The Scooter Biblebook86
by Michael & Eric Dregni
288 pages, $29.95
Whitehorse Press, copyright 2005

by Sev Pearman

Did you know that in 2001 we celebrated 100 Years of Scootering? You’ll revel in that fact and more in The Scooter Bible. Brother authors Michael and Eric Dregni, have written yet another book celebrating their love of the motor scooter. Like the extended writings of the Apostle Paul, the Dregnis have written just about every book on motor scooters. Their latest work is the be-all-end-all encyclopedia on all scooters manufactured worldwide between 1902 and 2005.

The Scooter Bible is organized into chronological sections that document the various scooter booms. I was already schooled in the American scooter craze of the late 50’s (thank you MAD Magazine) and the British Mod phenomenon ten years later, but I had absolutely no knowledge of the first US scooter craze in 1919! The authors cover the complete history of scooters: Pioneer Scooters (1902-1930), the Second American Scooter Craze (1935-1940), The Golden Age (1946 -1954), Mass Mobilization (1955-1960), The Mod Years (1960-1975), and Back to the Future (1976-present).

There is even a section on Military Motor Scooters in WW II. Be sure to read the account of how American scooter magnate Norm Siegal (Moto-Scoot) already wounded, returned under fire to the beaches of Iwo Jima to retrieve his prototype clutch (pg 49). Despite being wounded a second time, he retrieves his buried invention. He successfully leaves the island with clutch in hand; versions of which are still used in all automatic scooters. Gung Ho, indeed.

Serious scooter-geeks will salivate over the Scooter Encyclopedia A-Z; 128 pages of capsule reviews of every scooter manufactured between 1902 and 2005. There are expanded sections on Vespa and Lambretta detailing their many models. Did you know that legendary California hot rod V-twin builder Crocker, built a scooter? Or that there was a Minneapolis brand built right here in the late 50’s? The encyclopedia is detailed and complete: despite owning Vespa P200s for several years in the mid-80s, I was delighted to learn that they feature exotic, rotary valve induction. MMM’s mighty Kymco People (see MMM #77) is proudly represented on page 219.

Even if you have never sat on a scooter you will like this book. The humorous writing, annotated history, excellent period photos and advertisements are hilarious. We giddily award The Scooter Bible four-out-of-four cylinders. Bellissimo!

Verdict:
50cc Auto Rider—Know your history.

Urban Hipster—“So that’s why my scooter is so cool!”

Vintage Scooterphile—Enough bolt-spotting minutiae to satisfy the biggest dork.


MMM welcomes your ideas for future book reviews. Send your suggestions to: mnmc@comcast.net

M.M.M.

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