Vintage Mobility Scooter

Vintage_Mobility_HeroLet’s face it, none of us are getting any younger. And while hopefully, we can swing our legs over a Lammy for a little bit longer the day will come when we won’t be able to. But you may still be able to ride around with a certain panaché. I think this vintage electric mobility scooter, dating from 1948 trumps your modern plastic mobility scooter in the style stakes, and probably in speed too. If you’re an ageing goth, into steampunk (I can see someone riding round in this in a stovepipe hat, steampunk goggles and a silver skull-topped cane), or maybe John Cooper Clarke, you could pull this off. It’d be a strong look. On eBay for £5,989.00

Vintage_Mobility_Hero2

Advertisements

Rare ‘Indian Papoose’ Parachute Scooter

Indian-Papoose-HeroSpotted this rarity on eBay – a Genuine 1954 Indian Papoose Brockhouse Corgi. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know anything about these scoots… but there’s a little bit of history below…

Indian-Papoose-1

The Indian Papoose started out life in 1942 to be used during the 2nd world war known as the Wellbike, then was redesigned named Corgi under the creative ingenuity of John Dolphin, changing the engine to an Excelsior Spryt, built under licence by Brockhouse Engineering Southport Ltd.

Brockhouse was invested in the Indian company and began to re-badge the Corgi with the Indian Papoose decals along with re-painting the little folding motorcycle identifiable with the Indian Colors to market the Papoose as an Indian in the United States in 1948. Around 28,000 of the folding motorcycles where sold from 1948 to October 1954.

This is a ‘super rare’ scooter for collectors – and I’ve got to say, I’ve never seen one before! on eBay for a Classified Ad Price of £5,989.00

Another collection of oddballs

It’s been a while since I posted a collection of ‘oddballs’ (here are the last lot). So here goes, to be clear, the term oddball is not pejorative – these are scooters that just aren’t  Lambrettas and Vespas – or clones of them!

BM-Pokerino-0219-1First off is this BM Pokerino from 1963. BM, or Bonvicini Marini were an Italian motorcycle manufacturer founded in Bologna in 1952. An ‘ace’ looking little scooter, but, I must say my favourite part about is the poker hand badge – so if you’re feeling ‘flush’ (see what I did there) you can get hold of the Pokerino for a classified price of £1,895. It looks to be in great original condition.

BM-Pokerino-0219-2


Next up is a second 50cc classic – a straight-looking Zundapp RS 50 – another good looking little scooter. Yours for a grand.

Zundapp_bella_0219-3


One more ‘nifty fifty’ before I get to the big guns

… a Garelli Como – and I’m always a little unsure about classifying these larger wheeled bikes as ‘scooters’. Yep, it’s got the scooter style bodywork, but with those big wheels it’s more moped than scooter, right? While looking a little ungainly, the Garelli just about manages to pull off the ‘moped in disguise’ thing. I think. Anyway, it’s nearly twice the price of the Zundapp,at £1,995.

Garelli-Como


Next up is another scooter I don’t think I’ve seen before – A Jawa Tatran. Jawa – a long established Czech motorcycle marque – got in on the scooter gravy train just like everybody else. And they made a decent job of it by the look of things. This one has had a full resto job done on eBay for the same price as the Garelli, £1,999 – probably the better buy?

Jawa-Tatran1

Jawa-Tatran2

Jawa-BrochureIf you get that scooter, you’ll probably want to grab this book too… on eBay for £16.99.


Finally, and did I save the best to last? Maybe.BSA-Sunbeam-02191

A great looking BSA Sunbeam. Look familiar? Well, the Sunbeam is basically a ‘badge engineered’ Triumph Tigress. One of my favourite British scooters, there’s no denying the sensuous smooth lines of this little beauty.

This one appears to be in very good nick, and has had the same owner for 15 years. It’s got a classified price of £2,495.

 

Bare, Basic, Brutish.

b3_sedov_11And bloody brilliant. Not a Lambretta (obvs – as the youth say these days). But now and again I like to post a bit of ‘industrial design’ that is somehow Lambretta related, or may inspire somebody in the creation of a ‘custom’.

This is a purely conceptual creation of Dennis Sedov. The bold, brutish straight lines and overall simplicity may be at odds with the sensuous curves of a classic Lambretta, so I’m not going to labour over a link, but there’s something about the aesthetic I love. Love the seat (and built-in back light), love the front light. Originally discovered on Yanko Design. See more of Dennis Sedov’s design work here, and his motorcycle designs here.

b3_sedov_layout

Pocket Rockets and Motochimps…

pocket_rocket_1I spotted* a couple of cool new electric bikes – and thought they were more than worthy of an airing on the blog. Though each is a quirky, original design in it’s own right, I’m old enough to know the adage “There’s nothing new under the Sun” has an element of truth to it – and both these bikes reminded me of older designs.

Pocket Rocket

The first is the “Pocket Rocket” it’s unusual form earning it a German Design Award. Designed by Manuel Messmer and engineered by SOL Motors, the Pocket Rocket is clean and compact. The thick tubular column on the top becomes a perfect surface to sit on, once you’ve got a saddle in place, and right at both ends, you’ve got the headlight and taillight. The product is currently in its conceptual stages and the specifications haven’t been made public yet. If and when they do, I’ll let you know.

pocket_rocket_3pocket_rocket_4

While a beautifully simple and original concept, it reminded me of a little known Lambretta from years ago – The Rosella, pictured below, and featured on the blog here.

Find out more about it on the SOL Motors website.

1dce6dd6db8b0ac857e29efe54127812

 

Motochimp

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 17.50.12The second featured bike is equally – if not more so – quirky. It’s called the Motochimp – a cheeky name, for a really cheeky looking bike. This bike has so much personality, it looks like it’s a character from a Pixar film.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 17.50.01This quote from their website (motochimp.com) gives you an idea of the ethos of Motochimp…

“Motochimp celebrates the indie spirit of spontaneous urban mobility. Freeing urban transport from boredom, replacing it with spontaneity and personality. Join us and we’ll defy boredom and faceless urban transport. Let’s embark on joy rides that catch a twinkle or two… Let’s Ride on the Lighter Side of Life”.

The video on FullyCharged sums up the bike features nicely. Favourite feature? Well, I’m torn between the way the battery just slides out – and those funky, minimalist bar-end indicators.

As Johnny Smith notes in the video, the Motochimp is very reminiscent of Honda’s Motocompo portable minibike from the ’80s – now a very collectable little bike in its own right – and one probably deserving of a Lambrettista blog post.

HondaCity_Motocompo

Which gives me the excuse to share this Madness Honda City/Motocompo ad…

 

*Well, my mate Luke spotted them to be fair. And sent me the links. Credit where it’s due!

The Triumph T10 – The prettiest British Scooter?

s-l1600-1Spotted this pretty little Triumph on eBay. Lovely clean lines for a scooter that doesn’t originate in Italy! Dare I say, it’s prettier than a J? Dare I? Nah, not on here. But’s it’s close. It apparently “drives very nice” and “everything works as it should” (Buyers words, so do your own checks). It’s listed at a pretty reasonable £1,950, but he’s open to offers, as he’s not sure how much it’s worth. I’d say he’s pitched it about right?

It comes with a load of paperwork. Which is always nice! Here’s the eBay link

The Triumph T10 – also known as the Triumph Tina – was the lightweight sister scooter to the better known Triumph Tigress. Made between 1962 and 1970 it was marketed at women, in a campaign fronted by Peter Pan of Pop Cliff Richard (I’d love to see some original publicity material if anybody’s got any – I’ve tried finding some online to no avail!). Technically the Tina was quite advanced – an early ‘auto’ using a continuously variable transmission system with a centrifugal clutch. There were even plans, and actual prototypes for a three-wheeler version – predating Piaggio’s MP3 by decades!

Lots more info about the Tina / T10 and her big sis the Tigress on the TriumphScooters website.

Lambretta’s monkey bike – The Rosella

1dce6dd6db8b0ac857e29efe54127812
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.

f374f1bf165e4d139c607793895c63af
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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2011128165758_15

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!

 

Iso love this…

luigis_isoLuigi from Italy sent me a picture of his scooter, this beautiful Iso – known officially in it’s native Italy  simply as the “F” – although maybe better known to British readers as the Iso Milano, (it’s South American name) or the Diva, as it was marketed under in Spain. Iso developed the F after an initial collaboration with, of all people Maserati… I wrote about the only known surviving scooter from this collaboration here. The lines of the F are classically italian, the scooter bears more than a passing resemblance to a Lambretta Series 1/2 and the Vespa VNB, depending on which angle you’re looking at it from 🙂im000636

Luigi knows a thing or two about classic scooters, having written the Iso pages on the (excellent) Scooter d’Epoca site.

Puch Cheetah

puchds_60_cheetah_ebayNow for something completely different… a Puch DS 60 Cheetah from, amazingly in my opinion, 1960. Why amazingly? Well, to my untrained eye, it looks so much later, presaging Japanese mopeds like the Honda Cub and monkey bikes from the 70s. There’s also a hint of the Rumi Formicino in the styling. Not as curvy and sinuous as a Lambretta or a Vespa, but a very pleasing design – tidy, solid and compact. It was described, back in the day, as a ‘scooterette’ – or ‘baby scooter’. The 59cc Cheetah was the ‘deluxe’ version, with a more stripped down 50cc bike called the Nomad as it’s entry level stablemate.

The Austrian company Puch are perhaps more remembered these days for their mopeds (such as the Puch Maxi), and small motorcycles, and maybe even push bikes (especially BMX’s), but they made very highly regarded scooters in the 1950’s. The Puch RL from 1953 had more traditional scooter styling, and had a good reputation amongst it’s owners,  the less than sparkling performance being offset by a reputation for exceptional reliability.

The 59cc 4 speed sports engine on this Cheetah produces 4.5 hp. It’s been restored to ‘as new’ condition with a professional respray (love the silver and bright orange combo!), the engine rebuild by leading vintage Puch specialists in Austria. The aluminium casing, brake drums and shock absorbers are polished to mirror finish. It has a refurbed original seat, new brake linings, wiring, exhaust system, rubbers and tyres. Rebuilt by a restorer rather than a rider, the bike has covered only 3 miles since. The V5 is present and it has 12 months MOT.

Electric Swallow, update

Schwalbe_Pose.jpgHere’s the latest on the electric Schwalbe scooter that I posted about a few days ago. This time the information is straight from the horse mouth, so it’ll be a little more accurate!

Schwalbe makes an electrifying return GOVECS presents the classic scooter in a contemporary design and with electric drivetrain

The Munich-based company GOVECS has given the Schwalbe a new lease of life and in doing so is inspiring the entire industry. Together with technology partner Bosch, GOVECS has installed the world’s most advanced drivetrain in the Schwalbe, ensuring streets that are both clean and quiet.

The first version of the Schwalbe will sprint through the streets at up to 45kmh. Fully charged, it provides an impressive range of more than 100 km, and can already be reserved online.

It still has the typical features of a Schwalbe: the large tires, the ribbed tail section, the round headlights and the indicator lights on the handlebars, but has become even more striking. The Schwalbe has just treated itself to a modern outfit. The pioneering electric drivetrain, developed together with technology partner Bosch, is extremely dynamic and convinces with impressive acceleration.

The five-metre-long integrated cable with a plug that packs away neatly under the seat, means it is ready to be charged at any time. It can be charged via any normal household outlet. And you don’t have to wait long before you can whizz off again: after just one to two hours the battery is 80% charged again, and after four to five hours it’s fully charged.

Riders can also look forward to the accompanying service, because it promises to be as modern and innovative as the product itself. There will be a comprehensive on-site service. This means the service comes to the customer and not vice versa. Initially, the Schwalbe can be bought through the official online store. Reservations for the first deliveries in summer 2017 can now be made online at www.myschwalbe.com. In early 2017 the first Schwalbe Store in Berlin will open, followed by others in various European cities.

There’s colour reminds me of something… oh yeah, here we go 🙂minion_guitar

For those eagerly waiting for news of the forthcoming New Lambretta, the Lambretta Vendetta, word reaches me that it will NOT be launched at EICMA in November, but prepare for something pretty special at next years Lambretta 70th Anniversary Celebrations / Lambretta Jamboree in Italy.