Seriously sporting…

ImageLove this shot from WhiteDog, who’s got a nice little blog, here. It features some great shots of his dad, usually astride a Lambretta, back in the day. I can’t glean much more information other than he hails from the York locale, and his old man was secretary of the York Lambretta Club back in the 60’s. So if you’re behind WhiteDog blog, get in touch and spill the beans!

Mystery Early 60’s Lambretta Wedding Movie!

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http://www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk/video/2486002597001/?ref=vidshare

This is a wonderful piece of social history, a wedding video featuring a whole brace of Lambrettas from the the Mitcham Goons Scooter Club…

It was found at a car boot sale in Wimbledon by the son of a film historian, Barry Littlechild.

I think it dates from the early 60’s… judging by the machines (several Series 2’s) and it’s probably something to do with the movie “Come September“, starring Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida, which came out in 61. So, does anybody know anymore? Who’s the bride? Were you a member of the Mitcham Goons? If you were, or you know more of the story, please let me know – I’d love to follow this up… or let the guys at the Wimbledon Guardian know direct. The full story is here, on the Wimbledon Guardian website.

Dino’s at it again…

Dean Martin on a CentoBefore Austin Powers, there was Matt Helm… a spoof secret agent played by Dean Martin. A hard drinking, womanising, wisecracking american counterpart to 007, Dino played it strictly for laughs, and took every opportunity to get his leg over. On this occasion, he’s given up trying to kick start the LD, and got his leg over a J Range… And riding pillion he’s looking for somewhere to hold on!

Fill her up, please!

Filling up a TV175 with premixed "Pertroil"

I’ve got a bit of a thing for old pics like this… clearly an old publicity shot for BP, but it tells you so much more than it appears to at first glance.

Firstly, and most obviously, is the forecourt service. I vaguely remember people coming to fill my dads car up with petrol… and they still do that at at least one garage the Isle of Wight! Secondly, BP had a pre-mixed “Petroil” product called BP Zoom… a mix of their petrol and Energoil branded 2-stroke. There were a lot more 2 strokes about then, I suppose… but did they all run the same mix? Or could you vary the mix at the pump? Anyone know? Thirdly, and I never knew this, petrol was sold bu the PINT! Remember gallons, obviously… but not pints! Fourthly; (I’m going to give up numbering everything, it’s getting boring) The unit that dispensed the petroil, could be wheeled out… it wasn’t a fixed part of the forecourt. I expect they filled it with petrol from the pumps, and then mixed in the 2 Stroke.

National Scooter Bay
Another shot of a similar vintage shows another young lady filling at a”scooter bay” at a National filling station, their brand of premix named “Hi-Fli”. Thislooks altogether more modern, although the scooter is obviously a Series 1. Anybody got any more shots like this?

Lambretta from the 1960 Rome Olympics

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While we are engrossed in the London 2012 Olympics, there are not many Lambretta’s on view… (UPDATE: A secret source tells me that classic scooter fans may be in for a pleasant suprise at the closing ceremony. I’m saying no more!!) unlike the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where Innocenti supplied 80 scooters (as well as 20 Lambros and 2 Helicopters!) for the use of athletes, officials and the press. This must have been quite a coup for Innocentini …the Vespa marketing department must have been kicking themselves! I wonder if Cassius Clay rode a Lambretta before he went on to win his Gold medal… no there’s a picture I would like to see!

Of the original 80 scooters (LI 150 Series 2’s) only 3 are known to have survived… and one has been loving restored a few years ago at The Rimini Lambretta Centre.

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More (or less) than a “standard” restoration, it was deemed too historically important for that – this was a “conserved restoration” where as much of the original scooter as possible was preserved. The full story or the restoration, and some pics can be seen here. Those in the know in Lambretta circles recognise that Dean Orton and Paolo Catani at the Rimini Lambretta Centre as one of the few places on the planet capable of work to this standard.

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The whole story featured in Scootering magazine a few years back, and additional information for this article comes from the excellent MandM Lambretta blog. More pics, and a link to the Scootering article there.

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This almost unique scooter is now in the hands of US Lambretta collector Robbie Morelli. There is another at Vittorio Tessera’s Lambretta Museum, just outside Milan.

Interestingly, Rome are in the running for hosting the 2020 Olympics… I wonder if there will be any LN’s (or there succsesors) supplied to the athletes… I think they should all have these electric Lambrettas for getting around!

EDIT: Just found another great pic on t’internet. I’ll add any more as and if I find them.

Lambretta Olympic team

Let’s get back to some PROPER Lambretta’s

Right, just in case anybody had stumbled across my blog for the first time and was worried it was all about NEW Lambrettas… here’s a nice bit of pure nostagia. Come September, a film from 1961, stars Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin and a brace of rather fine Series 2 Lambrettas. I must admit, I’d never heard of this movie until it was flagged up on the rather good Vietnamese  “The Scooterist” blog. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of the story, suffice it to say A) It’s got Rock Hudson etc. in it, B) It’s set in early sixties Italy and C) They ride Lambretta’s. Now what more could you want from a movie? Ms Lolobrigida, in typical Italian fashion even rides pillion ‘sidesaddle style’, It’s on my list of DVD’s to look a out for!

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Can you help Chris trace his dad’s TV200?

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I know this is a longshot, but… a friend of mine is trying to track down this lovely TV200 that his dad used to own… It’s a 1964ish model, and had quite a distinctive orange/off white paint job. The TV200 wasn’t the most common of Lambrettas, so there’s more than a chance of somebody out there recalling it. It was sold in the late 60’s in Harlow in Essex. The Reg no (as you can see in the photo is LRO 124C. The DVLA has no current record of it… can any of you lot help? Maybe you owned it, or knew someone who did? Maybe it’s in your shed… leave a comment, or drop me an email to crocodilejock@gmail.com

How Lambretta defined 1960’s design

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Great article on the Influx blog by Gary Inman on how the Lambretta, along with the E-type Jaguar and the original BMC Mini, defined 1960’s design. My favourite part is where he compares Lambrettas to their great rival Vespa… “Lambrettas are cool and beautiful. And better. End of.”
Couldn’t agree more Gary. Read the whole thing here.

Oh, and thanks to Vespamore for the heads up… although you no doubt agree to differ, eh Paul? 🙂