First rule: No Vietnamese Vespas! 😳🛵
With that said, I'm looking at a few and have some questions and concerns that I'd like to share with the group and get some constructive and educated feedback on them.
The first one is an all black 1967 Vespa 150 Special. I cannot find any information on a 1967 150 "Special" . The seller has had a short time and says it's from Hong Kong, is all original, original paint, original chrome, etc. But my untrained eye has doubts and questions.
Frame Number (according to owner): VLB1T 088977. If I am correct, VLB1T is 67 but is missing 4 numbers.
Not familiar with the badge at the top of the legshield where the P/ PIAGGIO badge should be (and is missing).
Not original chrome trim? Missing chrome strips on floorboard? Are the chrome bar on legshield, sides of legshield, rear quarters and luggage rack original or aftermarket? They look aftermarket to me. Is the chrome around the legshield too large and round to be original?
Paint looks too glossy to be original. I do not know what colours were available for this year.
The seat does not look original. The shape of it looks slightly different as does the piping to be original. It looks to be maybe a different seat that has been recovered?
Are the metal handle bar end pieces supposed to be on here? Are the rubber handlebar grips supposed to be grey? These do not look original.
The mirrors look aftermarket.
The speedometer looks aftermarket. Shouldn't it also be an ivory color, not black? Text looks different.
What's the badge on the front of the front mud shield fender? If that's aftermarket, that chrome it's attached to must not be original either.
The next one is a red 1962 Vespa 150
Frame Number: VBB1M0108260
The owner has had it a few years and doesn't drive it as he only uses it as a display in his restaurant. The fluids have been drained the entire time. These things cause concern for me for the following reasons, unless I am wrong:
I am concerned about the motor and the carburetor. These 2 stroke motors have to be run pretty frequently or they go bad. The pistons even freeze on these if they sit too long. Parts are scarce and expensive. If anything in the motor needs to be replaced, parts could take a long time to find and rebuilding the motor is very expensive if all the parts can be sourced.
And with the fluids drained, the seals dry up (are they available?), the fuel residue jellies making the carb needing to be rebuilt (parts not available), can ruin the inside of the engine, seize the piston, clogged the fuel system and rust the inside of the fuel tank from condensation.
Also, does the specialized battery for this that wasn't available for years available now?
The seat looks to be aftermarket.
The speedometer does not look original. Looks to be different text from original ones I've seen, and also black which I thought was supposed to be ivory.
The aftermarket cosmetics and parts don't bother me so much, but both parties are asking authentically original museum piece prices, $5,500 and $6,000 (now $5,400) respectively. I think they're worth about half of that being not original (I think) and one not running for years may need a very costly mechanical overhaul from sitting and with no fluids with potential internal rust repair needed.
What do you guys think of these? What should I be looking for in person, and what kinds of questions should I be asking?
Thank you guys so much, and hopefully I'll be on my way to first time vintage Vespa ownership! 😃🛵