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Vintage Vespas with customised sidecars a hit with retro riders

Published on May 21, 2014 12:11 PM

Once the workhorse of delivery companies and small tradesmen, the sidecar has emerged as an unlikely automotive fashion statement in Singapore, thanks to Mr Johnny Chen.

The 49-year-old general manager of a prototyping company spends his free time fulfilling a boyhood dream: creating customised sidecars for vintage Vespa scooters.

Growing up in a kampung near Pek Kio in the 1960s, he was riveted to the World War II TV series Combat!, where American soldiers battled sidecar-outfitted Nazis in occupied France.

"There were a lot of scenes with sidecars that fascinated me," he remembers. "But it wasn't until I sat in an actual sidecar that belonged to an ice-cream seller that I knew I had to have one some day."

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Background story

"At hotels, I'm always told to park at the entrance - next to the Ferrari."

Mr Johnny Chen on a benefit of owning Vespas with sidecars