With Lambretta customisation, there are a few ways to go. The one that first comes to many people’s minds is ‘the full monty’ mod look, and is all about how many lights, mirrors and other miscellaneous accessories you can bolt on to your scooter – and when it’s done right, it can yield amazing results… check this post out for the kind of thing I’m talking about;
The other way, well, one other way, is the ‘less is more approach’. You aim to showcase the beautiful lines of the machine, rather than cover them up. This could be as simple as changing the standard seat. It’s nice to see this approach is being taken up by owners of the new V Special Scooters. Styled in the fashion of a classic ‘Ancilotti’ racing seat, and in the colour palette reminiscent of an SX200, this really shows the heritage of the new machines.
Derek, from Bonhams in San Francisco, kindly sent me a heads up of this lovely TV225 up for auction in their forthcoming Quail Lodge Auction.The original, matching numbers scoot has been restored, by P-Town Scooters of Portland, Oregon, to full Arthur Francis 225cc ‘S’ Type specs. The finished article features all the goodies one might expect, including an Ancillotti megaphone exhaust, tuned 225cc motor, Nannucci race seat, Lucas lamps and Cuppini rack.The Bonhams Quail Lodge 2014 Auction will be held August 14th and August 15th on the grounds of the Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, California. Held in connection with the Quail Motorsport Gathering, the 17th annual Bonhams sale held during Monterey Classic Car Week will feature nearly 120 vehicles. The S Type is lot 197. More details here.
This is my third post about the work of The Rimini Lambretta Centre. I make no apologies for this, they produce first class work, and they are the acknowledged experts in the fine art of the “conserved restoration”. Coupled with there usually being an interesting story behind the work, and some great images, it’s a no brainer. So, on with the post, and what we have here is another fantastic job, on a small, but important piece of Lambretta history. The owner, Marcello Taglialegne, picked up this machine, in a really sorry state, at a parts fair. Some nifty homework confirmed the sellers’ story that it was an Ancillotti original, and, although the bodywork was in a bad way, with a massive crack at the rear section of the frame, and the engine was missing, it was decide that this scooter MUST be saved! A ton of work was done. This included sourcing a NOS 200cc engine as originally used by the Ancillotti brothers, and a hand-made inlet manifold to house the unfeasibly large Dell’Orto that sticks out the side of this scoot like Satchmo’s horn. The other thing that draws your eye straight away on this unique Lambretta is the front mudguard, which looks like it’s on backwards! A point of ‘heated debate’ in the RLC workshop, it was the way Ancillotti originally did it, so it was going on like that. I kind of like it, and have certainly never seen anything like it before.But my favourite part of this scoot is the seat. What a seat. Original to the scooter, and recovered, it sets the whole scoot of beautifully. The first time I ever heard the word Ancillotti was in relation to scooter seats (back in the day, it was that or a “Snetterton”) and this is the daddy of all Ancillotti racing seats. I want one like that!
For the full story of all the painstaking, period correct work that was carried out, and it’s quite a saga, but a good read; see the RLC website. There’s lots more pics of this fascinating scooter on there too.
I discovered this fantastic interview with Lambretta legends the Lambretta legends the Acillotti brothers… How they got started in scootering, Vespa’s verus Lambretta’s and their rivalry with Gori. Illustrated with a great looking racing scoot, it’s an interesting read, even when translated by Google from the original Italian.
UPDATE: Paolo Catani, the gent behind the Racing Lambretta site, has pointed me in the direction of an english version of the original interview, here. It certainly reads much better than the Google translation.
My favourite quote, (one that Google didn’t quite do justice); “It’s not true that it was Lambretta v. Vespa : that’s a false myth. It was always Lambretta against Lambretta because to race against a Vespa would have been a one-sided challenge” Quite.
My last post featured a cracking “Rat Racer” Series one… and I thought it was just about perfect. Something I’d love to own. There would be a few little tweaks I’d make… and that’s the way it is with most of the scoots I find. Nearly perfect, but with a couple of tweaks… a bit of chrome there… an accessory added, or removed… but that’s the joy of Lambretta’s. The machines rolled out of the factory, close to perfection… but somehow owners (and dealers) managed to improve them.
But, I think I’ve found a machine where I wouldn’t change a thing. And it’s this stunning SX. Well, an SX 150 S-Type GT 186 to be precise. Everything from the paint colour, to the Ancillotti exhaust screams perfection for me. The raydots at the Smith chrono all add to the package. It’s a classic look, and I don’t think it’s been bettered, to be honest. Perfect.
This lovely scoot was shot by Christian Gentilini, and you can see more of his photography, here, on flickr. He’s a member of the Lambretta Club Teste Cromate S.C.
The pics are copyright (Christian was kind enough to allow me to use them here) so please respect that.
Oh. I’ve spotted it. The tweak I’d make to this scooter. The crankcase side panel has something missing… it needs “Owned and run by Crocodile Jock” discretely signwritten on it. Small in the bottom right corner. And maybe a small enamel union flag badge under the sprint rack. There you go… proved… Lambrettisti just can’t help tinkering with perfection!