I must con­fess that I’m no sci-fi fa­natic; an early mem­ory put me off for life. In a stroke of ge­nius by Der­byshire Ed­u­ca­tion Author­ity, the Daleks vis­ited my nurs­ery when I was three and scared me half to death.

Scootering - - Front Page -

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Vespa chop­per

This par­tic­u­larly well-crafted cut­down is a scooter I re­mem­ber in its pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tion as Bit­ter Fin­gers

To be fair to me they were real Daleks and most of my young class­mates per­ished that aw­ful day. Thank­fully, I was smart enough to run away up the steps to avoid ex­ter­mi­na­tion, but it has made me very wary of such things to this day.

Yel­low Brick Road

Science fic­tion im­agery cer­tainly makes a good ba­sis for a cus­tom scooter though and there have been count­less scoot­ers with films, comics and B-movie char­ac­ters used as in­spi­ra­tion for their paint­work. This par­tic­u­larly well-crafted cut­down is a scooter I re­mem­ber in its pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tion as Bit­ter Fin­gers. A Vega of the same name in­spired the paint­work on that one, a scooter Alan Legge re­mem­bered see­ing in Ch­ester­field in the late 1970s, al­though the mu­rals he chose for his own in­ter­pre­ta­tion ac­tu­ally came from an El­ton John al­bum cover. Alan said “The mu­sic was shite but the art­work is very 70s and dif­fer­ent.” Al­though El­ton John is an un­likely can­di­date for scooter­ist

mu­si­cal taste, Bit­ter Fin­gers was still an eye­catch­ing ma­chine in its own right – as Alan’s tro­phy cab­i­net will prove.

A change is as good as a rest though and a chance en­counter with a lo­cal artist meant a se­quel would soon be un­der way, this time as homage to the Hell­boy films. In usual far-fetched sci-fi style, Hell­boy is a de­mon who gets res­cued as a boy from the Nazis and de­cides to fight for the good guys. Our red-faced hero ends up saving the Earth in Hell­boy II so we should all be quite chuffed really.

Sil­ver Ma­chine

Like many cus­tom projects they’re of­ten seen on­line th­ese days be­fore they’re even fin­ished and as Alan built Hell­boy last year, pho­tos be­gan ap­pear­ing on his so­cial me­dia pro­file page. I fol­lowed the build as it pro­gressed and things were look­ing good… then dis­as­ter struck. Evil fought back, the world turned black and Alan’s new paint­work re­acted with the flam­boy­ant old boy, El­ton lurk­ing be­neath. The sil­ver basecoat un­der the red turned to what looked like tal­cum pow­der, heart break­ing – as any scooter builder will understand. Not all su­per­heroes get things right first time though, it’s just one of those things that hap­pens from time to time and the prob­lem was rec­ti­fied as quickly as de­monly pos­si­ble.

With fresh paint­work based on the two Hell­boy films the re­build be­gan again and this time Hell­boy was vic­to­ri­ous. I think you’ll ad­mit the fin­ished scooter looks fan­tas­tic with its 80s style cut­down and chopped frame; lash­ings of chrome and those ex­tended twisted forks. It’s a retro cus­tom hark­ing back to those he­do­nis­tic scooter boy days we all sort of re­mem­ber…

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