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?


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Original Innocenti Twin SX200 prototype being restored by the RLC

Innocenti Twin 7Twin cylinder Lambretta’s are something most Lambrettisti have at least heard of, if not seen in the flesh. The most well known being the 250cc Targa Twin engines. What some people maybe don’t realise is this engine is based on a Innocenti original… and prototype twin cylindered SX200’s were developed and built in Milan.

Innocenti Twin 4Two of these ultra rare beasts are owned by Lambretta maestro Vittorio Tessera, (head of Casa Lambretta, author of many Lambretta books), one of which is on display in his Lambretta Museum. The other? It had the engine removed years ago, and hasn’t run since it left Innocenti. But all that is going to change.

Innocenti Twin 3Impressed with the painstaking “conserved restoration” The Rimini Lambretta Centre carried out on the original 1960 Roma Olympics Series 2, (see my previous post about these beauties), Sig. Tessera commisioned  Dean and the team at the RLC to do a similar job on the twin. As pretty much a “one off” – it differs significantly in configuration from it’s contemporaneous partner – it presents an immense challenge; but one that the RLC are more than a match for. This is one to watch. I can’t wait to see, and hear, this historic machine running.

BIG thanks to Dean from the RLC, for helping me put this post together, and proofing my ramblings.

Find out more on the Rimini Lambretta Site.

Fantastic Lambretta Video

Nothing in the way of a commentary  just some marvellous vintage footage, (some of it I’ve never seen before) of the world’s finest motor scooter. It looks like it has been nicked from the History channel. The music’s pretty good too…so  just sit back and enjoy. Ends with the text “Lambretta …the other side of the Italian miracle”