Buying a used old Vespa - an experience report

Created by Dietrich Limper at 13:03 on March 28, 2023

"Mostra Scambio" is the name of the markets in Italy where, in addition to Vespas and Lambrettas, spare parts, shock absorbers and all kinds of other treasures are on sale. In this video, we accompany Jesco on his search for a scooter that he can convert for the Matscho Karatscho race in July 2023. Visiting a Mostra Scambio is still a treat for the senses. Although there are not as many Vespas and Lambrettas on offer as 20 years ago, there are many beautiful old things like bikes and enduros. And when Jesco spies a Vespa that stands up to his critical scrutiny, the negotiators are merciless.

Vespa V50 with lots of beautiful patina

But finally our man actually gets hold of a Vespa V50 from 1968 and sums it up: "15 years ago I would have paid 200 euros for it, today I have to pay 1,100 euros. The layman gulps, because visually the purchase doesn't look like it's fresh from the shop. But expert Jesco says it's a "cheap and beautiful" Vespa. The former seems to be true, because he is asked several times at the Mostra Scambio whether he would like to sell the V50 directly. He doesn't.

Cameraman Benet finally discovers a very unusual vehicle whose magic he cannot escape. A skateboard with the engine of a chainsaw. The owner demonstrates the flawless function and a little later Benet is one skateboard richer and 200 euros poorer. Back to the future, McFly!

All in all, Jesco is reasonably satisfied with his Vespa V50, which now has to be lovingly brought up to speed for the race. You will find out whether and how this worked out at Matscho Karatscho.

Buying a Vespa or Lambretta - but where?


Markets like the Mostra Scambio do not exist in this form in Germany. Although there is a large classic car market called "Veterama", where old scooters are also offered for sale, you won't find regular sales events like the Italian model here. So the shopping tour soon leads to the internet, where private and commercial sellers cavort. And the offer is enormous at first and second glance.

Internet sales platforms

At, there were exactly 3,043 Vesps and the like for sale on 28 March 2023, 491 of which were offered by private individuals, the rest by dealers. The cheapest model from private sellers is a Piaggio Hexagon for 320 euros, followed by a Vespa LX50 4V engine for 550 euros. But you can also leave real money if you have enough of them: A Vespa Faro Basso from 1955 is said to cost 12,499 euros, a Faro Basso VN2T from 1956 can change hands for 12,000. Or you can buy three Vespas VNB 125 for 28,000 euros from Hungary. The popular Rally 200 models start at 11,990 euros. It's interesting to note that just eight (!) Lambrettas are for sale from private individuals. A DL 150 from 1969 sells for 3,499 Euros, an LD 125 from 1952 for 8,900 Euros.

Back to the future!

At the dealers, the cheapest Vespa is 750 euros, but then it quickly goes into four figures. And if you really want to open the box, you can treat yourself to a Vespa 946 in the Christian Dior version for a slim 60,000 euros - at least it comes with a helmet and case, so you can't complain. The most expensive Faro Basso 125 with sidecar (1953) costs 36,980 euros, followed by an Acma 150 TAP Militare, known from various custom shows, for 28,900 euros. Here, too, a stark contrast to the Lambrettas on offer: just 41 "genuine" Lambrettas (registration up to 2000) are for sale. The cheapest, at 2,999 euros, is an LD 150 from 1955, while the most expensive model is a Lambretta 125 LI Series 2 from 1959 for 9,999 euros.

Anyone seriously browsing here can be kept busy for hours. To what extent you can trust the information given by the sellers and what is a bargain or a rip-off - this is where experience and a good portion of specialist knowledge are needed. However, all this is no substitute for an on-site inspection to check the frame, look for rust and assess the general substance of the scooter. Take experts with you and read the Book "Guide to Buying a Classic book!

The situation is similar on the and portals. Overlaps are frequent, many dealers are represented on all sites at the same time. The classifieds on ebay or quoka are also a good place to search, but things quickly get wild here because offers, requests, spare parts, toy models and all sorts of other things to do with "Vespa" or "Lambretta" are jumbled up here. You have to filter meticulously to find the right ads.

Internet forums

Other possible sources are forums. In the German Scooter Forum (GSF) there is a section called "VerkaufeRoller" (scooters for sale), where you might find what you are looking for. The same applies to the Vespaforum, where everything revolves around Modern Vespa.

Local dealers

And of course there are the local Vespa or Lambretta dealers you can trust in the "Real World", where you can get expert advice. Many Vespa dealers take used scooters in part-exchange or trade them in. Most of them are customers of ours. We have visited the most iconic workshops and created videos, for which we have a separate playlist on our YouTube channel. Beer on, popcorn in hand and watch.

Video: Buying vespa at the "Mostra Scambio" in Novegro, Italy

Picture Gallery Mostra Scambio Novegro 2022

Dietrich Limper
Dietrich Limper

Dietrich Limper works as an editor for SIP Scootershop and also writes for local and national publications. When he's not geocaching, he enjoys the amazing antics of Bayer Leverkusen.