I’ll admit now to not always having been the biggest fan of Bertone’s little late-sixties space age Lambrettas… the Luna range. I used to think didn’t have the elegant lines of a classic Lammie for me.
I’ve since grown to realise that they were future classics – designed ahead of their time, and the world wasn’t quite ready. Today, I think they’ve a great 70’s retro futurism vibe about them… kinda like the Bond Bug.
There’s a nice example on eBay… a 1970 Lambretta Vega 75s. It was restored in 2005, and is a UK registered bike with all the proper paperwork. It needs a little tidy up, but it’s in pretty decent nick. It’s priced at £2,500.
Found this very clean Lambretta Lui 75S on eBay. It looks super space age in it’s silver livery… and as it is an Italian import is still a “Lui” rather than a “Vega”. I think that’s right… I’m no expert on the Luna line! (Hmm… Louis Vega… didn’t he do “Mambo Number 5”?)
Anyway, from the pics, this is a superb example of the model… although it’s going for an eye-watering £4,500… You used to be able to pick up these little beauties for peanuts! Here’s the eBay link.
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!
No… I don’t speak Swedish (I’m thinking it’s Swedish, but I’m probably wrong), but I still found this little Luna roadtest rather watchable. Now, the Luna range doesn’t get much of a look in on this blog, which is a shame, because I really rather like them. They were a real back to basics scooter from Lambretta, back to the open frame principles of the original models A to D (I know there was a E and an F, but they pretty much petered out after the D). With this pared down, lightweight ethos and a space-age design from Bertone, where could they go wrong? Well, perhaps the Luna was just a bit too radical… ahead of it’s time, certainly a visual shock for aficionados of the clean curves of traditional Lambretta. But if you look at most modern small scooters, they’re a bit more Luna than GP. A superb design, a beautiful Bertone classic… born too soon?
There are many stories about the history of the Lambretta that have gained almost folklore status. One of my favourites is the story of the “splat”, or ink blot that appeared as a graphic on early GP’s.
You probably know it, but if you don’t, read on. And if you DO, read on anyway to make sure I’ve got it right. As the nineteen-sixties drew to a close Signor Innocenti commissioned the famous design house Bertone to remodel the Lambretta range. The result of this collaboration is still one of the most recognisable Lambretta scooters, the GP (known as the DL in most markets outside the UK). As well as s sleeker, slimmer, sportier body design, Bertone wanted a departure from the ‘old fashioned’ look of chrome plated badges and trim, presenting a more forwarding looking vision with a single colour of paint and matt black trim. This was a step too far for Innocenti, who insisted on some of his chrome back. In typical latin style a furious row erupted, which ended with Bertone throwing down his pen, leaving a splash of ink across his renderings. To commemorate the argument, Innocenti insisted that a legshield sticker was made in the shape of a stylised ink splat. On later models, and all UK imports, this was replaced with a sticker of a checkered flag. Well, that’s the version I heard, anyway!