a Guide to

scooter restoration

Whether it's a rusty old barn find, an unloved workhorse or a mangled accident write-off there is almost always a way to breath new life into any vintage scooter, regardless of its condition. At Retrospective, we undertake scooter restorations all day every day.

The Restoration Process

Many years of sourcing and restoring vintage Vespas and Lambrettas has refined our skills and methods of getting the very best results you could possibly hope for. We have had many challenges down the years from weird and wonderful designs and ideas from customers to almost impossible salvaging of scooters on the brink of scrapping. The detail of a full and proper restoration needs to be understood in the step-by-step process that allows us to bring a 50 year old vehicle back to the standard of brand new scooter with improvements and enhancements over and above the original specification.

Step 1


Carefully stripping the scooter while inspecting all the parts, every single component is taken apart, and most importanly vital parts are not needlessly damaged during this important process.

Step 2


The chassis and and bodywork parts are sand blasted at the correct pressure with a fine sand or glass so as not to damage or warp them. This gets everything back to bare metal ready for the repair process. We have our own blasting facility on site.

Step 3

Panel beating & painting

Painting and bodywork on a vintage scooter is what it's all about to most of our customers, it's important that the man who paints your scooter (Dave from The London Scooter Bodyshop in our case) knows about it's complex shape and structure. The panel beating is all about dry building and making sure the panel work and chassis shape is right for building; metal is shaped back to it's original form or cut out and the panel replaced by a new piece, minimising the use of filler. Painting is about creating a rust resistant, mirror smooth protective finish to the extent that no buffing is needed after the spraying.

Step 4

Mechanical overhaul

While the bodyshop is getting on with the external scooter make over the mechanic's are stripping and reconditioning the engine and forks. This is when the upgrades are applied, all manner of modern improvements to these old machines can be installed. Perhaps you are after a 12 volt or varitronic ignition to improve the lights and fuel consumtion? Or how about a PX engine for improved reliability and a front disk brake for improved safety?

Step 5

The build

The final re-build of a scooter is about using good quality parts put together by a skilled restorer (there are no Far East scooter restoration style shortcuts taken here), there's more to it than just bolting stuff together, it's about having an eye and feel for what is going to work mechanically and look good with the bike.

Step 6

Testing & testing some more

Niall McCart, owner and founder of Retrospective Scooters, tests every finished bike, he oversees the project and puts his name and personal guarantee to each restoration. Retrospective are proud of the quality of our bikes and it's got to be 100% right.

We hand over a finished restored scooter that runs and looks like the day it left the factory production line.

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