After being given a good condition Stella 2T from a relative, and then a few short months later lucking into a non-running but really low mileage 2014 Genuine Stella 125 Auto, I have spent the past year really diving into working on both of these bikes. Having recently finished getting the stella auto in running order, I have been looking for an actual classic vespa project to take on my first full rebuild/restoration to really learn the ins and outs of every part of these bikes.
I have had a few missed calls on running but restore-ready rally's. Today I made that happen with a craigslist purchase of someone else's former project p200e that they took apart and then never completed, having stored it for 20 yrs in a storage unit and then under tarps in their backyard. So it's kind of a barn find, except the owner of the barn decided to find it where it always was and throw it up online for me to find.
I paid $500 for a nearly complete 1980 P200E which has mild surface rust on the frame and engine. He even had the original title, which he never registered in his name, just filled out at the time of his purchase in 2001. The title has it registered as a 1982 P200E, but the vin number on the frame neck and the engine numbers both match a 1980 P200E. The sticker/label on the frame neck even has a manufacturing date stamp of 7/80. This was a surprise to me and actually am very happy about it as it was listed as 1982 and I kept thinking "Goddamn why can't it be 1980 my birth year! That would be awesome". So this bike is 1 month younger than me. Ha!
He did store a lot of the hardware and things like turn switches in a bucket under the tarp, which was full of water, so a lot of that hardware is rusted beyond usable. The clutch is also rusted beyond usable after being removed from engine and left out. Some rust on the exposed engine internals, but to my surprise, a spin of the flywheel and it turned over easily. Same for the rear wheel hub, turned over by hand no problem with the internal gears rotating smoothly! I was expecting a seized solid engine due to being stored outside with the clutch removed for approx 20 yrs. Even the gas tank interior is not rusted out. Just the gas cap is.
So far the only stuff I can see is missing for major components is the throttle tube, original seat (he provided a butt ugly large seat I think is actually a motorcycle seat), badges and clutch/brake levers. The turn switches are rusted beyond usable as mentioned earlier. The tractor tail light is there, along with a wrong year tail light. The front fender is rusted and dented pretty bad, but he also had purchased a new replacement front fender which is still new! He even had a brand new wiring loom still in the packaging from whenever he purchased it, along with the original wiring loom.
I will be stripping paint down, sanding out any rust and doing a full rebuild with updates here.
My first question, now that I am in possession of this p200 is ... it is possible to remove the factory stickers on the leg shields (one has the vin and date stamp, the other is just manufacturer info) while keeping them undamaged so that they can be reapplied after new paint job? I would like to keep these original details, while still allowing for a fresh paint job. Also hoping I can remove the rust on the frame where the numbers are to clear them up and make them more visible?
BTW.. engine came with a 20/20D carb despite it being a 1980. Scooterhelp.com says only later 1981-1982 P200E's came with a 20/20D carb.