A dear friend of mine transitioned last month and I was gifted with three Vespas. None of them run, and all require major work. I will be selling the 90, and 1980, P200E but keeping the SS 180, which I worked on almost 40 years ago when we were just kids.
The SS 180 is pretty rough, and at some point someone modified the engine quite substantially. It does have a cool Giuliani seat which needs to be re-covered. According to Scooter Help the engine is out of a Rally 200. My knowledge of Vespa engines has faded and I forgot that the early engines were piston ported rather than crank ported. Did the latter induction method begin with the Rally 200?
I'm not concerned with originality but I would like to get the SS running again, but I'm curious about the engine for the following reason.
My understanding is that the SS 180 used equal width wheel halves, which is obviously quite different from later Vespas. Was the offset of the those wheels matched with the engine? I ask because I always remembered that the rear wheel did not line up with the centerline of the rear frame, which I never understood. My Rally 200 had the unequal wheel halves and I'm wondering if the reason for the SS rear wheel being offset to the left (when viewed from the rear) is that the Rally engine doesn't work with the early wheels.
Attached are some photos of the scooter and frame/engine numbers. As I said, it's rough but it does have a cool period appropriate legshield embellished and trim.
The other two scoots will be listed as soon as I accumulate enough posts to prove my merit…which may take a while.
The SS will get stored until I'm able to start tinkering, which will happen once I finish this 11 year Alfa Romeo restoration project.
-tj in the Cruz Mtns