vaccine production plant in Hanoi
business 03/08/2021

Vingroup gets approval for vaccine production plant in Hanoi

companies | 230086582

Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate, Vingroup, has received approval to build a vaccine production facility in Hanoi.

Vietnamese citizens to get five-year multi-entry visas to South Korea
news 16/09/2021

Vietnamese citizens to get five-year multi-entry visas to South Korea

news | 319476567

A new visa policy for Vietnamese citizens has been called a reciprocal gesture by the South Korean ambassador to Vietnam.

Link Tài Trợ - Sponsored Links

Công Thức Vật Lý
Loading…