The Antwerp scooter custom show | RALLERY
It was all aboard the Skylark for the flight to Amsterdam where I was going to be collected by Jurgen; friend and organsiser of the Scooter Custom Show. Once in the van it was off to Antwerp, Belgium; home of the 18th annual Scooter Custom Show. I had been looking forward to this trip as it was going to be my first time to the Custom Show, Antwerp and indeed Belgium.
When in Belgium
Tales of scooters, laughs, great beer and chocolate had filled my head prior to departing from Glasgow. Jurgen went off to do some final bits and bobs for the weekend whilst I was shown around Antwerp’s historical centre by Hilde, Jurgen’s better half. Antwerp and Belgium has a mismatch of architectural styles all next to each other, however the medieval centre of Antwerp is grand. There’s a host of Jewellers, chocolatiers, waffle shops and frietkot’s (Belgian Fries shops).
The Friday night meet up was in Kapitein Zeppos, a constant venue for the weekend. We (Jurgen, Hilde and myself) arrived to find a few scooterists amongst the many locals inside already enjoying the beers from a list that would make any British boozer feel a touch inadequate. Le Choufe, Duvel, ‘proper’ Stella Artois, Hoegarden, De Koninck, and Chimmay being the ones of notable choice.
The pub soon filled up with seasoned scooterists who had travelled from near and far. Veterans of the weekend who had made the trek for many years. Conversations were springing up between old friends and people newly introduced, the volume inside the bar was rising greatly due to the copious amounts of beer being consumed. The only tough decision of the evening was what would be the meal of choice from Kapitein Zeppo’s menu. The food was good, more restaurant than pub grub!
Saturday afternoon saw everyone meeting up outside Kapitein Zeppo’s for the ride out. There were about 50 scooters taking part in the ride out, with this year’s final destination being the Abarth Museum in Lier. A museum with a massive collection of all vehicles that Abarth Works either tuned, rallied or raced.
Saturday night’s entertainment was being held in Venue 219, a nice sized bar with plenty more of that wonderful Belgian beer on offer. Soon after we arrived Jurgen took to the decks spinning tunes of a mod/soul nature, once the music had began revellers started to pour in. I took to the decks after a while to play some ska and reggae tunes. Venue 219 was soon heaving with scooterists, good music playing loud, beer, conversation and having a laugh was the order of the night!
The main event
The custom show was on the Sunday, with enthusiasts showing their scooters and parts sellers setting up early on. I arrived a little later in the day after watching the fitba’ in a pub but just in time to throw my raffle tickets away as I hadn’t won the raffle; this year the prize was an Indian API 150. The custom show winners started to be announced shortly afterwards, with some fantastic scooters on show and an abundance of prizes to be awarded.
My favourite scooter was a red Lambretta Model-D, with a twist. It’s owner Terry, is an expat now living in Belgium with a love of all things Lambretta but also for taking them where they normally wouldn’t go, Ben Nevis and trial riding; it was a real pleasure to meet and chat with him.
Scooterists from all over were in attendance, with approximately 450 showing up over the course of the weekend; from: Belgium, Holland, England, France, Germany and Poland. With such strength in numbers especially from so many returning and novice attendees I can see the Antwerp custom show continuing for some time yet. Personally, I had a thoroughly great time and I can only assume everyone else had a great time too, it certainly looked that way. I might even get my finger out and arrive on my SX when I come back next year.
Many thanks to Jurgen & Hilde for their incredible hospitality, generosity and an absolutely brilliant weekend!
Words: Michael Finnie
Photos: Hilde & Big Kev
Big Kev’s Rallery