So, life has been a little chaotic at Lambrettista Towers, and I’ve got a bit behind in my blog posting. I’ve got some brilliant posts lined up – courtesy of reader Darrin – who has sent me some fantastic imagery of various Lambretta oddities, factory shots from the Eibar factory in Spain, and much more. Stay tuned for those goodies, I’ll get them up ASAP!
But I had to post this one as soon as I got it. It’s an appeal really – for my old internet pal from Down Under, Rod, who first appeared on the blog back in 2014 with a barn find Model F, which he intended to restore. (Here’s the original post).
Six years later, and after facing various challenges, Rod is nearly there… and just needs one part to get his rare Lammie over the line. He wants to finish it so his grandson Harry can ride it to Uni – starting a whole new generation of Lammie fans.
So, the part he needs is the Coil holder – pictured above… (my colouring to highlight it) so I’m putting out an appeal to all my readers can anybody help Rod out with this? Come on gang, we can do it! If you can help, please leave a comment below, and I’ll hook you up with Rod.
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through the Scooter Restorations site, as I often do when I have a spare ten minutes. I’ve posted a few desirable rare Lambrettas for sale on the blog. Now, I know they specialise in ‘rare’ Lambretta parts, from the model A onwards… But I noticed they had (a few) parts for a Lambretta Amiga. A Lambretta that it never even made it to production. In fact, even pictures of it are rare… although there does appear to be a prototype in the Museo de la Industria Armera in Eibar, Spain. (If the name Eibar doesn’t ring a bell, it probably should, it’s the industrial town in the spanish Basque Country – Euskadi – where Lambretta’s were manufactured (sometimes under the name Serveta).
So it’s rare. We’ve established that. But is it desirable? Well, maybe. But I would hazard a guess at ‘only to a completist’ or only to people really into 80’s/90’s design.
Spanish machines are increasingly sought after in the UK, the Eibar Lambretta Winter Model and Serveta Jet 200 being particularly sought after. The last real model to roll off the production line was the Serveta Lince (Spanish for Lynx), which was still very recognisably a Lambretta – albeit – like a 60’s pop star with a facelift and a spray-tan – a Lambretta with a distinctly 80’s make-over. I wrote about the Lince back in 2013 – here – since then my opinions on many things have mellowed, but sadly not my rather forthright views on the Vespa PX. Anyway I digress. Not like me is it? Back to The Lince. Sadly, although a modest success (over 1,500 made) the Lince was not going to secure the future of Spanish Lambretta production. So it was back the the drawing board, and in 1987, it probably was still designed on a drawing board, CAD being in it’s infancy. I’ll tell you one thing though, they made good use of their rulers that day.
The Amiga was Spain’s attempt to take The Lambretta brand into the ’90s… and one thing you can definitely say of The Lambretta Amiga was that it’s of it’s time. In typical late 80’s fashion anything resembling a sensuous curve was squared off – it was straight lines all the way, baby. And it wasn’t the only product they had in mind either, there was a rather funky looking trike – The Lambretta Tron – and an Lambro/Vespa Ape type commercial vehicle – The Motocarro Lambretta. The Tron even made it to prototype stage – I can feel another post coming on.
Back to the Amiga. Although it never made it past the prototype stage, there was big talk at the time of The Amiga being “The New Lambretta”. I remember reading an article about it (probably in Scootering) and being absolutely horrified – having a real “What the fuck have they done” moment, and thinking it was like a stormtrooper crossed with a Honda Melody. And not in a good way. (The design of the Honda Melody has aged pretty well, actually, but back in the late 80’s, to any Lambretta or Vespa rider the words Honda and Melody were about the worst insults you could throw at a machine). Anyway. I’ve waffled on far too long. There’s some Amiga bits on eBay, here. Basically, a frame (with some bits bolted on – the fuel tank and the rear shock), the forks and front wheel, and the headset, including the distinctive speedo. There’s no bodywork, seat or engine, although I’d imagine a standard Lambretta/Serveta lump would fit.
A final note, I’m pretty sure that when I originally looked, Scooter Restorations had an Amiga speedometer in stock. It’s now showing as “out of stock”. Which begs the question… “Who bought it?” and “Why?” Is someone out there building an Amiga? I’d love to know! If it’s you, please get in touch, I love to know more!
With Lambretta customisation, there are a few ways to go. The one that first comes to many people’s minds is ‘the full monty’ mod look, and is all about how many lights, mirrors and other miscellaneous accessories you can bolt on to your scooter – and when it’s done right, it can yield amazing results… check this post out for the kind of thing I’m talking about;
The other way, well, one other way, is the ‘less is more approach’. You aim to showcase the beautiful lines of the machine, rather than cover them up. This could be as simple as changing the standard seat. It’s nice to see this approach is being taken up by owners of the new V Special Scooters. Styled in the fashion of a classic ‘Ancilotti’ racing seat, and in the colour palette reminiscent of an SX200, this really shows the heritage of the new machines.
I spotted this unique Lambretta Racer on The Bonhams auction site. Scooters have been raced since their earliest days, not the least in Italy – with an especially intense rivalry between Lambretta and Vespa of course!
This particular Lambretta has a unique heritage. Built by Giancarlo Morbidelli (the name behind some of the greatest bikes in smaller-capacity GP racing, who died in February this year in his hometown of Pesaro, Italy). It was put together specifically to compete in the 1994 historical rerunning of the famous Milan-Taranto long-distance road race. Starting life as a Series 1 LI 125, The modifications aren’t listed on the Bonhams site, but they are obviously pretty extensive, just from a quick look at the pictures! If you want a pretty standard machine ‘dressed up’ as a racer, this aint it!
One of four machines entered by the Binova-Cucine team, it was ridden by Giampiero Findanno. He led the race into the final day only to be delayed by an engine seizure; even so, he managed to finish 1st in class and 2nd overall. The Morbidelli-prepared Lambretta was the most talked-about machine in the field, much admired for its technical innovation.
It’s being auctioned with an estimate of £5,000–£10,000 – still carrying its Milan-Taranto competitor’s plates and with a selection of contemporary press cuttings and photographs.
The auction is on 16th August, just a couple of days from when this post is first published.
Jawdropper! I’ve developed a bit of a soft-spot for the humble J-range of late. I always thought that one, suitably souped up, would make a cracking small-frame racer, much the same way that Vespa did with their Super Sprint 90SS (best Vespa ever? As a Lambretta guy, I’m probably unqualified to judge, but it’s got to be top 3, right?). Anyway. I digress. What would a fast J-Range look like? Probably something like the little belter below.
Owned by Richard Oswald, long-time Lambretta fan, current owner of five Lammies, member of the Wisemen SC, and registrar of the LCGB, this is no ordinary J.
Paint wise, Richard has chosen an Arthur Francis inspired look – which works really well on the J. And it goes a bit too – under the panels – in an Indian GP200 casing there are more upgraded parts than you can shake a stick at – if you want the full list, check out the post on The Stamford Scooter Centre page – here. Incidentally – The Stamford Scooter Centre are currently running a Covid19 Random Scooter Feature – and are on day 126 (as I type this) of posting pics and descriptions of some fantastic scoots. Worth a scroll through! Anyway, I’ve digressed again. The scooter was put together by Phil at Torch Engineering at Castleford. Phil is retired, but still dabbles in classic cars and scooters for himself and a select few mates. He’s also a talented Northern Soul DJ, and runs Kippax Soul Club.
Every now and then, a Lambretta comes along and blows my socks off. This post is about one that has done just that. But first, some context. The ‘rusto-rat’ look has been around for a while, and spawned some great looking scooters. I wrote about it here – back in 2013 – so the look has been around for a while! I think the looks originates with the Hot Rod scene – where distressed and patina-ed bodywork is paired with handwritten signwriting – often coupled with a very powerful engine. The first Lambretta I recall having this look – a real gamechanger – was a Series 2 called Janie Jones, and features heavily that post.
So, this signwritten rusto-rat look has become a staple of the custom Lambretta scene now – and there are many very cool examples of it around. The signwriting lends itself to classic curves of the Lambretta – and the retro typography is and clearly handwritten and crafted style is just matches perfectly with the machine.
Styles changes, and every style evolves. That’s what keeps things fresh. I think the rusto-rat scene has reached it’s apex in this scooter. I love everything about it. The theme is original. The way the graphics and the type fit the panels is spot on – without looking too contrived. And everywhere you look there are little touches that just make you smile. And it all comes together beautifully.
The scooter – a Serveta – has had a complicated history, involving both Kris Green and Harry Barlow (of H-Bomb Scooters fame) in it’s creation – and is now owned by Darren Wood from Wigan. The signwriting and faux-patina work was all carried out by Phil at The Monster Forge– a visit to their facebook page reveals more more of Phil’s fantastic work – on scooters, trucks and more. If this style floats your boat – and it does mine – Phil is the master of it. There’s some fantastic Alice of Wonderland murals on some Series 2 side-panels if you scroll down a bit! I hope to feature a blog post on Monster Forge in the not too distant future – stay tuned for updates.
If you’ve got a custom Lambretta that you’d like featured on the blog, or if you run a business, and there’s something special you’ve worked on that you’d like featured, get in touch.
I connected with the Michelangelo (now there’s an Italian name for you!), the owner of these two fantastic Model A’s on Reddit – where he posted the picture above. The model A – or Lambretta 125m as was the official designation – it only really became the ‘A’ when the model ‘B’ came along – is where the Lambretta story all began. Documented elsewhere on this site, and around the web, I won’t repeat that all here.
There were only about 9,000 model A’s made, so to have one is pretty special. To have two, is amazing. But to have one as special as Michelangelo’s second one, is very special indeed. No ‘ordinary’ A, this one (an Mk1) features some wonderful period features that elevate it from the standard model to ‘Sport’ or GT spec…
Like something out of a time capsule – some of the differences between a standard A are immediately obvious – such as the elegant long-distance fuel tank. Slightly trickier to spot is the rear suspension – a feature that was felt ‘unnecessary’ on the original model. But not only did this scooter have a rear spring, it appears to height adjustable.
Fitted with a pillion seat – and on this bike you’d need one, as it would be sure to attract admiring glances from pretty young signorinas that you’d want to give a lift to. The aluminum grab rail would give her something to hold on to!
The forks are also ‘specials’ and original to the machine – and give a glimpse of the elegant ‘design language’ of future Lambrettas models. Another contemporaneous modification – made when the scooter was new, or shortly after – is the hand gear change – remember, the A was the only Lambretta model to feature a foot change. So perhaps – who knows – this very scooter helped shape the future of all later Lambrettas?
Scooters like Michelangelo’s A Sport are the reason i do this blog – there is always something new to discover, and interesting people to meet. I love it when people are passionate and knowledgeable about their passion – so if you have pictures of your Lambretta – and it can be any model – and a story to tell about it – I’d love to hear it. You can get in touch here.
A big thank you to Michelangelo Merisi, aka @ilbreizh on Instagram (or Reddit) for sharing these pictures and an important bit of Lambretta history. Michelangelo is currently engaged in another fascinating restoration of another old Lambretta, that I hope to feature on the blog one day. Stay tuned!
Found this PAV 40 Scooter Trailer for sale on eBay – well, I say Scooter trailer, because this is a Lambretta blog, but these Czech made trailers were originally made for Jawa motorcycles. These are now becoming sought after and – as well as looking rather cool behind your scoot are super useful for scooter rallies – if, and when they ever kick off again. This trailer is sold in ‘used condition’ but it looks pretty good for 60 years old. It’s on eBay for £1,500, here.
Spotted this rather nice Innocenti Mini on eBay – it’s in the South of France, which has kept it rust free. Looks in good nick! on eBay for £9,900 here.
If you like that, you’ll like this, A genuine period Innocenti lightbox sign.rom a “longstanding southern Italian Innocenti/Lambretta dealership”. It’s pretty rare, as these would have only been available to big Innocenti dealers at the time. Afraid it doesn’t come with the model D! On eBay for £1,500, here.
Taken from the Industrial & Product Design blog Yanko Design, and suggested by my old mate Luke, This is a bit of an unusual post for the blog. The renders answer the question – What will classical Italian automotive design be in a hundred years? The designer, Artem Smirnov has distilled the classic Italian curves of yesterdays Vespa’s and created something radically different, yet still, somehow recognisable. Personally, I think that’s a design that’s maybe ten or twenty years away – not a hundred! What do you think? Like it? Loathe it? What would a Lambretta look like?