The ultimate family Lambretta?

Family TrailerI don’t know much about this amazing contraption… but I’d like to know more! I think I can make out the word “Siambretta” on the trailer, which would make it Argentinian… but I may be mistaken.

If a sidecar doesn’t quite cut the mustard for family transportation, you can get another kid or two in this! I hope the engine is uprated – otherwise journeys would be stylish, but very slow!

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Moonstomp Riders SC… Bogota!

I find it amazing how countries around the world have adopted the scooter scene ethic… often with the same music and fashions as those originally found in the UK. I know the scooters are Italian, and the music is Jamaican, but the culture is pure British. Except it’s not. It’s GLOBAL. As this video from Bogota (that’s in Colombia, South America for all you geography dunderheeds). And I think it’s pure brilliant.

BTW, As well as Colombia, this blog has readers in Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. Most of South America in fact. So if you own, ride, or are just interested in Lambrettas and you live in Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana, Bolivia or Paraguay… please get in touch, send some pics, let me know what’s happening in your neck of the woods. There are a few places around the world untouched by the “Lambretta virus” but, as I’m finding out… not many!

Lambrettista – Read in over 40 countries on 6 continents!

Lambrettista-CoverageMapWow. Since moving my blog over from Posterous to WordPress I’ve been able to see a lot more data about who’s visiting, and where from. And it just goes to show that interest in Lambrettas is truly global. I kind of expected some readers from the UK and Italy, as well as Spain and the US… but it would be easier to say where the blog isn’t read! (Come on Africa, China and the Middle East – you’re letting the side down!) I got my first reader in Egypt yesterday, so I’ve got a little bit of a nibble into Africa…

So a big thank you to all my vistors. It makes this little personal project well worth while.

If you check out my links page you’ll see there are Lambretta Clubs in over 30 countries. If I’ve missed where you live, apologies, let me know and I’ll post a link.

EDIT: We’re past 50 Countries now… and going strong! FURTHER EDIT: Make that 60 Countries. From the Aland Islands to Uruguay!

Siambretta Model D Twin. That’s right. Twin cylinders!

Saimbrettas, as you probably know, are the Lambretta variants build under licence from Innocenti by SIAM Lambretta, in Argentina.

SIAM’s relationship with Innocenti dates back to 1954, and the Model C… affectionately known as the Pochoneta in Argentina. Apparently, even General Peron was a fan. A Model D equivalent soon followed, known as the “Siambretta 125 Standard” which was the equivalent of the Lambretta Model D… (with the 125 Deluxe being the equivalent of the LD). If you’re Argentinian, or a Siambretta aficionado, and I’ve got any of these facts wrong, please put me right in the comments.

So, history lesson over. What I never expected to see was a Model D Twin… I’m assuming, as my Argentinean Spanish is rather rusty, that it’s two 125cc cylinders, giving a total of 250c. In a D frame. That must go like a rocket! This is the maddest thing I’ve seen for ages.

I’d love to know more, and I’m trying to dig out more details, so hopefully this post will be updated as I find out more. But what a scooter!

Found via the Lambretta Club USA’s Facebook Page.

For a more modern take on Lambretta twins, see my previous post on the 344cc Twin from PM Tuning here.

The Brazil Connection – The Xispa

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Everybody knows that the Lambretta comes from Italy. Most know that it was also made in India. And many know it was also made in Spain. At a pinch you might even mention Germany and France. But Brazil? Or Brasil, as it is more correctly spelled? Perhaps it’s my Eurocentric world view, but I was quite surprised when I first found out. (For completists, Lambretta’s were also made under license in Argentina, Taiwan and Colombia).

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The history of the Lambretta in Brasil stretches right back to 1955, and in fact it has clams to being Brasil’s first automotive manufacturer. Between 1958 and 1960, in it’s heyday the factory was producing more than 50,000 scooters a year. The mainstay of Brazilian production was based upon the Italian LI Series 2, which they produced from 1960. Known from 1964 as “Pasco Lambretta” the scooter market began to suffer the same slow decline in fortunes that was happening in Europe.

In an attempt to kickstart the market and keep up with changing automotive fashions, they  launched one of the Lambretta families more unusual members (to European eyes anyway)… the Xispa. This was a kind of hybrid scooter/monkeybike with many (as you’ll see in the pics) Lambretta components.

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There was a 150cc and 175cc version which did well in the domestic market, until the inevitable rise and eventual dominance of imported Japanese motorcycles and mopeds. This all but saw the end of Lambretta production in Brazil, although their final throw of the dice was the slimline style Lambretta Cynthia (which I will feature at a later point I’m sure) and the ‘cutdown’ version of this… the MS150… the factory trimmed sidepanels and MS designation earning it the nickname “the MiniSkirt”.

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As I mentioned in a previous post, there is a healthy interest in classic Lambretta’s and active club scene in Brasil (and also Argentina, but that’s another story). There also appears to be a few Xispa’s on the market… an ideal machine for the Lambretta collector with an eye for the unusual. For instance, here’s a very nice example, going for about 4,000 Brazilain Reals (about £1,100 at current exchange rates). You’ll have to ship it over from Brasil of course! I like it, I think it’s got a certain ’70s charm… and it also reminds me of those fantastic racing “Lambretta da Corsa” scooters from the fifties.

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UPDATE:

Some useful links if you want to find out more about Lambretta’s in Brasil. Or stat tuned and I’ll get round to writing some more, espcially abut the Cynthia, and the MS!

http://www.lambrettatradicionalbrasil.com.br/historia.htm

http://lambrettabrasil.blogspot.com/

Probably the most off-topic video you’ll ever see posted here

But then again, they do call this move a “Lambretta” in Brazil… apparently! Silky skills from Leandro Damiãno.
On a side note, in Brazil, the word “Lambretta” is virtually synonomous with “scooter”, and today there is a healthy interest in vintage models. It’s a less well known fact that as well as being popular in India and Asia, the Lambretta scooter was also incredibly popular in South America, being manufactured under license in both Brazil and Argentina (where they went under the name “Siambretta”). 
 I’m going to get round to making a listing page for all the various Lambretta clubs around the world one day, but in the meantime here are a few from South America
Siambretta Club of Buenos Aires (That’s the capital of Argentina, for those with rusty geography)