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 spend the time, money, and effort required to bring something back is almost intoxicating.
Folks, that’s why YouTube channels like Rescue Story exist. We last checked in with this guy in February, 2022, when he pulled a sad old Ural back from the brink. This time around, it’s not a sidecar motorcycle he has in his sights. Instead, he calls it an abandoned Piaggio Vespa—except it’s not that, either. (Sure, it may be a “Vespa” if you’re the type of person who uses that brand name to refer to all scooters—a bit like how a facial tissue is a "Kleenex" or a photocopy is a "Xerox," depending on who you talk to.)
So, if this sad and rusty scooter isn’t an actual Vespa, what is it? It’s apparently a Vyatka V-150M, a little 150cc Soviet-made scooter dating from the mid-1960s. By 1973, they had electronic ignitions—but the first generation did not. It’s the second scooter model that Vyatka made, with the first being the VP150—essentially a straight Vespa 150 copy.
By the time the company made the V-150M, it took what it had learned from the earlier model and changed the design quite a bit. It did some early mass centralization with its relocation of the engine, for one thing. For another, it has an enclosed chain final drive—something I was completely fascinated by more than once as I watched this video. While I’m not a vintage scooter aficionado (at least, not yet), my modern scooter experiences have all involved the frustrations unique to changing drive belts—so this was all very exciting to me.
Anyway, the aesthetic charms of the V-150M's design become even more readily apparent once the guy behind Rescue Story does what he does with all of the vehicles he documents on his channel. Ever calm, cool, and collected, he takes things apart, cleans them up, does a whole bunch of sanding, filling, priming, painting, and general piecing back together, and the whole thing comes up probably looking even better than it did when it was new. In this particular case, the choice of white paint with a bit of sparkle, accented by that lightly sparkly malachite blue is just perfect.
I wasn’t familiar with this particular scooter model prior to watching this video, but to me, this is exactly the reason the Internet can be a glorious thing. Bring me your weird, your sad, and your forgotten old scooters and bikes! Show me how amazing they can be when someone cares enough. From the bottom of my heart, I absolutely love this stuff.