Classic Italian Collection (and more) up for auction…

Got the heads up on the next Brightwells Classic and Vintage Auction at Leominster on the 8th March. As well as a clutch of other interesting cars and bikes there is a collection of Italian Classics from Andy Heyward… see the video above for an overview. The vehicles I’ve included below are a just a couple that caught my eye, get the full details on the Brightwells site… here’s a link to the online catalogue.

There’s a Lambretta J125 that’ll need a little love and attention… (there’s a couple of other “J’s” too)tn_lambretta_j125

A rare Mercury Hermes scooter, built in the Black Country…img_0756

A Lambro…tn_lambro_3

One I haven’t seen before, a Gitan Joligri from around 1970tn_p1050216_1tn_p1050217_1

A ‘Vespa-ish’ Gilera G50 from 1967

Another Rarity… the rather ‘awkward looking’ Ducati’s Brio. How could a company that makes such beautiful motorcycles produce something so fugly?tn_p1060510_1tn_p1060517_1tn_p1060519_1

The equally awkward Casalini Sulky microcar… (Read the catalogue write-up for this one, it’s hilarious!).
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The rather prettier little 50cc BM Pokerino… never mind a scooter I’d never even heard of – an Italian marque (Bonvicin Marini) I’d never even heard of! It appears to be sans side panels, which is a shame as I don’t think they’d be the easiest thing to source – but a nice, sporty looking little scoot. That ‘straight flush’ legshield badge is a cracker.tn_p1050080tn_p1050084_1tn_p1050093

Next up an Italian marque you will have heard of… Benelli… one of a brace of Benelli’s in the auction… and the only motorcycle I’m featuring here (although there are plenty in the auction). A popular bike in Italy (and amongst Italian Motorcycle Fans). This Benelli Leoncino (Leoncino translates to Lion Cub in Italian) correctly  features the cast ali Lion mascot on the front mudguard…

There’s a bunch of classic four-wheelers too… including a bunch of Italian classics, some lovely FIAT’s, Lancia’s and Ferraris, my favourite is this cracking little chocolate-brown Autobianchi Bianchina Speciale. It’s got an estimate of £2,500 – £3,000, which seems an absolute bargain to me!

And finally for now, we’ll end on another scooter… the rather elegant looking Aer Macchi Brezza – the clean, aerodynamic lines demonstrating the aircraft manufacturing roots behind this company. With only 2,000 Brezza’s made, it’s a pretty rare scoot.

That’s it for now. See the Brightwells site for full details and how to get involved in the auction.

 

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.

Dirty Diana…

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Spotted this less than pristine Dürkopp Diana on eBay. It’s missing it’s seats and sidepanels, the engine is seized, and there’s no documents. But it IS cheap, (classified ad price of £795) and as soon as I saw it I though of a headline for a post, so I had to stick it up! The same fella is selling a Swallow Gadabout, NSU Prima, a Zundapp Bella and a Heinkel A0, all in a similar ‘restorable’ condition, so if Dürkopp is not your brand of choice, there are some others for you!

I was going to write a brief history of the Durkopp Diana scooters, but I couldn’t be more thorough than my online pal Tideous Ted, over on the Retrorambling blog. So, if you’re interested, just read this.

Here’s a glimpse at what it could look like after a little tlc. Conveniently shot at almost exactly the same angle!
117381_dur3If you fancy a bit of a rest job on a German scooter with Italian(ish) styling,

Get your bid on on eBay here

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).

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.

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.

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?


Will, (I) Am (a Lambretta)

SuperComtesse-6Well, a Lambretta engine anyway. Regular readers might remember the rather odd French, Lambretta powered microcars from Willam… (if you don’t you can catch up here and here). Well, there’s one for sale on eBay. It’s about as back to basics motoring as you can get, although this variant the “Super Comtesse” has four wheels. Cheap as chips (at the moment) and perfect for the Lambretta completist… or someone that wants to travel very slowly and attract a lot of attention to themselves. Check it out on eBay, here.SuperComtesse-4

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There’s there’s a Willam… there’s a way

LawillWillamI’ve written about these little lambretta powered microcars a couple of times before… (here and here if you’re interested). One of my readers, Olivier, has flagged up that there’s one for sale over on this french auction site, sitting at under a thousand Euros at the moment. So if your looking for something a little bit different, with four wheels rather than two, and you fancy a trip to central France, check it out!LawillWillam-2 LawillWillam-1

Oi! Bignose…

Czeta-1-2-8-2014A bit of an ugly ducking scooter here… certainly compared to the lovely lines of a Lambretta (or even a V*spa)! To be fair, if you’re not looking at the scooter from the front, it doest look too bad. The saving grace of the Cezeta is a large luggage compartment under the seat… gained by moving the petrol tank to that big nose over the front wheel, just above the headlight. Hmmm. But if you fancy something a bit different you can get your hands on this Czechoslovakian oddball over at that famous internet auction site. It’s certainly a head turner! Cezeta scooter on eBay
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Cezeta scooter on eBay