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In the early 50’s MV Augusta were lagging behind in the scooter market and looked at trying to get one-up on main rivals Lambretta and Vespa by produced an exotic twin-cylinder scooter. They basically designed and built a prototype engine that was then fitted into a modified version of one of their then current scooter models. Very little is known about this project and nothing exists other than a grainy picture hailing from a Milan Motor Show in the early 50’s, where the scooter was unveiled for the first - and only - time. However, things were not to be and after the show, the scooter disappeared without a trace, never to be seen again.
This engine originates from Count Domenico Augusta’s personal ‘collection’, which included several rare MV Grand Prix racing bikes, a Vespa Ape 3-wheel rickshaw and the scooter engine you see here before you. The Count must have held this project in particular esteem or it’d have been scrapped along with the scooter chassis it was once fitted to.
It’s a 165cc motor with twin, parallel vertical cylinders and a single Dell’Orto 18mm MB series carb feeding them both. There were two cooling fans but only one Dansi ignition. The engine ran a 10 inch wheel and the casings are sand-cast. The engine turns over, is numbered ‘2’ and has carbon deposits in the exhaust transfers so had been run back in the day.
This is a unique part of MV Augusta’s motorcycle history.