Not a Vespa but.... FUJI RABBIT S601
Just saw this lovely mid 1960s Japanese 'Rabbit' S601 scooter on eBay. Would make a good restoration project for somebody. The present owner didn't get around to it. I've included some shots of a restored one. From what I've read, this model was quite advanced for the time - electric start, air suspension and "Superflow" a constant variable drive just like today's modern Vespas. In fact I made a sound recording of one of these in the sixties as it passed by - an unvarying drone sound without gear changes, so this listing brought back memories of these scooters running around Melbourne. It's a good looking machine from some angles. The pillion seat can be removed to provide a flat luggage tray and there is storage beneath it too. I like the clips along the side for bungee straps. The petrol tank is directly in front of the rider's knees.
The story of Fuji's Rabbit is a bit like that of the Vespa. After WWII, peace treaties forbade Japan from producing armaments of any kind of so Nakajima Aircraft was reborn as Fuji Sangyo Co. Just as in Italy, there was a need for cheap civil transportation. The first Fuji Rabbit scooter (model S-1), was produced in June of 1946, a full six months before the Vespa was launched. Like it's Italian cousin, the front wheel was adapted from the tail landing gear of a Nakajima bomber.
So I've learnt something new. The first Rabbit below:
Looking forward to seeing the hobby up and running.
I loaded the photos of the woman riding the hobby - and displayed them as part of a show at the Scooter Ball last year. Amazingly, John from the original 57 club recognised the location as a place he grew up in..
Never take your own advice Roberto. How could you make a mistake buying a Rabbit? If there are any bits of motor missing just hide one of your Vespa engines under the bonnet. Good luck with this project, David
The other thing the Fuju Rabbit seems to be is reliable. Much like Fuji's Subaru cars.
One of my students rode one of these to campus every day for three years without a hint of trouble. Beautifully restored two tone Red and White (actually painted by Joe some years back) it ran like a top.
Made my PX look a bit 'under-appointed'…