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.

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225 ‘S’ Type in Bonhams auction

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.10.11Derek, from Bonhams in San Francisco, kindly sent me a heads up of this lovely TV225 up for auction in their forthcoming Quail Lodge Auction.Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.11.21The original, matching numbers scoot has been restored, by P-Town Scooters of Portland, Oregon, to full Arthur Francis 225cc ‘S’ Type specs. The finished article features all the goodies one might expect, including an Ancillotti megaphone exhaust, tuned 225cc motor, Nannucci race seat, Lucas lamps and Cuppini rack.Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.10.21 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.12.10 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.11.54 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.13.22 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.10.33 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.10.48 Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 07.11.05The Bonhams Quail Lodge 2014 Auction will be held August 14th and August 15th on the grounds of the Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, California. Held in connection with the Quail Motorsport Gathering, the 17th annual Bonhams sale held during Monterey Classic Car Week will feature nearly 120 vehicles. The S Type is lot 197. More details here.

Vintage Scooter Pics from LIFE

I don’t know exactly what’s doing on here… but there are some clues. Firstly the location is  clearly San Fransisco… and specifically the Golden Gate Bridge. I wonder if any of my US readers remember the Berkley Scooter Shop? On the front of one the TV’s there’s a badge for “Al (Second name unreadable)* San Francisco” is also the pic of Warren Carver… who, his badge is “Road Captain” of the Pioneer Scooter Club, SF. Though I reckon he really wanted to be in the California Highway Patrol… Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (4) 8efb9f3faeba3a50_largeMotor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (2) 87d5af60a7c00277_large 299d58ebc547b539_large 111333d3f3c6f90c_large f84f5c6407c9b509_large Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (1)  Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (3)  Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (5) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (6) 3aea680563a33803_largeMotor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (8) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (9) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (12) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (13) Motor Scooter Squabble in California, ca. 1960s (20) The event looks like some sort of protest… I’m guessing from the pic of the dude on the Vespa, and the signage, it’s something to do with banning motorcycles from certain roads. There’s a couple of pics of people looking at maps trying to figure out alternative routes.

7ba10bfeb2928fc3_largeAnyway, the pics are great, and found over at the LIFE archive, they are by N. R. Farbman and I found them via the Vintage Everyday blog.

*It’s Al Fergoda, thanks for the info, regular contributor Corey, from Scooter Fix! on his Facebook page there is an impressive collection of dealer decal imagery that has a great pic of the Al Fergoda sticker. And from a little bit of internet research it seems Al Fergoda was a big name in North California, back in the day, as well as being a Lambretta dealer, also specialising in BSA, Norton and eventually Yamaha marques.

After the return of the Lambretta… iconic US Cushman scooter makes a comeback

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That’s right folks. I never saw this one coming! Cushman’s are being made again in the US, by K-Jack Motors in California. And they look pretty good too. Those that know their Lambretta history will know the original Lambretta’s owed more than a little to the Cushman, who were around since the early 1900’s… and their “Airborne” model scooter, dropped with US paratroops in Italy during WW2. When Innocenti (and Piaggio) had to re-engineer their factories from making military vehicles and armaments, many regard the lightweight Cushman scooters as a spark of inspiration for both these companies.

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The rest is history. The two italian firms went on to dominate scooter production in the 50’s and 60’s, firstly in Italy, then Europe, and finally worldwide. Without the styling elan of the Italian models, the Cushman became regarded as a bit of an oddball… at least in Europe. Even in the US, Italian scooters were seen as sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

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But the world has changed… and in an era of generic, plastic scooters these re-engineered Cushmans have more than a little elan of their own. They are certainly stylish, and certainly look much more like the original Cushman than the new Lambretta’s… look to their predecessors.

There are two models, (see EDIT / UPDATE) the Highlander and the Step Thru. Equipped with modern engines – up to 400cc, disk brakes front and rear, and an all steel frame, they are nippy, and sturdy too. The styling that I used to regard as laughably clunky and boxy now looks (to my eye, anyway) funkily utilitarian, and retro chic. The day of the Cushman may finally have arrived!

EDIT / UPDATE: Jack Chalabian of K-Jack has been in touch to tell me there are actually FOUR models of the Cushman II in the pipeline…  the Highlander, Step-Thru, Eagle, and Trailster. They will have a 9 or 14 horsepower overhead cam engine with electric start in all the models. While trying (and succeeding, I reckon) to keep the original look with modern DOT requirements; they are compliant throughout the United States… including California.

via Visordown

Find out more at the K-Jack Website, or Facebook page.