Vespa restoration project | antique motor scooter restoration

Its a 1974. . . a work in progress. We found it in Grandfield Oklahoma, and paid $250 for the Vespa, assorted books on how to fix it, and a useless battery. Oh well, it’s very complete, down to the mirrors with only 3,000 miles on it. Poor scooter doesn’t run yet, but its nice and clean. The paint was a horrid shade of blue with “Mary Lue” and bouquets of flowers painted on it. I hope to show the restoration from beginning via this blog.


Speed:85 Km/h (52.8 m.p.h.) (CUNA standards)
Fuel Consumption:
(2% oil mixture) 1lt/50 Km. (118 miles per U.S. gallon – 141 miles per Imp. gallon) (CUNA standards)
280 Km. (174 miles)
Maximum Climbing Gradient:
single cylinder, two-stroke with rotating type distribution – bore: 55 mm (2″ .16) – stroke: 51 mm (2″.01) – displacement: 121.17 cc. (7.39 cu. in.)
Gear-box:4 speed with constant mesh gears, twist grip control on handlebar Electrical equipment: a.c. flywheel magneto – electrical horn
Suspensions: front and rear suspensions with helical spring and hydraulic shock abosorber
Brakes: expansion type
interchangeable 3.00-10″ tyres
on the handlebar
Maximum Length:
1665 mm. (65″)
Maximum Width:
670 mm. (26″.38)
1180 mm. (46″.2)
Maximum Height:
1015 mm. (39″.96)
Dry Weight:
73 Kg. (160 lbs.)

Week 1:
We brought the Vespa home, and tried to get it to run.We discovered that no gas was getting to the carbeurator because the small tube in the gas tank was clogged. After blowing it out, cleaning the carbeurator and air filter, still no go.

Week 2:After pulling the spark plug, we discover that the reluctance to start probably has something to do with the fact that the PO was running about a 15% oil/fuel mixture in it. So we ordered new gaskets and seals and proceeded to tear the motor down. What a mess! Black gunky nasty stuff everywhere! I now understand how animals in an oil slick feel. But after much simple green and elbow grease, we have a shiny new clean engine. We are currently awaiting some new piston rings.
What we learned: Piston rings are so much easier to put on when you learn one little secret. Inside the groove where the rings fit, there is a u-shaped piece of metal, a “bump”, for lack of a better word . If you squeeze your piston ring together, you will notice that there is similar notch cut into the ring where the ring meets. When you put the rings on the piston, make sure that the notch cut in the rings fits exactly with the “bump”. Then get 2 screwdrivers, flatheads work best, Place one tip on top, and the other tip below the piston ON the ring. Have someone squeeze the ring together with the screwdrivers while you slip the cylinder over it.

Ok this baby needs a little more work.. will update you guys on the latest updates when we get some more time to work on it.

Watch this space!


  1. Bryan wright September 3, 2012
  2. Carl Ahlstrom February 9, 2010
  3. k&n filter February 18, 2009
  4. Jeremy January 2, 2008
  5. Bill Sommers July 20, 2007
  6. Delrond July 19, 2007
  7. Jeffraham Prestonian July 19, 2007
  8. Delrond July 18, 2007
  9. Ron July 18, 2007
  10. Delrond July 17, 2007
  11. steve July 17, 2007
  12. Xavier July 17, 2007

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