I see a lot of nice Lambrettas out there on the internet – many of them customised to the owners personal taste. In some cases, I can admire the work that’s gone into a scoot, but it’s “just not my thing”. On the other hand, sometimes I see one (or in this case two) that really float my boat. I came across this pair on a Facebook group, and thought, yeah, they’ll do! Everything about them is spot on, both of them, although they’re sublty different (rear footboard, a bit more chrome, fork embellishers on the orange one) they work nicely as a pair – and everything about them just seems ‘right’. Love the stickered-up aesthetic (but it’s got to be the right stickers)!
Posted by kind permission on the owner; John Lindgren.
When the original Lambretta – The Model A – was released – it was with a very much with the ethos of producing a cheap transport option for post war Italy. The radical simplicity of these early machines – and the fairly swift refinement into the models B, C soon led to these models being adopted in large numbers. A more ‘luxury’ version of the model C was introduced with full panelling – The LC – The “L” in LC actually stands for “Lusso” – the Italian for “Luxury”.
For a while, Innocenti offered you a choice of models – basic or luxury – with the Model D selling alongside the full-framed LD. The fully panelled luxury option went on to define the way the world thought a Lambretta should look for all future models – until at maybe the introduction of the Luna range in the late 60’s. But the basic models continued to be popular amongst a couple of groups… the budget conscious, and racers. Racers loved the reduced weight and the convenient access to the engines… making customisation, tuning and roadside repairs easier and quicker. You can see what a Racing D looked like in this post from the archives (well April).
But we all know the Lambretta was made in other countries around the world, Including Argentina – where SIambretta had been selling Argentinean Lambrettas since 1954, starting by assembling Model A’s shipped from Italy. Following the Italian model of offering a basic (or “Standard”) and luxury or “Deluxe” model.
The Siambretta was very popular in it’s home market – even exporting to other South American countries such a Chile and Uruguay. But by the late 60’s, sales were waning. To reinvigorate them, they looked to the past, and popular “Standard” models… however, a cheap, panel-less back to basics model wouldn’t quite cut the mustard. They wanted something with a bit of ooomph. A sporty Standard, or indeed, a “Super Standard”.
The result of this was the Siambretta Super Standard 175 AV – the AV thought by many to be a nod to Innocenti’s sporty TV line – changing the Turismo (the “T” in TV) to Argentina – (so AV = Argentina Veloce, rather than Turismo Veloce) . This was the only model designed 100% in Argentina – albeit on the back of an existing Lambretta model, and was a reasonable success for Siambretta.
Although called a “Super Standard’, these look anything but Standard to those of us used to seeing the curvaceous lines of the ‘standard’ Series 2 Lambretta on which they were based. The changes are pretty obvious, even from a cursory inspection – cutdown legshields, a redesigned cutdown front mudguard, a missing ‘frame-loop’ with a redesigned toolbox and petrol tank split laterally along the frame. The missing frame-loop at the rear is compensated for by an additional boxed structure above the rear mudguard… the main function of which seems to be as a mount for a spare wheel, and the rear light. Now, I’m no scooter designer (other than in the amatuer way that we all are), but maybe a more successful option would be losing the pillion seat, and the new box section, and storing the spare behind the cutdown legshields… a rear light could be easily mounted on the frame, under the seat. The headset is a simplified affair with a bolt-on headlight. The horncasting is squared off, and rather unfortunate looking, in my humble opinion.
Some shots, from a magazine road test of the time, show that it’s perhaps a machine that looks better when being ridden than standing still;
Thanks to Darrin Slack for sending me these images, there’s more to come on the history of Siambretta, including some original press and advertising material.
Other information comes from the El Siambrettista blog – a blog all about the Siambretta in it’s various guises, and well worth checking out.
We all know people around the world love Lambrettas – It’s not just an Italian, or British thing. Most of my readers will also know Lambrettas, or their variants were not just made in Italy – also being manufactured under licence in Spain, Germany, France, India, Argentina, Brazil and Taiwan – and I’m sure there’s one or two places I’ve forgotten!
What is more surprising for me is how many people around the world have read the blog – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – there’s actually only a few countries where the Lambrettista blog hasn’t been read!
So, if you know somebody in Tajikistan, North Korea, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Chad, Lesotho, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Cameroon or the Central African Republic – give them a shout – and get them to check in on the blog 🙂
If you’re interested, my Top Ten countries for readers are:
*Nearly. The 10 countries where the blog hasn’t been read are listed above!
These don’t come up too often. An original, British registered from mew 1964 Lambretta TV200 (known to all as the “GT”) with it’s original reg number. The scoot was restored in 2010, and featured in Scootering Magazine March 2012.
The scooter features many period correct accessories – a Nannuci ledshield toolbox, Metalplast candy legshield beading, a Pegasus seat. Under the panels, in the genuine GT200 Engine it’s running a Mugello 225 kit with the barrel ported by JB Tuning. It’s gt a 12v Electronic Ignition, with replacement regulator hidden from view in the toolbox – a nice touch! It’s on eBay Here for £12,750.
Regular contributor Darrin Slack sent me these fantastic period pics of the 1949 Giro d’Italia – featuring Italian Grand Prix Motorcycle Road Racer Romalo Ferri, at this point riding for the Minetti team. I don’t know too much more than that, and a Google search has netted little in the way of results, so if you know more, please leave some info in the comments.
Darrin has sent me a wealth of images and information over the past few week, if you like this sort of content, stay tuned for more!
Darrin has got back in touch, and informed me that Minetti were a large Lambretta dealer in Milan, and often Innocenti would showcase their latest models in the Minetti showrooms.