Vespamania: Our Love for Josh Rogers
Vespa has been winning the hearts of fans for 75 years. We recently spent some time chatting with Josh Rogers, a US-based collector.
As an icon of design, Vespa has become a universal symbol of Italian style. With a storied past and an eye on the future, Vespa speaks to people regardless of age or location. Choosing to ride a Vespa is not a decision rooted in purely practical needs as Vespa transcends function and exudes a type of stylish, lighthearted, joyful lifestyle.
That’s why Vespa riders are not just fans of the brand, but often become enthusiasts of all things Vespa, as we saw in Josh Rogers.
Earlier this summer, Josh invited us to visit his collection of Vespas in San Jose, California. His garage is filled with Vespas. He owns a specialized collection of Vespas including some of the rarest models produced, and he is always searching for the next find. For Josh, collecting Vespas is akin to owning a piece of history. His collection encompasses models spanning decades, engines and colors, and he also has a vast treasure trove of memorabilia, including posters, gadgets, pins, games and other novelty items.
Josh’s passion began when he bought his first Vespa at age 18, after noticing one after a ska concert and falling in love with its visual design and the sound of its engine. “I think I went from being a driver to a collector the moment when I bought my second model,” he notes.
His love for Vespa has spilled over into other aspects of his life, including a community of other Vespa enthusiasts .
“I like driving them, I like collecting them, and thanks to them I’ve made some wonderful friendships. Passion is my driving force,” he notes.
Whenever Josh has found a rare, old Vespa, he works with a specialized mechanic to restore them to near perfect original condition. Once the restoration is done, the hunt for the next scooter begins because, as he says, “you can never have too many Vespas.”
His personal “holy grail” is the 1946 Vespa 98 model, inscribed on the Historical Register: the third Vespa model made in the history of the brand. It’s rarity and museum-quality allows him to refer to the model as “the Bugatti of scooters.”
One model that stands out and makes him feel the sexiest is the Vespa GS Cushman, a model he has used when riding round trip from San Jose to Morro Bay in California.
For several years now Josh has been the president of VCOF, the Vespa Club of America, whose members share a passion for scooters and for spending time together at various conventions and events. “My collection is a reflection of the relationships I’ve built over time and the people I’ve met,” he says.
Thanks, Josh! We hope you will continue to find more treasures to restore.