Browsing and buying new bikes can be exciting, but one thing you’re pretty much guaranteed not to find there is mystery. Step into a new bike dealership, and while you may not personally know everything there is to know about every new bike on the show floor, they’re all known quantities to someone. People at the dealership can hopefully tell you more. You can also look things up on your own to answer questions you come up with after you’ve left. Simple, right?
The same thing can’t be said of used bikes. Sure, depending on the bike, you might be able to find out some basic facts about features of the bike when it originally left the factory.
Whether you know much about its life in between that time and now depends on who’s owned it, and what records (if any) they’ve kept. It’s a mystery, and that could turn out to be cool—or it could turn out to be a headache. Sometimes, you don’t know which you’ve got until you’ve spent a little bit of time with that old barn find special that you just had to have.
In the century-plus that motorized two-wheelers have been around, there have been countless manufacturers that have fallen by the wayside. Royal Enfield and Harley-Davidson are companies that stand out in 2023 because somehow, in spite of all the tumult that comes with existing for such a long time, they’re still here.
Plenty of marques didn’t make it; such as, for example, what appears to be a SCO Minor Grand moped that YouTube channel 2Vintage dug up in his Wisconsin vintage bike wonderland.
At the beginning of the video, he thinks that it’s a rare German scooter, in part because the seller thinks the writing on it is German. To be fair, the engine looks like it’s a Sachs unit. Those showed up in plenty of small mopeds and scooters back in the day, both German and not.
This is a great story about the power of the Internet, though—because if you look through the comments on this video, you’ll quickly see a bunch of people pointing out that the writing is Danish, not German. (I knew that it wasn’t German, but I’m less well-versed in Danish, so that’s one of the many reasons why the Internet can be awesome.)
It clearly says “Grand” on the tank, and the obscure European motorcycle website Sheldon’s EMU details the kind of complicated web that Grand occupied in the Danish moped landscape. Apparently, Dansk Cykleværk Grand, A / S, Nr. Åby was the original name of the firm, first established in 1891.
Eventually, it started making mopeds in 1955, which makes temporal sense. Grand had a relationship with SCO, which made engines and frames, and also used engines from suppliers of the time including BFC, Sachs, Derby, and Diesella. Somewhere along the way, SCO acquired Grand—again, not an unfamiliar story if you read a lot of moto history.
Elsewhere in this video, someone spotted the name Estlander on a badge. There’s a Swedish moped page showing a handful of moped and scooter models produced by the Danish marque Estlander, and the mopeds in particular have some fascinating designs. Although it’s not a complete list, none of them looks quite like what 2Vintage has found, though.
That honor belongs to a single photograph over at the Moped Army website. Someone there submitted a photo of a moped that they say is a 1970 SCO Minor Grand—which bears a striking resemblance to the moped in this video. Sometimes, it isn’t always possible to get the fullest, clearest history of marques that went under long ago, but that’s where crowdsourced knowledge can come in handy.
One other thing worth noting about this vintage Danish machine is that it has points. Plenty of older bikes have them, but if you’ve never dealt with them and are curious about how they work, I’m including links to a handy written guide from Old Bike Barn and a video from Living with a Classic to help break it down.