Does your Puch Maxi smoke?

wooden indian

Over the years, I noticed wood Indian statues in front tobacco and cigar shops but never understood the reason since I’m not a smoker. However after seeing this ornate, gold one on a recent Puch ride, I researched a bit and learned wooden Native American Indian sculptures are advertisements of sorts for tobacconists. Seems American Indians and tobacco have always been associated since they originally introduced the plant to Europeans. The carved figures are frequently three-dimensional and can be tall (even life-sized) and are quite collectible—maybe similar to certain vintage moped?

Puch under the arch at Palmer Park.

palmer park

Palmer Park (originally called Hamilton Square) was named through a city ordinance in July 1902. The name change honored the late Benjamin Morgan Palmer, pastor for the New Orleans First Presbyterian Church. His Thanksgiving sermon in 1860 was said to have influenced leading Louisiana to join the Confederate States of America. In 1912, the recognizable Palmer Park arch was built. Palmer Park Commission President T. M. Thompson and City Engineer Hardee designed the arch and it was funded at the cost of $1500. That seems to be today’s going price for a restored Puch Maxi!

The Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion.

elms mansion

Built in 1869, this mansion located on St. Charles Avenue is a beautiful example of Italianate style architecture. It was originally the home of Captain Watson Van Benthuysen II, who served as an officer in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, he became a prominent New Orleans businessman and president of a streetcar company. Van Benthuysen died in 1901. From 1931 until the start of WWII, the house served as the German Consulate. John Elms Sr., owner of the largest coin operated amusement company in the South, purchased the home in 1952. After his death in 1968, the family began using the house for private functions. It is still operated by the Elms family today.

Puch Maxi–a regal ride.

puch regal

re·gal (ˈrēɡəl): of, resembling, or fit for a monarch, especially in being magnificent or dignified. Taking a few liberties here I know. This painted sign is a reminder that New Orleans was once the brewing capital of the South. It can be found on the outside of Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge.  The small, late night, neighborhood bar is possibly the best dive bar in New Orleans. But no drinking and riding.

The seldom seen Puch tank rack.

There are thousands of Puch Maxi images online. And I’ve looked a quite a few. One thing that I rarely see is a Puch tank rack. What is most common are the chrome side rails…although many owners choose to remove these. As I understand it, the tank rack was an accessory available on certain Puch moped models. Since it fits on a Maxi, I got one. I’ll admit it’s an unusual look. But frankly, isn’t being unique-looking one of the primary reasons people are attracted to a vintage moped?