1956 Family Roadtrip from Sydney to Paris… by Lambretta!

1955-bombayPeople have done amazing things on Lambrettas – pushing these machines to their limits across many miles. This family road trip – 12,000 miles from Sydney to Paris – and then on to Margate – has got to be up their with one of the most ambitious and adventurous.

tripThe trip took over two months – starting 3,000 miles across Australia – through Pakistan, Persia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey – then into Greece, and across Europe (Yugoslavia and Italy) to France. An ambitious enough trip for a rider with a support crew – but dad Guy took his wife Beryl (originally from Margate) and his children Charles (4) and Yvonne (2). Wow!

Voyage Sydney

Guy custom built a cabin of marine plywood and canvas that could transport the four of them and their kit – and transform into a sleeping unit. Cosy! The ‘base scooter’ was a Lambretta Lambro 150 FD, with a top speed of just 25mph.

1956bm-0062The trip included heatwaves, floods, frosts, dust-storms, monsoon rain. The scooter suffered punctures, over-heating and wet petrol – but their ‘put-put’ got them there in the end!

1956bm-0009For the full story, I’d highly recommend visiting the website that chronicles the journey – www.montin.fr/lambretta – where there’s a wealth of original newspaper clippings and photos from the trip.

1955bm-0080A big thank you to Charles (the then four year-old boy in the pictures!) for permission to use the imagery featured in this post.

gate_of_indiaI’ve also got another amazing Lambretta adventure story to tell – this time an ‘escape across Africa’ – stay tuned for that one!

 

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250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle

PA-2011_Lam250GP-002I came across these great shots of the 250cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle in the Australian version of Motorcycle News. The photographer Phil Aynsley had originally seen an old black & white shot of the bike from when it was originally racing, back in the early fifties. The bike stuck in his mind and after stumbling across a recent picture online, Phil tracked the bike down to Vittorio Tessera’s Lambretta collection.

Although the bike did not much success on the track, it has the clean lines of a classic café racer, with a whiff of Moto Guzzi about it. In fact, the overall transverse V-twin design predates the famous Moto Guzzi layout by some 13 years.

All images copyright Phil Aynsley Photography.

Phil is a photographer based in Sydney, Australia. Check out his other photographic work here.

One for my Aussie readers…

$_20Came across this pukka 1958 NSU Prima 150D on Gumtree. At A$3000… it’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s sale of the flipping’ century… as ever, just flagging it up not recommending, buyer beware and all that yada yada yada.

It’s in Adelaide, South Australia. Here’s the Gumtree Link.

$_20-2 $_20-1 $_20-3

I’ll get back to posting about real Lambretta’s soon, promise!

F Type Progress – and an appeal…

ModF+HarryBackWheel ModF+Harry ModF+Harry2 ModF+Harry4Regular reader may remember Rodney from Oz and his F model. Well, progress on the restoration have continued, with the help of his grandson Harry.  Some of the body parts are at the panel beaters. Once they are ready to go, they will be painted in the original grey – a perfect match to the original paint found on the front forks.ModF+Harry-FrameWhat strikes me when you see the F stripped down, is just how simple the design was… the E & the F really pared things down, even from the looped frame of the A -D’s. And it makes the DonGo “Bare Bones” scooter I featured earlier in the week look super complicated in comparison!

Rod has just about rounded up all NOS parts needed to complete the project, but one thing he is still chasing is a set of handlebars. These “F” model handlebars are proving tricky to track down… so Rod has asked me to ask my readers to see if they have any ideas about how he can come up with a set… Any ideas anybody? Can YOU help?

 

F is for Family… F is for the Future…

Remember Rod’s Aussie barn find…  the controversial F with the D type forks? Well. there’s been a bit of progress… Rod has found an old dealer and bought their entire stock of model F parts… so he has most of what he needs for his restoration. RMF-Partsphoto 5 RMF-Partsphoto 6 RMF-Partsphoto 7

He’s also started to strip the scooter down with the help of the grandson Harry… who has been designated his chief mechanic. He’s become the envy of his classmates, helping his grandad restore a vintage Lammie.Familyphoto 2 Familyphoto 3 Family SpannerFamilyWoopsHis brother Hugo loves the Lambretta too… this means Rods F will have a great home and remained loved for the next 70 to 80 years… theirs a legacy to be proud of!Familyphoto

F is for FIND – Aussie barn find!

photo 5 photoOne of my readers, Rod got in touch from Western Australia yesterday, very excited about a scooter that had turned up in a shed where it had sat, unmolested for the last 35 years. It’s a Model F, The F is a pretty rare sight these days… I think by the time it was being produced in ’53 to ’54 the panelled LD was becoming the dominant Lambretta model, and they were of course also still selling the latest incarnation of the D model, one of Lambretta’s most successful models to date.

Something in the back of my mind tells me the E’s and F’s were more successful as the front end of Lambretta’s commercial range… but my knowledge of these vehicles is almost non-existent, so maybe you could enlighten me if you know more!

photo 3  Anyway, back to Rod’s F. He managed to pic it up for A$350. As you can see from the pics, it’s not in too bad condition, and Rod says everything is there, and completely original, barring the lock for the boot cover plate. So if you’ve got one of those around, drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with Rod.photo 4 photo 5 photo 6photo 7 photo 8 photo 9 photo 10These wonderful  tax discs tell their own story… the two older older two ones were behind the top one… so the scooter has been resting in that shed since 1976… 38 years! Rod is now approaching the Department of Transport to see if he can get the original number plate; UG 322.photo RodsF1 And I know it’s superficial, but I think my favourite part of the whole scoot is the original “Aussie Rules” Shell decals on the inside of the inside of the leggies…  a real period piece!

Rod on ModCNew owner Rod is no newbie when it come to Lambrettas either… He’s sent me this fantastic pic of himself astride his first Lambretta, a C Model, in about 1960 when he was 17, which he later upgraded to a D Model, pictured below. Just shows, once you’ve got the  Lambretta bug, you’ve pretty much got it for life. I can’t wait to see pics of Rod riding his restored F in the Aussie sunshine. Keep us posted mate!ModelD

The last pic, and probably my favourite, is Rod 53 years after the shot on his “C”, obviously enjoying his new purchase…RodF-53 Years Later

F is for FORKS…

A couple of eagle-eyed readers have pointed out that the forks don’t look correct for the model F, as you can see in the pic below, they are ‘swept back’ rather than the more standard Lambretta style forks, as seen on the D, and evolved on later models. It’s being looked into! UPDATE: The forks problem has been resolved, but it warrants a post of it’s own (stay tuned). We’ll leave it at this for the moment: A) Rods Lammie is DEFINITELY an F, and B) I’ve learned something new!LambrettaModellF

 

 

Lammie Drive 2 Update

LammieDrive2A lot has happened since my original post. There off! In fact, they’ve been going for over a week now… and it’s been eventful to say the least. A broken collar bone, and some severely stressed scooters that have needed a fair bit of work on them. But it was never going to be easy was it? The team Siobhan, George (A Harley and Triumph rider who’s first experience of Lambretttas was day one of the trip!), Tino and Oreste (on a Vespa) have got as far as Cairns.LammieDrive2 Cape York

 

Follow their progress here: lammiedrive.blogspot.co.uk

Lammie Drive 2 – An even LONGER way on a Lammie!

LammieDrive21045235_493508424053061_455496543_n-1Siobhan Ellis is riding a 1958 Lambretta Series 1 Famebreather (more about the machine in a moment) from the very top of Australia… to the very bottom. In case you hadn’t noticed, Australia is quite a big country. That’s a long way.  A very long way. From Cape York to Wilson’s Promontory to be precise… 6,350km (or a gnat’s under 4,000 miles in old money). Making it especially hard the first 800km’s aren’t even on proper roads… but dirt track …dirt track that isn’t even open all year round.

LammieDrive2-MapWhy?

So why is Siobhan doing this mad, mad journey? Well, it’s all for a good cause… Breast & Prostate Cancer Research at St. Vincents Hospital, Sydney.

Why Lammie Drive TWO? Because Siobhan has a track record of doing this, having ridden the 4,700km from Sydney to Perth back in 2009. This time, there are five riders doing it…  and I think they are all on Lammies too.

CIMG0422 CIMG0424 CIMG0421 CIMG0423The Lammie

Siobhan’s scoot is fantastic…  a Replica 1959 Scottish 6 Days Trial Lambretta. Which should help a bit on the the first 800k of graded dirt track. The pics show Siobhan’s fine machine with a Targa twin, but for the event she has opted for a super crank single cylinder.

When?

They kick off from Cape York on 23rd of July, ending up in Melbourne 23 days later on the 16th August. To cap it all off, Siobhan is taking the next couple of days to ride back to Sydney. Take a look at the map!

Sponsorship

Siobhan’s already received great support…  from the LCGB, And the Lambretta Club’s of Germany, Italy and the USA, she’s also receiving great support from Lambretta Evergreen. Check out all the generous sponsors here. But what this basically mean’s the expenses are covered… so everything raised goes to charity. It’s a good cause… so dig deep and chip in.

You can follow her progress, find out more, and contribute on the Lammie Drive 2 Website here or Facebook page; here.

If you do the Twitter thang, it’s twitter.com/LammieDrive

www.lammiedrive.org.au

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!