When 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.
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!