East Coast Classic Scooter Rally

 Get the dish from Andria on the Philly area's vintage Vespa scooter rally- The East Coast Classic. Read on for details....

Sourpuss Clothing (SPC): How did you come up with this event?
East Coast Classic (ECC):In 2010, the planners of various city rallies in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region joined together to form a new planning group for the rally that would become known as the East Coast Classic. At that time and for many years prior to that, we were all throwing our own "city rallies" in our respective locales. However, calendars fill up quickly which affects rally attendance. So the original idea behind ECC was that instead of throwing 5, 6, 7 rallies on as many weekends, we would combine to throw one big one together.
Additionally, we wanted to develop an event that was emphasized as more of a vintage-centric rally, which our city rallies for the most part were not. While ECC does not exclude modern scooters, vintage or "classic" bikes are our focus, and we wanted to bring that aspect to the forefront.

Photograph: Mark Zimin.
(SPC): How long have you been organizing the East Coast Classic?
(ECC): This was the second year for the event, although the initial planning started in the summer of 2010. The first ECC was held in 2011, now 2012. We have held both year's events on the first weekend in June.
(SPC): Why is the ECC a unique rally and different from other scooter rallies.
(ECC): ECC is unique in several ways. 1st, for the past 2 years ECC has been held in Wildwood, NJ, a location which in and of itself is quite unique. From the preserved 50's and 60's beach town architecture, to the lime rickeys and boardwalk "culture," amusement parks, & the beach itself, there's a whole lot to see and do in Wildwood, even outside of scootering. 

So, as you can see, holding the event at the beach is another thing that it distinguishes it from other rallies, that are either held at campsites or within cities (with the exception of the Cocoa Beach rally held in Florida).Also, whereas the most common trend for rallies is for the the planning group to come from the same geographic location, while ours is disparate. Currently, we are from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and New Haven. And our host city for both years so far, is foreign to all of us!

(SPC): Where are most of your participants coming from?
(ECC): We draw a conglomeration of scooterists spread out over the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and even the South and Mid-West, rather than from just one geographic location. We've had attendees from as far as Atlanta, St. Louis, Columbus, and Boston.

(SPC): What is the furthest someone rode a scooter to get to ECC?
(ECC): So far, Boston is our record!

Photograph: Mark Zimin.

(SPC): How many people generally attend?
(ECC): Both years, attendance has been just over 200 people.

(SPC): Can any scooters attend or is it only for vintage scooters.
(ECC): While one of the main purposes of the event is to promote vintage scootering, we don't place any limits on modern bikes.

(SPC): Can anyone that loves scooters (but doesn't own one) hang out for the weekend too?
(ECC):Absolutely! we have so many events going on that we'll be sure to keep all our guests entertained, even if you're not riding. In addition to daytime scooter rides and showcasing our bikes, we also have dj's, bands, a scavenger hunt, meals, and just general hanging out & mingling time. This year we had a pool party sponsored by PBR.

(SPC): What is the reaction of the folks in Wildwood when they see all of the scooters?
(ECC): Fascination. Maybe they're not sure what's going on at first, but then they talk to us and kind of get into it. Since we've been there for 2 years now, they are starting to recognize us! I think they like having us there.

Photograph: Mark Zimin.
(SPC): Any specific reason Wildwood is your chosen destination?
(ECC):We were all very excited to do a beach rally, and some of our group were familiar with Wildwood. Being that it's kind of a vintage-y town on its own, it has worked well with our theme. It's always possible that we will choose another location in the future, but so far have not.

(SPC): You all usually stay some really amazing retro motels- which is your favorite?
(ECC):The Starlux is really charming. Possibly the greatest thing about the Starlux is its modern-style lounge. This year we also stayed at the Aquarius, which had a great pool area and sun deck.

(SPC):I see you have DJ's & dance parties organized for the weekend, what kind of music do you play?
(ECC):Most of our dj's play the traditional "scooterist" music, a tradition inherited from British subculture of like kind. This means for us generally a combination of Northern Soul, garage, ska, rocksteady, reggae, and punk spanning the generations from the 1960's--onward.

(SPC):What's the craziest thing to happen at one of the rallys?
(ECC):Ah. We can't put those kinds of things in writing. You'll have to attend to find out!!

(SPC):What would your theme music be if you (personally were in movie?
(ECC):Me, personally? 60's female-fronted garage and soul! I can't say that would be the same for anyone else in our group!!

(SPC):What actor would play you?
(ECC):Morgan Freeman. No, seriously. I think he would look fabulous on a vintage scooter. And his voice would add a calming effect to the scooter bunch.

Interestingly, speaking of movies, there was a movie with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts that involved them joining a scooter community. In it, she wore an Italian flag helmet identical to one that I have. So maybe, the part has already been played;-)
I do think it would be magnificent if perhaps an independent movie was made about scooter and scooter rally sub-culture. After all, it's interesting, fun, on the edge, unique, and frankly, just cool as hell. And the best community of people you will find anywhere.

Photograph: Mark Zimin.
(SPC): Veggie Burger or Ribs?
(ECC): Veggie burger for me, but don't let me speak for the community! We range the gamut from hardcore carnivore to strict vegan. I think scooters must not have any influence on dietary preference.

(SPC): If you had an unlimited amount of money to spend on a scooter, what would it look like?
(ECC): I have always wanted to own a nice, shiny, completely restored and mod-ed out number. My bikes are vintage and pretty original, but they ain't shiny. 60's Vespa or Lambretta (I will not publicly make a statement as to which. You know we argue about that stuff!)
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