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for sale on eBay – well, I say Scooter trailer, because this is a Lambretta blog, but these Czech made trailers were originally made for Jawa motorcycles.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.

RUDEBOY: The Story of Trojan Records

I missed any news of this movie on it’s original release in 2018. It’s available on Sky on demand, so if you’ve got that, give it a spin and let me know if you think it’s any good!

Among the cast of legendary artists featured are Lee ‘Scratch’ PerryToots HibbertKen BootheMarcia GriffithsDave BarkerDandy LivingstoneDerrick MorganBunny Lee, Sly & RobbieLloyd CoxsonePauline Black and Neville Staple they’ve certainly got the right people on board.

Here’s the intro from the film’s website.

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RUDEBOY is a film about the origins and ongoing love affair between Jamaican and British Youth culture. A film that explores the power of music to break down cultural barriers and change lives and the eventual birth of a modern multicultural society – all told through the prism of one the most iconic record labels in history, TROJAN RECORDS. Combining archive footage, freshly shot interviews and drama – RUDEBOY tells the story of Trojan Records by placing it at the heart of a cultural revolution that unfolded in the council estates and shanty towns of the late 60’s and 70’s. The film begins in the 1950’s, as Jamaica is slowly transitioning to its eventual independence in 1962. We meet Duke Reid and his legendary Trojan sound system and explore the social and cultural conditions that give rise to the birth of the rude boy, the emergence of sound-system culture and the rise of the distinctive Jamaican sound ska. In Act 2 we land in Britain in the 60’s and look at the Jamaican immigrants’ experience through the eyes of a young Dandy Livingstone. We meet first generation Windrush immigrant Lee Gopthal and witness the birth of Trojan Records while Enoch Powell is giving his Rivers Of Blood speech. There is a growing market for imported ska and new rock steady sounds that Trojan records tap into. Act 3 tells a story of how working-class youth discover the sounds of ska and rock steady and the most the important subculture in modern British history is born, the Trojan Skinhead. A new sound Reggae emerges. Black and white unite on dancefloors as we build up to the landmark for underground skinhead culture and the ‘Spirit of 69’. From 1969 – 1973 Trojan becomes the most important Jamaican label in the world and is at the peak of its powers. The Tighten Up compilation series, spreads the Trojan word to the masses. The label begins releasing almost everything that is sent in as the volume of output becomes incredible. A new gold rush ensues with producers rushing over from Jamaica selling records to Trojan Desmond Dekker emerges as the first star of the underground scene. ‘Double Barrel’ by Dave and Ansel Collins give Trojan their first number 1 hit single. Ken Boothe inspires the lovers rock sound with Trojans second number 1 ‘Everything I Own’. Pop Reggae is born and Black identity and pride builds around these records as a new confident identity is cemented. But the good times can’t last forever as in 1975 the label over extends itself and folds. But the impact of Trojan records lives on, through the 70’s right up to the present day. Jamaican youth culture has flourished and is everywhere you look – it spawned 2Tone, the Notting Hill Carnival, Sound systems, the seeds of the Hip Hop revolution, club culture. The cultural impact of Trojan records has shaped the world we live in.

Grab the soundtrack

If that sparks your interest, you can grab the soundtrack on Amazon, here.

The History of Lambretta’s in India (sort of).

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In the UK, we tend to think of the Lambretta as a fashionable, aspirational brand, associated with youth culture. Arguably, the hey-day of the scooter was before the days of the mod – when post-war austerity and a fuel shortage exacerbated by the Suez Crisis prompted the trend away from cars – well, big, thirsty ones anyway – and onto scooters. But the one era most people identify with Lambrettas is, of course, the Mod days of the 60’s. At least in the UK.

It’s very different in other parts of the world. In the late 60’s and into the 70’s the Lambretta was very much a workhorse scooter. Although glamourized to some extent by Bollywood,  and initially appealing to the growing middle class – the appeal to the masses was very much more practical than prestigious.

For a lot of Indians, the Lambretta was seen as family transport – able to transport four(!) in relative comfort – ” It could accommodate 4 people easily. A family of four including two children. One would stand in the front portion ahead of the seat and face the wind. The two elders would sit on the seat and the second child on the spare tyre at the rear of the Lambretta scooter.”

Lambretta’s were produced in India from the 1950’s by API – initially assembling parts shipped from Italy, and then manufacturing them from scratch in their own factories. They produced a variant of the Series 1 LI150, and then moved on to produce the Series 2. For most Indians, the Series 2 is the Lambretta.  In 1972, however, the State-owned SIL (Scooters India Limited) acquired the rights to the Lambretta name, and all API Lambrettas after that were sold under the name “Lamby”. These continued in production for many years, and in vast numbers – but, as mentioned, there was a new player in SIL.

lamby 003

SIL didn’t mess around with old models. After making a few 100cc Centos, they swiftly moved on to the model they are known best for – The GP. Although, rather confusingly, after acquiring the sole rights to the Lambretta name in India, the GP was sold under a number of different names, including the Vijai Super, Vijai Vulcan, Vijai Deluxe and the Allwyn Pushpak. There’s some great vintage footage (starting about 04:56) of these ‘Super Scooters’ in the video below.

As time went on, and with less and less access to original Italian GP’s the export market for ‘made in India’ Lambrettas grew. Initially slagged off as second-rate ‘curry burners’ (sorry if that sounds racist, but that’s what everybody called them, back in the day), their reputation grew to that close to their Italian forefathers. Ok. Not quite, but you certainly wouldn’t be embarrassed to ride an Indian GP these days.

Allwyn_Pushpak

Domestically, the Lambretta was far from the only game in town. Where there’s a Lambretta, there’s usually a Vespa a little way behind. Or in front. It depends on your preference – you know mine. Anyway, an Indian company called Bajaj had been importing Vespa’s since the late 40’s – and in 1958, started manufacturing under their own steam both two-wheelers and rickshaws, both based (I think) on the Vespa Sprint.

Bajaj-Chetak

It wasn’t all over for API though… and their trusty Lamby 150 (based on a Series 2, remember), had one last throw of the dice in the late ’80s. Although a very dated (or should we say ‘classic’) design next to the GP based offerings of SIL, it had still sold pretty well domestically. With optimism you’ve got to admire, and a fresh new design out of Miyazu, Japan, they launched their final Lamby model – The Polo. With redesigned legshields, headset and headlight, sidepanels, a horrible PX style horn casing it came with 12 volt electrics and mod cons such as indicators. Although it was basically a Series 2 under the skin, there was a lot of late 80’s Vespa about it – and it was none the better for it. The last one rolled off the API production line in 1992… although with a nod to it’s Series 2 toughness, and the Indian owners creative ability to keep them running, they stayed a staple of Indian transportation for many years after that.

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I wrote about the Polo, rather disparagingly back in 2013 https://lambrettista.net/2013/06/09/does-your-scooter-smell-of-mint/ – perhaps I’ve mellowed a little. Perhaps not.

The Lambretta still has a strong following in India, and a lot of people still remember their dad’s, or uncle’s Lambretta fondly as the key means of transport for the family. India, with it’s vast population, may just be the most important market for the new models being produced by Lambretta today.

Anyway, if you’re reading this in India, or you’ve got a better knowledge of the story of Lambrettas in India, please get in touch or leave a comment below. And if you’ve got pictures of your Lambretta – wherever you are in the world, and would like to share it with the world – I’d be more than happy to feature it on the blog.