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?


FIDO Update…

DSC_5285editIt was so long ago I originally wrote about the FIDO that it was on a previous blog… (and this blog’s been running since 2013). The ME electric scooter I posted earlier today reminded me of it so much I thought I’s check up on it… Well, it’s looking more like an early Lambretta than ever… which is a good thing! Full post coming soon, but for the moment, I’ll tempt you with some pics and a link to their website:  here.

Battery_Poster_MU3DSC_5280editBattery_Poster_MU2DSC_5269edit

No apologies for all this electric stuff. It’s the future! But, don’t worry, normal, 2 stroke service will be resumed ASAP!

 

Lohner Legal…

750750p1697EDNmainLohner Einladung Lea_Web_Seite_2Anybody remember that post I did about the Lohner Lea, a while back? At the time it was just at a ‘concept’ stage… albeit an advanced one. Now they are apparently ready to start manufacturing. “The Lea is elegant and calm of its distinctive design, the driving behavior, safely and silently. …for the urban man who wants to enjoy cruising in city traffic properly.”

It’s an ‘interesting’ looking scooter, although design wise it does rather remind me of a ball of Edam. But I am rather cheese obsessed, so that might be just me.

If you want to see one for yourself, there is a “pop-up store” (does anybody else hate the term “pop-up as much as me? Pop-up should refer to books. Not shops. Or restaurants. Or whatever.) In Vienna, on Thursday 8th October, between 5pm and 8pm.

The address is Lohner Pop up Store, 1010 Wien, Neuer Markt 8.

Updated with the Lohner Website details here or go to the Facebook page here.

Teme Valley Scooter Rally Video

Remember that lovely retro poster for the Awfully Pleasant Scooter Associations’ Teme Valley Rally? No? You should really pay more attention! Here it is. And here’s a little vid of the event, from Dominic Hinde, otherwise known as The Scootographer, somebody else who’s work I’ve featured before.

Check out more of Dominic’s work on his website.

Scooter Caravan Up for Sale

Tula_57You might remember the homemade scooter caravan I posted about last year; if not you can read the original post here. Well, it’s up for grabs on eBay. You really could do the next scooter rally in comfort and style!Tula_57-2 Tula_57-1It’s got a “Buy It Now” price of £2,700, which seems exceptional value for money when you think of all the hours and effort that went in to build it. Here's the ebay link.

1960’s Nogoodniks from Hong Kong…

The film title says Hong Kong Teddy Boys… but they’re not quite Teds as I remember them. Seriously cool scooters, whatever they are… can anybody Id them (the scooters, not the actors!)?

Form HK Rockers on Vimeo

A Class send off for a Class act

Anybody who attended a scooter rally in the 80’s or 90’s will know the name Tony Class. A larger than life character who loved the scene, the music and the scooters, Tony was one of the few who kept the scene going through difficult times. He sadly lost his battle with illness last month. Scootering magazine has written a piece here.

My condolences to his family and many friends.

These videos are worth a watch too.

RIP Tony.

Jo’Berg – Durban Easter Run

DurbanbadgeAndy, my mate from the Lambretta Club of South Africa, sent me a pic of the patch I designed for their Easter run… an impressive ride from Johannesburg to Durban. Check it out on Google maps… it’s a fair old distance. I’ll post some pics up after the event, as he’s promised to send me some.

Andy is keen to swap some LCSA patches for other regional / international Lambretta Club patches… if you’e up for it, let me know and I’ll put you in touch!