Wednesday, October 11, 2006

STL Rising: Uncomplicating Your Life

This late 70s moped is the model I drove during college and back and forth to my job waiting tables. It was a belt-driven, Peugeot 103, 49 cc, 2-stroke. It made about 60 miles per gallon. On a flat road, with the wind at my back, it would get up to 40 mph. I paid $450 for it with about 1000 miles on it, drove it another 10,000 miles, then sold it some years later here in St. Louis for about the same price.

And here's a picture of the first model of car I bought for myself. It was a 1967 Volvo 122S. Mine was stock (picture it without the alloy rims, fog lights, and racing graphic...same color though). I bought it in 1978 and paid $2,200.

Back in those days, I was my own mechanic, body and fender guy. There was a sense of accomplishment, not to mention cost savings, in performing the maintenance ourselves on the cars we drove. Cars today have become so hi-tech that most people never do their own work any more.

Simplifying life, including figuring out ways to get back to basics with transportation, is definitely making more sense every day.


tina said...

hey, my first car was a 1964 122S! My folks bought it in 1980 and let me use it when I turned 16 in 1991. I think they still have it garaged and it still runs. I also learned a lot on that had that crazy carburetor...good times. I miss having an easy-to-work-on car too.

Urban Review said...

You are killing me here. I love anything and everything that is Peugeot and the Volvo 122 is one of the most stunning cars ever produced! I'm really tempted to get an old 122 but alas I am mechanically inept.

Rick Bonasch said...

That Peugeot moped was wonderful. The one in the picture is an identical blue one to the one I had.

Riding the moped home late at night from my waiter job on the country back roads of Northern California's Amador Valley was a great experience. The bike was quiet, the roads were dimly lit, and the headlight would shine about 500 feet down the road.

The best part was to be riding in the open air with birds in flight right next to me, at a speed not too fast to pass them up, and not to slow for them to fly by me.

Your Urban Review posts about scootering have conjured up these memories.

I miss both the moped and the Volvo, but that's almost 30 years ago now. Besides, there'd be no way to fit the two of them in our tiny smokehouse version of a garage we have today.

People either love or hate the look of those old 122 Volvos. To this day, they have remained very popular in Northern California.

I showed the pictures of the moped and the Volvo to our thirteen year-old son last nite. It was a part of my life he had never heard of before.

He thought the Volvo was a cool looking car and wished we still had it.

If you look around, you can still find them for sale in the mid-$4,000 range.

Check out the station wagon models too. They're cool too.

Anonymous said...

So, are you going to let Matt use a moped?

Rick Bonasch said...

Yes. I would be fine with that.