What went wrong in Saigon?

It’s said that there are more scooters than people in Saigon and it’s a statistic that’s easy to believe when you see it for yourself. Today the city’s filled with twist and go machines but three decades ago almost every two wheeler in sight was a classic Vespa, Lambretta or Honda. With such a rich resource of machines to draw upon, it’s particularly difficult to understand why most machines currently on the market in Vietnam are of such low quality. When I started to delve more deeply into Vietnam’s classic scooter scene I expected to uncover organised crime connections or hard-faced con men at the very least but the truth is rather different. To understand how the ‘Nammer’ came into existence it’s also necessary to understand the country’s recent history.

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