The Custom show weekender, which is in its 19th year, officially begins on the Friday Evening at Captain Zeppo’s, just on the outskirts of the city centre. It’s a very trendy upmarket restaurant/bar with a Vespa smallframe mounted on the wall. It’s a sort of meet and greet social night with people arriving and drifting off until the early hours, or last man standing.
On Saturday there was a scooter ride out (also leaving from Zeppo’s), unfortunately, the main body of scooters were just pulling away as I was 100m away along the street, but there was a lovely selection of both Vespas and Lambrettas, with scooterists still milling around listening to the music from the bright red caravan on the square opposite. A great chance to have a beer with friends old and new. It was then time to meet up with a few other British scooterists in the main tourist area of the city by the cathedral, for some lunch, before I went to do a little sightseeing as my daughter had decided to visit me from Amsterdam.
This year’s Saturday night event was on a party boat an absolutely cracking venue, but my only concern was the distance from the main town. It was quite a walk, or in most cases a taxi ride, however, a great night of partying was had by all, and from what I gather, the shenanigans went on until 5 am.
Up bright and early for the custom show on the Sunday morning, the doors were already open at 8am, and a few machines were already set out in place, over the next two hours scooters gradually turned up and found their space around the hall, and the dealers set their stalls up around the outer walls. A big difference I noticed between this show and UK ones is the lack of new parts, the stalls here were more of an autojumble, with everything you can think of, from manuals/parts books to toys, rare accessories, 2-stroke oil pumps.
The scooters on display were varied, from original un-restored to street racer style and custom built, a great selection of Lambretta 3 wheelers, a selection of Piaggio Apes, and at least three sidecar outfits, a Durkopp Diana with original accessories and badge bars as well as a lovely old Vespa with a gorgeous two-wheel trailer. There was something for everyone to get excited about. Throughout the day I saw scooter club patches from the UK, France, Belgium, Holland, as well as Germany.
Trophies were dished out around 4 pm, with Bananaman being a clear favourite and the Lambro Club getting best club display. And Kev from Bournemouth getting Furthest travelled. The Big 20th custom show is next year, put it in your diary, it is well worth the effort, just for the warm welcome the Belgians give everyone, and if you have a few days holiday left over, use them to see some of this absolutely gorgeous city, you will not regret it.
Words: Scott ‘Lambro’ Gray, photos: Scott, Jackie and Hilde
Rallery by Scott ‘Lambro’ Gray, Jackie Vaughan and Hilde Den Blauwen
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