Over the past 20 years we have restored and rebuilt many classic scooters and mopeds. Here we showcase some of our favourite and most unique scooters which may give you some inspiration for your next scooter project.
Andre Baldet was a renowned Vespa dealer in Northhampton during the 1950/60's. As with many Vespa dealerships back then, custom two tone paintschemes and a little tune up, along with a name for these "Dealer Specials" give them an edge over competitors and generally encouraging more scooter sales.
Mr Baldets contribution was the now infamous 'ARC EN CIEL', it was a nod to his French roots meaning rainbow. These scooters had this beautiful two tone paintwork and sweeping lines that certainly complemented the contours of the top sports Vespa model of the day, the Vespa Gran Sport 150.
Our customer, Bradley, has had a few scooters, all standard models nicely restored and certainly presentable iconic 1960's beautifully designed Vespas, yet it was the Vespa GS and particularly the Vespa GS 150 that he had always admired.
This scooter was to be a modern twist on this revived special scooter. Brad did ask for an original set up but with a bit more reliablity than the original. We knew the weak points of the Vespa GS 150's. Worn out carburettors that are no longer available and a dated 6 volt electrical system.
Our solution, new style Dellorto PHB carburettor with help of a SIP manifold and a Varitronic ignition kit 12v conversion. The beauty of all this is all these upgrades can be reverted at any time and it works very nicely as a day to day scooter.
A milestone scooter for Piaggio, the Vespa 90 Mk 1 small frame Vespa or "small door" as they are known. This was the introductory model to attract the teenagers of the day, 1963 was the launch year for this model. In Europe they had the 50cc version for the then legal riding age of just 14 years old. Here in the UK, we were much more responsible and only allowed 16 year olds or above to ride back then, hence we got the 90cc version of this small frame Vespa.
Our customer had this vintage scooter in storage since the 1980's, always with good intentions to "do it up" he'd even semi-stripped it during an inspired burst of good intention, but then it got put away again (in pieces this time) until eventually it became one of those projects that you promise yourself to either get it done or it has to go.
This is were we came in to help. The request was to keep the scooter original, there was to be a complete strip and build but change nothing from it's original design or set up. We carried out a comprehensive strip and rebuild, using new parts, some quite rare and previously un-available.
The 1960's Vespa copy from the other side of the Iron Curtain was an attempt to jump on the success of the Vespa, this Russian scooter has it's own charms.
The speedo, with it's reverse sweep and the pretty art deco flywheel cowling along with it's communist red star crest and beautiful badging made sure this was a bit of a fun restoration for us to do, something a little different.
The mission was to restore it to pretty much original specification, which we did manage to do and yes that is the correct paint scheme that they came in but no that seat is slightly wrong - it was a request from the owner. The seat is a copy of a 1950's Vespa styled seat more likely seen on the Vespa GS 150 VS1 from 1955.
The bodywork, as you would imagine is a heavy gauge steel and quite strong but very heavy . The engine is not so much GS 150 but more a direct copy of the mid 1950's Vespa 125/150 standard models. It had an ignition key in the light switch, the headlight had an adjuster which I'm sure is straight off a Lada. There are a few upgrades to get it to go, electronic ignition, a new carb and new top end.
It now runs very nicely comrade!
The Italian VB1T or as Vespa Douglas called it in the UK "The Clubman " was a late 1950's Vespa standard model, the shape and style was truly stunning very much like it's big brother the Vespa GS 150 but on 8 inch wheels. These scooters are very rare due to the short production run and was soon replaced by the preceding model the VBA.
Our brief with this scooter was to restore it externally right back to how it was when it left the factory, with original paint, trim and layout throughout. Additionally, as the customer intended to use the scooter daily some performance and safety upgrades were incorporated.
The engine however was heavily modified to get it running more efficiently and reliability, better lights and ignition were also incorporated to give it a smoother, faster and safer ride . The original parts left in the engine would be the casings and the transmission parts.
We created this rat look VBA from the ground up, complete with custom paint job. Patina being very much the in Vogue word on the classic vehicle scene these days, it conjures up the image of a true barn found scooter/motorcyle/car, where the vehicle has been dry stored and for that reason well preserved in its original paint scheme for an amount of time that deems it a classic, 40 years + seems to be the figure. The worry with bringing such a Vehicle back onto the road is the deterioration of that lovely original paintwork which will start to turn and be devoured by our lovely British weather. The idea our customer had was to take an original paint scheme and not so much distress it but give it the markings of a scooter that was used and has it's dents and scratches in all the usual places. Typically these occur on the mudguard, along the panels and in the seams and that surface rust layer underneath. All this is a special paint effect that has all the proper protection of a bare metal restoration