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RTX5F15O
Labor of love: Vespa in Pakistan
As cheap Chinese-made motorbikes flood Pakistan's roads, fans of vintage Vespa scooters are scrambling to find spare parts and preserve models that hark back to a quieter, bygone era.
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVL
March 29, 2018
Amin, who paints repaired Vespa scooter parts, reads a newspaper outside his workshop in Karachi, Pakistan....
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Amin, who paints repaired Vespa scooter parts, reads a newspaper outside his workshop in Karachi, Pakistan. As cheap Chinese-made motorbikes flood Pakistan's roads, fans of vintage Vespa scooters are scrambling to find spare parts and preserve models that hark back to a quieter, bygone era.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYV9
March 29, 2018
Journalist Nazeer Udding Siddiqui, 58, poses for a photograph with his 1979 model Vespa scooter in Karachi....
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Journalist Nazeer Udding Siddiqui, 58, poses for a photograph with his 1979 model Vespa scooter in Karachi. "My father used to work for Khwaja Auto as a manager and they were the only distributors of Vespa scooters. For me, people who own Vespas are very honourable people who still keep this tradition alive," Siddiqui said.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVR
March 29, 2018
A restored Vespa scooter painted in Pakistani truck art style, is parked alongside traditionally colored...
Islamabad, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
A restored Vespa scooter painted in Pakistani truck art style, is parked alongside traditionally colored scooters at a Vespa restoration and repair workshop in Islamabad. Piaggio's Italian two-wheeler was the ultimate status symbol for Pakistani bike aficionados in the 1960s and 70s, when bicycles outstripped motorbikes on the roads and only a handful of people could afford to import luxury items from Europe.


REUTERS/Caren Firouz
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYW0
March 29, 2018
Over the past two decades, motorbike ownership rates have skyrocketed in Pakistan, with locally assembled...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Over the past two decades, motorbike ownership rates have skyrocketed in Pakistan, with locally assembled Chinese and Japanese bikes clogging up the roads in a country where much of the population is below 30 years old.


REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYV5
March 29, 2018
Members of a Vespa rider's club gather at sunrise for a ride in Lahore. But for the likes of Zubair Ahmad...
Lahore, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Members of a Vespa rider's club gather at sunrise for a ride in Lahore. But for the likes of Zubair Ahmad Nagra, who runs the Vespa club in the eastern city of Lahore, new and more fuel-efficient bikes hold little allure. Instead, he drives a Vespa, Italian for "wasp", that was imported by his father in 1974. "It was the first motorized vehicle owned by my father," said Nagra. "I've been fond of it ever since."

REUTERS/Caren Firouz
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVD
March 29, 2018
Akram (C) applies coating on Vespa scooter parts, as he chats with owners of Vespa scooters Farrukh Shahbaz...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Akram (C) applies coating on Vespa scooter parts, as he chats with owners of Vespa scooters Farrukh Shahbaz (L) and Matiur Rehman outside his workshop in Karachi. Shahbaz, who, 14 years ago, inherited his father's blue 1961 Vespa, has had to have the scooter repaired three times, but he cherishes the memory and love his father had for the machine. "My father told me it came packed in a wooden box," said Shahbaz, 50.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYV8
March 29, 2018
A worker sprays a restored mudguard for a scooter at a Vespa restoration and repair workshop in Islamabad....
Islamabad, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
A worker sprays a restored mudguard for a scooter at a Vespa restoration and repair workshop in Islamabad. Many long-term owners find that possessing a Vespa in Pakistan is a labour of love, with original spare parts scant and only a handful of mechanics skilled enough to restore the originals. In Lahore, close to the Indian border, Vespa owners often have to settle for low quality Indian-made parts or ask for mechanics to fashion new pieces of bodywork from scratch.

REUTERS/Caren Firouz
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVB
March 29, 2018
Parts of Vespa scooters are seen outside a workshop in Karachi. In the leafy capital Islamabad, once...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Parts of Vespa scooters are seen outside a workshop in Karachi. In the leafy capital Islamabad, once the oppressive summer heat wanes, a handful of Western diplomats can be seen buzzing around on their pastel-coloured Vespas. But they also are rare.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVV
March 29, 2018
An old Vespa scooter is chained at the premises of a house in low-income neighborhood in Karachi. Few...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
An old Vespa scooter is chained at the premises of a house in low-income neighborhood in Karachi. Few expect the tide to turn, with cheap motorbike ownership transforming the lives of many poor and lower working class people in the rapidly urbanizing nation of 208 million people.


REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVO
March 29, 2018
Shahzad stands with his abandoned Vespa scooter in Karachi. But Nagra, the Lahore fan club chief, said...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Shahzad stands with his abandoned Vespa scooter in Karachi. But Nagra, the Lahore fan club chief, said a local company had announced that Vespas would be on sale in Pakistan from later this year with the latest models.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVF
March 29, 2018
A broken speed meter is seen on an abandoned Vespa scooter, on a street corner in Karachi. Nagra said...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
A broken speed meter is seen on an abandoned Vespa scooter, on a street corner in Karachi. Nagra said Vespas were the second best gift Italy gave to the world -- "first being pizza" -- as he recalled driving from Lahore to the Chinese border crossing at the Khunjerab Pass, some 15,397 feet (4,693 metres) above sea level in the Karakoram Mountains. "They have not let us down a single time," he said.

REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYV7
March 29, 2018
Journalist Arif Balouch, 48, poses for a photograph with his 1980 model Vespa scooter in Karachi. "For...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Journalist Arif Balouch, 48, poses for a photograph with his 1980 model Vespa scooter in Karachi. "For me, a Vespa scooter is like a family tradition. My father used to ride this and I myself find this very good as it has two separate comfortable seats which is uncommon, it has a compartment to keep things which is also uncommon and for safety it guards your knees during accidents. I would say it's the BMW of scooters," Balouch said. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYV6
March 29, 2018
A mechanic puts a headlight on a Vespa scooter, after repairing it at a workshop in Karachi. REUTERS/Akhtar...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
A mechanic puts a headlight on a Vespa scooter, after repairing it at a workshop in Karachi. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVZ
March 29, 2018
An emblem for a scooter is shown, in the parts store of a Vespa restoration and repair workshop in Islamabad....
Islamabad, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
An emblem for a scooter is shown, in the parts store of a Vespa restoration and repair workshop in Islamabad. REUTERS/Caren Firouz
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYW3
March 29, 2018
A worker restores the handlebar and light assembly of a scooter, at a Vespa restoration and repair workshop...
Islamabad, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
A worker restores the handlebar and light assembly of a scooter, at a Vespa restoration and repair workshop in Islamabad. REUTERS/Caren Firouz
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVT
March 29, 2018
Engine parts and tools cover the engine restoration table at a Vespa restoration and repair workshop...
Islamabad, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Engine parts and tools cover the engine restoration table at a Vespa restoration and repair workshop in Islamabad. REUTERS/Caren Firouz
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYW1
March 29, 2018
Disassembled Vespa scooters rest on shelves in different states of restoration, at a Vespa restoration...
Islamabad, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Disassembled Vespa scooters rest on shelves in different states of restoration, at a Vespa restoration and repair workshop in Islamabad. REUTERS/Caren Firouz
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVI
March 29, 2018
A Vespa scooter stands near a workshop, where old Vespa parts are painted, on a street in Karachi. REUTERS/Akhtar...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
A Vespa scooter stands near a workshop, where old Vespa parts are painted, on a street in Karachi. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVP
March 29, 2018
A shopkeeper and Vespa enthusiast holds his collection of mini memorabilia, at his auto parts shop in...
Karachi, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
A shopkeeper and Vespa enthusiast holds his collection of mini memorabilia, at his auto parts shop in Karachi. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
PAKISTAN-VESPA/
RTX5EYVU
March 29, 2018
Scooters are parked near Delhi Gate as members of a Vespa rider's club gather at sunrise for a ride in...
Lahore, Pakistan
The Wider Image: A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan
Scooters are parked near Delhi Gate as members of a Vespa rider's club gather at sunrise for a ride in Lahore. REUTERS/Caren Firouz
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