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.
If you’re interested in South American Lammies, check out this post on the even more extreme Xispa model from Brazil.
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.
Her’es that eBay link again.
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.
I *thought* I’d a written a piece all about the Moto Rumi Formichino before… but all I could find in the Lambrettista archives was this post – basically a paragraph, and period photo, and me saying “I thought I’d written a piece about Moto Rumi’s before…” Deja vu, all over again. Another bullet point for the ever expanding to do list!
I’m assuming my audience is familiar with the Rumi Formichino (if you’re not, there’s a picture above). It’s a lovely little scooter from a company based in Bergamo, Italy that made minature submarines and torpedoes for the Italian navy during WW2. Knowing that, gives some context to the unique design language of the Formichino (Italian for Ant, dontcha know). The Formichino did rather well in various sporting events of the day, and has a loyal following even now.
With that rather long-winded introduction out the way, and the Formichino acknowledged, we can now get to the meat of the post. Moto Rumi had plans for a quite breathtaking scooter, that sadly never made it into production. Ostensibly more a ‘traditionally’ styled scooter, with fully enclosed bodywork, the real innovations of the machine lie beneath those glorious streamlined shapes. But before we get to that, lets just dwell on the bodywork for a minute, shall we? Remember, this was 1960. So we’re talking circa LI Series 2 in Lambretta design terms. So this svelte little Rumi was definitely ‘up there’ in the design stakes.
Under the panels there were more innovations…The Rumi having a very neat looking V-Twin, 4-Stroke engine – developed to be also used in the light motorcycles. On a motorcycle of course, you have to worry less about keeping the engine cool, something Rumi addressed by having ample venting cut into the all-steel bodywork, both at the front and the rear… the rear vents of course allowing the hot air to escape.
Those rear vents may have got a bit hot, but they look really cool – as is the line of that seat, smoothly merging into the bodywork of the machine at the back – way ahead of the bench seat of Lambretta’s TV’s – in the design stakes at least.
Available in 98, 125, and 175cc variants with hand-shift, four-speed gearboxes, these sleek little scooters would surely have given Lambretta and Vespa a run for their money, if they’d make it into production. Sadly, Moto Rumi went bust before that could happen.
While researching this article, I found out Moto Rumi made another scooter that I was unaware of, the Scoiottolo (or Squirrel), which pre-dates the Formichino. That to do list is getting longer…
Finally, here’s a couple of press pieces from the time. Thanks due once more to regular contributor Darrin Slack, who sent me the pictures and the story of the Moto Rumi’s that never were. The images and press articles are from the Amsterdam Salone of 1961, an important show of the time.
Find out more about Moto Rumi on this site: MotoRumi.IT.
I’ve got a question. At what point do we stop calling the Lambretta V-Special “The New Lambretta”? For the classic Lambretta rider, I suspect it will always be ‘The New Lambretta.”
Anyway, here’s some rather nice photography from the official Facebook page (I’m sure they won’t mind). Any of my readers got one of these? Care to share your experience of owning and riding one? And one last question for Classic Lambretta lovers, (who I suspect make up the majority of my visitors) who were initially sceptical of the “New Lambretta” is the V-Special ‘growing on you’ at all yet? If not, what would it take to change your mind?
I love my classic Lambretta. But if I could have a modern scooter as well, there’s only one option.
Well, they put it the other way round in the eBay ad… For some reason they lead with the camper.
Cut and pasted from eBay,
|2011 VW T32 TRANSPORTER T5.1 140 TDI CAMPERVAN VERY RARE SETUP ALL IN BRILLIANT ORANGE This camper is in very good condition inside and out. Fully converted with rock and roll bed, TV and Dvd , sink and cooker, fridge with small freezer unit, storage cupboards, removable table, and fully insulated and lined, Full electrics kit including split charge system, 240v hook up, 12v lighting, plug sockets, control panel and usb ports, M1 crash tested rock and roll bed with kick boards and easy access for storage, also has awning VANGO AIRaway SAPERA 2, with blow up air frame, fully carpeted and insulated including black out curtains.|
The van itself comes with all usual refinements including, LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, hill start assist, remote central locking, electric windows, ice cold aircon, audio head unit with bluetooth, sat-nav, hands free phone, radio, dvd, and cd, and reverse camera, it has tow-bar and electrics, 20″ diamond cut alloy wheels with all good tyres, it drives fantastic, and comes with full service history including cambelt change, M.O.T until September 2021.
Also comes with a fully restored 1962 Lambretta 125cc (tax exempt), this is attached to the rear of the campervan, and can be removed via a ramp system that is supplied, a really nice way to travel around once you have setup camp.
Also comes with a Romini classic retro, 2 berth lightweight caravan, also in fantastic condition.”
This ‘job lot’ comes in at £32,000. Which, when you add up everything you’re getting here, is not actually that bad. Here’s the eBay link. Pics below.
Just to save you scrolling back, here’s that eBay link again.