When I was a lad growing up in the North of England, the Mod Revival was in full swing. Scooters were everywhere, mostly heading down the M1 motorway for weekend trips to the south coast resorts. At that time, I couldn’t tell the difference between a Vespa and a Lambretta, so goodness knows if one of these passed by. The first two images come from Vincent of Southsiders, who spotted this machine at a swap meet in France. A little digging around reveals an interesting history: we’re looking at a version of the German DKW Hobby scooter, built under licence by the French gunmaker Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin—better known as Manurhin. They started building the Hobby in 1956, incorporating locally made components and rebranding the machine as the Manurhin MR75 in Europe and the Concord in the UK. According to the sales notes prepared for a Manurhin sold by the English auction house Bonhams—for the princely sum of £253—this scooter “was constructed to a high standard and must have been one of the first motorcycles to be painted electrostatically, a process commonly known as ‘powder coating’. When DKW ceased production of the Hobby, Manurhin continued with its version, which in 1957 occupied third place in the European scooter sales chart behind Lambretta and Vespa.” It’s a beautiful machine, and that lovely French blue paint—which looks original on closer inspection—adds to the patina. [Thanks to Vincent Prat. See also shots further below of a slightly different but equally beautiful Manurhin, the single-seater SM75, taken by Toulouse-based Flickr member Mr Beuts.]
Canon EOS 40D | 1/400s | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | Focal length 165mm | 70-200 f/2.8 L USM lens
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