a guide to


A Bike

When starting a vintage scooter re-build or restoration there are many factors to consider. Whether you are taking a project on yourself or asking us at Retrospective to build your dream scooter for you, here we break down the process and highlight the key areas to consider before you start.

Step 1


There is a scooter for every budget, but expectations and false information online means that they sometimes don't quite match up to your initial dream. However, with a few compromises here and there, it is possible to match your priorities to your budget, and then get exactly what you want.

We can take a small deposit and get your dream vintage scooter build underway, a payment plan can be worked out and with each stage of the build an instalment paid. This can take as long or as short as your budget allows.

If you want to have a go at doing your own restoration, we are here to help every step of the way and we are able to supply parts and advice and get involved just in the bits that you really cannot do.

Step 2

Choosing a model

These are the three broad catagories that vintage Vespas fall into. Of course there are many models and variations within each of these but this may help you set off down the right path at the beginning.

frame type  1

Wide frame

From the very beginning of Vespa in Italy in 1946 up until the last of the Vespa GS 150's in 1962, the wide mount frame Vespa's were these beautiful curvaceous scooters that defined the iconic 50's design that are still so sought after today. For many years they were resigned to be museum pieces but, thanks to many modern upgrades, they are being brought back on to the roads today to be used and seen as they should be.

frame type 2

Small frame

From the Vespa 50 in 1963 to the 1982 ET3/v100 these famous small frame models spared Piaggio from extinction during the lean years of the mid-seventies. Small in stature, light and manoeuvrable with quick acceleration, they are a favourite of the city commuter, a trip to the beach or just down to your local coffee shop.

frame type 3

Large frame

The trusted steed, the large frame Vespa. So reliable and our most popular sellers. Starting in 1958 this update of the wide frame models changed very little until it's final format, the Vespa PX, which finally ended production in 2017 . The large frame has so many options available with it, you have a world of choice if you choose one of these models as the basis for your new scooter.

Step 3

DIY or pay the experts?

At Retrospective we can help you with building your own classic scooter or we can do the whole thing for you.

We offer the option to do any stage that you may not have the facilities, time or tools to tackle yourself, as well as plenty of free advice. The overall service we offer is a professional restoration of the very highest quality from start to finish. We have all the right equipment, masses of knowledge and the best of parts available. This enables you (or us) to make your vintage scooter even better than it was when it first left the factory in Italy all those years ago.

Step 4

Upgrades & modernisation

There is a beauty and simplicity that goes with owning a classic scooter, but now in the 21st century there are many 'improvements' that can be made to them that preserves all the charm whilst making them far safer, faster and more practical on our modern roads.

Speak to us about the options, a few of which are shown below. We can incorporate almost any modern aspect into these classic scooters whilst improving reliability and of course maintaining bags of style as standard.

As of 2019, we now offer the ultimate in "modern" upgrades for vintage scooters which is our own custom designed electric motor that operates on just battery power. Be one of the first people in the world with an electric converted Vespa or Lambretta.

most common upgrades

  • A newly rebuilt PX engine
  • 12 volt conversion
  • Carburetion upgrade
  • Project:E Full electric motor conversion
  • Disk brake upgrade
  • More power, reliability & handling
  • New suspension
  • Exhaust Upgrade
  • Brighter lighting, indicators & mirrors
Step 5


Now you have a super cool form of transport, you ride past crowded bus stops wondering how you ever managed without your classic scooter. It's a new found freedom that you will find hard to give up.

Whether you use your classic scooter for your daily commute or just for a Sunday rideout, there is always the need to keep on top of things to maintain the scooter. Mechanical safety with two wheel riding cannot be ignored so you will need to ensure at least an annual service and of course an MOT to keep things legal.

Fuel and oil use in a vintage scooter is minimal compared to any car ownership, parking is easy and usually free. You will wonder how you ever lived without it!

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