Happy Thanksgiving Colonials! Enjoy your pre-Christmas Turkey!
Happy Thanksgiving Colonials! Enjoy your pre-Christmas Turkey!
Came 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.
When writing this blog, I often stumble across something that makes me think “I never knew that!” This is one of the biggest I never knew that’s” so far… Lambrettas were briefly made in an Innocenti factory in Duluth, Minnesota, United States of America (if you don’t know where Duluth is, it’s Mippeappolis and up a bit, on the North East side of Lake Superior).
I came across this story on the Lambretta Club USA’s Lambretta Jamboree page (the Lammy Jammy this year is in Duluth), here, where the video I’ve posted above explains “Minnesota Connection”
As part of the Lammy Jammy celebrations in Duluth, you have the chance of winning a very rare “Wintermaster S2 Prototype” (pictured below) recovered from abandoned Duluth factory. It’s currently being restored back to its former glory. More on the Wintermaster here.
So as well as being made in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, India, Pakistan and Taiwan (have I missed anywhere?) Lammbrettas were also briefly made in the USA*. I came across this info a few weeks ago, but thought it was worth waiting for this particular day before I shared it. Alert readers may have spotted the posting date already. One more thing… further research shows this project the code name “Pesce d’Aprile”.
There 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’.
Of 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?
It 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.
No apologies for all this electric stuff. It’s the future! But, don’t worry, normal, 2 stroke service will be resumed ASAP!
On a Lambretta, naturally! Tom,Ted,Tino,John, Lincoln and Tim ride from Santa Clara to Pasadena on the way to The LCUSA Lammy Jammy 2015
Bill form Michigan, USA kindly sent me some pics of his 1959 LI150 sidecar combination. Rather cool little set up! The pics of the garage where this little beauty lives also contain a couple of jags (and E-types and an XJS) and assorted Harleys and other motorcycles… lucky man.
Regular readers may have noticed that I haven’t been posting so much, I’m afraid life has been getting in the way a little. My passion for the Lambretta is undiminished, and I’ll be back posting as much as I can, as soon as I can.
It’s 22 scooters. It’s 3,487 miles. Over 10 Days. It’s the Scooter Cannonball Run… a “timed endurance event”. And back in 2010 they shot a movie… a documentary that attempted to capture the insanity of the event by follows the scoots ( a swarm of Vespa’s, a Honda Ruckus and Yamaha C3 and Starr – pictured above – on her ’67 Lambretta) from Vancouver too Maine.
And they’ve been working on the movie for the last four years. Working through over 300 hours of footage, shot with 7 cameras. This has been a passion project for the filmmaking team, and, up until now, has been entirely self financed. Finally, the movie has begun to near completion, and now the team has turned to crowdfunding, via Kickstarter, in order to raise finishing funds.
I know it’s a movie I’d like to see. And we can help make it happen. If it’s something you’d like to be part of of too, you can contribute here.
Boston Lambretta Jamboree… looks like fun!
Scott has asked me to flag up a date for your diary if you’re in the States… October 2nd to 5th is the Resurgence Scooter Rally in Atlanta Georgia. Nice artwork! Keep up to date on Facebook here.
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