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.

Scootering, Maltese Style.

20150426_173710Sandro from Malta got in touch, initially interested in doing a deal on the Maserati scooter I featured a while back. I saw he had some interesting scoots, and persuaded him to send me some pictures…

Here’s his Lambrettas…

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Here is his Vespa U… 20150510_192046

The Vespa U is one of the rarest of all Vespas. Looking a lot like the Allstate model produced for the US market, the Vespa U was a ‘bare bones’ economy model. But the public at the time preferred spending a little more for a more refined /well equipped Vespa, and so it was cancelled  after  only machines were 6000 produced. Lambretta had a similar idea with their ‘E’ model, a similar commercial flop. 3,500 U’s were sold off to either Iran or Iraq (accounts vary!)for use by the government post office – and disappeared after that. Today, there are maybe 20 machines left on the planet…and Sandro has one 🙂 So, initially a commercial failure but now one of the most desirable of Vespas!


And here’s his rather lovely Iso Diva Milano.

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It’s a Series 1 (and an early Series 1 at that), replete with super rare period accessories. Itself a rare machine, with only 2,000 series 1’s produced…

EDIT: I’ve just noticed the Iso Milano that was on eBay before Christmas has been relisted, now you can see how beautiful it could look, are you interested? Here it is on eBay


Finally,  here’s some other Maltese scooters…

The scene in Malta is quite strong, with 70 or 80 classic scooters on the road, (and many more in garages and back yards – aint that like everywhere!).

Thanks Sandro, I appreciate the pics, and great way to kick off the New Year on the blog!  If you’ve got a scooter collection, or would like your club featured (wherever you are in the world), get in touch and we’ll see if I can feature you on the blog.

What do you get if you cross a Lambretta with a Vespa?

iso_milano_ebay_heroWell, it wouldn’t look a million miles from an Iso Milano would it? The front half looks very Vespa, while from the headset back it’s got distinctly Lambretta styling. Dating from 1957/58, it’s a remarkable ‘modern’ looking scooter for the day… Lambretta’s still had the headlight on the horncasing then. So, best of both worlds, or a bit of chimera? I suppose that’s a matter of taste.

If it’s to your taste, you can get hold of this one on eBay, here for not too much dosh; £1,250.00 ‘buy it now’ or make them an offer. Leave the Iso badges off, and you’ll have a few people scratching their heads… The bloke from the front saw you on a red Vespa, the bloke from the side swears blind you were riding a Lammie!
Here it is on eBay (Link updated as the scooter has been resisted).

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?


Ultimate oddball scooter collection up for grabs…

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We’ve all been there, garageful of scooters (I wish!) and a nagging missus… when you going to get rid of those bloody things… you never ride all of them… Well one guy (it’s got to be a bloke really) is selling his collection of Scoots and Microcars on eBay. 47 of them. That rather puts the Lambretta collection I posted previously fade into insignificance. 

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There’s a huge collection of what I, rather patriosingly, call “oddballs”… everything from Bernadet’s to Zundapps, and everything inbetween. Well, nearly everything… there are a couple of famous marques, notably Lambretta and V*spa, missing from this collection. I bet a) he doesn’t like V*spa’s, and b) he’s keeping his Lambrettas :). (Although there is an NSU Lambretta in the mix) Many of the scoots are sidecar combinations and/or trailers. There are even a couple of microcars in the mix, a Goggomobile Coupé and a Goggo Limousine. I’m uncertain as to what a Goggo Limousine is (although I’m guessing limousine is probably overegging it somewhat), but a Goggo Coupé is one of the prettiest microcars made, in my ever so humble.

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So if you fancy a Czeta 502, a IWL Berlin, a Maicoletta or MV Augusta… or one of the 43 other scoots, stick your bids in here. There’s a fairly decent British contingent in there; a brace of Triumphs, a Velocette and Osa. You’ll need fairly deep pockets though, as it’s currently sitting at € 46,000 Update:  it’s up to € 52,000 and I don’t think that’s STILL anywhere near the reserve. And no, he doesn’t want to split them.

I reckon this lot will be snapped up by a transport museum somewhere… probably in the states.

Full details are worth checking out, even if you’re not going to put a bid in! 

I may just buy an extra lottery ticket this weekend. You never know.

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