A labour of love: Vespa in Pakistan

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(Reuters) – 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.

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.

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.

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