Busted Knuckles Auction is now offering this 1964 Vespa 90 finished in red. A quality restoration of a rare, vintage Italian motor scooter ridden only 9 miles since it was restored. Power comes from a 88 cc single cylinder, two stroke, air cooled engine mated with a 3-speed transmission. The owner states they have kept the bike in a humidity-controlled environment since 2010. This rare scooter presents in exceptional condition thanks to an extensive restoration undertaken around 2008 according to documents received at the time of purchase. It has recently been serviced and runs and rides. Comes with a clean title.
In 1946, following the end of World War II hostilities, Italian manufacturer Piaggio and Company converted their aircraft plant into a facility producing a motor scooter called the Vespa. The name “vespa” in Italian means wasp, and the name was likely derived from the exhaust note of the small single-cylinder two-stroke powerplant. Vespa designer Coranado D’Ascanio reportedly drew inspiration from the World War II Cushman motor scooters used by US military personnel in creating the vehicle that eventually would be sold all over the world.
Many Vespa models of the 1950’s and early 1960’s were sold through catalog retailers Sears and Montgomery Ward, rebadged with nameplates reflecting those companies. For a time even Cushman offered a rebadged Vespa with their nameplate, although many Cushman dealers refused to take delivery and sell “foreign” motor scooters.
In the early 1960’s, Vespa designer D’Ascanio closed out his storied career by designing a new small-frame motor scooter for the company. Debuting in 1963 were the Model 50 and Model 90, unibody designs incorporating a new look in the marketplace. The initial run of the 1963 Model 90 was 1,983 units, sold primarily in Europe. Production numbers increased to 14.564 units in 1964, largely due to adding the United States as an export market.
The United States proved to be a different market than Europe, with higher roadway speeds and a faster pace of life than was found in Europe. Where large cities in Europe were a great market for these small displacement two-wheelers, the availability of mass transit in major cities and the larger American automobiles hindered US sales and the Model 90 would only be imported in 1964 and would not return to the US lineup until the middle 1970’s when a gasoline crisis caused many to consider alternate means of transportation.
This red 1964 Vespa Model 90 was acquired by Evergreen Historic Autos in September 2010 and has been stored in a humidity-controlled environment from that time. This rare scooter presents in exceptional condition thanks to an extensive restoration undertaken around 2008 according to documents received at the time of purchase. It has recently been serviced and runs and rides. The scooter’s odometer reading of nine miles is believed to be indicative of the miles ridden since restoration, as a prior registration indicates a mileage reading of over 13,000 miles. Numerous restoration receipts and what appears to be an original owner’s maintenance and operation manual are included with the sale. While this Vespa has been on static display for over 11 years, the fuel system was recently serviced and the scooter was started and ridden.