Scooters: Vroom of One's Own

A throwback to the Mod era, Vespas and other sleek scooters are finding new fans. Step on it!

In the parking lot of a usually staid Portuguese meeting hall in San Diego, Calif., the Violent Femmes blare from a corner amp as the putt-putting of engines competes with the squealing of high-pitched horns. Many dozens of motor scooters in burgundies, grays and greens line the parking lot, displaying favored ornaments--a Tinky Winky doll hanging from one, a picture of Rocky and Bullwinkle's Natasha from another. Ahhh, the smell of exhaust fumes from tiny tailpipes. Welcome to the Vespa Club of America's annual rally, which recently drew nearly 300 motor scooterists from all over the U.S. for four days of...

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