The Vespa SS90 is much sought after by collectors due to its extreme rarity, just over 5000 were made between 1965 and 1971, and most of these have been lost to the ravages of rust, time, and overly ambitious riders.
Vespa is Italian for “wasp”, a well-chosen name for a company that started out making buzzy little two-stroke scooters in 1946. Over the intervening years the Vespa has become one of the most recognisable vehicles in the world, and the company name has become a word used by many to describe any form of scooter.
Most Vespas share a similar basic structure – a pressed-steel unibody with an enclosed engine and final drive, flat floorboards, a front fairing for wind protection, a spare wheel up under the fairing on the side of the engine, a twin seat, and a single circular headlight.
The SS90 was developed as a sporting variant of the scooter, with a dummy fuel tank, a centrally located spare wheel, a narrower more aerodynamic fairing up front, and a pad on top of the dummy tank so riders could crouch low behind the headlight to reduce drag at higher speeds.
The two-stroke 88.5 cc engine used in the Super Sprint is a single-cylinder, air-cooled unit with a bore/stroke of 47/51 mm and an 8.7:1 compression ratio. It’s paired with a 4-speed gearbox, the dry weight is 77 kilograms, and the top speed is 93 km/h – although this does depend somewhat on the weight and aerodynamic coefficient of the rider.
The original 1966 Vespa SS90 you see here was imported into the US from Italy and subject to a full nut and bolt restoration at the hands of Joe Casola – the founder of Saint Cycle Works based in Tennessee. Each part was reconditioned and no aftermarket parts were installed – with the exception of new tires and a seat cover.
The completed SS90 is valued somewhere in the region of $15,000 USD due to its rarity and originality – and it’s now shipped to its new owner. If you’d like to see more from Saint Cycleworks you can click here to visit their website.
All Images Via: Kyle Mackillop