Moped Madness

     Well, I never thought I’d say I own a moped. Sure, people call my antique Lambretta and Vespa motor scooters mopeds all the time, but I’m talking about the real deal. Actual pedals and a motor mounted to what originally was a bicycle frame. Hence moped, meaning motor and pedals.

I know all the moped jokes too, but I can’t pass up anything with a motor and orange paint.  This little French gem had been tucked away in a Lake Highlands, Dallas garage for years.  I knew the paint was going to be perfect once I scrubbed off the 30 years of garage dirt.  I was thrilled it cleaned up as well as it did with four hours of detailing. Even more pleased when it fired up, ok putted to life, with some fresh gas.  It’s an excellent original condition Motobecane 50V Mobylette, built in 1977.

Motobecane used to dominate the French motorcycle and bicycle industry back in it’s day. Fourteen million Mobylettes of some model were made from 1948 to 1985. Sales decreased for decades as cars were more accessible to Europeans and the company filed for bankruptcy in 1981. Yamaha purchased the company and formed it into MBK in 1984. MBKis still selling re-badged Yamaha scooters (not mopeds) today.

It even has the original tire pump and tool kit.

Everyone  I’ve spoken too in the last couple of days has a childhood story of building sweet ramps for their mopeds.

782 slow miles were covered by the original owners as they cruised around California.

Moped discussion reminded me of Hollywood Holt’s famous moped song:

There was even a Ducati moped cruising the Tour d’Elegance and sitting pretty on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach last year:

If you have an itch for an old Italian, French, or Austrian moped, give Lester a call at Austin Mopeds or call Kyle at Kyles Scooter Shop in Dallas.

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Cadillac Ciel Concept Unveiling

I attended the world premier of the Cadillac Ciel at Clint Eastwood’s Tehama Golf Club on Aug 18, 2011. First new automobile (be it a concept) I’ve ever seen by Cadillac that was breathtaking. Very stylish throwback to the old days of convertible Cadillacs, complete with four suicide doors. There was some lively dinner conversation after the unveiling whether the Ciel will ever be a production car or not. I had a great time talking to automobile photographer Ryland Scott too. Cadillac hosted an excellent event.

I’ll apologize for the poor pictures. I’m sure I was the only person to forget the camera for a concept car release. I was able to snap these photos with my phone and managed to get them on the Facebook before MotorTrend, NY Times Wheels Blog ,and the Wall Street Journal could get the Ciel on their sites. Click on their links to see their articles.

It was a mob scene when the media folks from around the world were allowed to get close and ask questions.

Thank You, Cadillac, for the invitation as well creating something new and exciting.

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61st Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

 

Motorists once again flocked to Monterey and Carmel, California for this year’s Auto Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last August.

It was truly amazing to see cars of this caliber drive the Tour d’elegance on Thursday and then spit-shined on the 18th hole of Pebble Beach on Sunday. Auto Week has to be one of the only places in the world where a brand new Ferrari is quite borring compared to a real Shelby Cobra or Bugatti Veyron that’s parked next to it on the street.  Here are some of my favorite photos:

1960 Plymouth XNR Ghia Roadster Concept on the Tour d'Elegance.

The back side of the Plymouth Concept from the Concours. It won the Gran Turismo trophy.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL on a MB Transporter

 

The obligatory shot of Mr. Leno.

UPDATE: The person standing in my frame is the photographer from Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car magazine. There is a similar shot published in the December 2011 issue and can be seen here with the rest of their slideshow of the Concours.

The shot courtesy of Hemmings:

 

I walked around all day with a goofy grin.

Unrestored 1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328.

1963 Jaguar Lightweight E-Type

1937 Talbot-Lago T150-SS Figoni & Falaschi Coupe

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Mayfair Special

1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Lavocat et Marsaud

Twenty-two of the 36 Ferrari GTO's produced were on display.

A 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne owned by Peter and Merle Mullin of Los Angeles, California won Best of Show.

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