Riding Lola. Calm down. She’s a Lambretta.

!&I came across another nice Lambretta blog the other day which is worth a look – Riding Lola is “The Adventures of a 1963 Lambretta TV175 and her current owner”. But the TV is actually Lola 2… Lola 1 was a LD150. The owner, Glen is from Dallas Texas… and his blog features one of the best Lambretta images I’ve seen for a while, Lola next to one of my favourite three-wheelers… the Bond Bug In fact it’s my favourite bike car combo for a while, although it doesn’t ‘match’ the bug quite as well as a Quasarimg_1880
I love the old fella in the shot too… in fact, it could be my grandad… he’s wearing the exact gear my grandad used to… the exact trilby hat and car coat!

Here are some shots of Lola (1) after being restored by Glen. The Dallas skyline makes a nice backdrop on a couple… for more, and to check out Lola 2, visit his blog. It hasn’t been updated for a wee while… but I can empathise with that, sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.
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F is for FORKS, F is for FURTHER INFORMATION

LambrettaModellFWhen I originally posted about Rod’s Western Australian Barn Find of a rare Model “F”, one of my eagle-eyed readers queried whether I’d made a mistake in classifying it as a F, as the forks didn’t have the distinctive ‘swept back’ look of the E’s and F’s. Check out the image above to see what I mean.

Well, you can write what I know about these early models on the back of a postage stamp… so I went back and queried it with Rod, who patiently sent me back pics of the frame and engine numbers both confirming it’s F status. Very weird. Was this some Aussie import F with D type forks? The explanation is a little simpler.

The Model F was based on the Model E… the E being a rethinking of the open frame Lambretta, with economy at it’s heart. It was stripped down, and the cheapest Lambretta you could buy, featuring an innovative, and frankly pretty poor “pull-cord” like a chainsaw or outboard engine instead of a kickstart. It was not well received by the Italian market, in fact it was a total flop. Innocenti then made some technical improvements, including reinstating a kickstart and this new model became the F. The improvements weren’t enough to radically improve sales however… and even an ‘elegant new colour’ (dark green) wasn’t enough to distinguish the F from it’s ill fated predecessor.

In 1955 a Second Series of the F was produced with many technical improvements from the first, more comfort, better electrics, and the more efficient fork and front fender from the Model D. It is one of these “Seconda Serie” with D forks that Rod discovered in a shed. The second series came in two colours… The putty like “Beige Sabbia” and “Grigio Chiaro”, a pale grey. Rod’s pics show traces of this original grey under the blue paint that was applied sometime back in the dim and distant.F1-F2

Unfortunately, although these changes had made the Seconda Serie F a much better scooter, it never shook off it’s Model E lineage. Sales figures could not justify it’s continued production, and the last F was made in early 1956. Which means one more thing… F stands for, erm, FLIPPING Rare.

Thanks Rod, for furnishing me with various articles that explain the complicated saga of the F with D forks!

F is for FIND – Aussie barn find!

photo 5 photoOne of my readers, Rod got in touch from Western Australia yesterday, very excited about a scooter that had turned up in a shed where it had sat, unmolested for the last 35 years. It’s a Model F, The F is a pretty rare sight these days… I think by the time it was being produced in ’53 to ’54 the panelled LD was becoming the dominant Lambretta model, and they were of course also still selling the latest incarnation of the D model, one of Lambretta’s most successful models to date.

Something in the back of my mind tells me the E’s and F’s were more successful as the front end of Lambretta’s commercial range… but my knowledge of these vehicles is almost non-existent, so maybe you could enlighten me if you know more!

photo 3  Anyway, back to Rod’s F. He managed to pic it up for A$350. As you can see from the pics, it’s not in too bad condition, and Rod says everything is there, and completely original, barring the lock for the boot cover plate. So if you’ve got one of those around, drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with Rod.photo 4 photo 5 photo 6photo 7 photo 8 photo 9 photo 10These wonderful  tax discs tell their own story… the two older older two ones were behind the top one… so the scooter has been resting in that shed since 1976… 38 years! Rod is now approaching the Department of Transport to see if he can get the original number plate; UG 322.photo RodsF1 And I know it’s superficial, but I think my favourite part of the whole scoot is the original “Aussie Rules” Shell decals on the inside of the inside of the leggies…  a real period piece!

Rod on ModCNew owner Rod is no newbie when it come to Lambrettas either… He’s sent me this fantastic pic of himself astride his first Lambretta, a C Model, in about 1960 when he was 17, which he later upgraded to a D Model, pictured below. Just shows, once you’ve got the  Lambretta bug, you’ve pretty much got it for life. I can’t wait to see pics of Rod riding his restored F in the Aussie sunshine. Keep us posted mate!ModelD

The last pic, and probably my favourite, is Rod 53 years after the shot on his “C”, obviously enjoying his new purchase…RodF-53 Years Later

F is for FORKS…

A couple of eagle-eyed readers have pointed out that the forks don’t look correct for the model F, as you can see in the pic below, they are ‘swept back’ rather than the more standard Lambretta style forks, as seen on the D, and evolved on later models. It’s being looked into! UPDATE: The forks problem has been resolved, but it warrants a post of it’s own (stay tuned). We’ll leave it at this for the moment: A) Rods Lammie is DEFINITELY an F, and B) I’ve learned something new!LambrettaModellF

 

 

Awooga! The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show

15274_1_review-craig-charles-xmas-funk-and-soul-show-53-degrees-preston_banI don’t cover a lot of music on this blog, it’s a Lambretta site after all… and everybody has their own taste in music. But there’s a show I’ve been addicted to for a long time, and that’s BBC 6 Music’s Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show. A lot of my readers, I know will already be fans, especially if you are in the UK, but even those further afield needn’t miss out due to the magic of the internet.

Mr Charles, is originally made his name as a stand-up comedian, and ‘punk poet’ before making it big as an actor, probably being most famous for the iconic role of Dave Lister in Red Dwarf. He’s been in a ton of other stuff, notably driving a taxi in Northern soap Coronation Street. But enough of that. Let’s get onto the funky souly show!

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Since 2002, Craig has been hosting a weekly radio show on BBC 6 Music, which, in my humble opinion, plays some of the best sounds you are likely to hear. Clearly, with a name like the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show, you’re going to expect a couple of things. 1, it’s hosted by Craig Charles, and 2, there’s going to be some Soul, and some Funk. Well. You ain’t gonna be disappointed on either score. There’s plenty of proper, good old fashioned SOUL, and Señor Charles manages to cram 2lbs of FUNK into a 1lb bag! But it’s more than simply soul and funk… there’s music from the 50’s to the 80’s from Jazz, R’n’B (PROPER R’n’B mind) Blues and Gospel. Sometimes he’ll go back to the 40’s for a bit of Jump Jive. There’s often a bit of Ska or Reggae in there too, a huge dollop of Latin and Afrobeat, as well as a bit of Disco and Hip Hop; and the occasional rockier or punkier track… as long as it’s got “a wiggle on” and it’s kinda Funky, Monsieur Charles will give it a spin! It’s not all old stuff from the vaults either, Craig has consistently sought out and championed the finest new bands, from the UK, US, Europe and around the world. And it’s amazing how much really good funk & soul is being made today.

Since the show’s been running Craig has had everyone from James Brown to Paul Weller as special guests… and you definitely want to be around when he unlocks his “trunk of funk”.

Recently there has been a shorter show on BBC Radio 2 straight after the Main Event… and while it’s a great hour, to me, it serves as a light dessert to the smorgasbord of the main 3 hour programme. When I can I listen to both, then I listen again, on erm, “listen again”.

1509856_10153971835380467_688393321241214848_nThe Godfather of Soul, James Brown had the epithet “The Hardest Working Man in Showbusiness” But I think CC could give him a run for his money… Working all week on Corrie, 3 hours of the CCF&SS on 6 Music, another hour on Radio 2, and I haven’t even mentioned his live show yet, so I will. Yep, he does it all live, taking the Craig Charles Funk & Soul  Club live at various venues… the next is the Brixton Jamm on the 19th April. I haven’t caught him live yet, but I imagine it will be a cracking show.10014592_615898988478478_518503251_nSo you might get the impression I’m a bit of a fan of the show. You’d be right. If for some reason it’s passed you by, you can check out the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show on the BBC 6 Music Website, on Facebookage, or the Twitterati.

If for some reason you can’t listen to the show online, you have once more option… you can get it on vinyl. Well, not vinyl, that shows my age… CD or MP3. There are a couple of great albums that showcase the kind of thing you’ll hear on his show, here and here.

One more thing before I go, and this is important. The show is best listened to with you sunglasses ON. I recommend these.

 

Stunning new lids from Birkinhead

Regualr readers will know I like a Davida helmet. And I was a big fan of their “Cosmic Candy” range… which I thought would set off a 70’s style skelly to a tee… Well, now you’ve got even more choice from the Birkinhead helmet artisans. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… I present metalflake!David Metalflake

I can do no better than quote from their press release… “The attention to detail, the depth of light and colour: the visual effect of the results is stunning. Davida helmets feel wonderfully luxurious and protective given their snug fitting and leather-lined construction and are well proven for all types of riding adventures.”

Pricewise, they’re not the cheapest helmets on the market, but quality never is is, is it? And the one thing you don’t want to be scrimping on is a bash hat. Davida Jet & Ninety2 RRP £378. Davida Speedster RRP £365 + VAT

With their international reputation for integrating the finest features of traditional open face helmets into modern safety products, all Davida’s supremely comfortable range of helmets are now available in more than 100 different colour ways. See the website for full details.

Lambretta Club of Scotland – Celtic Dash 2014

Lambretta Club Scotland Celtic Dash Flyer

Entries are closing soon (June 2nd) for the Celtic Dash, The Lambretta Club of Scotland’s 137 mile scoot across Scotland, from Oban to Melrose. If you’re interested in joining them, you’d better be quick. For full event programme, and to register, click here.

Quick note to English Lambrettista… if the SNP get their way over Independence, this might be your last chance to do this run without a passport 🙂

Personally, being a PTFC fan, I’d rather the event was renamed to the “Thistle Run”. But that’s a rather weak football joke, so if you don’t get it, don’t worry.