Told you there’d be scooters. Amazing vid from one of the lucky few who rode around the Olympic Stadium on Sunday night.
I’ve not written much about scooter racing on this blog, is something I’ve always wanted to do. The guys that push Lambrettas and Vespas to their max on the track are a special kind of rider (the word nutters was actually the first one that came to mind). In fact the only sporting event I’ve covered is an old Scooter Scrambling event from the sixties and the Red Bull Lingotto Special, where classic scoots race around the roof of the old FIAT factory in Turin. That vid is worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet!
But here’s a scooter sport that I’ve never come across before. Ape cross. Watch the video, which explains it better than I could. I know Ape’s are Vespas… but I’ve always had a soft spot for them.(See my Tuxi post) If there is a Lambro version of this sport, I’d love to see it!
Rumours have reached me that the new, much debated Lambretta LN may soon be manufactured in the old FIAT factory in Termini Imerese, near Palermo in Sicily. The plant is currently owned by Chinese auto manufacturer Chery International who are in negotiations with the makers of the new Lambrettas, Motom Electronics.
What this means to UK Lambretta fans is uncertain… maybe one more tick for it being an authentic “Italian” scooter perhaps? I think it may be more influential factor in the home Italian market.
By the by, and apropos of nothing, the girls of Mansfield seem quite impressed with the looks of the new Lammies, for sale a the Two Wheel Centre in the town.
The post I stuck up the other day about an entire Lambretta collection up for sale probably wouldn’t be the eight machines I’d put together in a collecton. Actually, there’s no probably about it – it definately wouldn’t. Got me thinking though… if you had the resources to by your dream Lambretta collection, what would it include? I’ve half done mine in my head a few times, and it comes out different each time… so come on, get involved let me know.
Rules… You’re ‘budget” is £50k… use your estimating skills, and give each of your selections a “guide price”. You can throw in one “wildcard”, ie. a non-Lambretta scooter. All models from 1947 onwards, and from any country manufacturing under licence acceptable. All styles and modifications acceptable.
Once I’ve pinned down my ideal garageful I’ll post them up here. But what would YOUR dream Lambretta collection consist of?
While we are engrossed in the London 2012 Olympics, there are not many Lambretta’s on view… (UPDATE: A secret source tells me that classic scooter fans may be in for a pleasant suprise at the closing ceremony. I’m saying no more!!) unlike the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where Innocenti supplied 80 scooters (as well as 20 Lambros and 2 Helicopters!) for the use of athletes, officials and the press. This must have been quite a coup for Innocentini …the Vespa marketing department must have been kicking themselves! I wonder if Cassius Clay rode a Lambretta before he went on to win his Gold medal… no there’s a picture I would like to see!
Of the original 80 scooters (LI 150 Series 2’s) only 3 are known to have survived… and one has been loving restored a few years ago at The Rimini Lambretta Centre.
More (or less) than a “standard” restoration, it was deemed too historically important for that – this was a “conserved restoration” where as much of the original scooter as possible was preserved. The full story or the restoration, and some pics can be seen here. Those in the know in Lambretta circles recognise that Dean Orton and Paolo Catani at the Rimini Lambretta Centre as one of the few places on the planet capable of work to this standard.
The whole story featured in Scootering magazine a few years back, and additional information for this article comes from the excellent MandM Lambretta blog. More pics, and a link to the Scootering article there.
This almost unique scooter is now in the hands of US Lambretta collector Robbie Morelli. There is another at Vittorio Tessera’s Lambretta Museum, just outside Milan.
Interestingly, Rome are in the running for hosting the 2020 Olympics… I wonder if there will be any LN’s (or there succsesors) supplied to the athletes… I think they should all have these electric Lambrettas for getting around!
EDIT: Just found another great pic on t’internet. I’ll add any more as and if I find them.
I’ve been meaning to put something up about Bradley Wiggings for a while, But with Team GB doing so well in the Olympics, it’s been hard to tear myself away from the telly. Anyway, it’s about time I gave a bit of Lambrettista recognition to one of Team GB’s greats, and indeed one of our greatest sportsmen:Bradley Wiggins.
The Tour de Fance and Olympic Gold within days of each other is an achievement that is unlikely to be matched, and certainly won’t be at a ‘home’ Olympics. But what’s that got to do with Lambretta’s?
Well Mr Wiggins (and athough there are calls for it to be SIR Bradley, I think he’d be more comfortable with Mr – after all he doesn’t even use the OBE he already has) musical taste has been well documented. Getting into the mod scene through Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene, he has also acquired a taste for vintage guitars and classic scooters. And although the only picture I’ve got is him on a V*spa, I’m reliably informed he is a “Lambretta man”. I’m told he owns a couple of Lammies, including a Series 3 TV175. Nice.
So I’m (finally) adding this blog’s humble congratulations to the rest of the adulation Wiggo is receiving. And as a mark of respect, I’m suggesting all of us fellas of a certain age who sport similar sideys to Wiggo’s iconic ones, christen them “Bradleys”. Next trip to the barber “No. 2 at the back and sides, a bit longer on top with the scissors, and just thin out the Bradleys”. Works for me
The illustration of Wiggo astride a Lambretta is by top artist Pete McKee… who is deserving of a Lambrettista blog post in his own right. If you”re reading Pete, it will happen! And if you can direct me in the direction of the artist(s) who created the illustrations, I’ll give them proper acredititation.
Finally, if you get to read this Mr Wiggins, get in touch and send us some photos… I’f love to talk scooters with you!
Ok, we’ve all been there. You’ve got a few spare qiuid jangling round your pocket and you fancy a Lambretta. But which model? Descisions, descions. Well, worry no more cash rich scooterist, there’s no need to make those hard descions. You can buy an entire Lambretta collection on eBay, here. Eight scooters, from a Model D 150 thru to a Lui 50… all restored six years ago and dry garaged since then. Most of them seem to have won awards at various European Lambretta events of the years, and each comes with a dossier documenting their restoration, and some original brochures and other collateral. Nice. Only wish my numbers had come up on the lottery the other night!
• 1956 Model D 150
• 1956 LD 150
• 1961 Li 150 Series 2
• 1964 LI 125 Series 3
• 1967 J 125 (Starstream – or Stellina in Italian)
• 1967 Lui 50
• 1970 J50 Special
• 1971 Dl (GP) 200
They are for sale for €76,900.25 No, I don’t know why the 25 cents.
That’s about £56k in proper money. Which works out a shade under £7k each if you divide them equally. A tad pricey I would have thought, although some of the scoots have some nice original period accessories. If you are interesed in purchasing this collection, they’re on eBay, here.