Fans of unusual two-wheeled things, you're in for a treat today. This is a 1958 Sachs Progress scooter, which were only imported into the US for a couple of years by the Berliner Motor Corporation. If that name rings a bell, it may be because Berliner also imported several other European marques from the 1950s forward, including Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Norton, and Zundapp.

Finding a 1958 Sachs Progress scooter would be rare enough, but this isn't just any 1958 Progress. No, indeed, a previous owner somewhere along the line decided to engine swap it. Instead of finding the same Sachs 191cc inside that also powered the Messerschmitt KR200 microcar, what's under that bodywork is the engine from a Honda SL250 motorcycle.

Where the stock Sachs engine made a claimed 10 horsepower when new, Honda's air-cooled, four-stroke, single overhead cam, 248cc single made a claimed 22 pferdestärke (PS) at 8,000 rpm. That's about 21.6 horsepower. In other words, going strictly by manufacturer numbers, this Honda engine made slightly over double the power found in the original Sachs engine. It's also probably a lot easier to find parts.

So, Who Or What Was Progress?

Progress 200 Scooter

Based in Stuttgart, Progress made scooters in the 1950s and early '60s. Early model names included the Strolch (or 'vagabond') and the Tempo. According to Eric Dregni's indispensible The Scooter Bible encyclopedia, the Strolch 150 and 175 models had a headlight that moved with the front wheel to illuminate wherever you pointed it, rather than staying stationary.

This design choice, however, did not carry through to the Progress 200s, like the one you see here. A variant shown at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show was equipped with a Steib sidecar, and there was even a version made with a little trailer. It's not clear how many Progress scooters actually went to customers with these choices of equipment, but it's cool to know they were possible options at the time.

Carr Brothers Limited from Surrey, England also built Progress scooters under license starting in 1956. Three UK-market models (the Anglian, Briton, and Britannia) were powered not with Sachs engines but with Villiers two-strokes instead.

Back To This Honda Progress Frankenscoot

It's the latest thing on the Bearded Mechanic's lift, and there's a lot to see. The bodywork is pressed steel, and is not in the most terrible shape considering its age. Rather than sitting underneath the saddle, the fuel tank is located up in front, around the steering stem and just behind the front apron. The steel tubular frame is quite chunky, as you can see even before the bodywork is removed.

According to TBM, he got it from a former NASA engineer who had it sitting for an unknown period of time in their garage. When asked if it ran, the seller said that it didn't have gas in it right now, but that it would run with gas and "some other stuff" done to it. Not the most helpful description, we know. But sometimes, when you're buying strange project bikes, you get what you get and it's up to you to decide if it's really what you want right now.

In any case, TBM's main goal today is seeing if it will even run. There's plenty of work that needs doing, which probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. He doesn't even take a look in the fuel tank before starting, automatically planning to bypass it entirely just to see if the engine will fire up. (The fuel tank is a problem for tomorrow's garage, not today's.)

It has compression, and after cleaning up the points, it also has spark! It's a bike that's equipped with a kickstarter, but will it start? Watch the video to find out. We won't spoil it for you, but the enthusiasm level here is fantastic. Here's hoping we see more of this scoot in the future.

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