Barn Find Scooter: 1974 Vespa 150 Super

There aren’t many Italian vehicles that a person can buy for a thousand bucks, give or take. This 1974 Vespa 150 Super is one of them. It can be found here on eBay in Quincy, California with a current bid price of $910 and there is no reserve.

I have never owned an Italian vehicle of any type, not even a Vespa-type scooter. Maybe they’re too stylish or I’m not stylish enough, which is more likely the case. Yeah, that’s definitely the case. I never would have imagined that this lemon yellow color would be an original color but it is. The next owner will most likely want to do a complete restoration of this scooter so they’ll be matching this Giallo (yellow) color if they want to keep it original spec.

The owner says that this Vespa 150 Super has been in a dry shed for over two decades and it does look pretty good, relatively. There’s a decent amount of surface rust on parts of it and everything will have to be gone through. What a fun winter project for those of us who live with snow and cold and often look for motorcycle-type projects to do in the winter. In 1973, Vespas for the U.S. market had turn signals, you know, those little blinky light things that nobody uses anymore?

There were over 59,000 of this model made in 1974 and the design hasn’t changed much over the decades so it’s hard to tell when someone has a classic Vespa or a newer one. It obviously wasn’t used that often if it’s been in storage for over 20 years and it only has 2,158 miles on it.

The 150 Super had a 145.5 cc single with just under 8 hp and this one turns over and has good compression but the seller hasn’t tried to start it. Most Barn Finds readers could restore this Vespa in no time. Have any of you owned a Vespa scooter? If so, what have I been missing?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Ha! I was told, there are 2 things you only do late at night, one is ride a scooter, and the other,,,well, I can’t say that here. Even though, in the situation I live in now, small town, a scooter would probably be a smart move, it would be a nice day in Wisconsin before you see me riding one of these.This Mike Wolfe of American Pickers goes gonzo over these things. I’ve always thought they were the lamest form of motorized transportation you could get. Maybe ok for back alleys of Italy, or some campus, neither of which I’ll see, but as a motorcycle, they fall horribly short. I’ve always maintained, and maybe it’s my Milwaukee upbringing, if you are going to ride a motorcycle, ride a REAL motorcycle.

    Like 4
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      RE: does the other portion of your euphemism, Howard A., involve people of large stature? 😱😂

      Seems the Vespa 175 in my trading days had the left handle as the clutch and the shifter-pull the clutch in, roll the handle to you and ease out the clutch for first gear then the same process for second and third but rolling the handle forward instead! Crazy Italian engineering..

      The scooters and bikes controversy was the reason for the Mods and Rockers gang fights in England during the ‘60’s IIRC..’course, some of us are lucky to remember anything about the ‘60’s! But bikes are much more practical here in the US for the same reason we’ve always had big cars-lots and lots of open space with miles and miles of open highway. That’s obviously illustrated the further one travels to the west; it’d be a very long arduous trip on most scooters to go from Lake Tahoe to Las Vegas. In a car/truck/on a bike it’s generally a 6-7 hour trip!

      Besides, bikes are just better looking and make the rider look good.

      Like 4
      • Howard A Member

        Yeah, Nev, something about closing time too. I remember a guys moped had that funky shift on the handlebar. A guy that worked with my daughter in L.A. rode a chinese knockoff Vespa from Pomona to Santa Monica every morning, about 40 miles one way, all city streets, so it can be done. Remember Dumb and Dumber where Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels rode a minibike cross country?

        Like 2
    • Stevieg Member

      Fat chicks need love too lol!
      When I saw this, I was thinking the same thing. Something to be said about being born & raised in Milwaukee!
      I do confess, if it has enough power to move under my fat A$$, it might be fun to ride. I bet it is!

      Like 1
  2. Mike

    There’s a shop in London that has conversion kits to switch to electric.

    https://www.retrospectivescooters.com/for-sale/project-e-electric-vespa-conversion

    Like 1
  3. William Cockayne Member

    Didn`t The Who feature one of these on an album cover? Quadrophenia?

    Like 2
  4. KEVIN L HARPER

    Cool little scooter, these work great in Italy where the streets get so narrow that you have to fold the mirrors in on an original fiat 500 to keep from scrapping.
    In the states they are like trying to drive a pony car on the same streets, interesting novelty but they don’t work.
    Only 2 places in the states that they do reasonably well is a college campus and as a pit bike for the track.

    Like 1
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Good analogy, Kevin, and very true!

  5. Gary D. Oliver

    These sold as Sears Allstate scooters back in the 50s. In Michigan a 14 year old could get a drivers license to ride one. The kids in my neighborhood mostly rode Cushman Eagles but a few rode these under powered scooters. The Cushman Eagle would hit 60mph where these were way behind us. I remember the guys with these scooters carrying a quart of oil in their fender to add to the gas. Bummer!

    Around 1960, Michigan rescinded the law allowing 14 year olds to get a motor scooter license after we were killing ourselves on them. The sales of these and Cushman Eagles plummeted. Thank God I’m still alive at 76.

    Like 5
  6. James A. Mogey

    Fun. That’s what you’re missing. Had one of these in school in Nashville in the early 60’s. You might not think so, but you can do wheelies even on these. I can vividly remember tooling along at 50 on soft, warm southern nights, feeling on top of the world.

    Like 6
  7. Troy s

    Fast forward (?) to the early eighties and all the punk rock/new wave weirdos in my high school were riding either these or mopeds covered in stickers. From then on that impression stayed with me. Came here to check it out and yes, that impression remains….

    Like 2
  8. Karl

    Simply put: Vespas are wonderful!

    Like 2
  9. Coventrycat

    Vespas are great. Real men don’t have to worry about how “cool” they look on something.

    Like 6
    • Stevieg Member

      Very true! No matter how cool my Harley is, I am still a fat guy that thinks like a nerd lol. My bike is, for the record, way cooler than me lol. Whatever!

      Like 6
  10. chrlsful

    “…Have any of you owned a Vespa scooter?…”
    1 of my 1st projects for hire wuz da teach’s vespa 125, so I’d say this IS “super’. Piston frozen I set it on its back wheel, piston pointing straight up & kept soakin it dwn w/kero/ATF. Brought it back in 2 wks. No knowledge in going further (I wuz 12 y/o) but the head finally came off’n cleaned it up/back together.

    Don’t like the yellow but might keep it as a sorta protection in the traffic. It sticks out some (hate yellow cars/trucks). Might put the tallest ‘pizza cutters’ on it I could find. Wonder bout beefin up breaks, addin a lill pep, and prts as I don’t need much on no rain days for a DD of 3 mi (1 way) or so…

  11. benjy58

    Fun to ride until you hit a pothole or rut then you are doing a swan dive over the handlebars. That small front wheel would grab a rut and yank the handlebars out of your hands faster than a purse thief.

    Like 1
    • Karl

      Pro Tip: Watch where you’re going!!! 🐵

      Like 6
    • Jeff

      My first motorcycle was an Allstate scooter. It was on it that I had my first motorcycle wreck, just as you described! I really enjoyed that scooter.

      • Gary D. Oliver

        I read the comment from benjy58 yesterday and thought about replying but didn’t. Now I see your comment Jeff and I must tell you I also had a Pacemaker scooter which was sold by Cushman but also Allstate. I hit a asphalt dip in the road and it was my first and only ride in an ambulance in 1958. I went over the handlebars like benjy58 described and skinned up my face and pride. Scratched up the scooter on the side of the “box” and bent the front metal faring. One more reason for Michigan to outlaw 14 year olds having a license to ride these dangerous machines. I continued riding my Cushman Eagle back then but never rode that Pacemaker again.

  12. vespaholic

    Vespas are a ton of fun.
    Comparing them to a motorcycle is idiocy.
    Totally different rides.
    I own both.
    Be weary of 1974’s.
    The electrics on that year are sketchy.

    Like 3

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