January 29, 2008
Yes, that Andretti.Purchase Point Media Corporation, who recently bought Power Sports Factory, (who sells Chinese-made “Yamati” and “Strada” scooters) has licensed auto-racing legend Mario Andretti’s name for a line of scooters.
The “Andrettis” are Benelli scooters rebadged for the U.S. market. Benelli has a proud history in italian motorsports, and they made a splash at motorcycle shows a few years ago with their “Adiva” covered scooter (which is now produced in Asia and sold as its own brand), but the marque was purchased around the same time by Zongshen in China. Benelli scooters never appeared (at least in reasonable numbers) in America, and it’s unclear whether these new “Andrettis” are manufactured in Italy or China.In any case, they’re not even fluorescent red-orange with STP decals on them, they’re just another generic-looking plastic twist and go (one is even, sadly, Scarabeo-looking) with a plastichrome script logo.
Mario Andretti was indisputably my favorite motorsports dude (even bigger than Evel!) when I was growing up, but any excitement about a scooter with his name on it is tempered by the number of companies involved in this project and it’s likely orgin. I’ll see if we can get PSF reps to buy me enough drinks at DealerExpo to change my tune.
UPDATE: the Spec PDF on PSF’s site reads “designed by world-renowned Italian motorcycle manufacturer, Benelli,” which generally means “Made in China.” But, MARIO ANDRETTI will be AT THEIR BOOTH. So hopefully I can ask him in person.