About crocodilejock

Funk/Soul/Ska/Jazz loving, Lambretta riding, whisky sipping, Partick Thistle supporting, cheese muncher. Dad of twins, husband, graphic designer and blogger.

J is for…

Jawdropper! I’ve developed a bit of a soft-spot for the humble J-range of late. I always thought that one, suitably souped up, would make a cracking small-frame racer, much the same way that Vespa did with their Super Sprint 90SS (best Vespa ever? As a Lambretta guy, I’m probably unqualified to judge, but it’s got to be top 3, right?). Anyway. I digress. What would a fast J-Range look like? Probably something like the little belter below.

Owned by Richard Oswald, long-time Lambretta fan, current owner of five Lammies, member of the Wisemen SC, and registrar of the LCGB, this is no ordinary J.

Paint wise, Richard has chosen an Arthur Francis inspired look – which works really well on the J. And it goes a bit too – under the panels – in an Indian GP200 casing there are more upgraded parts than you can shake a stick at – if you want the full list, check out the post on The Stamford Scooter Centre page – here. Incidentally – The Stamford Scooter Centre are currently running a Covid19 Random Scooter Feature – and are on day 126 (as I type this) of posting pics and descriptions of some fantastic scoots. Worth a scroll through! Anyway, I’ve digressed again. The scooter was put together by Phil at Torch Engineering at Castleford. Phil is retired, but still dabbles in classic cars and scooters for himself and a select few mates. He’s also a talented Northern Soul DJ, and runs Kippax Soul Club.

Uncle Joe’s Rumpshaker

Every now and then, a Lambretta comes along and blows my socks off. This post is about one that has done just that. But first, some context. The ‘rusto-rat’ look has been around for a while, and spawned some great looking scooters. I wrote about it here – back in 2013 – so the look has been around for a while! I think the looks originates with the Hot Rod scene – where distressed and patina-ed bodywork is paired with handwritten signwriting – often coupled with a very powerful engine. The first Lambretta I recall having this look – a real gamechanger – was a Series 2 called Janie Jones, and features heavily that post.

So, this signwritten rusto-rat look has become a staple of the custom Lambretta scene now – and there are many very cool examples of it around. The signwriting lends itself to classic curves of the Lambretta – and the retro typography is and clearly handwritten and crafted style is just matches perfectly with the machine.

Styles changes, and every style evolves. That’s what keeps things fresh. I think the rusto-rat scene has reached it’s apex in this scooter. I love everything about it. The theme is original. The way the graphics and the type fit the panels is spot on – without looking too contrived. And everywhere you look there are little touches that just make you smile. And it all comes together beautifully.

The scooter – a Serveta – has had a complicated history, involving both Kris Green and Harry Barlow (of H-Bomb Scooters fame) in it’s creation – and is now owned by Darren Wood from Wigan. The signwriting and faux-patina work was all carried out by Phil at The Monster Forge – a visit to their facebook page reveals more more of Phil’s fantastic work – on scooters, trucks and more. If this style floats your boat – and it does mine – Phil is the master of it. There’s some fantastic Alice of Wonderland murals on some Series 2 side-panels if you scroll down a bit! I hope to feature a blog post on Monster Forge in the not too distant future – stay tuned for updates.

If you’ve got a custom Lambretta that you’d like featured on the blog, or if you run a business, and there’s something special you’ve worked on that you’d like featured, get in touch.

A, and A+

I connected with the Michelangelo (now there’s an Italian name for you!), the owner of these two fantastic Model A’s on Reddit – where he posted the picture above. The model A – or Lambretta 125m as was the official designation – it only really became the ‘A’ when the model ‘B’ came along – is where the Lambretta story all began. Documented elsewhere on this site, and around the web, I won’t repeat that all here.

There were only about 9,000 model A’s made, so to have one is pretty special. To have two, is amazing. But to have one as special as Michelangelo’s second one, is very special indeed. No ‘ordinary’ A, this one (an Mk1) features some wonderful period features that elevate it from the standard model to ‘Sport’ or GT spec…

Like something out of a time capsule – some of the differences between a standard A are immediately obvious – such as the elegant long-distance fuel tank. Slightly trickier to spot is the rear suspension – a feature that was felt ‘unnecessary’ on the original model. But not only did this scooter have a rear spring, it appears to height adjustable.

Fitted with a pillion seat – and on this bike you’d need one, as it would be sure to attract admiring glances from pretty young signorinas that you’d want to give a lift to. The aluminum grab rail would give her something to hold on to!

The forks are also ‘specials’ and original to the machine – and give a glimpse of the elegant ‘design language’ of future Lambrettas models. Another contemporaneous modification – made when the scooter was new, or shortly after – is the hand gear change – remember, the A was the only Lambretta model to feature a foot change. So perhaps – who knows – this very scooter helped shape the future of all later Lambrettas?

Scooters like Michelangelo’s A Sport are the reason i do this blog – there is always something new to discover, and interesting people to meet. I love it when people are passionate and knowledgeable about their passion – so if you have pictures of your Lambretta – and it can be any model – and a story to tell about it – I’d love to hear it. You can get in touch here.

A big thank you to Michelangelo Merisi, aka @ilbreizh on Instagram (or Reddit) for sharing these pictures and an important bit of Lambretta history. Michelangelo is currently engaged in another fascinating restoration of another old Lambretta, that I hope to feature on the blog one day. Stay tuned!

Vintage Scooter Trailer

Found this PAV 40 Scooter Trailer for sale on eBay – well, I say Scooter trailer, because this is a Lambretta blog, but these Czech made trailers were originally made for Jawa motorcycles. These are now becoming sought after and – as well as looking rather cool behind your scoot are super useful for scooter rallies – if, and when they ever kick off again. This trailer is sold in ‘used condition’ but it looks pretty good for 60 years old. It’s on eBay for £1,500, here.

eBay Time… Innocenti Mini & Dealers Sign

Spotted this rather nice Innocenti Mini on eBay – it’s in the South of France, which has kept it rust free. Looks in good nick! on eBay for £9,900 here.

If you like that, you’ll like this, A genuine period Innocenti lightbox sign.rom a “longstanding southern Italian Innocenti/Lambretta dealership”. It’s pretty rare, as these would have only been available to big Innocenti dealers at the time. Afraid it doesn’t come with the model D! On eBay for £1,500, here.

What will the Vespa of the future look like?

Taken from the Industrial & Product Design blog Yanko Design, and suggested by my old mate Luke, This is a bit of an unusual post for the blog. The renders answer the question – What will classical Italian automotive design be in a hundred years? The designer, Artem Smirnov has distilled the classic Italian curves of yesterdays Vespa’s and created something radically different, yet still, somehow recognisable. Personally, I think that’s a design that’s maybe ten or twenty years away – not a hundred! What do you think? Like it? Loathe it? What would a Lambretta look like?

Original post, here.

Oh, and don’t forget about my Father’s Day Giveaway!

Father’s Day Giveaway

A while back, I wrote a review of Sticky’s excellent book. “Scooterboys – The Lost Tribe”.
He sent me a copy to review – and it took me about 6 months to write it. Check it out here. One of the reasons was laziness – well, a mix of laziness and life throwing a few curve balls, as it does. The other was I’d lost the book. Well, misplaced it. And, as a tight scotsman, I loathed buying another one, just so I could reveiw it. But eventually, I did. With Covid19 leading to a bit of tidying up, the original has surfaced. So I have a spare, and you could get your hands on it.

All you’ve got to do is “like” this post below, and then share it on social media – Twitter or Facebook. and your in. I’ll pick a winner at random, and get it posted out to you, hopefully in time for fathers day. It’ll make a great gift for any dad who’s been into the scene – or perhaps a little gift to yourself (whether your a dad or not).

If you don’t win, and you haven’t got hold of a copy yet, you can get one on Amazon Here.

Nuova Lambretta

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the New Lambretta… The Vendetta, or V-Special as it is variously known. News has been a little thin on the ground, although I’ve spotted more than a few buzzing around. long term readers will know I’m more of a ‘classic’ man, but you’ve got to admit, if you’re in the market for a modern scooter, you won’t get a better looking one than a Lambretta… These images are from the Lambretta UK site.

You know that it’s being regarded as a ‘proper’ Lambretta when a company as well regarded as The Rimini Lambretta Centre gets involved – and, in the spirit of the great scooter dealers of the 60’s, makes a “Dealer Special” …and very nice it looks too. Check out their website, a must for all Lambretta fans,

Finally, for now, are some V-Specials in GP based paint, that seems to be an option for the Asian market only – for the time being at least. I’m sure there would be a great demand for them in the rest of the world too. I’m a particular fan of the grey. From the Nuova Lambretta Facebook page.

So, do you have a “Nuova Lambretta”? How are you getting on with it? Have you customised it? Got any pictures you want featured on the blog? Get in touch!

UPDATE: I’ve added a list of New Lambretta dealers (starting with the UK), here.

Cento advice needed…

Andres got in touch with pictures of a Lambretta he’d just become the proud owner of… asking for help identifying the model. I’m afraid I couldn’t help – although it’s clearly a variant on a Cento, with some ‘modernised’ bodywork. The closest thing I could find was something I featured on the blog back in 2016, a SIL Lambretta Sunny, which looks remarkably similar.

My other thought, as this has turned up in Argentina, was that it was a model manufactured their by Siambretta or in Brazil…

If you can shed some more light on this Lambretta ‘oddity’ please get in touch, either in the comments below, or by using my contact section. I’ll pass any info on to Andres.