Iso love this…

luigis_isoLuigi from Italy sent me a picture of his scooter, this beautiful Iso – known officially in it’s native Italy  simply as the “F” – although maybe better known to British readers as the Iso Milano, (it’s South American name) or the Diva, as it was marketed under in Spain. Iso developed the F after an initial collaboration with, of all people Maserati… I wrote about the only known surviving scooter from this collaboration here. The lines of the F are classically italian, the scooter bears more than a passing resemblance to a Lambretta Series 1/2 and the Vespa VNB, depending on which angle you’re looking at it from 🙂im000636

Luigi knows a thing or two about classic scooters, having written the Iso pages on the (excellent) Scooter d’Epoca site.

Puch Cheetah

puchds_60_cheetah_ebayNow for something completely different… a Puch DS 60 Cheetah from, amazingly in my opinion, 1960. Why amazingly? Well, to my untrained eye, it looks so much later, presaging Japanese mopeds like the Honda Cub and monkey bikes from the 70s. There’s also a hint of the Rumi Formicino in the styling. Not as curvy and sinuous as a Lambretta or a Vespa, but a very pleasing design – tidy, solid and compact. It was described, back in the day, as a ‘scooterette’ – or ‘baby scooter’. The 59cc Cheetah was the ‘deluxe’ version, with a more stripped down 50cc bike called the Nomad as it’s entry level stablemate.

The Austrian company Puch are perhaps more remembered these days for their mopeds (such as the Puch Maxi), and small motorcycles, and maybe even push bikes (especially BMX’s), but they made very highly regarded scooters in the 1950’s. The Puch RL from 1953 had more traditional scooter styling, and had a good reputation amongst it’s owners,  the less than sparkling performance being offset by a reputation for exceptional reliability.

The 59cc 4 speed sports engine on this Cheetah produces 4.5 hp. It’s been restored to ‘as new’ condition with a professional respray (love the silver and bright orange combo!), the engine rebuild by leading vintage Puch specialists in Austria. The aluminium casing, brake drums and shock absorbers are polished to mirror finish. It has a refurbed original seat, new brake linings, wiring, exhaust system, rubbers and tyres. Rebuilt by a restorer rather than a rider, the bike has covered only 3 miles since. The V5 is present and it has 12 months MOT.

Electric Swallow, update

Schwalbe_Pose.jpgHere’s the latest on the electric Schwalbe scooter that I posted about a few days ago. This time the information is straight from the horse mouth, so it’ll be a little more accurate!

Schwalbe makes an electrifying return GOVECS presents the classic scooter in a contemporary design and with electric drivetrain

The Munich-based company GOVECS has given the Schwalbe a new lease of life and in doing so is inspiring the entire industry. Together with technology partner Bosch, GOVECS has installed the world’s most advanced drivetrain in the Schwalbe, ensuring streets that are both clean and quiet.

The first version of the Schwalbe will sprint through the streets at up to 45kmh. Fully charged, it provides an impressive range of more than 100 km, and can already be reserved online.

It still has the typical features of a Schwalbe: the large tires, the ribbed tail section, the round headlights and the indicator lights on the handlebars, but has become even more striking. The Schwalbe has just treated itself to a modern outfit. The pioneering electric drivetrain, developed together with technology partner Bosch, is extremely dynamic and convinces with impressive acceleration.

The five-metre-long integrated cable with a plug that packs away neatly under the seat, means it is ready to be charged at any time. It can be charged via any normal household outlet. And you don’t have to wait long before you can whizz off again: after just one to two hours the battery is 80% charged again, and after four to five hours it’s fully charged.

Riders can also look forward to the accompanying service, because it promises to be as modern and innovative as the product itself. There will be a comprehensive on-site service. This means the service comes to the customer and not vice versa. Initially, the Schwalbe can be bought through the official online store. Reservations for the first deliveries in summer 2017 can now be made online at www.myschwalbe.com. In early 2017 the first Schwalbe Store in Berlin will open, followed by others in various European cities.

There’s colour reminds me of something… oh yeah, here we go 🙂minion_guitar

For those eagerly waiting for news of the forthcoming New Lambretta, the Lambretta Vendetta, word reaches me that it will NOT be launched at EICMA in November, but prepare for something pretty special at next years Lambretta 70th Anniversary Celebrations / Lambretta Jamboree in Italy.

Ultra rare Italian / Californian Scooter – The Rex Monaco

rexmonacoheroCame across this on Craigslist, a scooter I’d never heard of before… the Rex Monaco.

Aficionados of Italian scooters might spot that this is a Garelli Capri lookalike… in fact it’s a badge engineered scooter from Gabelli, sold under the Rex brand in the US. (a similar scooter was marketed as the Capri de Luxe in Italy and the Garelli Monaco in the UK).

This is a super-rare scoot – and while not as rare as this Maserati scooter – is possibly one of only 250 made – and it’s maybe the best example of the model that exists. For the $2,600 asking price you get not one, but four Rex Monacos. One complete and original, clean runner and three ‘parts’ scooters – enough to restore a second one.

The Craigslist listing is here, and there’s a ton more about it on the sellers blog.

Electric Swallow

The Simson Schwalbe (German for Swallow – the bird you smutty minded lot) was, for those that don’t know, a classic East German  scooter/moped. It followed the ‘enclosed motorcycle’ model with larger 16″ wheels than classic Italian scooter. Extremely popular in the DDR back in the day, it’s now the latest classic scooter to be re-invented as an electric ‘e-scooter’ – joining the likes of Cezeta and Lohner12895280-wyglada-jak-klasyczny-simson-schulbe-jednak-zamiast-silnika-spalinowego-napedza-go-prad-96s-1200

It’s been hard to come across hard and fast info about the new electric version of the Simson Schwalbe… but here’s what I’ve gleaned from various sources. Any errors are mine, due to my inability to read any language other than english, and the limitations of Google Translate. So, here’s what I know.

  1. It’s been in development since 2011.
  2. The guys behind it are Govecs – a German electric powered scooter manufacturer.
  3. There will be two models, roughly corresponding in power to 50 and 125cc 2-stroke engines.
  4. The expected cost is in the €4,000 range.

We should know more when the promised production model is revealed at the end of the month.

As yet, there’s no further information on a electric Lambretta, the electric Scomadi that was showcased at EICMA a few years ago, or an electric version of the forthcoming Lambretta Vendetta. But who knows what the future will bring.

If you’re interested in electric scooters, check out these posts on the Fido and the DonGo Bare Bones too.

UPDATE: Reader Fabian has done some reading for me, and there’s a little more history of the e-Schwalbe in the comments… Worth a read! (It’s the last yellow tag at the bottom of the post with “replies” in it if you can’t find the comments).

 

 

Snuggy Buggy

SnuggyMicro-2The world of the William Microcar is a peculiar one… I’ve written about these rare little microcars before, but never come across this variant – ‘The Snuggy’ before. Here, here, here and here. It looks like it takes some inspiration from that 70’s classic The Bond Bug, one of the most iconic little cars ever, and something I’ve also blogged about.

I wouldn’t say the Snuggy is a design classic, but it’s got a certain charm, with a ‘lo-fi’ homemade, bargain parts bucket aesthetic about it. If it’s your cup of darjeeling, check it out on eBay here.

 

Fido Electric Scooter – Now On Sale

DSC_5269editReaders with good memories may recall the Fido Electric Scooter concept that reminded me of the original ‘Model A’ Lambrettas*. Well, it’s not a concept anymore, and you can buy one of a limited edition of 25, hand assembled “Model 1’s” for a downpayment of $5,250. That’s 50% of the full purchase price, which makes them a not inconsiderable $10,500.

It’s not cheap, it will only do 45mph and has a 35mph range, and (at the moment) it’s only available in the USA. But I like the aesthetic, and think it’s a glimpse of the future. Once a main production run is up, (and that is scheduled for 2017) prices should start to come down. I know it’s going to be of limited appeal to readers only interested in old, noisy 2-stroke – you can buy a pretty decent Lammie for $10.5k – but I wish the guys at Fido well. It’s been a long road for them, I hope their hard work starts paying off.

The Fido is also a world away from some of the frankly amazing stuff coming out of Italy at the moment, such as the Casa Performance 350cc twin casing, but the guys over at Scooterlab have got that pretty much covered.

Find out more about Fido here.

*All early open frame Lammies actually, scroll down to see Marco’s D for example (or

Czech this out!

Cezeta1The Cezeta is back – and it hasn’t changed a bit (apart from being electric!). The distinctive Czech scooter has returned in a design virtually unchanged from the original models produced in the ’50s and ’60s. And it’s all the better for it. You’d be hard pushed to spot any difference between these new models and the originals – in fact, you’d be on a hiding to nothing as the prototypes shown are originals, modified to fit the new power unit.

cezeta-home-02-1200That’s the one BIG change. As mentioned… she’s electric! Some will mourn the passing of the original 175cc 2-stroke engine, but this is the 20-teens and an electric power unit is the way forward. She’s got a top end of 50mph and a range of 60 miles (extendable to 120m). That’s plenty to commute in style.

Regarding the styling… it’s certainly unique. I’ve been less than kind to the Cezeta in the past, but I’m warming to the Cezeta’s idiosyncratic looks. Perhaps is years of conditioning so my brain thinks a Lambretta is the way a scooter should look.  There’s something quite hipster (in a good way) about them, and they’re far more attractive (and authentic) than the majority of modern attempts to create a retro scoot.

Although by nature I’m a bit of a traditionalist, I’m also firmly in the EV (Electric Vehicle) camp. I think this scoot marries the best of both. Retro styling, with a modern, clean power unit. There was talk of an Electric Scomadi a while back, (last I heard it they are still “working on it”)  and, although unlikely, maybe – just maybe we’ll see an electric version of the “new Lambretta” the L70 on launch (more of that later!).

There’s a ton of more information, including a road test and an interview with one of the guys behind the revitalised Cezeta brand (brit Neil Smith) over on the ScooterLab site.

It’s great to see these ‘lesser known’ (in the UK anyway) scooter marques making a comeback, with Cezeta joining the likes of Lohner and Cushman. Find out more at the Cezeta website, where you can reserve yours today, or pop over to Prague and visit their shop.

The video’s worth a watch too…

The final rideout…

dsc00132We often don’t like to think about our own mortality, but there comes a time in your life when you start going to as many funerals as weddings. And we probably all know somebody in the scootering scene who has passed on, usually far too early.

dsc00119Although obviously sad affairs, the best funerals can be wonderful too, especially when you celebrate a life, and the passions of the deceased. What better way for someone that loved their scoots to make the final journey in a Lambretta powered hearse?

dsc00129To quote the websiteOur unique Scooter Hearse draws together an authentic Series 3 Lambretta professionally converted to a trike by a master coach builder, the same craftsman also fabricated the Hearse that is pulled behind. Beautifully combined this set up pays complete respect to the deceased, a person who had a love for the scooter, the scene that surrounds it, a scene that to those outside can sometimes seem extraordinary but for those in the know is something magical.”

dsc00116

Personally, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the life  of a scooterist. That number plate’s good too.

Contact Modified Funerals, Telephone: 074 6841 0057
Email: modifiedfunerals@gmail.com
or via their website, here.

 

The World’s Most Exclusive Scooter?

MaseratiM2-HEROThere are many scooters labelled as ‘rare’. (especially on eBay!) Among the rarer Lambretta models are the Eibar Winter Models, GP Electronics, TV200’s (especially Spanish ones) which have a  justifiable claim to the tag ‘rare’.

MaseratiM2-HERO-1Of course, it’s not just Lambretta models… the Vespa SS90 springs to mind from the Piaggio stable. And if we move away from the ‘big two’ the rarity value may step up a notch… with all the motorcycle (and car) manufacturers who tried to jump onto the ‘scooter boom’ of the fifties… Triumph, BSA, Peugeot even Harley Davidson and Ducati tried to get a piece of the action. But I honestly think I found the most exclusive scooter ever. It’s Italian (always a good thing when it comes to scooters), and is one of the most iconic marques in automotive history… Maserati.

The story of the Alférez – the ONLY Maserati scooter in existence, starts when Maserati began a collaboration Iso Rivolta. Iso are probably best known today for developing the Isetta bubble car, but also had a history of producing  sports cars, motorcycles and scooters.

Together, Maserati and Iso Rivolta produced two concept / prototype scooters in 1957, the M1 (now unfortunately lost in history, but probably a 125cc) and the M2 – the 150cc Alférez.

Although a ‘prototypes’ you can tell from the pictures that this scooter was not far from being a finished production machine. Stylistically it’s not a million miles away from a Series 2 Lambretta, with more than a hint of Vespa around the front wheel set-up. The only thing that jars a little with me is the headlight, which is not quite as elegant as that of a Lambretta Series 2…  but then again this model was out two years before the Series 2.

The frame and engine numbers are simple “M2”, and the Maserati logo on the crankcase are worth taking a second look at. The horncast Maserati badge is unique too… with a red racing car alluding to their Grand Prix heritage, and the name Alférez… a link to the Maserati founders name (Alfieri), but tellingly translated in Spanish… a hint to their ambitions in Latin America, where scooters were popular, but prehaps the Lambretta and Vespa names were not so embedded as Europe or the USA. But a promotional trip to Mexico ended badly, Maserati abandoned the scooter market. The M2 prototype remained too, finally ending up in Texas, where it resides today.

Iso continued making scooters, and while being less commercially successful than Innocenti and Piaggio, are one the few manufacturers a run for their money in styling – in my humble opinion of course.

Find out more about Maserati M2 here, where it’s for sale, if you have deep pockets. To quote from the website “The value of the scooter, a unique part of the history of the ‘Made in Italy’ is for serious collectors to personally judge, the reason why I leave the scooter price open to fair / reasonable offers. As this is a unique collector’s item, I will not answer openly low offers.”

If you want to put in a (serious) offer in here’s the website again  Update: the original site has now disappeared, I guess the scooter has been sold! If anybody knows of it’s current whereabouts / ownership, I’d love to know. If you’re the new owner, I bet you’ve got some other lovely scoots too (or perhaps a Maserati collection?) care to share some pics on the blog?