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The way it was: Scooter club -- 1959
Scooter club members storm a gas station in preparation for a ride. Their mounts made 100 miles per gallon. From left, Dick Fresorger, Lonnie Woodward, Tim Coleman, House, Rodney Osborne, Ted Davis and Chuck Van Brunt, pictured on July 9, 1959. File photo

The way it was: Scooter club -- 1959

Jul 8, 2012 - Staff

Enthusiasm for fuel-efficient vehicles didn't begin with the green movement. In July 1959, a group of young Rivertonians founded the Vespa Club, which allowed 14- to 16-year old motor scooter enthusiasts to find others like themselves, and gain some added insurance benefits as well.

The Italian-made Vespa scooter brand came to popularity in U.S. the 1950s, with a streamlined marketing campaign that included a nationwide scootering club, which allowed members access to a membership card, scooter bumper stickers, movies, and a subscription to Vespa's trade magazine for $5, in addition to an exclusive insurance policy for $39 a year.

The 11 members of Riverton's chapter enjoyed all of these benefits. At the time, Jim Scribner was selling Vespas out of Northwestern Dime Store on Main Street, which served as the club's unofficial headquarters.

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