For most people over 40 a key memory of scooters will be the late 70’s UK movie Quadrophenia. It was a realistic and gritty illustration of youthful confusion and rebellion with a distinct style, image, fashion, a cast full of names and soundtrack too that really grabbed the attention of the youth. Highly featured were unique and distinct scooters that stood out as being different even by today’s standards.

Designed more than 50 years ago Lambretta and Vespers are still extremely popular, still being made or restored, and much sought after. The Italian classic 2 stroke engine scooters might have originated from humble beginnings as a cheap, simple and convenient mode of transport but they are now a worldwide iconic phenomenon with a vast number of riders. 

"My interest started in my early teens when I had my first scooter, an ‘old press bike,’ for around £75 punt which if I bought the same today might cost over €4,000. Since then I’ve bought and sold at least 34 bikes over the years. 

I only have one at the moment but there’s been times where I’ve kept several, but I’m now looking to import one that I’ll use every day. If you look on the roads we are getting to see more and more scooters since they’re cheap to run, agile and quick plus they’re easy to ride."

Some people stick to the original themes, colours and parts but what also interests me are those bikes that are frequently modified and changed into extremes such as an ‘easy rider’ or putting a motorbike engine into them. At one time or another I’ve owned most styles but I like to restore and work on the bikes myself, I’d like a garage in the back garden. Most often the artwork and trims are the most affordable alterations that people make and there’s a vast range of these.
Today’s prices for a restored scooters can range up to £10,000 (eBay) with Italian models being the most sought after and costly in good condition. There is an extremely popular market in classic scooters, modified super racing scooters, customised and cannibalized scooters. 

If you like the freedom and riding experience then there probably is scooter out there that will appeal to you from the variety available. Just looking randomly through eBay and the prices go off the scales for what was once was a low cost vehicle. Lots of scooters are being stolen because they’re small, easy to lift and there’s a thriving market to sell in.

I’m a member of ‘The Rat Pack Scooter Club’ of Kildare, Meath and Dublin and we meet up at Rally events, nights out and cruises often over to the UK for meets and charity fundraisers. We’ve been around for a long time and although we’re not a big group we’re all very close friends and get together frequently.

Click on the images below for some YouTube clips
Irish Rallies have around 400 people from all walks of life attend and at exceptional events such as the last Lambretta Rally in Killarney had over 3,000 attend. The UK rallies can have around 1500 upwards regularly so it’s a very big deal across the globe.
Since they were assembled here in Dublin and Cork there are still a huge number of these around but abandoned in peoples sheds and garages waiting to see daylight again. It’s an amazing experience to find old dust covered bikes and restore it to full showroom condition and beyond.
I liked their designs, the sounds and the image that are associated with them. It’s not just a machine, I’ve a passion for the era with its variety of music, its style and fashions.

If you’ve got any questions about scooters then Brian is definitely the man to ask since he’s a wealth of knowledge on the subject and far more than could ever go in this article. His parting question for our readers is…

“If you got one of these lying in your garage …… I want to see it”
Click the links above for the museum sites of the 2 main manufacturers Lambretta and Piaggio and the third shows you some modified examples … the extreme.