Watch a guy restore a rusty old Soviet scooter to look better than new
There’s something so satisfying about rescuing sad, unloved vehicles and bringing them back to life, isn’t there? Even if you don’t do it yourself, it’s still incredibly soothing to watch. The idea that anything is possible if you’re willing to put in the time, money, and effort to bring something back is almost intoxicating.
Folks, that’s why YouTube channels like Rescue Story exist. We last met this guy in February 2022, when he pulled a sad old Ural from the brink. This time, it’s not a sidecar motorcycle that he has in his sights. Instead, he calls it an abandoned Piaggio Vespa, except that’s not it either. (Of course it could be a “Vespa” if you’re the type of person who uses that brand name for all scooters – much like a tissue is a “Kleenex” or a photocopy is a “Xerox”, depending on who you’re talking to.)
So if this sad, rusty scooter isn’t a real Vespa, what is? Apparently it is a Vyatka V-150M, a small Soviet-made 150cc scooter from the mid-1960s. In 1973 they had electronic ignitions, but not the first generation. This is the second scooter model made by Vyatka, the first being the VP150, essentially a straight Vespa 150 copy.
At the time the company manufactured the V-150M, it took what it had learned from the previous model and changed the design significantly. He did early mass centralization with his engine relocation, for one thing. On the other hand, it has a closed-chain final drive – something that completely mesmerized me more than once while watching this video. Although I’m not a vintage scooter enthusiast (at least not yet), my modern scooter experiences have all involved the frustrations of changing drive belts – so that was it very exciting for me.
Either way, the aesthetic charms of the V-150M design become even more apparent once the guy behind Rescue Story does what he does with all the vehicles he documents on his channel. Always calm, cool and collected, he takes things apart, cleans them, does a whole lot of sanding, filling, priming, painting and general reassembly, and the whole thing probably looks even better than it looks. was when it was new. In this specific case, the choice of a slightly sparkling white paint, accentuated by this slightly sparkling malachite blue is simply perfect.
I didn’t know about this particular scooter model before watching this video, but to me, that’s exactly why the internet can be such a glorious thing. Bring me your weird, sad, forgotten old scooters and bikes! Show me how amazing they can be when someone cares enough. From the bottom of my heart, I love this stuff.