Spotted one of my favourite 1980’s oddballs – the fantastic little Honda Motocampo on eBay – originally sold as an option for Honda City car (see Madness advert below) these little 50cc bikes fold up to fit into your car boot. I think they still look pretty cool – and are a perfect example of innovative 1980’s industrial design. It’s on eBay for £2995 here.
Incidentally, dedicated Madness fans may recognise the Motocampo from the band’s foray into Japanes advertising… the first time I saw one!
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through the Scooter Restorations site, as I often do when I have a spare ten minutes. I’ve posted a few desirable rare Lambrettas for sale on the blog. Now, I know they specialise in ‘rare’ Lambretta parts, from the model A onwards… But I noticed they had (a few) parts for a Lambretta Amiga. A Lambretta that it never even made it to production. In fact, even pictures of it are rare… although there does appear to be a prototype in the Museo de la Industria Armera in Eibar, Spain. (If the name Eibar doesn’t ring a bell, it probably should, it’s the industrial town in the spanish Basque Country – Euskadi – where Lambretta’s were manufactured (sometimes under the name Serveta).
So it’s rare. We’ve established that. But is it desirable? Well, maybe. But I would hazard a guess at ‘only to a completist’ or only to people really into 80’s/90’s design.
Spanish machines are increasingly sought after in the UK, the Eibar Lambretta Winter Model and Serveta Jet 200 being particularly prized. The last real model to roll off the production line was the Serveta Lince (Spanish for Lynx), which was still very recognisably a Lambretta – albeit – like a 60’s pop star with a facelift and a spray-tan – a Lambretta with a distinctly 80’s make-over. I wrote about the Lince back in 2013 – here – since then my opinions on many things have mellowed, but sadly not my rather forthright views on the Vespa PX. Anyway I digress. Not like me is it? Back to The Lince. Sadly, although a modest success (over 1,500 made) the Lince was not going to secure the future of Spanish Lambretta production. So it was back the the drawing board, and in 1987, it probably was still designed on a drawing board, CAD being in it’s infancy. I’ll tell you one thing though, they made good use of their rulers that day.
The Amiga was Spain’s attempt to take The Lambretta brand into the ’90s… and one thing you can definitely say of The Lambretta Amiga was that it’s of it’s time. In typical late 80’s fashion anything resembling a sensuous curve was squared off – it was straight lines all the way, baby. And it wasn’t the only product they had in mind either, there was a rather funky looking trike – The Lambretta Tron – and an Lambro/Vespa Ape type commercial vehicle – The Motocarro Lambretta. The Tron even made it to prototype stage – I can feel another post coming on.
Back to the Amiga. Although it never made it past the prototype stage, there was big talk at the time of The Amiga being “The New Lambretta”. I remember reading an article about it (probably in Scootering) and being absolutely horrified – having a real “What the fuck have they done” moment, and thinking it was like a stormtrooper crossed with a Honda Melody. And not in a good way. (The design of the Honda Melody has aged pretty well, actually, but back in the late 80’s, to any Lambretta or Vespa rider the words Honda and Melody were about the worst insults you could throw at a machine). Anyway. I’ve waffled on far too long. There’s some Amiga bits on eBay, here. Basically, a frame (with some bits bolted on – the fuel tank and the rear shock), the forks and front wheel, and the headset, including the distinctive speedo. There’s no bodywork, seat or engine, although I’d imagine a standard Lambretta/Serveta lump would fit.
A final note, I’m pretty sure that when I originally looked, Scooter Restorations had an Amiga speedometer in stock. It’s now showing as “out of stock”. Which begs the question… “Who bought it?” and “Why?” Is someone out there building an Amiga? I’d love to know! If it’s you, please get in touch, I love to know more!
This isn’t an 80’s scoot. It was imported from India in 2008. But, for me, it’s got that 80’s feel about it. It’s the type of scoot I’d have wanted more than any other in the ’80s. An Arthur Francis Super S-Type. Built, and signed by Ray and Ben Kemp. In orange (ok, “Red candy over marigold”).
If you promised yourself one like this in the eighties, and you can afford one now, wtf is stopping you? Here’s the eBay link.
Sometimes, 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.
But – 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.
‘Wolfie’ Smith… in the classic TV comedy Citizen Smith on a S1. Apparently, Robert Lindsay may be making a comeback, wonder if he’ll still ride a Lammy? I wonder if actress Cheryl Hall will still be riding pillion?
Readers with good memories may remember that Wolfie later moved on to riding a GP in later episodes. Freedom for Tooting!
A bit of nostalgia for you… whenever I was off school back in the ’80’s…there wasn’t much telly on… I remember stuff like Crown Court and General Hospital… and then, at lunchtime, there was always Pebble Mill. Here’s an episode from the 80’s featuring Lambretta legend Mike Karslake, and some of his extensive Lambretta collection, including his Lambretta based fire engine and Wolfie’s Lambretta from Citizen Smith! He makes quite an entry on a Series 2 sidecar combination!
My good friend Tone posted this pic of me and a couple of pals back in the day… that’s me, centre, astride my first scooter, a Serveta 150 Special. Complete with stalk indicators… well, one anyway. Althiugh I look about 12, I reckon I must have just turned 17. This must have been fairly early in my ownership, as I took a hacksaw to both of them shortly after! The Vespa boys are Rob on (If I remember correctly, a Primavera) and Mike on a (again, I think… ) a 50 Special in a gorgeous shade of pale Aquamarine, the photo really doesn’t do it justice.
Tony was a Lambretta man at heart, like myself, having a great old beast of a Series 2 before succumbing to the lure of the Vespa, having a P200E, a T5 and a Corsa.
The mini is a lovely little car, resprayed in it’s original pea green colour, and restored to the high standards demanded by FIVA, and the ASI Targa Oro (Gold Plate) …only given to vehicles restored to original condition.
It’s in lovely condition throughout, I particularly like the original “Mille Miglia” wheels, and the small, Italian front number plate – I don’t know the rules of keeping this in the UK, but as a historic vehicle, your might be ok. I think it’s a bit of a bargain at €5.700. More here.
The other car an Innocenti Small – a 500cc dating from 1993. While not as immediately attractive as the Mini, it’s got a late 80’s/early 90’s appeal all of it’s own… a future classic, and an steal at €1.900. Maybe.
Unfortunately sold, and rather more to my personal taste, is a rather nice 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, but there’s a lovely 1970 Giulia GT 1300 Junior Scalino still available. And you won’t find many small, sporty saloons prettier than that.
This video starts off with some footage we’ve all seen a million times before, mods at the seaside in the 60’s… which is always good for another watch. But the real gem is when it switches to the Scarborough 1983 rally… the scoots, the clothes, the hair… brings it all back.
Oh and incidentally, it kind of reinforces my last post about the Serveta Lynx and the Vespa P-range… ONE Lynx and a ton of PX’s and P200E’s… To be fair, the Lynx wasn’t launched until 1983, and the P-Range had been around since 1977… (although tbh, I hadn’t realised it was as early as that).