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Clockwork Orange (Italjet Dragster)

January 6th, 2010

It runs like clockwork, it’s orange, it’s got a bio-mechanical paintjob and it belongs to Aaron Perks who calls his Dragster ‘Sexy Beast’ after the gritty gangster flick starring Ray Winstone, Ian ‘Lovejoy’ McShane and Ben Kingsley.

Aaron’s your typical Darkside scooterist… He started doing the rallies in 1982, did the Nationals, had a bad accident going to Dunbar in 1985 in which he nearly lost his left hand. The accident was the classic scooter boy tale – “Set off for Dunbar National in June ‘85. At the time I had a Dyrospeed GP, proper full-on scooter boy scoot. Thought I was top scooter skin, had a little scooter girl on the back. I was the bollocks, or so I thought when looking in shop windows at traffic lights. Alas, tuned GP didn’t get to Dunbar. So I hopped on the back of a P2. Woke up in Galashields Hospital. Damaged nerves in spine, hence damage to wrist (now permanently pinned), broke collarbone, four toes plus some other stuff. The only good thing was, I had a new full face lid, Belstaff jacket and trousers plus 14 hole DM’s. Proves protection works kids.”

After the accident Aaron took a long break from scooters and didn’t return to two wheels until 1994. After he bought a GP200 he started doing the rallies again with his old pals. Sexy Beast isn’t Aaron’s first custom project, he did a full-blown custom Vespa P200E back in ’96 called ‘Skin Complaint’ which, like Sexy Beast, was inspired by tattoo art. Aaron eventually succumbed to the Darkside in 2002 when he purchased a brand new Runner SP 180 from Roger at TASS (Thanet Area Scooters) in Margate. A couple of years later he bought a Dragster – “time to unleash another beast!”, thought Aaron, “a Sexy Beast…”

So, the plastic panels were given to Si Clark (the Governer) in Colchester who worked his magic on them, the result is the intricate paintjob which, as you can see, covers the entire scooter. The surrealist theme continues with the one-off seat, this was re-upholstered by Andy Nixon in Braintree, Essex. Other styling additions include a set of laser-cut stainless steel footplates from PM Tuning and a pair of footpegs and a tax disc holder from Oberon Engineering. The level of tune is enough to get the scooter up to speed and keep it reliable – 25mm carb, Scorpion pipe, Polini belt and Malossi rollers. In terms of handling, the Dragster’s suspension has been improved with Bitubo shocks front and rear. The only problem that Aaron encountered during the build was patience, or lack of it, rather. We can all relate to this – waiting for parts to arrive, all the stripping down and re-building. But Aaron has Justin Searl (Justbretta) to thank for this as he did most of the grafting. It’s nice for a change to see someone actually admit to this as opposed to claiming they did all of the work with their own hands. Let’s not forget that Aaron’s left hand isn’t what it once was. But Aaron did direct it all (and I’m assuming he paid for it all!) and what a marvelous looking end product it is. The fruits of his labour won him Best Auto and Best Paintjob at Mersea Island 2007. Result.

Words: Paul Robinson

This article was originally published in the print version of PETROL ISSUE.08