This is a first. I generally don’t post pictures of Vespas. I’ve got nothing against them, other than a general low-level bitterness that out of the two GREAT Italian scooter marques, Piaggio’s Vespa survived and the clearly superior Lambretta didn’t. And I’m not a “scootist”. Some of my best friends ride Vespas. In fact, Vespas are (probably) my second favourite scooter marque. But they are all over the web, and there’s some great sites covering both (try Scooternova) or that cater to the poor deluded souls who actually prefer Italy’s second best scooter (my personal favourite, being this one; Vespamore). And, much as I may have huge gaps in my Lambretta knowledge (I literally learn something new nearly every day), I am a complete ignoramus when it comes to the Vespa. I’ve never owned one*, and I’ve never even ridden one. So I can’t really write abut them.
Anyway, this long, unfocused and rambling diatribe is needs to get back on track. Here we go. I generally don’t post pictures of Vespas. But occasionally, I come across a picture so good it’s hard to resist the urge to post it. Above is one such shot.
So… here’s the deal. Should I post the occasional pics of a Vespa, or are they truly off limits on a Lambretta site. This is your chance to vote, below.
*I nearly bought a GS160 before I saw my current Lambretta – this would have been a very different blog!
I don’t know what to make of this video. Partly because it’s in German. And I don’t speak German. But, it’s quite basic German, (even I could understand the basic story) which initially had me thinking it’s a language learning film.
Anyway, there’s some nice period footage featuring a NSU Lambretta Prima (their licensed version of the LD), a road trip from Germany through the Dolomites, ending in Venice. So that’s good enough for me. About 21 minutes in there’s a ‘technical section’ with nice cutaways of how the engine works (I for one didn’t know German cranks were ‘bear powered’!). At 23 minutes there’s a folky type Lambretta song in German, which is nice. Then the video shows the various attractive shades of beige and brown you could order your Prima in.
At 24 minutes were out of Lambretta territory, and into the rest of the NSU range; which runs so smoothly Hans can ride without Hands. This continues to about 26 minutes, when, weirdly, the video starts to repeat the first part, with half the screen covered in a red gel. I’m not sure if this is the original footage, that has been cleverly restored to full colour, or there’s another reason I can’t think of, but I’d skip that bit :).
What do you do with an SX150 in original paint in a very rare factory colour? (Orange 67). It’s easy if you’ve just bought it off the Rimini Lambretta centre, a complete “Conserved Restoration”. Keep as much of the original paint (and scooter) as possible, and restore to as original with NOS (New Old Stock) parts where needed. The scooter is 100% standard (– you couldn’t use a term as ugly as “bog standard” with a machine as beautiful as this) right down to the last grease nipple. And all the better for it.
I’m delighted to announce the formation of a new national Lambretta Club… you’ve guessed it, in South Africa. Check out their Facebook page here, I’m sure they’s be chuffed with any likes and shares they get. I’ve already featured one of their outings on the blog, here. If you’re interested in joining, or just want to find out more, leave them a message on the page, or email Andy. Nice badge.
I’d never heard of Nelson Mandela, until I heard this song (video below). I don’t think most of my peer group had either. At the time words like ‘terrorist’ were being used about him, although initially he was a follower of the non-violent school of protest, he became a the militant. But who wouldn’t be, against a regime as oppressive as that of the South African one. Anyway, because of Jerry Dammers, and the Special AKA, I read deeper than the stories in the Daily Express, and found another side to the story. On a side note, whenever I walked past South Africa House, in Trafalgar Square, back in the day… (as I did last night too), I was never asked by the demonstrators to sign their petition… I assume because of my close cropped hair, Flight jacket, and polished cherry red DMs. But stop and sign I always did, despite their prejudices.
Anyway. Enough of that. This is about Mr Mandela… and how he helped transform South Africa from a racist, aparteid regime into a rainbow nation. Without the “bloodbath” that was not only predicted, but seemed to be a forgone conclusion. Are things perfect in South Africa? Probably not. But they are certainly better that what the majority of the world thought was going to happen. How much of this was down to Jerry Dammers and the Specials? I suspect more that we think. After this song everybody knew the name Nelson Mandela in the UK, and the UK played a huge role in leading world opinion. The song went on to be known and sung around the world. Can ‘pop music’ change the world? Not very often. But sometimes, sometimes it can. RIP Mr Mandela, thank you Mr Dammers.
If you’ve just found the Lambrettista blog, this is a far from typical post. Normal service will be resumed ASAP
Fancy a look round the Lambretta Museum, in Weston-Super-Mare, but can’t be arsed to get out of your Iconic Designs Lambretta chair? Well, now, due to the miracle of Google Maps you can… by simply clicking here. And if that’s whetted your appetite, you could go and have a butchers in real life. It’s open 11am – 3pm Tuenday to Saturday, No entry fee required, but donations accepted. Back in March it was announced that the museum was going to shut at the end of 2013… and everything be sold off… but I haven’t heard anything since. But if I was you, and you fancy seeing it complete… I’d get down to Somerset sharpish.
Brooklynbretta used to be the place to take your vintage scoot for repairs in NYC. Sadly, it’s gone now, closing it’s doors in 2009. But what remains is pretty cool; this fun vid of a scooter chase through the streets of NYC. The resolutions not great, but the content is.