1956 Family Roadtrip from Sydney to Paris… by Lambretta!

1955-bombayPeople have done amazing things on Lambrettas – pushing these machines to their limits across many miles. This family road trip – 12,000 miles from Sydney to Paris – and then on to Margate – has got to be up their with one of the most ambitious and adventurous.

tripThe trip took over two months – starting 3,000 miles across Australia – through Pakistan, Persia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey – then into Greece, and across Europe (Yugoslavia and Italy) to France. An ambitious enough trip for a rider with a support crew – but dad Guy took his wife Beryl (originally from Margate) and his children Charles (4) and Yvonne (2). Wow!

Voyage Sydney

Guy custom built a cabin of marine plywood and canvas that could transport the four of them and their kit – and transform into a sleeping unit. Cosy! The ‘base scooter’ was a Lambretta Lambro 150 FD, with a top speed of just 25mph.

1956bm-0062The trip included heatwaves, floods, frosts, dust-storms, monsoon rain. The scooter suffered punctures, over-heating and wet petrol – but their ‘put-put’ got them there in the end!

1956bm-0009For the full story, I’d highly recommend visiting the website that chronicles the journey – www.montin.fr/lambretta – where there’s a wealth of original newspaper clippings and photos from the trip.

1955bm-0080A big thank you to Charles (the then four year-old boy in the pictures!) for permission to use the imagery featured in this post.

gate_of_indiaI’ve also got another amazing Lambretta adventure story to tell – this time an ‘escape across Africa’ – stay tuned for that one!

 

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Sexy Cento

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Apologies for the lack of updates, things have been a bit hectic, and the blog has taken an bit of a ‘back seat’. I’ve got a bit of a backlog of posts to get up, but in the meantime, here’s one of American actress and model Carol Wayne, in a leotard, with a Cento.

EDIT: It’s NOT Carol Wayne… apparently it’s her sister, NINA Wayne. Good spot Corey.

 

 

Going Postal…

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Spotted this first class scooter on eBay… A Spanish Post Office (Correos) Serveta, quite rare by all accounts. It’s quite a basic model, lacking the indicators of Serveta’s of similar vintage. If Postman Pedro is anything like the ones that drive our little red vans, they never used the indicators anyway. Anyway, it’s much cooler than the push bikes our lot get to ride. Most of these scoots were scrapped after they went out of service, hence the rarity value, and relatively high price for a ‘basic’ Serveta. It doesn’t need my stamp of approval, but I think it’s got an appeal all of it’s own.
Here it is on eBay

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

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.