Beautiful little film about a lost Lambretta.

A lovely little movie about a family Lambretta that was lost for twenty years before being found again. There’s English subtitles, if you’re French isn’t quite up to scratch.

Via the marvellous Petrolicous site

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Lambretta’s monkey bike – The Rosella

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Information on this little oddity is scarce, but I’ve pulled together what I can. My main source is the french site moto-collection.org As is usually the case, I’m working from a position of profound ignorance, and you, my readers often know much more than me… so I’m quite happy to be be put right – just leave a comment and I’ll update the post when I can. All pics harvested from an intensive search of the web. If they are yours, and copyright, my apologies. Hopefully it’s ok to collate them all for the sake of posterity!

201112817034_squashedscooterThere seems to be differing accounts of it’s genesis… whether it is an ‘official’ machine out of the Innocenti factory (perhaps a prototype, or side project), OR something ‘knocked up’ by a neighbouring factory in Milan. It appears to have been marketed by a manufacturer of marine equipment, based – like Innocenti – in Milan… Nautica Pennati.  who are still in business. (I’ve contacted them, to ask if they have any information, but it was a while ago, so don’t hold your breath!).This would suggest the Rosella was designed as an accessory for a yacht… as once the handlebars are removed and the front wheel is turned over it is only 90cm long.

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Innovative design – perhaps the cutest Lambretta of them all?

The Rosella is a tidy little design – I love the way it integrates the fuel tank into the frame… and the front and rear lights into the fuel tank. The main frame is very neat, basically two tapering tubes, welded together. To my mind, this supports the theory that it was a factory prototype – this is a sofisticated piece of design work, made by somebody with some knowledge of how to put a two wheeler together neatly. The main, obviously Innocenti element to the design is the J50 engine / crankcase. This helps date the Rosella, as the J range was introduced in 1964. Despite it’s tiny size, the Rosella has a complete suspension system: a short telescopic fork at the front and by a hinged, damped element by the power unit at the rear. I’m not sure how effective this would be, but the Rosella was obviously only designed to cover short distances! Another nod to the Lambretta is the “D” type toolbox in the first pic, though mounted ‘side-ways’ to the frame, rather than under the seat.

Rarity and value

Information is scarce – but rumour has it there are only three (yep, you read that right, three) Rosella’s in existence. One (pictured above) sold on German eBay a few years ago, for around €2.5k – if rarity = value, somebody got a bargain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Second of the three is (or was) in the US, and appeared at the LCUSA Lambretta Jamboree in 2006 – and the pics show it competing in the gymkana. Aparently, at some point there was quiet a nasty accident in which the rider broke his collar bone, but the bike survived.

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As for the third Rosella, I’ve been unable to track it down, so it may, or may not exist! It may be (must be!) the one pictured in the GP turquoise. If you own it, one of the other two, or have another sitting in a shed (or on a yacht) somewhere, I’d love to know more. Send info and pics please! And, if you don’t actually own one, but know more about it than I clearly do, please let me know in the comments below!

 

Becky’s Mum

BeckysMumBecky posted a picture of her Mum, who was “Miss Lambretta” back in the day…
Must say, this is a cracking pic that sums up a bygone era. A classic beauty, on a classic beauty!

Let us know more of the back story Becky, and I’ll update the post.

If you’ve got any old Lambretta pics, let me know, and I’ll happily put them up on the blog. Thank you for your patience, while there has been a short ‘hiatus’ in posting – more soon.

 

Vintage Rotherham Saints pics

RotherhamSaintsCame across some great vintage pics of Rotherham Saints Lambretta Club in The Rotherham Advertiser – theres even a video of a rideout on the site. The full story, the video and more pics here.

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Story originally by Danny oops Dave Doyle. Definitely DAVE. Not Danny. That’s someone else.  If you have any similar, vintage pics you would like featured on the site, let me know and I’ll get them up.

Rotherham Saints Scooter Club on Facebook

Istanbul Trip D

lambretta-johnmockett-dOne of my readers, John, sent me this fantastic pic of him on his Lambretta D150. He was getting it ready for a trip to Istanbul with 3 friends… another D’s and an LD with two-up. They stopped for a while
in Yugoslavia, and even took Franco era Spain in on the way back, stopping off in Barcelona.

“Ian then took off for Copenhagen, and then eventually I came home.
You just sat on the D150, and opened the throttle. It did 55 on the clock forever…
Barcelona to home in 2 and a half days. Rather different to today’s 2 wheeled tourists.”

Quite a trip… quite an adventure.

I love these period pics – if you’ve got something similar sitting in a drawer – wether you rode your Lambretta to Istanbul or just to work… I’d love to see them!

Lambretta Legend Cesare Battaglini

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Lambretta adventurer and legend Cesare Battaglini, who travelled160,000km round the world on his modified Lambretta in 1956, the greatest of many expeduitions on hs Lambretta. He continued riding his beloved Lambretta into his eighties, and was an active and revered part of the Lambretta scene right up to his death in 2011, at 84 years old. cesare_action_lambrettista

The story of Dr. Battaglini can be read over on the Lambretta Watches site, where their Cesare watch honours the great man.

Also available on Amazon here.

World’s largest Lambretta collection up for sale!

20150506-2904-EditaWhen asked what the ideal number of Lambrettas to own is, the usual answer is ‘one more than I’ve got’. Spanish-based ex-pat Colin Bunn taken that concept and run with it.

Colin has amassed an absolutely incredible collection of Lambrettas (and associated marques), in what must surely be the world’s largest collection of Lambrettas (unless you know different). Now, due to some unfortunate circumstances, most of the collection will be up for sale…

Full story over on ScooterLab, here.

Pic by Sticky.

New Lambretta Announced!

LambrettaVendetta-4The new, official Lambretta has been announced… with little more than a silhouette and a new name “the Vendetta”. I’m liking both. The silhouette looks very traditional, and although it doesn’t reveal much, it looks very promising! The name? Lambretta Vendetta? Fantastic. Hinting maybe at rekindling the old rivalry with Vespa? Are we going to see a ‘wasp killer’? (yeah, good luck with that one, but it’s good to have ambition).

The one other thing we do know is the proposed capacities of 50, 125 and 180cc’s. Seems a reasonable line-up. I expect we’ll see the L70 designation dropped, as calling a machine a “L70 50” would be confusing, to say the least. And Vendetta is a great name. Stick with that lads.

The counter on the official page, has reset to 42 days, (which takes us to the middle of June) when I guess we’ll know a little more. I’m guessing we won’t see everything until a big reveal at a show (I don’t think there’s anything in June). I’m guessing it won’t be until EICMA in November, in Milan that we’ll see the Vendetta ‘in the flesh’. But so far, so good! Stay tuned.

When I know more, you’ll know more.

UPDATE: Sticky’s thoughts over at ScooterLab add more to the picture (as does his forensic Photoshop skills). I’m really liking the elements that reflect the original Lambretta lines, especially horncasting. The upward sweep of the bodywork gives the scooter an aggressively sporty stance. From what I’m seeing, it won’t appeal to those traditionalists amongst us who only want something with an Innocenti (or Eibar or SIL) badge on it, but if you’re in the market for a Scomadi, you might find you have another option.

FURTHER UPDATE: In a Press Release, Sébastien Stassin of KISKA (The design house behind the Vendetta design) said: “Lambretta is a treasured brand – a cult icon whose global cultural impact is as relevant today as it was last century. It’s not often that you’re given the opportunity to play an instrumental role in such a relaunch. The design team is honoured and excited.

Having relaunched Swedish motorcycle brand Husqvarna Motorcycles in 2014, and contributed largely to KTM’s brand success over the past 24 years, KISKA is up to the task. Working closely with the global development and investment team, Lambretta Consortium, KISKA has aimed to evolve the Lambretta design language, positioning it to take on the future realities of urban mobility, while honouring the brand’s compelling heritage.”

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”.

 

I don’t wanna Tork about it…

lambretta BR ludwigSometimes, when Lambrettas were manufactured outside their native Italy, strange things happened. The models were ‘tweaked’ to better suit local tastes and markets. Occasionally, these changes are aesthetically pleasing, the turning mudguard on Spanish Series 2’s built in the Eibar factory for example.

Tork.jpg~originalBut – despite virtually every owner having their own idea of what the perfect Lambretta should look like – it’s hard to improve on the original Italian designs. It also seems that the further the manufacturers were away from Italy, the more they had free reign on creating their own, unique models. Nowhere more so than Brazil.

When they started making Lambrettas in Brasil, they looked pretty much like their Italian relatives. But as time went on, things got a little stranger.  I’ve touched on the pretty little MS before… and the monkey-bike styled Xispa – but I never knew about the Tork until I stumbled upon it on a website the other week. (on the red one, below, the extra lights are an obvious owner additional – who’s have thought of adding lights to a Lambretta?).

By the 1970’s scooters were as out of vogue in Brasil as they were in the rest of the world. From what I could gather, the Tork was built after a hiatus in scooter production (the factory had been sitting idle) as a last gasp attempt to gain back a bit of market share from Japanese motorcycles flooding into Brasil (and most of the rest of the world) at the time. It was all to come to a grinding halt when the factory went bankrupt in 1982.

To my eyes, the Lambretta Br Tork (to give it it’s full name) seems a desperate attempt to make a scooter look like something it’s not – a motorbike. Ironically, in the original scooter boom of the fifties, it was the other way around, with every motorcycle manufacturer trying to make their bikes look more like scooters. Funny old world.