Lambrettas – Made in the USA!

When writing this blog, I often stumble across something that makes me think “I never knew that!” This is one of the biggest I never knew that’s” so far… Lambrettas were briefly made in an Innocenti factory in Duluth, Minnesota, United States of America (if you don’t know where Duluth is, it’s Mippeappolis and up a bit, on the North East side of Lake Superior).

I came across this story on the Lambretta Club USA’s Lambretta Jamboree page (the Lammy Jammy this year is in Duluth), here, where the video I’ve posted above explains “Minnesota Connection”

As part of the Lammy Jammy celebrations in Duluth, you have the chance of winning a very rare “Wintermaster S2 Prototype” (pictured below) recovered from abandoned Duluth factory. It’s currently being restored back to its former glory. More on the  Wintermaster here.11745717_474679806026407_621771586671911275_n

So as well as being made in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, India, Pakistan and Taiwan (have I missed anywhere?) Lammbrettas were also briefly made in the USA*. I came across this info a few weeks ago, but thought it was worth waiting for this particular day before I shared it. Alert readers may have spotted the posting date already. One more thing… further research shows this project the code name “Pesce d’Aprile”.

 

Hector’s House

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Don’t know much about this pic, just one I ‘discovered on Facebook. (If you haven’t popped over to the Facebook page yet, it’s here…). Both owner and dog look happy… and why wouldn’t they! The gingham curtains are a nice touch!

Don’t try this at home

But then a again… you wouldn’t… but if you were stuck at the side of the road with a hole in your piston and had to get home, and there’s a handy dumpster nearby…

This one gets bodge of the year (so far). If you know a better one, send me a link.
10/10 for ingenuity!

 

Didier’s lid!

10382279_10153071811268484_7439470840026991125_oDidier, or to give him his full appellation “Lord Didier Coquoz” sent me this pic via the blog’s Facebook page. He’s astride his ’66 150 Special, and particularly proud of his original 1960’s helmet, hand painted by himself “when he was a kid, a couple of weeks ago!” You may spot that he is Swiss. That scooter (restored by lambrettista.ch) looks worthy of a few close ups!

I’ve never met Didier, but I already  know he enjoys a laugh. If I’m ever in Switzerland, I’d love to share a Toblerone with him!

Lambretta. Not a ‘Kronenbourg’

SX150-PostcardViz’s “Roger’s Profanisaurus” (Surely one of the finest, most creative works in the english language) defines a Kroneburg (sic) thus ” A lady who appears from behind to be about ’16’, but reveals herself to be about ’64’ when she turns around “. Gentlemen, we’ve all been there. Well, there are scooters like that. Look ok from the back, look pants from the front (Peugeot S57 / Terrot VMS1 you know I’m talking about you), or vice-versa.

Luckily, riding a Lambretta, it’s something you don’t have to worry about. As this publicity shot shows. Ok, it’s an SX, but all Lambrettas look equally as good from the front and rear.

Bonus tip; to make your arse look slimmer  if you’ve put on a pound or two over the years… is to go for one of the more voluptuous models, like a S1 or 2. Works for me.

Who can take a rainbow…

Wrap it in a sigh… soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie…Cotton Candy Lambro

If anyone can, this chap can. Not just the Candy Man, the Cotton Candy Man. That’s Candy Floss, this side of the pond of course. And, despite the fact he works out of a Lambro, I haven’t seen a more sinister looking bloke since Pennywise the Clown in Stephen King’s “It”. I reckon he murdered the bloke who’s clothes they are… they don’t certainly don’t fit him. And hanging around outside a school, by the look of it… Definitely dodgy. As it say’s on the Lambro “Here he comes…”

The darkside. Your chance to vote.

Vespas
This is a first. I generally don’t post pictures of Vespas. I’ve got nothing against them, other than a general low-level bitterness that out of the two GREAT Italian scooter marques, Piaggio’s Vespa survived and the clearly superior Lambretta didn’t. And I’m not a “scootist”. Some of my best friends ride Vespas. In fact, Vespas are (probably) my second favourite scooter marque. But they are all over the web, and there’s some great sites covering both (try Scooternova) or that cater to the poor deluded souls who actually prefer Italy’s second best scooter  (my personal favourite, being this one; Vespamore). And, much as I may have huge gaps in my Lambretta knowledge (I literally learn something new nearly every day), I am a complete ignoramus when it comes to the Vespa. I’ve never owned one*, and I’ve never even ridden one. So I can’t really write abut them.

Anyway, this long, unfocused and rambling diatribe is needs to get back on track. Here we go. I generally don’t post pictures of Vespas. But occasionally, I come across a picture so good it’s hard to resist the urge to post it. Above is one such shot.

So… here’s the deal. Should I post the occasional pics of a Vespa, or are they truly off limits on a Lambretta site. This is your chance to vote, below.

*I nearly bought a GS160 before I saw my current Lambretta – this would have been a very different blog!

2 Girls kickstarting a Lambretta…

Really, there’s not much more to it than that. But if that’s what your into, mail the Cong Chua (who shot it) for the full (40 minute!!) video… scooterkickstart@gmail.com

On a side note, as I’m sure you all know, the correct way to start a Lammie, from cold, is choke open, and kick… no need to twist the throttle!

Hot Shots! Part Deux – Topper Harley

This films been around since 1991, and I’ve only just noticed that the main character, Topper Harley is probably a scooter reference. Duh! Now, I was sure I’d written a Harley Topper before, but I was probably thinking about the other indigenous US Scooter, the Cushman (post here… worth checking out… oh, and this one).  Anyway. I hadn’t.

Topper Harley

Topper Harley

Harley Topper

Harley Topper

The Topper was the only scooter Harley Davidson every produced. Made between 1961 and 1965, and despite it’s squarish, “50’s American Refrigerator” lines, it’s certainly not a bad looking scooter. (That last sentence just shows how much my aesthetics have changed over the years… I remember when I first saw a picture of a Topper I thought it unbelievably fugly!). Let’s just say it’s “of its time”.

There’s an owners club, with a ‘virtual website’ (a tautology surely? perhaps an ironic one) here.

In a postmodern twist, Topper himself has his own Facebook page, here.

Anyway. Back to Hot Shots, and my favourite line:

Topper Harley: You’re the only one that knows how to get to the ‘copter pad. If I’m not there in 15 minutes, you know what to do…
Colonel Walters: Yeah, get the hell out of here!
Topper Harley: No! Wait another 15 minutes!