Here at Scooternova we swing both ways and beyond. We ride Lambrettas, Vespas and other classic scooters, and we have no biased opinion on any superior marque. So for all the Lambrettisti out there who are adamant that Innocenti’s finest are worth far more than Piaggio’s best, take a look at what we recently found…
Italian company Ruote da Sogno Srl was founded by businessman Stefano Aleotti, a well-known collector of vintage cars and motorcycles. He is also the man behind Cellular Line and Interphone, which produce communications accessories for riders (we have used and indeed like the Interphone helmet to helmet intercom system by the way).
Ruote da Sogno deal in vintage motorcycles and cars and recently invited over 250 guests from all over the world to the grand inauguration of their new 5,000sq.m headquarters in Reggio Emilia. At the event guests were able to enjoy the cuisine of Bruno Barbieri (an Italian chef able to boast seven Michelin stars) and entertainment including motoring films, as well as a tour of the new premises.
Why are we telling you all this? Well of course there were a number of vehicles on display of both the two and four wheeled variety, which apparently included at least six Vespa 98 models from 1946 and 1947.
As if examples of the first model of Vespa ever made are not rare enough on their own, they also advertised one example as being number three from the production line – yes, allegedly the third production Vespa ever made!
Listed on their website as ‘Price on Request’, local news reports of the inaugural event suggested that ‘offers above 200,000 euros’ were being invited for Vespa ‘Number 3’.
Yes, over 200,000 for a Vespa – bet that made you choke on your cup of tea! Who would have thought that a humble Vespa could rub shoulders in the collectors market with a Brough Superior or Vincent motorcycle.
It’s get better though; the story apparently continues with a certain Fernando Alonso, he of Formula 1 fame, allegedly paying 250,000 for the Vespa 98 in question. Wow!
While we are not Vespa 98 experts, if the photos we found on the company’s website of the third ever Vespa 98 are of the actual scooter offered then it would seem that some kind of restoration has been carried out to certain parts of the scooter, with the main frame in bare metal and most of the other parts painted. Why? We do not know. We’re sure however that if indeed it was Mr Alonso who purchased this scooter for the alleged amount of money that he must presumably have asked all the correct questions before parting with his hard-earned.
So, is this Vespa really worth it? There’s no doubting that early and rare Vespas do command a higher premium than comparable Lambretta models, and indeed certain Vespas have exceeded the 50,000 Euros final sale price already. As a business, then Ruote da Sogno are of course going to charge a higher price than a private seller. Judging by the clientele they are aiming for, they obviously have no problem charging as much as they think their clients are willing to spend on their petrol-powered investments. Having looked at other Vespas on the company’s website however, we can’t help feeling that of those models we know more about, there may well be both cheaper and better examples out there for those with less disposable income.
(all photos from Ruote da Sogno)
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