Rare Vespas in ScooterNova and under the hammer

We’ve been out and about recently photographing a number of interesting scooters to feature in forthcoming editions of ScooterNova magazine.
Two of those are small frame Vespas, both with interesting tales to tell and also coming up for auction this week.

The oldest is a 1964 Vespa 50S that was originally imported and sold in Germany by Vespa GMBH Augsburg. It has a factory fitted German regulation rear light plus additional frame number plates fitted to the scooter, plus the original rear number plate mounting plate, which is a lot wider than that for British number plates. Elizabeth Smolen was a Polish woman who escaped to the west during the 1950s and set a up a Vespa dealership on the Wirral. It is assumed Smolen imported this scooter through her contacts in Europe and used it here in the UK, finally selling it in 2020. The story is fascinating and there is some lovely memorabilia that goes with the scooter, of which you can read all about in the next edition of ScooterNova magazine (number 37).

Also in edition 37 is this little beauty which at first glance could be mistaken for a Vespa 90 Super Sprint, a sporting scooter well known for its sleek front, narrow handlebars and centrally mounted spare wheel beneath a dummy motorcycle type petrol tank. Apparently however, at the end of production an order was placed by the German Vespa importer for 500 of these scooters without their trademark tank and spare wheel. They were also fitted with direction indicators as per local regulations. One such scooter was recently imported into the UK, a 1971 model complete with documentation to prove it has a one-owner from new scooter. Restored a while ago in the typical blue of the SS90, if you fancy a genuine Vespa SS90 in original factory style but don’t like the centre tank, now is your chance to get your hands on one that is arguably rarer than the two regular SS90s (with tanks and spare wheels) that are also in the same auction.

Along with the SS90 and lovely Vespa 50, other classic scooters going under the hammer this week include an extremely late model Lambretta GT200 that apparently is believed to be the latest one produced, based on current records of surviving models held by the GT Owners Club.

Going back to the 1940s and 50s of post-war scooters and there is a 1949 Lambretta Model B, a 1952 Douglas Vespa Rod model produced in Bristol and a lovely 1959 Lambretta LI 150 Series 1 first registered in Chiswick in June 1960 with only two owners from new and off the road since 1967.

If the 1960s are your thing then there are a couple of Lambretta SX200s, a 1962 Vespa GS160, a tidy Li150 and a brace of Lambretta dl200s in ochre among that decade’s gems.

There are 25 scooters going under the hammer in total and the auction takes place at the National Motorcycle Museum on 29 March, with viewing available from 9am the same day. Bidding can be done online, via telephone, or in person. To view all of the scooters and motorcycles going under the hammer, click here, or for more information, visit www.handh.co.uk


**Edition 36 of ScooterNova magazine is available now from all good scooter shop and selected independent retailers, or visit our online shop for home delivery.